|Erling Haaland celebrates after firing past Jason Steele to hand City a 2-0 lead over Brighton at the Etihad on Saturday. City won 2-1. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Liverpool found a way past Everton at Anfield in the latest edition of the seemingly one-sided Merseyside derby, but the referee would once again answer a couple of questions.
Ashley Young was sent off quite early in the game for two bookable offenses; the second was for a poorly timed tackle on Luis Dias at the edge of the Everton box, and you must ask the veteran defender what he was thinking.
The first yellow for Young was soon replicated by Kostas Tsimikas, but the Liverpool man was pardoned, and after the former Manchester United man was sent off, Ibrahim Konate hacked down Beto. Already on a yellow, many would expect him to be sent off, but once again, the referee opted against sending him off.
Mohammed Salah scored twice, one from the spot after Michael Keane handled in the area and the second from a neatly worked counter by Darwin Nunes. Liverpool went top of the log, but not for too long.
Manchester City halted the rot of three consecutive domestic losses with a 2-1 win over Brighton at the Etihad, but it wasn’t as pretty in the end as the opening stages suggested, with the Seagulls throwing everything at the champions.
Julian Alvarez opened the scoring after some hard work from Jeremie Doku, and the Belgian could have gotten more from the game had he been more clinical or less selfish at critical moments, but he wasn’t made to pay for his profligacy.
Erling Haaland returned to the score sheet with a fierce strike from the edge of the box, and at that point, with all the evidence available to us from history, we thought that was the end of Brighton for the day, but the second half offered a different story.
Brighton reshuffled, Roberto Di Zerbi made some changes, and the champions had to defend deep and become the team that was using counterattack tactics. Rodri’s role as the anchor came to the fore, and you could clearly see why he was missed.
Ansu Fathi scored a simple tap-in after neat work from Kaoru Mitoma, and City entered panic mode. Star striker Haaland had a chance to double his own tally, but Jason Steele stood firm to help the visitors preserve their remaining pride as City went to the top of the summit with a 2-1 win.