The battle between Liverpool’s inspirational forward Luis Suarez and Manchester City’s influential captain Vincent Kompany was pivotal in the crunch Barclays Premier League title clash between the sides at Anfield.
Here, we analyse the contest.
A fitness doubt coming into the game, the City skipper struggled. He failed to spot Raheem Sterling’s run ahead of the first goal and was then completely wrong-footed by the Liverpool forward as he showed great composure to finish. Kompany then lost Martin Skrtel as the defender headed the Reds’ second goal at a corner and his passing was haphazard, underlined by his poor clearance for Philippe Coutinho’s winner.
At times earlier this season Suarez carried the Liverpool attack, but the Merseysiders’ confidence is now such that the threat comes from all directions. Suarez was still at the forefront, though, and his determination to win the ball, followed by his fine pass for Sterling’s opener, was high class. He threatened on other occasions, too, keeping the City defence on edge, but the visitors did try to rile him. He was booked early on and City sensed a vulnerability. Familiar questions were raised when City claimed he dived after a challenge by Martin Demichelis, and he did seem on edge.
Suarez wanted a penalty after getting the better of Kompany in the second half, but he did seem to go to ground easily. Suarez did test the patience of referee Mark Clattenburg at times, but he came through.
Kompany, the man who usually holds the City defence together, was far from his best. He was not the only member of the back line who struggled, however, as Liverpool swamped them with their movement, vision and speed in the first half. Suarez may not have been at his most potent but he was one of a number of players that caused considerable alarm in the City rearguard.