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Winners & Losers

Haaland is human! Man City winners, losers and ratings as Cancelo error leads to defeat at Liverpool

1:30 PM IST 17/10/22
Erling Haaland Manchester City 2022-23
The Premier League's top scorer was shutout for the first time since August as Liverpool ended the champions' unbeaten start to the season

Manchester City suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season against Liverpool as their brilliant start to their title came to a dramatic halt.

Anfield has never been a happy place to go for City, having won there just twice in the past 40 years, so it's perhaps not a surprise that City were beaten by their closest rivals of recent seasons.

The defeat did, though, come in controversial circumstances, with a Phil Foden goal ruled out by VAR in an incident that Pep Guardiola said ignited the home fans.

Mohammed Salah then scored the only goal of the game after an individual error from Joao Cancelo when he misjudged Alisson's clearance.

But who came out of the game with any credit for City? And for whom was it a day to forget? GOAL breaks it down...

  • Ederson Liverpool

    The Winners

    The title race:

    In the build-up to Sunday's game, Jurgen Klopp claimed Liverpool were no longer challenging for the title. Of course, Guardiola dismissed those suggestions as rubbish, knowing exactly how difficult it is to win the Premier League, having done so four times in the last five years. Exciting title races have been one of English football's greatest selling points in recent years and it looks like we're set for another one all over again. Arsenal are four points clear of both City and Tottenham, with Chelsea just a further four points behind with a game in hand. And of course, Liverpool are now firmly back in the shake-up.


    So often the focus is on Ederson's brilliant footwork while questions are asked as to whether he is a good shot-stopper. But on Sunday, he made one huge save with Salah bearing down on goal that could have had huge implications on the Premier League season. At first, it looked like the Egyptian had got his angles wrong as his shot rolled just the wrong side of the post and referee Anthony Taylor pointed for a goal kick. Only from the replays was the brilliant save from Ederson perceptible, as his outstretched fingertips diverted the ball inches off target. Unfortunately for City, he couldn't pull off the same trick twice.

    City's fixture schedule:

    Guardiola was set to take his side to Arsenal in midweek, but that game was postponed with the Gunners facing a rescheduled Europa League game against PSV. Perhaps that will play to City's benefit, as the squad can take a couple of days off before returning to training after a painful defeat. Anfield was electric, and the Emirates Stadium would have been the same with Mikel Arteta's side four points clear and sensing blood. Getting back on the pitch is often the best way to get a response, but a firing Arsenal would have been a major test at this stage of the season.

  • Joao Cancelo Manchester City 2022-23

    The Losers

    Joao Cancelo:

    Cancelo has been outstanding all season, but he made City's key contribution for all the wrong reasons at Anfield. Isolated with Salah following a City corner, Cancelo misjudged Alisson's long clearance, allowing the Liverpool forward a free run at goal that he took full advantage of. The defender looked rattled by the mistake and it affected the rest of his match as City tried to chase an equaliser. He must put it behind him quickly and get back to the brilliant performances which have been so important to Guardiola's side this season, and Phil Foden could be seen reminding him of that shortly after full-time.

    Erling Haaland:

    Jamie Vardy's record of scoring in 11 consecutive Premier League matches is safe - for now - after Haaland's blank at Anfield. Only 10 games into his City career, the Norwegian was threatening it already with goals in seven successive matches, but Liverpool shut him down for the second time this season, following the Community Shield curtain-raiser. Haaland had a couple of sights of goal in the first half, clipping a shot wide and sending a header straight into Alisson's arms. Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez were mostly successful in keeping him away from the width of the six-yard box, but when he got one big chance in that position, Alisson denied him again with a smart save.

    VAR luck:

    It's rare for City to fail to score and they've done it twice in a week, following their goalless draw in Copenhagen. Except they scored goals in both games, only for them to both be chalked off by VAR. Rodri's super strike in Denmark was cancelled after a slight handball in the build-up, and this time Foden's goal was ruled out for a perceived Haaland tug on Fabinho. Guardiola wouldn't be drawn into criticising either decision, but he's probably had enough of seeing referees called over to the monitor for a while.

  • Ruben Dias

    Man City Ratings: Defence

    Ederson (8/10):

    Made one huge save but couldn't pull off two when he was twice exposed into facing Salah.

    Joao Cancelo (4/10):

    Huge error defined his performance and he will want to forget it in a hurry.

    Manuel Akanji (6/10):

    Biggest game of his early City career and found it tough in the red-hot Anfield atmosphere.

    Ruben Dias (6/10):

    Strong first-half but a slip in the second let in Salah and it could have been costly.

    Nathan Ake (7/10):

    Tasked with stopping a reinvigorated Salah after his midweek hat-trick and worked hard to keep him away from goal as much as possible.

  • Gundogan Liverpool


    Rodri (7/10):

    Screened the defence with his expert reading of the game in a congested area of the pitch.

    Bernardo Silva (8/10):

    Started in a deeper role almost as a second holding midfielder and worked hard as a disruptor before moving further forward.

    Ilkay Gundogan (6/10):

    Tried to take up dangerous positions in the half-space behind the forwards and forced one good save from Alisson.

  • Liverpool Manchester City Van Dijk Haaland


    Kevin De Bruyne (6/10):

    Slightly wider starting position and couldn't work his usual creative magic.

    Erling Haaland (6/10):

    More touches than usual but crucially couldn't get them in the most dangerous areas when he's so ruthless.

    Phil Foden (7/10):

    His left-wing battle with James Milner was a key duel and he came out on top, only for VAR to take away his biggest contribution.

  • Pep Guardiola Manchester City Liverpool 2022-23

    Subs & Manager

    Julian Alvarez (N/A):

    A very late change.

    Pep Guardiola (6/10):

    The City boss doesn't have a good record at Anfield, winning just once on his seven previous visits, and it got worse. City looked under control until the opener, but from then his side couldn't quieten Anfield.