It was supposed to be an occasion they were expected to throw everything into their quest for a comeback after they crumbled to a 3-0 defeat to Liverpool in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League clash at An field.
It was a day Manchester City were expected to make less mistakes, be more clinical in their finishing. But it was not to be as the Citizens still ended up on the losing side despite going ahead early in the second minute through Gabriel Jesus.
On a day manager Pep Guardiola was sent to the stands after raising questions over Bernardino Silva’s disallowed goal, City were unable to take advantage of their total dominance in ball possession as well as number of completed passes as they would eventually cede the initiative to the visitors who came out to re- invent themselves in the second half.
In what looked like Liverpool’s first decent move, Georgino Wijnaldum had picked out Sadio Mane who drove into the City vital area, but his tumbling in an attempt to fire in a shot, the spins out of control and squirms into a lurking Mohamed Salah’s path.
The Egyptian who had more or less been as quiet as a mouse all match would waste no time as he calmly clips the ball into City’s net for an equaliser.
The goal would suddenly change the course of the game as the Reds regained much of their confidence.
Roberto Firmino would later put the icing on the cake when he pouncet on a defensive error deep in the second half to score the winner and take aggregate scores to 5-1 .Salah’s 39th strike all season was all the more important as it proved vital for the Reds’ Champions League quest.