Liverpool beat Manchester City 1-0 at Anfield in the final Premier League game of 2016.

Wijnaldum scored the only goal of the game, heading the ball into the back of the net with less than 10 minutes on the clock, to increase their gap over third-placed City to four points.

City now sit 10 points off title leaders Chelsea, ending what has been a tough first half of the campaign for Pep Guardiola.

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Liverpool came racing out of the blocks on Merseyside and stunned the visitors just eight minutes into the contest between second and third.

After a passage of fine pass and move play from the Reds, Adam Lallana delivered an exquisite ball into the box, on his weaker foot, from the left wing. Wijnaldum, who had timed an excellent run from midfield, rose highest to send a powerful header past a hapless Claudio Bravo, again calling into question City’s disorganised defence.

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The goal left Guardiola’s troops flustered, with Liverpool quick to assert their authority on proceedings and take advantage of City’s nervousness.

Jurgen Klopp will have been pushing his side for a second goal, as the away side struggled to match the tempo of their hosts.

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Sergio Aguero, returning from suspension, had been ineffective, while his team-mates had offered little in the way of creativity in the final third.

But Guardiola had clearly instructed his players to be more cautious in their approach, sitting deeper behind the ball, and Liverpool’s threat on goal faded.

Neither side made changes at the break, perhaps a surprise from Guardiola given the inferiority of his side for much of the first half.

City, though, considerably improved, dominating possession and looking far more dangerous going forward.

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And with the away team growing in confidence and that all-important second goal seeming unlikely, Klopp opted for a substitution, making an attacking move in bringing on Divock Origi for captain Jordan Henderson in the 64th minute.

The playmakers for either team weren’t at their best, and heading towards the final quarter of the match, the top flight contest had become scrappy.

Into the closing stages of the game and the tempo had dropped. City simply failed to penetrate their opponent’s defence, with Liverpool able to seal what was an ultimately comfortable and deserved victory, further suggesting they could be Chelsea’s biggest threat to the Premier League title.

Source: TalkSport

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