talkSPORT forced Danny Murphy to take an unwanted trip down memory lane as the former Liverpool midfielder remembered his ‘stinker’ of a game when Manchester City last won at Anfield.
The Premier League champions will take the short trip to Merseyside on Sunday for their first title showdown of the season against the Reds.
Pep Guardiola has plenty of problems heading into the crucial clash, with injury wiping out a number of his key players – Ederson among them – while his defence has looked uncharacteristically shaky in recent weeks.
But history will also be against them – City haven’t won at Anfield in 16 years, since Nicolas Anelka’s stoppage-time goal sealed a 2-1 victory in the penultimate game of the 2002/03 season.
One man who started that game was our very own Danny Murphy, and talkSPORT host Jim White couldn’t wait to remind him about it on Friday’s show.
And the former midfielder explained how the defeat was of Liverpool’s own making – because they opted not to sign Anelka themselves in the previous transfer window.
“I had a stinker that day, I have to say,” he said. “I remember it well.
“Do you know what it was? Anelka had a point to prove.
“We had him on loan and he did great for us and the deal was all done, but Gerard Houllier changed his mind and we ended up signing El Hadji Diouf instead of Anelka – which didn’t turn out too well obviously.
“So Anelka had a point to prove against us, and he scored the winner.
“It was one of those days that sticks in the mind, when you just can’t keep hold of the ball.
“The irony was I probably had one of my best seasons, but I just finished slow.
“It was one of those days. I think it was raining and it’s usually sunny on the last day. It wasn’t a good day, no. One to forget for me.
“City had a decent side then. We should have beaten them, but they had some good players.
“Anelka was the difference on the day. He was a super player and a good lad as well.”
Asked about Sunday’s game, Murphy urged Jurgen Klopp to play his usual swashbuckling style and take the game to City while they’re down.
Guardiola will be without some of his star men, with David Silva expected to miss out along with their goalkeeper Ederson.
And Murphy believes the Reds can practically put one hand on the Premier League trophy if they manage to claim all three points against the defending champions.
“For me, the way Liverpool should approach it is just go for it and get it done,” he added.
“I think if they really go after them at the moment, I’m not saying City can’t beat Liverpool on any given day with the quality they’ve got, they can, they’ve got some wonderful players, but it’s a great chance for Liverpool to go at City when they’re not at full strength and they haven’t been at their best defensively.
“When you look at the last time Liverpool lost a game – at City last season – they had Kompany, Laporte, David Silva, Leroy Sane and Ederson in the team that day. They could all be missing on Sunday. You can’t tell me that they’re better without those five playing.
“If Liverpool play with that high intensity with the crowd behind them, then they could get the job done.
“It could be nine points and all of a sudden you’d have to think it’s a mountain to climb for City if they’re going to win it.”
Listen back to Danny Murphy on talkSPORT in full above
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