Liverpool secured a 1-0 win over Manchester City at Anfield on Saturday evening as they moved back to within six points of Premier League leaders Chelsea.
The pressure was on Jurgen Klopp’s side to respond as Chelsea secured yet another win earlier in the day and they battled their way to victory to wrap up 2016.
Georginio Wijnaldum was the hero as his goal separated the two sides, and the Dutchman was rightly named Man of the Match as he stood out from the pack with his efforts in midfield.
Elsewhere, Adam Lallana impressed while James Milner was as reliable as ever at left back as Klopp got solid performances across the pitch from his players. Sadio Mane was poor compared to his usual high standards as he prepares to head out for the Africa Cup of Nations next week but Liverpool will head into 2017 full of confidence.
As for City, it was a generally disappointing night for Pep Guardiola even though he got some decent displays from the likes of Nicolas Otamendi and Pablo Zabaleta.
They were unable to threaten Simon Mignolet’s goal or apply sustained pressure on the hosts and never really looked like winning the game, and in general it was a frustrating way to end the year as they slipped further off the pace and will have big questions to answer in the second half of the campaign.
Liverpool player ratings: Mignolet 6; Clyne 6, Klavan 7, Lovren 7, Milner 7; Henderson 7, Can 7, Wijnaldum 8; Mane 5, Firmino 7, Lallana 7.
Substitutes: Origi 6, Leiva 6.
Manchester City player ratings: Bravo 5; Zabaleta 8, Otamendi 7, Stones 6, Kolarov 7; Fernandinho 6, Toure 7; Silva 6, De Bruyne 7, Sterling 6; Aguero 6.
Substitutes: Navas 6, Iheanacho 6.