Rodri: Man City man's superhuman block to stop Fabinho scoring is still epic

Rodri celebrates

After one of the closest title races in Premier League history, Manchester City pipped Liverpool to the top spot in 2021/22 by just a single point. Had it not been for the herculean efforts of City midfielder Rodri, though, the trophy could well have ended up on Merseyside.

At the end of a league campaign, fans often look back on the pivotal moments of their club’s season – those small passages of play that can prove the difference between success and failure.

Across their two Premier League meetings last term, City and Liverpool couldn’t be split, with English football’s top two sides engaging in a highly-entertaining pair of 2-2 draws.

That City managed to leave Anfield with a point back in October 2021, however, is still something we can’t quite get our heads around.

With the game heading into its final three minutes finely poised at two apiece, City goalkeeper Ederson badly misjudged a Liverpool free-kick, allowing Fabinho to steal in at the back post with the goal at his mercy.

Time seemed to stand still as the Reds faithful waited to celebrate what looked like a certain goal.

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As the Brazilan struck the ball towards the empty net, though, Rodri appeared from seemingly nowhere to put in a perfectly-timed challenge and keep the match level.

Covering the superhuman block at the time, we insisted: “you won’t see a better defensive intervention across Europe’s top five leagues in 2021/22” – and we stand by that claim now that the season is over.

You can check it out in all its glory below.

Watch: Rodri’s magnificent block of Fabinho’s goal-bound shot

Of course, it’s impossible to say what would have happened in the remaining three minutes of the match (plus stoppage time), if Fabinho had given Liverpool a late lead in the crucial contest.

That said, what we do know is that three points for Jurgen Klopp’s men would have been enough to see them claim the 2021/22 Premier League title at City’s expense.

Fabinho deflated
PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 28: Fabinho of Liverpool looks dejected following their sides defeat in the UEFA Champions League final match between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid at Stade de France on May 28, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Reflecting on his heroic intervention after the match, Rodri told the Manchester Evening News: “Sometimes you need defensive actions and they are as important as offensive actions.

“Of course, they came close. But I was ready to help the team in that situation. It was a key moment and I was happy to defend that goal. It was nearly awful for us, but it finished 2-2 so I am happy with that.”

Liverpool boss Klopp has seen it all during his career, but even the charismatic German was at a loss for words at his post-match press conference.

“I think [it was] the biggest chance we didn’t use. I have to see it back, I have no idea how they blocked the ball or who. Rodri blocked the ball, for me the ball was in! It’s all fine though and passion must be rewarded.”

A season-defining moment if ever we’ve seen one.

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