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“Anfield is not normal!” – Ex-Man City player in awe of Liverpool atmosphere

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“Anfield is not normal,” was the verdict of ex-Man City defender Micah Richards, after the crowd helped Liverpool overcome a tough start in Sunday’s 1-1 draw.

The aura of Anfield is weirdly disputed by rival fans, but rarely – if ever – by those who have experienced it as opposing players and managers.

“Anfield is not normal, honestly,” Richards said, reflecting on Sunday’s result for The Rest is Football.

“I look at the teamsheets first and foremost, and I think City are as strong as can be. Then you look at Liverpool: no Alisson, no Trent, no Konate and no Salah starting.

“So you’re thinking, City, if they’re going to win there – Pep’s only won one in nine, something like that – today’s the day they’re going to do it.

“But there’s something about the atmosphere at Anfield, they just don’t let you play your normal game.

“The atmosphere was absolutely outstanding.”

He continued: “The atmosphere was certainly one of the best. It’s a game that you look forward to, two of the top teams over the last five or six years.”

Alongside Richards on the podcast as usual were Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker, who both agreed with the 35-year-old’s assessment.

“I’m not quite sure everyone appreciates how powerful Anfield is, you know,” Shearer said.

“We’ve all played there, we’ve all been there to watch games, I mean it is incredibly special.

“What they create there I think is something different and very unique. It’s such a difficult place to go and get a result.

“When the crowd are like they were [on Sunday], I know it’s like an old cliche, but they really are like another man there. They’re just unbelievable.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 10, 2024: Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister celebrates after scoring the his side's first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Lineker added: “It’s weird, isn’t it, that noise can inspire you? It’s odd, isn’t it? It’s an odd kind of thing, that you play better at home when the crowd are like that?

“Especially when you mention Anfield is kind of, not unique, but it’s very, very special. You just wonder why it is that that makes a different, that that drives you on as a player.”

Richards used the words ‘force’ and ‘energy’ to describe the influence of Anfield, and Shearer concurred.

“They’re definitely a force, everything they bring, energy, is just incredible,” he added.

“It’s a bloody tough place to go. I think City, there’s no doubt about it, were absolutely delighted to walk away [on Sunday] with a point.”

Yet more evidence of how hard teams find it to turn up at Anfield and dominate – but it’s still a myth, right?