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Football News: Liverpool v Manchester City - A Liverpool Perspective

Liverpool v Manchester City - A Liverpool Perspective
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Liverpool v Manchester City A Liverpool Perspective

 

A surprisingly dull game which failed miserably to live up to expectations as both sides looked happy to settle for a draw and neither seemed willing to take the risks needed to go for the win. It was a disappointing way to end the weekend and head off to an international break, with neither set of fans likely to be entirely happy with the result.

There was very little about the game which really makes for something worth talking about, it was one of those games that lacked genuine excitement and real attacking thrust. It seems even Pep will park a bus when the occasion warrants it.

 

Klopp - he made a big call dropping Alexander-Arnold but it worked out well, Gomez had Sterling in his pocket and Aguero struggled to get into the game. However, he did not do enough to go for a win in my opinion. I understand why and I do not fully disagree, but I would have liked to see Liverpool go for the win, rather than accept the draw. Difficult to be unhappy with a point against last season's champions though. Rating: 7.

 

Alisson - did well but his distribution was not at its best. Though he lacked the targets to pick out that he needed. He did make some good saves to keep LFC in it. Rating: 7

 

Gomez - Moved to right back and had a fairly easy night for the most part as Sterling was sat in his pocket for large portions of the game. Did not have much of an impact going forward and failed to make good use of his long throw, which was disappointing. A well-taken long throw can put a team under real pressure and make them nervous about putting the ball out for a throw in. That can lead to panicky clearances to turn possession over and give you back the ball. Also needs to learn not to pass the ball into pressure. Rating: 7.

 

Lovren - largely excellent, though he should have given away a penalty for the most part he was outstanding and repaid Klopp's faith in him. Looked like the defender that helped Croatia to a World Cup final. Rating: 7.5.

 

van Dijk - almost back to his best, though he did get caught on his heels a couple of times and gave away a penalty. Overall keeping Aguero quiet is something that cannot be downplayed and he deserves credit for that. His passing was better than it was midweek as well. One thing I did not like was his constant instruction to Keita to drop into the left back position so that Robertson could go forward. Keita is a much better attacker than Robertson, let the full-back stay in the full-back position so Keita can go forward! I do not get this obsession with full-backs having to be attackers. Rating: 7.5.

 

Robertson - a very subdued performance from Robertson, but he did keep Mahrez almost as quiet as Sterling. Did his primary job of defending, which is the most important thing. Rating: 6.5.

 

Wijnaldum - a very mixed performance, did some excellent work but also slowed down the attacking play too much and did not offer himself for the ball when the defence had it. Overall played well but in tight games like that he needs to remember that just breaking up play is only the first part, he then needs to be there to receive passes out from the back to help out. Rating: 7.

 

Henderson - my choice for man of the match. Broke up play really well, provided some good passes and did his job excellently. Constantly showed for the ball as well to try and help relieve pressure on the defence when they were being pressed. Rating: 8.

 

Milner - was just starting to hit his stride when he suffered an injury. Such a shame because he has been excellent this season and deserved the chance to ram the boos down the throats of those ungrateful Man City fans. I will never understand why they boo him. Rating: 5.5.

 

Salah - made himself a few chances that an on form Salah would have scored, but this season they are not going in yet. The chances are coming though and the goals will follow in time, he just needs to keep going and not let his head drop. Just like last season in fact. This was exactly what was happening then. Rating: 6.5.

 

Mane - this is the one that worries me. Right now he is not getting the space he had last season, he is not able to find it. Teams are setting up specifically to deal with the front three and he is struggling the most to cope. Maybe it is time to look to push him further up, as the space he was finding by playing a little deeper has vanished? Rating: 5.5.

 

Firmino - City set up specifically to deny him space to operate and succeeded. With LFC also concentrating on nullifying City's attack, no one seemed to even try and figure out how to exploit City's defensive set up, which must have left a gap somewhere else. Rating: 5.5.

 

Subs:

Keita - replaced the injured Milner in the 29th minute. For some reason he was spending large periods in the left back area covering for Robertson's forward runs. His talent was stifled by the way he was being used and it showed in his very subdued performance. He should be used driving forward at the opposition, not covering a full back's forward runs. Rating: 5.

Sturridge - came on in place of Firmino in minute 72. Showed a few nice touches, also covered back very well, but never really got into the game in the attacking third. Rating: 6.

Written by Tris Burke October 10 2018 10:56:09

 

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