The 10-man Reds suffered their heaviest loss of the German’s tenure when they were thumped 5-0 at the Etihad on Saturday. They were roundly beaten, Manchester City were too good for Liverpool, even before the sending off of Mane, Manchester City were asking all the right questions of Liverpool.
Its back to the dressing room for Jurgen Klopp men, they will reflect on this, and feel they let themselves and the club down, by giving up easily. Chamberlain was the source of mockery on twitter earlier coming out of a back to back defeats.
Here are 5 things we learnt from the Manchester City vs Liverpool Game in Week 4:
Sadio Mane’s Red Card
The big debate after the game was whether Mane should have received red for his challenge on the City goalkeeper. In all fairness to Sadio Mane he went off in pursuit of Joel Matip’s long pass on 37 minutes with honest intentions, and his eyes were looking nowhere but at a ball that his speed and athleticism took him within a whisker of controlling.
That does not, however, absolve him of the responsibility for the safety of the advancing Ederson Moraes who took Mane’s right boot to the side of his face and looked in trouble even before he got his hands out to break his fall.
The referee Jon Moss was however correct to issue a red card to Sadio Mane.
Klopp reacted to the sending off saying, Mane’s challenge on Ederson was “an accident” but played down the prospect of an appeal against the red card, suggesting it “would be another waste of time, like the whole game today.”
Liverpool Imploded after the Red Card
Yes fine, Manchester City were leading by a goal to nil, before the sending off, but at least it was still an even contest. Sadio Mane’s first-half sending off was unquestionably the decisive moment, but it should not have been the catalyst for a Liverpool collapse. Liverpool failed to display their credentials when it comes to showing grit, tenacity and stubbornness.
It is in adversity that we see the true strengths and weaknesses of the teams lining up to challenge for the Premier League title, and Liverpool have stumbled at the first hurdle.
Liverpool Manager knew the performance was below standard today, He said “1-0 down with 10 men against City is really not the best place to be. It was a hard lesson today, but we have to learn how to influence the game in another direction. We have to score. We were not compact enough, we didn’t jump in midfield enough.
“We cannot change luck, but we can change performance,”.
Teams switching to 3 – 5 – 2 Formation
Man City look so much better in a 3-5-2 formation. With Pep Guardiola spending big on two attacking full backs over the summer in Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy, this system gives them balance and allows the likes of Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva to roam free. And that they did.
De Bruyne was particularly superb, grabbing wonderful assists on City’s opening two goals and then launching the attack for the third.
Antonio Conte introduced to 3 – 5 – 2 formation to Chelsea after suffering defeats last season, and they went on to win the league title. Now most teams in the Premier league have now adopted the 3 – 5 – 2 formation.
The South American combination
Questions had been raised ahead of the new season whether or not Pep Guardiola would be able to accommodate both Aguero and Jesus in his starting XI, but today’s display suggested the pair might just have a bright future together.
Aguero opened the scoring, rounding Simon Mignolet in the 24th minute to hit home his 124th league goal and cement his place in the history books as the Premier League’s all-time highest ever non-European goalscorer.
The Brazilian also bagged himself a brace, with the latter notably coming a result of an Aguero assist. Two on one, the Argentine set up his South American counterpart with a selfless lay-off that suggested this could well be the early beginnings of an irresistible front-line partnership.
The grass isn’t always greener on the other side
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain found himself consigned to the bench for the opening 45 minutes of today’s clash before succumbing to a heavy defeat alongside his hapless teammates.
The Liverpool new boy had said in the build-up that he left Arsenal for Anfield in the hope of reaching his potential and thriving under Klopp’s bombastic, gung-ho approach but if Saturday’s game is anything to go by, he looks to have arrived two weeks late.
By the time he entered the fray in the second half, Liverpool’s cause was all-but lost. As expected, the Englishman added very little to the game as he struggled to assert his authority from a central position in the Liverpool team.
Given the circumstances of the match, Oxlade-Chamberlain was always going to be fighting a losing battle but this was a stark reminder that the grass ain’t always greener on the other side.