What the hell just happened? I genuinely felt confident going into this match and while a loss wouldn’t have been such a surprise, a 5-0 loss definitely is. Liverpool’s chances against Manchester City capitulated after the sending off of Sadio Mané at 37 minutes.
|Image via metro.co.uk|
There’s no denying that Ederson came off very badly in that challenge but it was a 50/50, both players were going for the ball, the goalkeeper bravely so, and unfortunately Mané happened to clatter into his face. Mané is not a malicious player and it’s clear his eyes were on the ball but he was always running a risk with his studs that high. It’s a difficult decision for me, I can totally see why he was sent off but I honestly think if that was between two outfield players he’d of escaped with a yellow.
Prior to the sending off, the Reds were playing really well. City were leaving several gaps at the back, mainly thanks to Otamendi, and Liverpool looked like they were on course for an equaliser after Sergio Aguero opened up the scoring. The red card changed everything though, accompanied by a long delay as Ederson was seen to, any momentum that Klopp’s side had was completely lost.
It wasn’t long before the home side found the back of the net again this time via Jesus. The Reds were praying for the delayed half time whistle, it felt unlikely a route back into the match existed but Klopp made the right decision I think by making an instant substitution in the second half.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain entered play replacing Mo Salah. I’d called for the introduction of Ox on Twitter at half time but to be honest I thought he’d be swapped for Gini, however it seemed like a good choice to introduce fresh legs. As it turned out, Oxlade would get minimal chances to add influence to his first Liverpool fixture but he had a few moments for example a neat ball over the top that almost set Firmino up.
James Milner and Dominic Solanke also eventually entered play for the Reds in the second half but it was already clear by this stage that there was no way back for Liverpool. Manchester City were very much in control and another goal from Jesus in the second half was soon added to by the talented Leroy Sané.
The German’s first effort went to Simon Mignolet’s right hand side but it was Sané’s second goal that really put the cherry on top of the Sky Blues’ outing. A free kick style effort soared into the back of the net, only adding to Jurgen Klopp’s embarrassment.
It was a crazy game, one we appeared to be completely out of only 40 odd minutes in, which was a strange feeling. Liverpool have often gone down 2-0 in a game, maybe not with ten men, but they’ve always fought to remain in contention, it felt a bit like some of the lads had given up on Saturday. It’s hard to pull yourself back up after a key player leaves the field, I get that, but it’s your responsibility to then ensure that the game doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
When you really boil down to it, did Liverpool really make the most of their chances? Salah in particular had a few occasions where if a different decision was made he could have notched up an assist to a tap in.
This is definitely a match we need to just completely write off and forget about. It’s early in the season and I still feel if that sending off didn’t occur we’d have put up a good fight at the Etihad.
Next up for the Reds is Sevilla in the Champions League group stages.
Read More: Mané, Sané… Absolutely Barmé
Source: The Liver Bird