Thu. Mar 4th, 2021

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MARTIN KEOWN: Manchester City took advantage of predictable Liverpool

2 min read

Liverpool made errors and were punished, but those mistakes were forced on them by Manchester City. They knew Alisson wouldn’t go long — that is not the Liverpool way.

It was intriguing to hear Jurgen Klopp say after the game that, sometimes, it is acceptable to put the ball in the stands. City took advantage of Alisson’s determination to play and blocked off all his options.

They showed their quality and won. Manchester United went to Anfield in January and didn’t seize the opportunity. But City did. They went for the kill against a rival and got it.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson made several mistakes during their 4-1 defeat to Manchester City

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson made several mistakes during their 4-1 defeat to Manchester City

Jordan Henderson has struggled in defence and Liverpool miss his presence in midfield

Jordan Henderson has struggled in defence and Liverpool miss his presence in midfield

You cannot win a title without a good defence, and Liverpool have lost theirs this season.

Without Virgil van Dijk or Joe Gomez, Klopp has shuffled midfielders into defence and disrupted two parts of his team as a result. Jordan Henderson is a fine midfielder but he is not a centre back.

He showed yesterday one-on-ones in the box are not his forte, with Phil Foden beating him to assist Ilkay Gundogan and give City a 2-1 lead. I’m not sure that happens if Foden is facing Van Dijk or Gomez.

City, meanwhile, have their defence sorted. Ruben Dias made probably his first mistake of the season in giving away a penalty yesterday, but it is about how you respond.

Dias and John Stones immediately went to work, shut up shop and helped City secure a big win.

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