Manchester City were stunned at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday night by a Liverpool side full of energy and superb passing play. The Sky Blues had no response to Jurgen Klopp’s side, who could have scored more goals on the night such was their dominance in attack, and here are five things we learned from the clash.
Manchester City missed Vincent Kompany
Manchester City have never managed to successfully replace captain Vincent Kompany when the Belgian is out of action through injury, and it was the case this weekend. The Sky Blues were disjointed at the back, and were described as having no leadership in Kompany’s absence. Eliaquim Mangala and Martin Demichelis partnered each other at the heart of the backline, but struggled with Liverpool’s movement, as well as being hit on the break with pace. City have lost three of their four games in the Premier League without Kompany in the side.
Liverpool finally echoing Klopp’s philosophy
Liverpool started without a recognised striker, and the decision from Jurgen Klopp paid dividends. The Reds had three forwards all pressing the Man City backline as their manager requested, and it caused the Sky Blues problems all evening. Liverpool’s industrious display saw defensive errors being made by City, and the speedy nature of each attack ripped their opposition to pieces. Klopp is a manager who favours high levels of intensity, and he certainly got that this weekend.
Premier League title race far from over
Manchester City’s defeat to Liverpool throws the Premier League title race wide open. As things stand, Leicester City are top of the table after 13 games, with Manchester United currently a point behind in second. City are third and Arsenal fourth, but there are just two points separating the four clubs. City were previously being backed to win the Premier League title this season, but their latest setback sees Arsenal and United still in the mix, while Leicester City are making nuisances of themselves too.
Joe Hart a crucial figure between the sticks for City
Manchester City were opened up time again against Liverpool, but they had goalkeeper Joe Hart in fine form to keep the score somewhat respectable. The England international has been greatly impressed for club and country this season, and made a number of crucial saves this weekend. Hart thwarted multiple one on one attempts from the Merseysiders, but could do nothing about the four goals that flew past him. He performed extremely well for City despite the score.
Coutinho and Firmino run riot
Liverpool supporters and manager Jurgen Klopp will be delighted to see their Brazilian duo Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino linking well throughout and creating chances for each other. The two forwards were outstanding against Manchester City, and assisted a goal for the other too. After Firmino forced an own goal for the opener, Coutinho converted a square pass from the Brazilian, nutmegging Hart for 2-0, before returning the favour and putting the ball on a plate from close range for Firmino to score for 3-0. The two were outstanding all evening, and will have delighted Klopp with their performance.