Man City 3-1 Liverpool: Five talking points
Manchester City were comfortable winners at the Etihad on Monday night, beating title hopefuls Liverpool 3-1. However it was the reigning champions who dominated the game, and deserved their 6th point out of 6. What were the most interesting talking points to come from the match?
City’s Strike force is devastating, but do they need cover?
City have a deadly strike trio, with a transformed Stevan Joveti?, Edin Džeko who bagged 14 goals last term and Sergio Agüero who scored after being on the pitch just 23 seconds against Liverpool. But with Alvaro Negredo out with an injury, and Džeko nursing a slight leg niggle; Manuel Pellegrini may be looking to bring in some extra cover. If they are to regain the title, then this might prove to be essential.
Did Liverpool’s new signings make an impact?
No. Quite simply. Dean Lovren did not have a game to remember after his header went straight to Jovetic for the opening goal. His partnership with Martin Skrtel looked unsteady and vulnerable at times. Alberto Moreno made his debut at left-back, and again had a debut for forget. He was unable to clear Lovren’s header for the first goal, but he did show glimpses of class. Emre Can came off the bench to feature, but his only impact on the game was a booking. Ricky Lambert was also introduced to the game, and had a lively 10 minutes. He claimed a goal after his header was saved by Joe Hart and bundled over the line, but replays showed that the last touch came off Pablo Zabaleta. The ball then fell to him after a ricochet in the City defence, a chance that Lambert should really be burying, but instead tried to square it to Daniel Sturridge and the ball was ultimately cleared by Vincent Kompany.
City’s defence looked very strong
The defensive partnership of Martin Demichellis and Vincent Kompany seemed incredibly strong and tightly binded, meaning that Liverpool struggled to get behind the back line at all. In his debut season for City he struggled, but he seems to have settled in at the Etihad now. They kept the line well and were strong when needed. The positioning was faultless which made it hard for Liverpool to get crosses into the box, and to spray balls in behind the back four. The goal came simply from a lack of concentration in the last 10 minutes. City could have an impressive defence this year, but they need to make sure they don’t lose the concentration when it really matters.
Balotelli is needed for Liverpool
It was evident at the Etihad that Daniel Sturridge needed someone to link up next to him. He seemed isolated up front, with Raheem Sterling his only main source. Sturridge needed someone to feed from Balotelli would also provide an extra threat goalwise, which is clear needed from Liverpool’s point of view. After the loss of Luis Suarez to Barcelona, it was aways a necessity ever since the Uruguayan left Anfield. At first it was likely to be Loïc Remy to come in, but after he failed a medical Liverpool stepped up their interest in Balotelli. The scousers will be calling out for the Italian to be as bigger a replacement for Luis Suarez as he possibly can.
Can Liverpool conjure up another Title challenge?
It will be tough without Luis Suarez and the unique team spirit they had last year. I think it will be hard for Brendan Rodgers’ team to copy their form last year. The togetherness that they had last term is something that will be extremely hard to resurrect. With an inform Mario Balotelli, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling they could be a very dangerous front line. However the depth in the Liverpool squad is considerably lesser than their title rivals. I would be very surprised to see them be up in the title race, but they may well pull it out the bag.
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