On Sunday, the 2018/19 Premier League champions Manchester City played host to those of 2019/20, Liverpool, at the Etihad Stadium in the 8th round of the English top flight.
It was a fascinating contest in a number of aspects, though possibly not as lively and dynamic (for the biggest part) as lots of would have expected from one between groups led by Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.
Ederson vs Alisson
These 2 teams, naturally, boast the 2 goalkeepers from the Brazilian national team in their ranks, and the 2 sets of fans have been quarreling for several years about which among them is the much better one. The only man who has the luxury of choosing between them for his team, Brazil coach Tite, has actually mostly chosen Alisson Becker between the posts, however it’s fair to say that Ederson Moraes is world class himself.
Be that as it may, the 2 shot-stoppers both had a very good video game, reacting exceptionally well in some tight spots and with their presence injecting big doses of confidence into their particular teammates. And as for the quarrels between supporters, neither of them appeared very bothered about them as they strolled off the pitch after the final whistle, hugging and speaking in absolutely nothing but friendly style, and displaying a warm and respectful relationship between 2 fierce competitors, both at club and global level.
Gabriel Jesus provides
Plenty has actually been said in current months about City’s attacking options, and how they’ve been affected by the injury absence of Sergio Aguero.
Gabriel Jesus, signed from Palmeiras in January 2017 as a most likely long-lasting follower to Aguero, has actually typically seemed to do not have a little something of Aguero’s brilliance, as skilled as he obviously is. On Sunday he played a very good game and scored a dazzling objective, setting the score level in the 31 st minute.
He was a continuous handful for the opposition defence, and he came extremely near to turning the game around completely in the second half as he latched onto a good cross from Joao Cancelo however sent his complimentary header large of the target.
The return of Joel Matip from injury was certainly a welcome sight for Jurgen Klopp and the Liverpool advocates, specifically in the light of the injury which is set to keep Virgil van Dijk out for the remainder of the season. The Cameroonian showed his class on this occasion and made the Reds’ back line appearance completely solid beside Joe Gomez. For as long as these two gamers handle to keep fit, Klopp shouldn’t have too many worries in the absence of the huge Dutchman, a minimum of when it concerns fundamental defensive jobs.
The only elements where Liverpool do seem to miss Van Dijk at this point is long passing from the back and attacking set-pieces. Neither Gomez nor Matip are rather as capable of establishing Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah with 60- lawn pin-point accuracy as Van Dijk is, nor do they pose as much risk in the opposition box from corners.
But when all stated and done, Liverpool have made it through a very overloaded patch since the Netherlands captain fell out of the photo, winning 5 times in all competitors prior to this match.
Both sides had a charge given versus them in this match, and both felt difficult done by the authorities on the respective celebrations. Whether or not referee Craig Pawson should have granted a free-kick to Manchester City in the circumstance which preceded Liverpool’s charge is certainly debatable. There was contact in between Diogo Jota and Raheem Sterling as the City winger decreased, but Pawson obviously evaluated it to have actually been too soft for him to sanction it.
Nevertheless, the penalty choice itself at the other end can not be smartly challenged. Mane had actually got the better of Kyle Walker inside the box, and the City fullback responded too quickly as he brought him down.
As for the one given to City, it was probably the best call.
Firmino and Jota
One of the points increasingly discussed in the days leading up to the match was whether Klopp needs to stick to the off-form Roberto Firmino in attack or put the Brazil forward on the bench in favour of the astonishing Diogo Jota. He ended up selecting both in a 4-2-3-1 shape, where Jota played on the right, Hair on the left, and Firmino just behind Salah. It seemed like an extremely offensive method from the German tactician on paper, but a strong battle was combated in the middle of the park all the time and there weren’t nearly as numerous chances one would’ve anticipated from Manchester City and Liverpool.
Can Firmino play with Jota? It appears he can, though one game, whether it be against Manchester City or not, is barely a proper sample size for this idea to be tested. On the other hand, much will depend upon the state of the players, not simply these two, when they return from international task in two weeks. With midfielder Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara both most likely to return already too, it stays to be seen what choice Klopp makes when the campaign resumes.
Be that as it may, the point won thus fits the Merseysiders far better than City, given the present table standings. Liverpool are now in third place with 17 points, the same as Tottenham Hotspur in second and one less than Leicester City at the top. The Blues from Manchester are 10 th with 12 points, though with a game in hand on most of the league.