Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s motives could not have been more positive – but he will no doubt be happier with a draw at Etihad Stadium than his Manchester City opponent Pep Guardiola.
After the Champions League hat-trick against Atlanta, Klopp hung the question of the game’s biggest pick in the air when asked if he would try to pick a signed Diego or pick the faithful Roberto Firmino or the in-form pick 45 million.
The eyebrows will grow as soon as the cloak is untied while lowering the team sheet. And Firmino. And Mohammad Salah. Sadio also enjoys. It was, when Liverpool advanced, a real four-man forward line.
In this battle between the two recent superpowers in the Premier League, the city flames early on, with Guardiola bringing Salah’s successful penalty before Liverpool’s tactics have been tackled, with Kevin de Bruyne equalizing Gabriel Jesus before missing the penalty.
The recent heavyweights, a Champions League midweek and incessant Manchester rain have slowly eroded Manchester City and the strength and quality before both. Liverpool settled for a 1-1 draw.
That would make both Guardiola and Klopp feel less than satisfied, the City manager said the win against Liverpool is always a title equation and the latter is both a valuable psychological and football hit, as it means his team could not leapfrog in Leicester City in the Premier League. Peak
Klopp, however, will be the happy man to have received the latest complaint about the fixation slag due to his high-power running empty-handed next to Liverpool or at least a few before the end.
It also ended in another injury, this time for Trent Alexander-Arnold, who will miss England’s upcoming games and bring us the reason for Klopp, while his natural desire to win each game will be happier at one point.
Liverpool faced a lot of questions when Virgil Van Dijk was hired for the rest of the season after knee surgery and Thiago Alcantara, the recent summer signer who set the tempo and brought protection to Bayern Munich’s Champions League winning team, was injured. In the Merseyside derby against Everton
Klopp has since lost to Fabinho, an outstanding replacement for Van Dijk as well as a world-class midfielder – but the results keep coming.
Liverpool won five games in a row before the tour at Etihad Stadium and youngsters like Rice Williams and Knut Phillips have played their part.
Here though Klopp needed experienced hands like Joel Matip and Joe Gomez and they did a great job keeping the city in arm for a long time.
Liverpool looked tired in the second half and Manchester City, still a team consisting of a class and creativity, took possession and took control of the territory.
They are still struggling to crack Liverpool’s defensive code, the most obvious chance of the second half will come when Jesus Christ lowered their gaze and Ferran Torres should have done much better than crossing straight from the wide.
Guardiola will rarely be isolated, although De Bruyne’s miss spot-kick will worry him. It already looks like a sort of headline sort where the seatbelts should bend for twisting and incoming turn.
Manchester City have not been the best so far this season, but don’t be fooled by this 11th place in the Premier League table.
Guardiola and his players will feel that there is a huge chance for them to regain their title despite the chaos and incredibility that could well spread this season, but his forehead will be stronger than Klopp’s.
The Germans will rejoice that for all of Liverpool’s offensive prowess and the amount he started in abundance, there is also the stubborn trend of steel, organization and flexibility that has made it so difficult for them to beat at these big events.
The manager of Liverpool likes to win every game at every level. He knows, despite his great success and the Champions League and the first Premier League title in 30 years at Anfield, it can’t be done.
There are days and games when the quality of situations and opponents will make a point. The Manchester City game was one of those events.