Liverpool: Contentious Red Plays Part In Heavy City Defeat
A massive refereeing decision goes against the Merseysiders in a humbling 5-0 loss at the Etihad Stadium...
Liverpool suffered their first away Premier League defeat since February on Saturday afternoon as their unbeaten start to the new season came to an abrupt and chastening halt.
The opening exchanges at the Etihad gave no indication of what was to follow with the visitors bossing proceedings and wasting a number of promising openings to take a deserved lead.
Familiar defensive deficiencies were also on show from Jürgen Klopp's men however and it was Manchester City who eventually opened the scoring against the run of play in the 24th minute through Sergio Agüero.
The outcome of the contest was then effectively decided eight minutes before the interval when Citizens goalkeeper Ederson took an unintentional boot to the face in a 50/50 challenge with Sadio Mané, an incident which resulted in the Premier League's reigning Player of the Month receiving a straight red and the shot-stopper being stretchered from the field.
Although slow-motion replays highlighted the ferocity of the contact, Mané only had eyes for the bouncing ball and, with the Senegalese speedster otherwise clean through and Ederson out of his area and stooping to head away, little could be done to avoid a collision with neither player prepared to back down.
The situation could just as easily ended in a Liverpool goal or a red card for the summer arrival from Benfica but ultimately Ederson won the race by a fraction of a second and Liverpool paid a heavy price.
Two goals either side of half-time from Gabriel Jesus soon snuffed out any faint hopes the 10-men had of turning the outcome around and they quickly began to look a dejected and spent force.
More pain always felt likely to follow as the second half progressed and substitute Leroy Sané duly delivered with a brace in the final 15 minutes.
Despite the mitigating circumstances, the way the men in red capitulated was alarming and their continued struggles at the back threaten to undermine all hopes for a successful season.
Klopp, speaking at his post-match press conference, acknowledged his side were too open, not clinical enough and didn't press well in midfield.
"We were not compact enough," analysed the German. "All three up front were not really involved, we didn't jump in the midfield [and] go on Fernandinho. It was one, two passes, and Fernandinho could turn, that was the first problem only because Fernandinho had the ball and could play it to De Bruyne and Silva, but they didn't create many things from this.
"Against City, you can always come a step too late and then they pass through the lines so that's how it is. We had our chances but we were at a maximum of 60 per cent - that's why I thought if it was still 11 v 11…
"I don't care about the result too much, you can create again chances, do this better and be more clinical in the other situations and you will score goals. Obviously all went against us, and the good moments we could not use and the bad moments give us the punch, so that's how it was."
On the subject of the sending off, Klopp remarked: "An accident. A very unlucky situation. Of course, I think everyone knows Sadio did not see the goalie. It was not for one second that he had a look at the goalie or whatever, he just wanted to get the ball as soon as possible.
"That's what happened then the red card and we cannot change it anymore. Hopefully the goalie is not seriously injured. I think in the first moment when all the people were on the pitch it looked like this. After the game he was in the dugout, so hopefully, as I said, it is not too serious."
Liverpool will look to pick themselves up when Champions League football returns to Anfield on Wednesday night, Spanish side Sevilla the opposition.
So that's what both us and Klopp thought about the game, how about you? Let us know your views below...
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