Liverpool’s resurgence under Jurgen Klopp continued on Saturday as the Reds rocked up to the Etihad and thrashed City by three goals. Let’s take a look at four talking points from the game in Manchester:
Klopp factor paying dividends
When Jurgen Klopp took the Liverpool job just over a month ago, the German preached patience, intimating that he believed it would take a while for him to have a real impact on the Reds’ performances.
After just a few games, the Klopp factor is 100 percent evident. In the first 32 minutes, Liverpool effectively ended the game as a contest, with a fearsome attacking display that quite simply blew City away. This opening half hourwasreminiscent of Brendan Rodgers’ side in their pomp, but the Reds had a steel that was always lacking during the Northern Irishman’s reign.
The reality is that Klopp has taken a side shorn of confidence and transformed them in just a few short weeks. I’m always reticent to buy into the hype, but it’s hard not to accept that Klopp is more than a little bit special.
An embarrassing performance for Pellegrini and City
As well as Liverpool performed, there really are no excuses for a side as expensively assembled as City conceding four goals at home – and Manuel Pellegrini should be extremely concerned at the ease with which his side was taken apart on Saturday.
It is unacceptable for a side that has had so much money spent on it to concede goals in the way that City did against Liverpool, and something must be done to try to rectify this. The Reds were good, but the fact of the matter is that City have been several points better than Liverpool for the last few years, and this narrowing of the gulf between the two sides will be of genuine concern – not just to Pellegrini but to the City hierarchy too.
When Roberto Firmino was bought for £29 million this summer, eyebrows were raised. How was this relatively unknown striker going to repay the huge investment placed in him?
Under Brendan Rodgers, the answer seemed to be: he wasn’t going to.
Under Jurgen Klopp…well, we have our answer. Firmino was wonderful in his false nine role, and dovetailing beautifully with Coutinho, Firmino terrorised the City defence.
He might have more to do before he can truly convince the fans that he’s a superior alternative to favourite Christian Benteke, but a few more performances like Saturday’s will do just that.
Possession means nothing, again.
When the new school of Barcelona vanquished the footballing world with their new version of total football just a few years ago, it seemed like that was the permanent direction that football was going in.
Until Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund arrived on the scene and proved that you can still win games with a scarcity of possession.
This game showed that the idea of possession equalling victory is absolutely dead and buried, as Klopp’s side swept to a famous win despite only recording 37 percent possession.
As the old adage goes, it doesn’t matter what size it is, it’s what you do with it that counts.