Okay, so City were at their scintillating best, and with the attacking talent at their disposal, it’s little surprise that after Liverpool went down to 10 men Pep Guardiola’s side took them to the cleaners.
But let’s be absolutely clear: the red card is absolutely NO excuse for this Liverpool team to have lost so comprehensively and so embarrassingly.
For a start, it was a forward player who went off, in the form of Sadio Mane (and yes, it was 100 percent a red card), so it didn’t drastically alter the Reds’ defensive shape, just left them without the same level of attacking impetus.
Secondly, Liverpool are – in theory – on a similar level to City.
They’re in the Champions League.
They spent £89 million this summer.
And £80 million the season before that.
And so on and so forth.
In theory at least, Liverpool are supposed to be fighting for one of the top spots in the Premier League, and as a result, they should be able to go toe-to-toe with City.
And just because they were down to 10 men, this gives them no excuse for capitulating.
But here’s the reality – and I’m just going to come out and say it – Liverpool are not that good.
Look, Jurgen Klopp’s a lovely guy, and his endearing and engaging style of management quite rightly wins him plenty of plaudits in the press.
But does the fact that he was pretty good with Borussia Dortmund mean that the German deserves endless amounts of time to get it right at Anfield?
I don’t think so.
Were the current manager a less fashionable choice – a Kenny Dalglish or a Brendan Rodgers for example – they’d be under pressure right now.
And yet Klopp doesn’t seem under one iota of pressure.
He sneaked into the Champions League by the skin of his teeth, and has presided over a season and a half of pretty average football.
So when does his time of reckoning begin? Or – in other words – when does his honeymoon period end?
After 72 Premier League games in charge of Liverpool:
Jürgen Klopp – 131 Points
Brendan Rodgers – 138 Points pic.twitter.com/20XeVsWrL1
— Football Facts (@FootbalIFact) September 10, 2017
In a world where coaches like Frank de Boer are threatened with the sack after three or four bad games, what right does Klopp have to stay in a job, when one considers the resources at his disposal?
Just to be clear: I like Klopp. But it seems incongruous to me that he is able to continue without any pressure, when he has quite clearly failed to deliver success to Anfield so far.
Perhaps this was an aberration. But if it was not, Liverpool must surely consider whether Klopp is the right man to restore them to their former glory, a glory which seems longer and longer ago with each passing year without success.