It was only a slack piece of absent-minded defending from Nicolas Otamendi, City’s B#32million centre-back, which allowed Liverpool to take the lead.
Man City are somewhat fortunate that leaders Leicester are the only one of their major title rivals to pick up a point in these midweek fixtures, but the defeat – their third in succession in the Premier League – means they are now 10 points behind Claudio Ranieri’s side.
Key to this was the number of changes Klopp sensibly made.
Next year’s Ballon d’Or nominees: Neymar, Lionel Messi and…Jon Flanagan?! However, getting beyond seventh place could be a challenge, given the kind of form that West Ham has been displaying.
“It was a surprise”, said Klopp of Lallana’s goal. Then we had a few minutes where we were too risky in our passing game and gave them the ball too easy, so we had to run.
James Milner enjoyed scoring against his previous club.
“The only disappointing thing is that we haven’t played like that enough this season”, he said.
Liverpool flew out of the blocks and ensured the City players had precious little time on the ball in the opening exchanges, but for all their endeavour they were unable to create any chances of note as City slowly started to grow into the game.
He went on to say in his post-match conference that it was the best pressing performance under him. However, the offense sputtered against the pressing Liverpool side.
“Of course, with their quality they can always win, they can always score decisive goals in the right moment but tonight you could see it would be really hard for them”. Since the German’s arrival, his team has played some sublime football on occasions but has chalked up some forgetful performances.
“We’ll be pleased today with that performance but it’s still going to hurt, losing the final at the weekend”. The 6-1 thrashing of Southampton was followed by a weak defeat at Newcastle United, for example.
It was a small measure of revenge for Sunday’s Wembley result for Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp, whose side have now completed an emphatic league double over City, having won 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium earlier in the season. Liverpool must go to Selhurst Park and produce again. That’s how it is. That’s what we have to use. After Sunday’s trip to Palace, the Reds host Manchester United in the first leg of their last-16 tie. “It has been a nightmare with injuries”, Flanagan said, regarding his return to first-team action.
Manchester City have taken three points from 33 against the current top eight teams this Premier League season.
Liverpool looked determined to avenge their League Cup final loss to the Citizens on Sunday and found themselves a goal up through a long-range effort from Adam Lallana in the 34th minute.