It was a shameful night for Joe Gomez and other Liverpool defenders as the Reds slumped to an embarrassing 4-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City.
Manchester City relinquished their status as the Premier League champions to Liverpool with pride by registering an emphatic 4-0 win over the Reds at Etihad on Thursday. It was a glorious performance by Pep Guardiola’s men, who were keen on making a statement after losing out on the league title last week.
While Liverpool did look promising at the start, they were dealt with a blow in the 25th minute, when Joe Gomez fouled Raheem Sterling inside the box. It led to a penalty which was converted by Kevin De Bruyne.
Shortly after, Sterling registered himself on the scoresheet with an excellent finish before Phil Foden wrapped up the first half with a 3-0 lead for Manchester City.
— Premier League (@premierleague) July 2, 2020
The Sky Blues looked like the better side in the second half as well, as Liverpool struggled to make any inroads and break the shackles of the home defence. And it wasn’t until the 66th minute when Guardiola’s men added more gloss to their scoreline as Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain scored an own goal.
Manchester City scored a late goal to make it 5-0 through Riyad Mahrez. But, the goal was disallowed by the VAR after it was revealed that Foden had handled the ball inside the penalty area. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Liverpool players after their horrific display at the Etihad on Thursday.
Alisson Becker: 5/10
A miserable outing for Alisson, conceding four goals, which is more than 25% of the 15 goals he has let in in the Premier League this season. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, he couldn’t have done anything to save any of those four goals.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 3/10
A catastrophic defensive display from Trent Alexander-Arnold, who simply did not manage to provide the goods, especially in the defensive department. The English international was extremely sloppy with his passing and notably gave away a throw-in straight to Sterling in the second half.
Offensively, Alexander-Arnold provided very little threat or offensive support to Mohamed Salah on the far side. As a result, Liverpool struggled to break the shackles of the Manchester City defence.
Joe Gomez: 1/10
Joe Gomez endured his worst game for quite some time, in a catastrophic first-half display that saw him notably concede the penalty that led to the all-important opener. Even aside from that cynical handling of Sterling for the first goal, the defender lacked discipline and struggled to cope with the presence of Manchester City attackers. He was rightly taken off at half-time.
Virgil van Dijk: 4/10
Virgil van Dijk failed to provide the leadership that was required in helping Liverpool pose strong competition for Manchester City this evening. While the Dutchman did look solid during the first phase of the game, he simply did not receive the support necessary to put together a strong showing at the back.
van Dijk must improve in the upcoming matches, especially as the Reds look to reach the 100 point milestone in the Premier League.
Andrew Robertson: 3/10
It was one of those evenings for Andrew Robertson where his influence simply didn’t work out for Liverpool. The Scot completely failed to keep track of Phil Foden, who had an excellent game. In fact, failing to mark the Manchester City star and committing to press early is what led to the third goal from the home side, effectively killing the tie.
Andrew Robertson’s game by numbers vs. Man City:
81% pass accuracy
33% tackles won
25% aerial duels won
20% cross accuracy
4 goals conceded
0 chances created
One to forget. 🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/LD7mKgwlZ0
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) July 2, 2020
Jordan Henderson: 4/10
Jordan Henderson had a decent start to the game. His aggression and willingness to march forward and intercept passes were critical as Liverpool started the game on a positive note. However, as the match progressed, the English international was completely overwhelmed by the sheer pressure and dominance exerted by the midfield duo of Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri.
Fabinho was actually one of Liverpool’s best performers during the first phase of the game. His intelligence in the middle was useful in cutting down Manchester City’s passing lanes. But, three first-half goals and the subsequent substitution of Gomez meant that the Brazilian had to operate in a more defensive role.
In fact, Fabinho shifted to centre-back, where he formed the heart of Liverpool’s four-man backline alongside van Dijk. He could not exactly utilise his brilliant passing range in that position and his lack of pace was smartly exploited by the Manchester City attackers.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 3/10
Georginio Wijnaldum showed promise early in the game. But, he could never cope with the pressure from the Manchester City attackers and his poor decision making led to the second goal as he chose not to mark Sterling and instead tried to create a narrow and compact pressing shape in order to minimise the passing options for Manchester City’s creative players.
Mohamed Salah: 6/10
Mohamed Salah was unsurprisingly the most active attacker for Liverpool against Manchester City. The Egyptian forward tried to make things happen in the first phase of the game and almost found the back of the net as well, just to be denied by the bar.
However, following Manchester City’s late first-half onslaught, Salah’s influence faded, although he did still remain Liverpool’s biggest source of attacking inspiration in the second half.
Roberto Firmino: 4/10
Roberto Firmino simply had a dreadful game on Thursday. He was barely involved in anything that was good for Liverpool going forward and spent his time tracking back and trying to link-up with players in deeper areas of the pitch. It did not work, with the Brazilian being replaced by Origi after the hour-mark.
Sadio Mane: 3/10
Sadio Mane had a shocking game against Manchester City. The Senegalese international unusually lacked energy and pace that is quite synonymous with him. In fact, Mane missed the biggest chance of the game, when he couldn’t capitalise on Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain’s excellent through ball, eventually allowing Ederson to recover.
Even in the first half, the ex-Southampton winger was on hand to roll the rebound from Salah’s shot into the back of the net. But, he simply wasn’t ready for it, which is quite uncharacteristic for the Liverpool star.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 5/10
Oxlade-Chamberlain was introduced in the second half at the expense of Gomez as Klopp opted for more creative inspiration in the final third. The English international did not really make an impact except for one wonderful through pass to set up Mane. On the contrary, the ex-Arsenal star ended up scoring an unfortunate own goal.
Divock Origi: 4/10
Replaced Firmino shortly after the hour mark, but could not fill the hole in the number nine role. The Belgian simply isn’t good enough on the ball to be making a difference in a game of this nature.
Naby Keita: 5/10
A 62nd minute replacement for Wijnaldum, Keita actually looked inspiring with his solo runs across the middle third of the pitch. It was too little too late, though.
Neco Williams: N/A
Replaced Alexander-Arnold during the final phase of the game, offering support to the wingers. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Takumi Minamino: N/A
A late replacement for the ineffective Mane. Did not play enough to warrant a rating, though.