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Manchester City 5, Liverpool 0: First Thoughts

A straight red card shown to Sadio Mané in the first half dooms the Reds against City.

Manchester City v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Manchester City 5 Aguero 24’, Jesus 45+6’, 53’, Sané 76’, 90+1’ Liverpool 0

  • PRE-MATCH THOUGHT: As expected, Klopp keeps the same midfield and front three and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain starts from the bench. The only surprise from Klopp is starting Klavan over Lovren in the heart of the defense.
  • Liverpool look good in the first few minutes. Otamendi fouls Salah right on the edge of the box, but Moreno punts the free kick right at the City wall. This is why my boy Trent Alexander-Arnold should take these.
  • Manchester City have begun to take control of this game. They’ve had several corners and free kicks in the first fifteen or so minutes, and Liverpool have found themselves on the end of several quick counter-attacks.
  • Liverpool are taking advantage of the pace of their wingers and the inability of City’s fullbacks to track them. They’ve released both Salah and Mané who have out-paced their defenders to be first to the ball and engineer some good opportunities. Salah, in particular, is getting a lot of love against Otamendi. Now they just need to find a way to make it count.
  • Goal - Aguero 24’ - Sergio Aguero makes a smart run through the heart of our defense, receives the ball from de Bruyne, and slots it home. Not great defending by either center-back, but especially Ragnar Klavan. Not great.
  • Salah wastes an excellent opportunity to send Liverpool level.
  • Mignolet sticks out a leg for a magnificent save to deny John Stones. Our defense is a clown show. Wish we’d known that during the summer transfer window tbh.
  • Red card - Sadio Mané gets a straight red for a high boot on Ederson, who ducked down to head the ball away as Mané was going for it, which...are you kidding me? That’s a shame.
  • If I have to defend the referee, it’s not too often you can make a reasonable argument that studs to the face shouldn’t be a straight red. It was reckless and stupid for Mané to go in like that, though it doesn’t seem like there was an intent to do harm, and he definitely didn’t expect Ederson’s face to be there wtf. But still...studs to the face, so.
  • Ederson comes off injured and Claudio Bravo comes on to see out the rest of this match.
  • Well, this probably means we’ll be seeing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain starting in the league sooner rather than later, so...yay?
  • Offside goal disallowed goal for Jesus at just about the stroke of halftime.
  • Goal - Jesus 45+6’ - Jesus gets his goal anyway, this time with his head. De Bruyne gets another assist, and I get a headache.
  • De Bruyne is the best player on the pitch by a mile today. He is tearing our defense apart. Klavan and Matip don’t seem to know what’s hit them.
  • HALFTIME THOUGHT: I don’t know what to say about this shambles of a first half. The red card ruins it, but Liverpool’s defense was a shambles from the off. Fielding Klavan over Lovren was not the right choice. Throw Gomez in. Do SOMETHING here to shore up our defense and prevent this from getting embarrassing.
  • Mo Salah makes way for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to get his debut, which is...not the substitution I was expecting, but ok.
  • Goal - Jesus 53’ - I don’t want to talk about this game anymore. I want to go back to sleep forever.
  • Milner on now for Wijnaldum, who has been bad today. Can’t help but think Milner isn’t what this game needs though. Put a freaking center-back on. What is happening right now. Have I gone crazy? Is this a fever dream?
  • That midfield three that everyone was excited about after the Arsenal match has really let us down today. Still think we don’t need Phil Coutinho in there?
  • Goal - Sané 76’ - Idk, maybe we can try to defend. Sounds crazy, but it might just work. There’s still 14 minutes left of this match. Cool cool.
  • Thoughts and prayers to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain right now.
  • In the end, I think failing to capitalize on Otamendi’s incompetence is what will hurt me the most.
  • Goal - Sané 90+1’ - Whatever.
  • FINAL THOUGHT: Deep breath. This game sucked, but it’s not the end of the world. Our defense is still shoddy, but we knew that going in. An unlucky event shifted the whole course of the game, so it goes. Not many lessons can be taken from it except don’t kick people in the face when running full speed at them and wearing tiny metal weapons on the bottoms of your shoes, and maybe Liverpool didn’t need to hold out for their special, perfect unicorn center-back during the summer transfer window.

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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