Welp… this was not what I would call a great game. Between the half-ass guard of honor given us by the bad sports over at Abu Dhabi International (Editor: Bernardo Silva should be drawn and quartered) and the soft penalty that opened the game wide open, this was not a fun watch. The only thing that made this fun is that, based on the table, if things finish as they stand, WE STILL DESTROYED THEM IN THE LEAGUE.
Ok, let’s get nerdy…
The xG table showed that this game was the blowout that we saw. City outdid Liverpool 3.0 – 1.4. As we know, xG is really a predictive stat to help us over the course of a season and not quite as helpful game by game but sometimes it’s instructive at least to see how momentum worked within the game.
At the outset, Liverpool came out flying. They were on fire and had the majority of possession, not something City allows other teams to have very often. As well, after the first 20 minutes, Liverpool were leading in the xG 0.6 to 0.11. The flow of the game was going all Liverpool’s way and they were playing pretty well. They hit the post and had a couple more good chances – had one of those gone in, I wonder if this is a different game.
Then the very soft penalty on Gomez happened and the game turned. After that point, it looked like how a professional athlete might look if they were sober but had been drinking for 8 straight days before that. They looked gassed. Liverpool had come out guns-a-blazing in the first 20 minutes. After that, they fizzled, looking looking completely lost offensively and all over the place defensively… it was a complete mess.
City were well-deserving of the win. They took their chances, the tore LFC apart on the counter attack, they played well in every area Liverpool which did not. I trust Klopp that the attitude was great, but I think they were gassed after partying for a week. And honestly- they deserve it after what they have given us!
Jordan Henderson – Honestly, this was a tough game to pick anyone so since I am only going to pick one person, let’s go with the captain. He was not great, but he was surely the best Red on the pitch. In terms of passing: Henderson completed 93% of his passes including 11/13 long balls. That indicates his passing was in a good shape. He was seeing teammates and picking out good passes. One number we have not discussed previously is progressive yards – a track of how many yards the ball went forward toward the opponent’s goal while at a player’s feet. Hendo led the Reds both in both progressive passing yards and carried yards. This demonstrates how he really was Liverpool’s engine room that day. He passed the ball forward a total of 530 yards and he carried the ball forward at his own feet 136 yards – leading the team in each category. One negative takeaway is that this means he didn’t receive too much help from his teammates on the pitch. While he did not play overly well in other areas, this was a bad game in general for everyone, and I am desperate to find something good someone did… so this is what I came up with.
Andrew Robertson – like a parent who uses a full name when mad at their child, I will refer to Andrew Robertson by his full name in this piece. Andrew was all over the place during this game. He looked like a chicken with his head cut off, and was directly responsible for two of the goals and helped on the third. He looked like he was struggling to find form, was always in the wrong place, and City laid bait for him all over the field which he took it like a hungry mouse. While he has always been a hard worker and a good defender, he is also a super star for what he does going forward. Unfortunately, he didn’t provide much there either. Andrew Robertson only completed 60% of his long balls, had only one pass into the penalty box all game and only completed three passes getting the team into the final third.
Joe Gomez – another player in the back line who really struggled. He was only 1/7 on pressures – which means 6/7 times he pressured someone, they got the ball by him. He also was responsible for the penalty. It was without question soft, but he was clearly tugging Ol’ Flappy’s shirt. He has gained a reputation for towering over Ol’ Flappy in the past, but that may have gotten to his head. He gave up the penalty, looked lost and got pulled at halftime. Hopefully he will be back and stronger than ever soon.
I could have listed like seven more players, but honestly, we won the league already SO WHO CARES CITY!!!
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for this game. What do you think? Let me know your thoughts down below!