90mins+

No Pool in 5-star City!

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If there was ever a reason to ‘shut the door, window or gates’ on international breaks, or ask club managers to vote against the ‘unwanted distraction’, Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp would, unimpeachably be the leading protagonist on such gesture.

Say what you will, but the German must be miffed at such disruption that obviously contracted his team’s fluidity and vivency — a sharp contrast from the conquistador figure they had on a certain North London club some weeks ago.

The Reds started the game in high spirit. Looked cool and decent in the first 10 minutes. Ding-dong affair really. Mohamed Salah was bubbling with life on the right flank. The Egyptian was making a mincemeat of Nicolas Otamendi, who got the first yellow card of the day, when he practically uprooted the diminutive Salah like an unwanted weed in a rose garden. In spite of Kevin De Bruyne’s shot and Fernandiho’s efforts at goal, both teams struggled early on to any rhythmic flow worthy of a classy duel.

But it was Manchester City who raised their head above water to give their fans something to cheer when Sergio Aguero scored the first goal in the 23rd minute. It was conjured from nothing really.

The Reds quickly regrouped, dusted their behind and moved on. Salah should have done better when Sadio Mane put a sweet pass his way, but the Liverpool number 11 aimed straight at Ederson, City’s goaltender. At the other end, John Stones could have made it 2 for the Cityzens in the 34th minute off a header from a corner kick. Luckily, Simon Mignolet was awake at the wheels.

Pep Guardiola and his troops were on the ascendency at this point. And were provided extra incentive when Liverpool’s hitman, Mane — who obviously had been engrossed in too many kung fu movies — did a Bruce Lee on Ederson. In fairness to the Senegalese though, he had his eyes on the ball, but the foot was adjudged high enough to pluck a fruit from a tree, and referee Jon Moss was having none of a Jackie Chan stunts on the pitch. Mane was sent off for an early shower. Claudio Bravo replaced the injured Ederson.

From that moment, Liverpool were out on a limb, and were headed in one direction only — south. Smelling blood, the Cityzens went for the ‘kill’, and Gabriel Jesus’ celebration for City’s 2nd goal in the 51st minute was unequivocal, as the Brazilian had been denied an earlier effort in the 48th minute by referee Moss. Liverpool was as vulnerable as a billy goat amidst hungry lions. Klopp dejected and confused! City really made the extra man count and went into the break braced up!

Second 45 kicked off with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replacing Salah. Shocking substitution for me though! I thought the Egyptian was the only Liverpool player ‘paid in full’! Hey, what do I know!

Things went down the swanee for Klopp and his troops. They were simply as dull as ditchwater. City took advantage of their bewilderment. Pulled no punches, and scored the 3rd goal when Aguero unselfishly set up Jesus in the 53rd minute. The Reds were bruised! Bleeding profusely really.

Two more goals from Leroy Sane — who had replaced Jesus — in the 77th minute and 90th minute completed the annihilation of Liverpool.

The ever-animated Klopp was a shadow of his old self. It wasn’t just a bad day in the office. His troops were conquered! Their fans had not one reason to get their butts off their seats all day, as they walked home alone!

What a performance from a team, who, only some days back, put Arsenal to the sword. Today, they were not only chopped off, they were mutilated!

Guess it’s true what they say — ‘be careful what you do to others; you might have same done unto you.’ Sometimes, in more doses!

Manchester City Vs Liverpool (12:30pm) : Saturday, September 9, 2017

By Uche Atuma

About Uche

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