What We Learnt: Manchester City 5, Liverpool 0

To be perfectly honest, I’d really rather not talk about this weekend’s game. It was an aberration from the Liverpool that beat Arsenal so convincingly before the international break. It all went so wrong for the Reds at the Etihad, they literally rolled over without what even seemed like a sniff of fight in them after Sadio Mane was given his marching orders by referee, Jon Moss.

Premier League refereeing is inconsistent (To say the least).

Oh my lord, I cannot contain the levels of fume I am still experiencing from after this shitshow of a game of football. I’ll start by dissecting the dubious decision made to send Liverpool’s leading man, Sadio Mane off in the 37th minute. Fair enough, it’s a high boot, and fair enough, he makes contact with him, but if Ederson doesn’t stay down and isn’t injured then Mane gets a yellow 100% of the time. Even the Matt Ritchie / Alfie Dawson debacle from the Newcastle vs Swansea game ended up in just a yellow card, for something that was nigh-on exactly the same. I just can’t wrap my head around it. Also, Ederson ducks his head so Mane’s foot hits him in the head instead of the shoulder or chest.Embed from Getty Images

I’m not even mad at the sending off anymore, what’s done is done, I’m more mad at the overarching narrative that all referees are so goddamn inconsistent. Not only do different referees give different things but the same referee will give two very contrasting calls on similar things in the same game in some cases. This needs to be fixed by the FA as soon as possible. Bring back Clatters please. (Plus, he said it was a yellow and a free-kick)

We gave up, and that’s kind of okay // Our focus is on the Champions League right now. 

Come the second half, we really did give up, we subbed off Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, we brought off Wijnaldum, we threw James Milner, Dominic Solanke and newboy, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain into the mix. Not exactly inspired attacking changes, those. We moved to a three-at-the-back system, with Emre Can making up the number in defence.

There is good reason for us folding in the second half though, Jurgen Klopp clearly saw that the game was already beyond us, two-nil and a man down with nowhere to go, the only thing we could really do is preserve ourselves for our midweek clash with Seville in the Champions League, and after the 2016 Europa League final, the Reds should be hungry for revenge. Could be clever by Klopp, we’ll see.

Sadio Mane is our most important player.

Phil Coutinho this, Phil Coutinho that. Nah. It’s all about the Mane Mane Mane.

I really cannot understate the value of the Senegalese winger to the Liverpool squad, his electric pace, his explosive power and his elegance when it comes to moving the ball is absolutely exquisite. All this for the bargain price of £36m. Can you imagine how buzzing United or Chelsea fans would be if they bought someone for less than £40m and he turned out to be their best player. Exactly.Embed from Getty Images

Hopefully his ban gets overturned and he can continue being a kick ass player on the pitch that we will sorely miss against the kind of teams we’re coming up against in the next few weeks, including two game against Leicester, weird that. Also, the fact that he looked so dejected and upset at himself for being sent off goes to show that his heart it with the club, not with himself.

Jon Moss is a prick, but not for the reason you think.

Right, not only has he gone and sent Mane off, he has completely blanked Jurgen Klopp and the rest of the Liverpool squad come the end of the game. He was more than happily shaking the hands of all the players in sky-blue and their manager, who now has an exactly even record against Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola. To me, this is even more wrong than the decision to send Sadio off. He has been offered a handshake by Klopp and he’s turned his back and walked down the tunnel, this is so unprofessional and I do not quite understand it. Being a twat for the sake of being a twat. Welcome to the English Football Association’s refereeing team.

Gini has gone again. 

When looking at the Arsenal game a few weeks ago, my good friend, Ronan, who usually takes care of this kind of article, talked of Gini Wijnaldum’s resurgence during the 90 minutes against the Gunners at Anfield. Fast forward a fortnight and I’m tough tasked trying to remember if it even happened. There is no way that a player can manage to play as well as the Dutchman did against Arsenal, then play as anonymously as he did versus City. It completely dumbfounds me and it makes me glad that we’ve got Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on our books now, so if Gini is having one of his many off-days then the Ox can come in and actually offer to do something, with or without the ball.

Klavan should stick to selling hot-dogs in Cardiff. 

Right, this is going to confuse most, but in Cardiff, where I hail from, there is a hot-dog vendor, and he looks EXACTLY like our Estonian centre-half, Ragnar Klavan, and frankly, I hope that he is actually Klavan and some random bloke has just passed for him on the football pitch because my lord, was he dreadful. I’m not even sure what more to say on the matter.Embed from Getty Images

“more than a few clangers. Quite frankly out of his depth.” – Chris Anderson, Player Ratings.

We’re not invincible.

Somehow, we managed to go through the entirety of last season without dropping a single game to any of the other top seven clubs in the Premier League, and that stat was bound to catch up with us sooner rather than later, with this result against City, it also ends a 3 year wait for the Citizens to get all three points against us in the League. Yes, the result is utter shite, and losing 5-0 to anyone is not a good day at the office, but bearing in mind the scenario, with Mane and folding to save ourselves for the CL on Wednesday, I personally think it’s way too early to panic, stick with it Reds!

On to the next one, Reds. Sevilla in the Champions League. YNWA

(If Moreno plays, I’ll be fuming) 


Anthony Stonelake
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Anthony Stonelake

17 and Welsh. Been a Liverpool fan since I was born. I live, breathe and bleed Liverpool Football Club. Only here to convince you of Roberto Firmino’s greatness.
Anthony Stonelake
Follow me!

Latest posts by Anthony Stonelake (see all)

Anthony Stonelake

17 and Welsh. Been a Liverpool fan since I was born. I live, breathe and bleed Liverpool Football Club. Only here to convince you of Roberto Firmino’s greatness.

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