Liverpool – Manchester City: Guardiola and Klopp’s game plans neutralize each other in very careful Premier League clash (0-0)

The clash of this young Premier League season never took off. City’s Riyad Mahrez had the only big chance in the game, in the form of a late penalty-kick, which he missed. How Guardiola and Klopp’s respect for each other led to a highly anticipated game with almost zero chances.

Football logic is the hardest type of logic, still. Liverpool and Man City are two of the teams with the most attractive, positive playing styles in all of European football. Last year, all four of the meetings between them were among the most spectacular games of the season. So, a fun and dynamic 90 minutes were almost guaranteed, right?

When you least expect it, football logic - that is, the complete absence of any logic; the confirmation that football is still a highly illogical, at times very unpredictable game - will strike. And boy oh boy, did it strike in this encounter between Liverpool and City.

The two top teams in English football - in European football, perhaps - truly canceled each other out in this game. For those who did not watch the game, and are reasonably skeptical about the fact that this game offered little to nothing when it came to tangible changes or exciting moments, because Liverpool and City are usually two of the most fun teams to watch, here is some proof: 

An extremely flat line shows the total absence of reasonable scoring attempts, apart from the penalty for Manchester City near the end.

But if you only conclude that this game, especially the first 65 minutes, wasn’t fun to watch - it wasn’t, though - you are kind of missing the point. Because what we did see in this game, from a tactical point . . .

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Sam Planting (27) writes for various Dutch media about football (VI Pro, Het Parool, Hard Gras) and does some stats stuff for television. Records ‘De Voetbalpodcast’ with his two best buds. Born and raised in Amsterdam. Former basketball player. Current aficionado of stand-up comedy and rap music. [ View all posts ]


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