Manchester City – Liverpool: Premier League Classic Decided By Better Finishing And Tactical Nuances (2-1)
This game felt so close that it is hard to actually point out the better team. Manchester City beat Liverpool due to more composure on the ball and better finishing. And some luck, too.
Tactical analysis and match report by Erik Elias.
How do you beat Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City? If you would have to ask any manager on earth, Jürgen Klopp would come to mind pretty fast. His Liverpool went unbeaten in the last four games against Guardiola’s Manchester City, knocking them out of last season’s Champions League. Liverpool acting like pure kryptonite for his possession-oriented approach even led Guardiola to alter his tactics last time around, pressing less intense and leaving more players behind the ball than normally.
This season, Liverpool have changed their nominal starting formation from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1. Klopp decided to revert to the good ol’ 4-3-3 shape, even though the last time Liverpool played it was against Napoli, close to a month ago.
It is the system in which they reached the Champions League final last season, with the attacking super trio Mo Salah – Roberto Firmino – Sadio Mané in front of three midfielders James Milner, Georginio Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson. Partnering Virgil van Dijk in central defense was Dejan Lovren, as both Joe Gomez and Joel Matip were unavailable due to injuries.
Manchester City operated in their usual . . .