At last Manchester City's weakness exposed - FCNaija

Features By: Iseghohi Odianosen | 16/01/2018

Manchester City’s defence was left in shambles for the first time this season after they were defeated 4-3 when they visited Anfield on Sunday in the Premier League to take on determined Liverpool who played with the sole aim to revenge the 5-0 thrashing of the first leg at the Etihad Stadium.

Liverpool is the first team this season to exposed Manchester City’s weakness in the midfield and in the defense with a fast transformation football from the midfield to the attack which left Pep Guardiola and his men dazed in the opening 40 minute of the encounter, Leroy Sane’s goal was what woke their fighting spirit and revived their moral with just five minutes left in the first half.

Jurgen Klopp’s team was the better of the two, the German manager was able to exploit the pace of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah this time something that was missing in the first leg after Mane was given a matching order that led to the 5-0 bashing.

The ball was quickly pushed to the attack by Liverpool midfielders whenever they make an interception as they continue to play to the advantage of their pace strikers, the plan went well for the home team as the Premier League leaders were made to be ball chasers.

The defeat to Guardiola’ men ends his 22 unbeaten runs after 23 in the Premier League since the start of the campaign. Other teams will also like to emulate Liverpool’s success against the Premier League giant, Manchester City and if properly executed it would break their momentum in the domestic scene and in the Champions League.

The game against Liverpool shows that any team who can play offensively and maintain a high intensity of pressing game as shown by the Reds can defeat the Cityzens anytime, knowing so well that Manchester City is vulnerable at the defence.

Manchester City will always come for the attack and leave just two or at most three players with defensive duties, so a team with fast and Pacey forward can easily capitalize on this and exploit the hole behind as City push forward to attack.

The way Guardiola sets up his team make it vulnerable to counterattack due to the fact that he structured his team to retain the ball and play around the opponent’s area which is dangerous tactics when you play a team that is ready to give up on possession and ready to score goals.

Guardiola will need to look at the team and evaluate the team’s defensive errors if Manchester City must maintain this same momentum in Europe, knowing so well that playing possessive and good football doesn’t really guarantee result at times once you can get the goals and prevent your opponent from scoring you are good to progress to the next stage.

Though I don’t see Manchester City dropping the entire 15 points lead as the season progresses I see the gap will be narrowed down but I still believe the Spanish tactician will maintain the top spot to the end of the season.

But in the Champions League which is quite a different format from the League, Guardiola needs to work so well on the defence and ensure his team scores more than they concede if they must win silverware in Europe this season.

City will come out good if Guardiola can work on his team’s defence and tactics in his next game, any result other than a win will affect the morale of his team and other teams will be motivated and that could be dangerous at this point of the season because Manchester City still have an unfinished business with the Premier League big boys except Liverpool.