Lessons Learned: Tactical Stalemate at Etihad Reviewed

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Unexpected Outcome at Etihad: A Tactical Battle

It wasn’t the end to end slugfest that many had predicted before the game, but no one really cares that much when you take a point at The Etihad. Maybe a 12:30pm kick off played its part in a cagey tactical battle but if anything, Jurgen Klopp may not have been as sarcastic as suspected in his press conference. It relied on a piece of brilliance from one star as a few others struggled and the attack seemed pretty blunt in the second period. However, we’d have taken that all day long before the start whatever anyone says and hopefully the injuries aren’t too long term. Plenty to digest in lessons learned from this one.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s Mixed Performance

It wasn’t the usual position for Trent Alexander-Arnold in this one, but there was a reason that Gary Neville gave him man of the match. The Scouser in the team was partly at fault for Haaland’s opener as Ake just waltzed past him and Doku gave him really tough moments. However, the strike was sensational, low and hard after the square from Salah. He won possession ten times and contested more duels than anyone in red. He played a few Hollywood ones, including a sixty-yard ping over the top to Salah under pressure and the silencing of the home fans was worth the award alone. Liverpool’s vice-captain was the main man today.

Photo: IMAGO

Tough Day for Alisson

Hopefully the potential hamstring injury isn’t too bad, but this was one to forget for the Brazilian stopper. City put him under pressure from early and a giveaway to Foden, and Haaland’s sliding in could have ended very differently on another day. The city goal came from his slip whilst clearing too, although he should look to his teammates for that one. A foul is still a foul no matter how soft or how much Sky wants to maintain the drama, so why the clamour over Akanje’s challenge I’ve no idea. He seemed rattled somewhat, yet despite that a point-blank save from Haaland kept us in it. He’ll want to forget this one quickly. We’re praying the injury isn’t too bad.

Unsung Heroes: Tsimikas and Matip Shine

When the names of Konate and Gomez weren’t showing in the starting line-up there were more than a few concerns from some Reds. However if anything, there were many others who didn’t perform as well as Kostas Tsimikas and Joel Matip, whilst the big center-half especially was key in this one. Matip made a number of blocks from Doku and Haaland at times, whilst importantly he kept composed under key moments of pressure. Tsimikas saw less difficulty as City often went down their left-hand side, but he didn’t do anything that left you greatly concerned. There’s a few clips that’ll be on No Context Matip (if you know, you know), but both should be more than pleased with their outings here.

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