Well that’s it. Man City win a big 50p and get a little psychological edge over Liverpool by beating us in a penalty shootout.
We can all agree we weren’t great in the first half, City abused our high line which we insisted on playing despite being caught out several times. Second half much better, just not clinical enough. But what did we learn??
Salah And Bobby Look Dead Sharp
And I obviously mean this in a match fitness sense. Considering he’s had such a long summer or year the Egyptian produced several moments of skill, pressing and running in behind and probably had a little more defensive work to do than he would have liked. Just a shame he didn’t bring his shooting boots today, not quite sure how he didn’t score, besides the pen obviously.
You could also argue his final decision wasn’t the best today, there were numerous occasions where he had a different option but chose instead to pass, but I’d much rather he had the confidence to try and score than shy away, wouldn’t you? Yes, we’d all love him to score too I suppose.
Bobby stuck out for me in that game, his usual press, work rate and all topped off with lovely link up play and a touch of filth every now and then. I’m going to predict a massive season for him. Opposition teams got onto Mo, then last season we saw Mané step up, they will both scare the shit out of everyone and you can’t mark them all.
Bobby to shine for me.
We Have Depth
It was a bit bizarre having six subs and a bit of a pain in the arse for my player ratings but look at the options we had, particularly in midfield. Ox, Lallana, Keita and Shaqiri provided an injection of pace and all got vital minutes under their belt.
Might not be so relevant now but with our style and intensity of football they will all be required at some point and will play an integral role in this seasons campaign. And I don’t mean Lallana will play 30 games, but if he can stay fit and if Ox recovers to anything like the standard he can produce then we are well stocked in that department!
Same goes for Gomez and Matip. Both high quality centre backs that have had injury worries in the past but both in good form. Chuck Lovren in that mix too.
I’m not sure if wingers is a concern or a worry and I think I fall into the trap of comparing Divock to Mané. Divock just doesn’t make the same direct runs as Sadio, which I think I use to criticise him with. He makes the right runs, he gets into space, he just doesn’t seem to have that confidence to beat a man as much as Sadio, something which he can hopefully work on.
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I Can’t Wait For The Season To Start
I don’t think this game is the best barometer to judge us just yet, I’ve tried to avoid all cliches but that was literally a game of two halves. Two high quality teams trying to see where that are tactically and how their fitness levels are.
Liverpool have played significantly more pre season friendlies than City, results aside, it will do our fitness the world of good and can ensure we hit the ground running. De Bruyne, although everywhere at times, suffered cramp in that game. Yes, we looked leggy in midfield too but as mentioned we can work round that with all the options we have. Pre season means getting everyone up to the same level. Hopefully this is something we have achieved.
Let me know your thoughts on the game and the season ahead!
Ross – @rossic89