We take a look at the backpages and media reactions in wake of Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester City on Monday night.
Liverpool’s defence came in for heavy criticism from Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville on Monday Night Football – new signing Dejan Lovren in particular, while fellow new boy Alberto Moreno had a mixed debut, quite a baptism of fire in such a big match.
The Spanish left-back impressed going forward but also was partially at fault for the opening goal, his hesitant clearance allowing Steven Jovetic to steal in and finish powerfully past Simon Mignolet.
Writing for Bleacher Report post-match, Jack Lubsy commented on Moreno:
“Fluctuating between the composed and the overwrought, Moreno offered a mixed bag throughout; the Spaniard is a provident signing by Rodgers, however, and will grow into the role at Anfield.”
He surmised that: “This particular occasion proved too early for Moreno’s introduction; seemingly overawed by the demands of the contest.”
Writing for Outside of the Boot website, Sami Faizullah highlighted Gerrard’s role in the defeat – failing to successfully track David Silva’s run for the opening goal:
“On the ball, the retired England captain is still excellent; his long balls particularly, from deep in midfield a familiar sight in last season’s title challenging side. But off-the-ball, Gerrard is virtually non existent; his positional sense and defensive movement are worryingly weak, while his general defensive intelligence is always questionable.”
Daniel Taylor of The Guardian believes Liverpool missed Luis Suarez:
“This was the first occasion when it became clear how much Liverpool might miss the penetrative qualities of Luis Suárez. The away side had plenty of the ball.
“They made every kind of pass, indeed, apart from the killer one.”
“Balotelli, according to Rodgers, is a “calculated risk”. It is easier now to understand why he has taken it.”
On the contrary, The Mirror’s Ed Malyon writes:
“Thinking that the Uruguayan’s absence was a major factor in this one seems a mistake.
“Having failed to score against any of the top four last season, he’s not exactly got the record to suggest he’d have been vital.”
— Nick Sutton (@suttonnick) August 25, 2014
He also highlights goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who was easily beaten at his near post for Serio Aguero’s goal, claiming:
“The club are understood to be on the lookout for a replacement over the next 12 months or so and he once more posing questions with his positioning for Aguero’s goal.”
Clearly it’s early days for Liverpool’s new personnel, and defence in particular. There is no shame in losing to Man City, the champions, and having bossed the match for the opening 40 minutes there are definitely some positives to take from the game.
Moreno’s injury will be a blow, meaning he won’t be able to form a solid back-four immediately.
It may be interesting to see if Rodgers opts to pair new signing Lovren with Mamadou Sakho any time soon – two players who are both more adept at playing a high defensive line.
What are your thoughts on the match? Let us know in the comments below.