Manchester City’s tactics a compliment to Liverpool, says Virgil van Dijk

Lynette Rowe
October 9, 2018

We don't need to be lip readers to know what they were talking about.

There will be much discussion in Liverpool fan circles about the state of Jurgen Klopp's attackers after they drew another blank against Manchester City.

Those worries are surely premature, with the intense nature of that run of games being sure to take a toll in the legs of a hard-running outfit at some point, and that aforementioned trip to Yorkshire starts off a more favourable run of fixtures the far side of the upcoming global break.

"The boys unfortunately go away again now and have to play Nations League games, the most senseless competition in the world of football".

Both London clubs have enjoyed impressive starts to the 2018-19 campaign, with Chelsea joint-top going into the second worldwide break of the season.

Liverpool full-back Andrew Robertson dismissed suggestions the Premier League title race was already down to two teams.

And to match City, Liverpool must be ruthless against "lesser" opponents. They also dropped deeper as a back four to deny Liverpool's front three the space to get in behind them and it worked a treat. "How we played was different to previous seasons". It showed we can do both - have the ball and be very strong as well. Their manager was pleased to be through the other side of it.

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Liverpool also played with one eye on the clean sheet, for maybe different reasons. If you want to see fresher, give them a summer break - for Jordan Henderson, it was exactly two weeks, which is amusing.

In the aftermath of the Liverpool game, some City fans on social media have been disgruntled that Riyad Mahrez ballooned a penalty with just minutes to go after appearing to pull rank over Gabriel Jesus following Sergio Aguero's departure from the pitch.

"I would like to have taken it, I was confident, so I was not happy that they did not allow me", Jesus said.

Van Dijk's error in that incident should not mask the positives of his performance, however, or the difference he has made to Liverpool since arriving from Southampton for £75 million as the world's most expensive defender in January.

Klopp shuffled his defence for the visit of City, with Dejan Lovren brought into central defence and Joe Gomez moved from the middle to right-back.

So did City and Liverpool park the bus?

"They've won six games in a row so it looks like they are in a good shape". In fact, I am still not sure they will make it into the top four.

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