Manchester United

Erling Haaland’s reaction to the Kevin De Bruyne dispute, characterized by a scowling expression, reveals the underlying reality about Liverpool, while also highlighting three evident issues with VAR.

Arsenal may be considered the primary beneficiaries of a fascinating draw at Anfield.

It is worth mentioning that Liverpool has been consistently unable to defeat one of their main opponents at home this season, which is rather remarkable.

Furthermore, it may be tempting to lament the Reds’ inability to capitalize on their control in such a crucial match that could determine the outcome of the league championship.

However, perhaps it is misguided to focus on any of those actions following Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City?

Instead, Jurgen Klopp’s players deserve full praise for their exceptional skill, artistry, and inexhaustible energy reserves. They not only managed to bounce back from conceding a goal against the reigning English and European champions, but also displayed such dominance in the second half that it would have been unfamiliar to Pep Guardiola’s team. As a result, they left the pitch with a sense of regret for what could have been.

City seldom experience such a comprehensive defeat as the one inflicted by the Reds here. Klopp deserves immense commendation for steadfastly adhering to his own principles despite the extensive injuries that deprived him of numerous key players.

Undoubtedly, Guardiola’s team was lucky to avoid a loss at L4 and will return to their destination on the M62 with a noticeable sense of relief resonating around the team bus. The champions are not subjected to such treatment.

However, Anfield has consistently perplexed Guardiola and his team in a distinct manner. During the game, they endured extended periods of intense struggle and desperation as they fought to maintain their position, following Alexis Mac Allister’s penalty which quickly nullified John Stones’s goal after the game resumed.

Klopp described the second-half effort versus City as the finest ever. The visitors’ confusion was evident, although it was surprising to witness it affect a squad of such exceptional talent so profoundly. Rodri candidly admitted that the second half belonged to the other club, who had the support of their passionate fans and a team with a rich history.

The image of Kevin De Bruyne, who was replaced, engaging in a direct and concise talk with his manager while the pressure from Liverpool continued to increase, demonstrated how the situation was becoming overwhelming for the individuals from the Etihad.

The rapidity with which a frowning Erling Haaland hurried through the area where players and journalists gather after the match, with his head lowered and without pausing, demonstrated how well Quansah and the exceptional captain Virgil van Dijk neutralized the most dreaded striker in the world.

However, Liverpool was unable to fully capitalize on their opportunities, allowing Guardiola to maintain his chances of winning the title. A draw is consistently a favorable outcome for the away team at Anfield, and that is precisely where the remaining frustrations will reside. Klopp’s personal aspirations are intact, by the way. No victories achieved, only minor losses incurred.

If City and Arsenal draw at the end of the month, Liverpool will recover the top position if they can defeat Brighton in their home game. What a promising opportunity it is as April approaches.

Klopp entered this match without 10 key players from his first-team squad, and four out of his preferred defensive lineup were either missing or, in the case of Andy Robertson, only included as a substitute.

Mohamed Salah was only able to play in the second half, and Quansah was tasked with preventing Haaland, the most prolific goal scorer in world football, from scoring. Conor Bradley was instructed to minimize the impact of Julian Alvarez, a World Cup-winning player. Both individuals shown great courage and successfully showed that they are now fully integrated members of this senior group.

Due to the absence of Alisson Becker, Joel Matip, Ibrahima Konate, and Trent Alexander-Arnold in the defense, Klopp’s choices were further limited by the extended absences of Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic in midfield, as well as Curtis Jones and Ryan Gravenberch. Considering the injury to Diogo Jota and Salah not being in optimal condition, Liverpool deserves significant recognition for their assertive approach against Guardiola’s team in Klopp’s final league encounter.

This match showcased exceptional skill and talent from both teams, and the young players in the home team’s squad were not at all intimidated. That is a promising sign for the future, as someone will assume the managerial position this summer.

Does the team’s sadness in not securing all three points, which would have allowed them to remain as Premier League leaders in the middle of March, reflect the significant progress they have made this season? While the current situation is comprehensible, the overall outlook is more promising.

The effective partnership between the talented Harvey Elliott and daring Bradley on the right flank appeared to be the most promising strategy for making a comeback after Stones scored from a well-executed corner. However, Darwin Nunez’s inability to properly time his runs posed a challenge. In the first 45 minutes alone, the Uruguayan forward was penalized a total of five penalties, with the most notable instance occurring when the player, wearing the number 9 jersey, made a premature move before assisting Luis Diaz in scoring a goal that was promptly disallowed.

Nunez’s aggressive pursuit of Ake’s throw back to Ederson proved to be a pivotal moment in the game. The proficient forward was forcefully tackled by the inept goalkeeper, resulting in the goalkeeper injuring himself. He was substituted for Stefan Ortega shortly after Mac Allister’s exceptional penalty kick.

Diaz missed two significant opportunities in a match when he consistently troubled a progressively struggling Kyle Walker. The performance of the Reds’ No.7 was exceptional in the second half, and the English defender undoubtedly had his most rigorous test of the season against the Colombian player.

While Liverpool was attempting to score their 11th goal of the season after 90 minutes, Mac Allister was knocked down by a forceful kick from substitute Jeremy Doku during extra time. Liverpool insisted for a penalty, with Klopp expressing his dissatisfaction in a particularly strident manner. The referee, Michael Oliver, argued that any infraction committed outside the penalty area should be penalized. However, his concerns were disregarded, even after the VAR review, which appeared to have stricter criteria for intervention than the severity of Doku’s studs.

Liverpool may be privately reproaching themselves for yet another significant and crucial decision that did not favor them. This comes after the controversy surrounding Diaz’s goal at Tottenham in September and the failure to detect a handball by Martin Odegaard against Arsenal in December. Referees’ chief Howard Webb later acknowledged that this was an error. Although few from Anfield will openly enumerate their grievances, these decisions have had a significant impact on the game and may have potentially altered the outcome of the season.

What are the advantages of Arsenal? Based on the available facts, that is not the case. With only one Premier League game scheduled for the rest of this month, the Reds will come back in April with some notable players missing from the squad. These players are eager to return and be part of a club that can compete with a strong side like City. They might return much earlier than that.

About the author


Leave a Comment