Simon Mignolet was the only Liverpool player to have any real impact in the thumping at the Etihad on Saturday, where the Belgian certainly wasn’t completely convincing yet did manage to keep the score line at 5-0.
After losing his place in the previous Premier League fixture, Mignolet was back between the sticks for the tricky away test to Manchester City, yet his efforts proved ineffective as the Reds were second best to the home side in the early kick off. Sadio Mane’s somewhat shock red card – where most spectators were taken aback – certainly influenced the game as City ran riot, yet the away side were not at their best regardless of the decision.
Mignolet was undeniably going to come under huge amounts of pressure given the fact that his side had been reduced to ten men, and barring one error leading to a Gabriel Jesus offside goal, and in a game where not a single Red deserved the award, the Belgian was probably – and many will be reluctant to approve of the decision – Liverpool’s Man of the Match.
The shot-stopper proved his ability between the sticks with two fantastic saves early on, the first to deny a flowing Manchester City move and the second a reflex save with his feet to deny John Stones following a dangerous corner from the home side.
For all of Liverpool’s attacking prowess, their defensive frailties were massively exposed against a top City side, who dismantled the shaky defence almost every time they went forward. It highlights not only a worry that the Liverpool attack may not be so devastating in every game, yet more importantly that the defence simply aren’t up to the challenge.
The truly disappointing defeat for the Merseyside club was Jurgen Klopp’s heaviest defeat in all competitions as Liverpool manager, and was also Klopp’s first Premier League defeat away from home to one of last season’s top seven sides.
Liverpool undoubtedly need to recover quickly as they entertain Sevilla in a much-anticipated Champions League group match on Tuesday night, before hosting Burnley the following Saturday afternoon in what is now a must-win game as the Reds look to bounce back from a simply shocking defeat.