Jürgen Klopp has made some genius moves as Liverpool manager. We’ve seen him pull out some game plans that have absolutely bulldozed the opposition. This weekend didn’t see a demolition job but more of a suffocation of a key star. Klopp pulled off a Liverpool masterstroke v Man City by playing two strikers.
A point in Manchester
The first half at the Etihad was a joy to behold. It was proper football.
Both sides put together delectable passages of play in a showcase of just why these two managers are the best in the world.
Mo Salah put the visitors ahead early on, netting from the penalty spot after Sadio Mane cleverly won a spot kick from a hapless Kyle Walker.
Gabriel Jesus’ clever turn and finish levelled things for the hosts, though I’m definitely falling on the ‘he didn’t mean it’ side of the argument.
Kevin de Bruyne missed a penalty that should never have been given and pretty much nothing happened in the second half as both teams calmed down and settled for a point.
We were all surprised by the way the Reds lined up at the Etihad.
When the team sheet was announced, featuring the front four, we all expected the visitors to form a 4-2-3-1 to face the Citizens.
However, Liverpool faced Man City with a 4-2-4. Whilst on the surface this appeared a gung ho, overly offensive approach to take at the Etihad of all places, it was actually a bit of genius from Klopp.
Pep Guardiola would’ve never guessed that Jürgen would go with 4-2-4. In my memory we’ve never started with that system.
Which means that firstly, Pep couldn’t have planned for it. However, the genius in the move was in the suffocation of key orchestrator Rodri.
The deep lying City playmaker was completely cut off by the hard work of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane.
Klopp didn’t want the hosts to dominate midfield so he forced them to go longer by cutting off supply to the base of the midfield three.
The two striker pressed the centre backs forming a screen ahead of Rodri, denying him the ball for the most part.
It was a brave move but it was one which paid off, an utter masterstroke.