WELL, that hurt.
If you’re going to go down to 10 men against anyone, then it’s probably best not to do so against a Pep Guardiola team. Only a few weeks ago Everton had an extra man against them and still got completely dominated in the second half. Make no mistake, if Chelsea, Manchester United or Tottenham Hotspur had been in the same position they’d have been thoroughly battered as well.
Thanks to the incompetence of Jon Moss these ratings are going to be hard to do. Before the most laughable of red cards to Sadio Mane, Liverpool were well in the game. They were 1-0 down but had been the better team and were continuing to create chances. Afterwards it was just a complete farce, so I’ve tried to be as reasonable as possible, but as usual if you think I’ve given anyone a point too much or too few, then by all means call me a prick on Twitter.
Despite Jon Moss being a very bad referee, I’m going to take the high road and not blame him for the defeat. I’ll barely even mention him.
Simon Mignolet: 7
Don’t really think any of the five goals were his fault. Possibly could do better on the first but his abilities in one-v-one situations have always been poor so expected Sergio Aguero to net, but the rest were largely either from point-blank range or great finishes. Made some very good saves to keep the score from being worse. Jon Moss wasn’t loved as a child and his best friend was a tree.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 4
Felt sorry for the lad. Expected Joe Gomez to start but Trent was the one tasked with stopping Kevin De Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy. He made some very good interceptions, but also some absolute howlers. Looked nervous on the ball, got a silly early booking and turned his back to allow De Bruyne the time to put the cross in for the game-killing second goal. He’ll have better days though undoubtedly. Jon Moss was called “briefcase wanker” at school.
Joel Matip: 5
Like Trent he did make some nice blocks and tackles, but was also guilty of switching off a couple of times. Also no idea whose plan it was to play such a high line in the second half but was never going to have the pace to catch anyone who broke the offside trap. Jon Moss has posters of Jacob Rees-Mogg on his bedroom wall.
Ragnar Klavan: 4
The decision to play the Estonian ahead of Dejan Lovren for a game like this was frankly more bizarre than picking Loris Karius the other week. If Lovren needs resting this early on then it makes the decision not to sign another centre back all the more puzzling. I recall two really good tackles, and otherwise a game of clangers. Was simply out of his depth against a world class attack. Jon Moss has a hairy back and has never kissed a girl.
Alberto Moreno: 5
Didn’t seem that involved in the game as everything was going down the other side, but equally didn’t seem at all willing to take responsibility. Had a few chances to push on down the left but almost always turned back and gave the ball to the wobbly Klavan. Kyle Walker is a weak defender and there was little to no attempt to test him going the other way. Jon Moss doesn’t get invited to the secret referees-only New Year’s Eve parties.
Jordan Henderson: 6
Thought of the midfield three, Hendo was the only one who had an acceptable game. Did win the ball back a few times and played some nice balls forward in the first half. Excellent ball in for Firmino should have lead to a goal, but as with everyone else, was just given an impossible second half. Jon Moss wanted to be a traffic warden but was too much of an arse.
Gini Wijnaldum: 4
Even before the red card to Mane I thought he was having a really poor game. Seems to turn into this entirely different player away from home who can’t control a pass and just doesn’t get involved in anything in attack or defence. Would have pulled him instead of Salah at half time. Thankfully our next two games are at Anfield so he’ll be boss again, and Jon Moss… I think I’ve run out of them now, sorry.
Emre Can: 5
Had a pretty good first half I thought even if he was guilty of dallying on the ball on a couple of occasions. Knew it wasn’t going to take much to see him back in defence at some point this season, and he struggled. Understandably so against such an onslaught, but gave the ball away in dangerous areas and constantly lost the runs of the attackers buzzing around him.
Sadio Mane: 6
The curse of the player of the month award struck hard, here. Most attacks were going down Salah’s side in the first half, but whenever Mane picked the ball up and ran at the defence something happened. Something was likely to happen at some point, but then Moss decided the game needed ruining. If his red card isn’t rescinded by Tuesday then I’m sending a box to the Premier League on Wednesday with a big dog poo in it.
Mohamed Salah: 6
Such a danger, such a threat, such a constant weapon, and such a frustrating final ball time and again. If only he was better with that final execution he could have had a goal and two assists by the time Mane gets his marching orders. Strange decision to bring him off at half time given the need to play long balls, so can only assume there was a fitness issue. He had been to Africa and back after all.
Roberto Firmino: 6
Should have done better from Henderson’s ball into the box in the first half, but otherwise did as well as could be expected until he was taken off. It was a practically impossible job after the red with three defenders and a defensive midfielder crowding around him. Good decision to rest him when the game was completely gone. Will be needed on Wednesday.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 5
What a horrible scenario to make your debut for a new club. Did make some good tackles and played a lovely ball to Firmino for the only opening of the second half, but was caught out a few times as well. An unfair game to judge him on anything though really.
James Milner: 5
Brought a bit more to the game than Wijnaldum had, but was never going to change much of what was happening. Find it so bizarre that City fans boo him. Confirmation that they are among the worst bunch in the land.
Dominic Solanke: 6
Good decision to give him half an hour in that situation. A hard one of course, but valuable minutes nonetheless and he did pretty well. Pressured the defence, won it back a couple of times and, had it not been for a covering tackle by Fernandinho, would possibly have got in on goal after a good run.
Not an ideal way to start the weekend, but I’m not having anyone say that the red card wasn’t the be all and end all of that game. Yes Liverpool could have reacted better to it, but if that red card doesn’t happen I don’t think City win, let alone by that many. The Reds were on the verge of an equaliser when it happened, and City had barely threatened other than the goal they had scored.
Jürgen Klopp’s men will bounce back, starting with revenge over Sevilla on Wednesday.
Oh and no hard feelings, eh Mossy?
Up the don’t worry about it too much Reds.