Liverpool emerged from the Etihad Stadium with out the bitter style of defeat, with Jurgen Klopp’s aspect battling onerous to struggle again and safe some extent towards Manchester Metropolis by means of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s incisive equaliser.
The consequence within the Premier League signifies that the Reds stay only one level behind Pep Guardiola’s outfit, although Arsenal have now taken pole place after defeating Brentford on Saturday.
Whereas snapping the Citizen’s 23-match profitable run on residence soil was galvanising and a large step ahead, it will be remiss to not acknowledge that Liverpool rode their luck at occasions and endured an faulty affair at occasions.
Nonetheless, Alexander-Arnold’s purpose was a product of the Anfield aspect’s resilience and ruthlessness, two yardsticks of Liverpool’s success underneath Klopp.
Nonetheless, Darwin Nunez didn’t embody such values on the pitch and endured considered one of his more durable matches of the marketing campaign, having carried out so properly for probably the most half after a testing 2022/23 time period.
Darwin Nunez’s efficiency vs Manchester Metropolis
Liverpool’s £85m club-record signing arrived with nice expectation final season after plundering 34 targets from 41 appearances throughout his remaining marketing campaign in Portugal with Benfica.
The 24-year-old scored 15 occasions throughout all competitions however missed 20 massive possibilities within the Premier League alone, with Klopp compelled to emphasize that the Uruguayan’s success on Merseyside is a “long-term mission”.
Nicely, he is actually raised his sport because the summer season and has landed a direct purpose contribution each 80 minutes this season, however towards Manchester Metropolis, the £140k-per-week ahead failed to understand his alternatives – handed a poor 4/10 match score by way of GOAL after the competition.
Nunez was full of life towards the treble winners and did take 4 pictures, however he didn’t encourage with any significant efforts, took simply 25 touches and misplaced each of his contested floor duels, as per Sofascore.
He might want to construct on his higher shows this season and show himself because the ruthless determine up entrance that Klopp can depend on to complete off the lightning-quick breaks which have develop into a trademark over the previous a number of years.
It was all the time going to be one of many trickier contests of the calendar, nevertheless, and there may be loads of trigger for optimism given the discernible enhancements because the summer season.
The larger quandary that Klopp and co will now be wrestling with will likely be understanding the right companion for Dominik Szoboszlai within the midfield, with Curtis Jones additionally enduring an ineffective afternoon in Manchester.
Curtis Jones’ sport vs Manchester Metropolis in numbers
Jones has been considered one of Liverpool’s unsung heroes in 2023, rising as a centrepiece of the aspect’s resurgence within the later section of the 2022/23 season and beginning all 11 of the Reds’ culminating league fixtures, main one analyst & scout to comment at his “full” ability set.
He’d been essential within the present marketing campaign’s early section for a contentious dismissal towards Tottenham Hotspur in September, with The Athletic’s James Pearce noting the “flying” begin that had yielded a 93% cross success price within the Premier League, as per Sofascore.
However, on his return towards Metropolis, the 22-year-old didn’t take pleasure in his best hour and was certainly hooked after simply 54 minutes, having taken simply 34 touches, made only one sort out and didn’t create a single key cross.
Nunez might need been branded with a 4/10 rating however the Englishman was handed a lowly 3/10 match score by GOAL, with Tom Maston writing: ‘Gave the ball away on far too many events as Metropolis’s midfield seemed to swarm him and power him into errors. Changed by Gravenberch early within the second half.’
Jones is a composed, clever midfielder and can play a key half for his outfit over the approaching months, however when contemplating the affect that Ryan Gravenberch made off the bench, it is onerous to argue towards the Dutchman’s claims for an everyday beginning berth.
Ryan Gravenberch should begin for Liverpool
Liverpool accomplished the £34m switch of Gravenberch from German giants Bayern Munich in August to finish Klopp’s midfield overhaul this summer season, and he has since been hailed as “unbelievable” by former Reds midfielder Didi Hamann, who spoke with incredulity over Die Roten’s failure to deliver out his finest attributes.
The £150k-per-week midfielder solely earned three Bundesliga begins and clinched only one purpose and one help, although, since his transfer to Merseyside, he has already bagged 4 direct contributions, dubbed a “particular participant” by Liverpool coach Pep Lijnders.
Ryan Gravenberch: Related Gamers
*Sourced by way of FBref
Very a lot the all-encompassing midfielder, Gravenberch ranks inside the high 20% of midfielders throughout Europe’s high 5 leagues over the previous yr for targets, shot-creating actions, cross completion, progressive passes, progressive carries, profitable take-ons, interceptions and blocks per 90, as per FBref.
Introduced into the motion within the second half (for Jones), the 11-cap Netherlands worldwide performed an necessary half in Liverpool’s equaliser after gliding up the pitch into the hazard space, forcing the hosts right into a defensive construction that was swiftly breached.
In his second-half cameo, Gravenberch made a key cross and impressed together with his positivity, with Maston writing that he made ‘some good defensive interventions from the Netherlands worldwide after approaching for Jones’, which showcases the multi-functionality of this dynamic ace.
Described as a “Rolls-Royce” by journalist Declan Carr, the 6 foot 2 whiz appears to be like more and more influential within the engine room and is keen to hold the ball ahead with penetrative effectiveness to make sure the Reds have a gentle, dependable offensive risk from deep, complementing the likes of Mohamed Salah and Nunez within the remaining third.
The actual fact that Klopp now boasts a number of choices within the centre of the park will likely be most pleasing after final yr’s struggles; certainly, Stefan Bajcetic and Thiago Alcantara have been plagued with damage all season and can hope to make an affect after the brand new yr.
However Gravenberch is staking a declare for a distinguished place to rival probably the most cemented stars within the squad, and after returning to motion in fashion on the Etihad, Gravenberch should now be unleashed from the outset over the essential coming matches within the Premier League.