PLAYER RATINGS: MANCHESTER CITY 3-2 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Manchester City after a 3-2 defeat at the Etihad. Goals from Haaland, Mahrez and Ake were enough despite responses from Carvalho and Salah. Here are player ratings from the encounter.
Kelleher – 7.5
Made some really good saves first half to deny Akanji and co. Made another terrific near post stop to deny Foden second half. He was comfortable on the ball and pinged it around to try and beat the first line of press.
Milner – 6.5
Set up Carvalho for the equaliser with some brilliant movement and vision. Left isolated against Palmer defensively and was beaten a few times. Pulled up with an injury first half.
Matip – 7
Gave the ball away cheaply a few times early on. Settled his nerves and went upfield to help create the first equaliser. Lovely reverse pass to Milner for the Carvalho goal. Defended well enough against Haaland.
Gomez – 5.5
Flat footed against Haaland for the first goal. That’s almost unforgivable. Few minutes in and he lost his first big challenge against the big man to hand City the lead. Gave the ball away loads. Fared slightly better at right back. Defended well against Grealish in the box. Played a slide rule pass to send Darwin awLeast said about his crosses the better.
Robertson – 6
Beaten by Mahrez for their second. Great skill by the Algerian it must be said. Well timed tackle on Lewis in the box late on. Couldn’t really influence it much in the attacking third. A lovely free kick delivery deserved a finish from Darwin. Blazed wildly into the stands when found unmarked by Darwin’s flick
Bajcetic – 5
Beaten by a wonderful Gundogan turn early on. Fell for that same move again in the first half. Struggled to live with the pace City were playing at. Fouled Palmer on the break and was booked. Played one fantastic crossfield ball to the left flank. They cut through our midfield at will first half.
Elliott – 5.5
Struggled. Too slow on the ball and always looking to check back on his left foot. Didn’t affect things enough in the final third to make up for the lack of cover for Milner.
Thiago – 7.5
Caught on the ball early on by De Bruyne but was pretty much faultless after that. Only one who wasn’t shy to get on the ball in tight areas and play. We struggled when he went off. We simply didn’t create much without him.
Salah – 6
Scored a tap in after excellent work by Oxlade-Chamberlain and Darwin. Was anonymous aside that. Constantly trying a backheel pass that just wasn’t there and didn’t register enough shots on goal. Didn’t get much change out of Ake.
Darwin – 5.5
Showed that searing pace to leave Laporte for dead and square to Salah for a tap in. He will however be judged on three big misses, two first half and one second. Twice through on goal at an angle and he screwed it wide both times. Steered a lovely Robertson free kick just wide of the post when unmarked in the box as well. To not get a single one of those efforts on target is terrible finishing. No sugar coating it. That was woeful and he knows it.
Carvalho – 7
Won a few free kicks off Akanji. Slotted beautifully when set up by Milner in the box. Taken off at halftime. Hopefully not another injury.
Phillips – 7
Was probably our best defender on the day. Timed a tackle in the box on Haaland to perfection just before halftime. Was similarly committed second half. A few diagonal passes went awry and he just missed De Bruyne’s cross for the winner but he can hold his head high.
Fabinho – 6.5
On at halftime for Bajcetic. Stole a few balls back. Got into a scuffle with Rodri and was shoved to the ground by Gundogan. Crucial block on De Bruyne’s goal bound effort.
Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6.5
Excellent footwork to wriggle himself out of a tight spot on the wing, before setting Darwin away with a piercing outside of the boot pass. Sought to have another major contribution in attack but it didn’t come off.
Henderson – 6
Couldn’t offer the attacking thrust nor the control required when he came on for Harvey.
Keita – 6
On for Thiago and he tried to get us going down the left channel. Tried to combine with Oxlade-Chamberlain and Darwin late in the game.
Opted for Milner at right back from the start. Brought on Phillips and shifted Gomez to the right when the veteran got injured. What does that say about Calvin Ramsay who was brought in the summer as right back cover for Trent?
Aside that, the changes made sense. Even the Thiago one which made us weaker. The 31 year old needs protecting as much as possible. The decision to hand Bajcetic a start may be debated but the youngster deserved his chance.