Manchester City relinquished top spot in the Premier League table, at least for one matchday, as they were comprehensively beaten 4-1 at home by Liverpool on Saturday evening. In a ruthless counter-attacking display, the visitors were excellent in the first-half and managed to take advantage of the Citizens’ poor start to proceedings.
A frustrating evening for City
In the aftermath of their morale-bruising defeat, manager Manuel Pellegrini has admitted the side’s overall performance was "a disaster".
Despite Sergio Agüero’s stunning strike and a plethora of fine saves by Joe Hart to keep the scores respectable, the sky Blues struggled to cope with Liverpool’s high-pressing tactic – they overran their hosts in midfield and the absence of Fernandinho throughout the opening 45 minutes was evident to see.
Poor display all-round, naturally punished
As quoted by the official club website, Pellegrini said the display was "unbelievable", and they have difficulty in understanding just why they "played so badly as a complete team."
Plenty of questions were raised prior to kick-off about Pellegrini’s team selection, as he left Fernandinho on the substitutes’ bench, whilst Eliaquim Mangala and Martin Demichelis was his preferred centre-back pairing, much to the dismay of the club’s supporters.
In response to that question, he was adamant that he would "not explain" his decisions, as he’d "do the same" if he had to choose [the team] again. "I was not happy with the performance of 11 players, not only Yaya and Navas. We tried another system, we tried to press high but it was the exactly the same, it was not our night."
On how the team need to respond in a positive way, he said the team need to collectively "turn the page" as soon as possible, especially describing the performance as an abnormal one.
"We have an important game on Wednesday [against Juventus], sometimes it happens in football to play like this."