Pep Guardiola’s failed gamble
2-3 loss of Man City prior to Liverpool in the semi-finals of the FA Cup 2021/22 does not reflect the full situation of the match. At Wembley on the evening of April 16, the green half of Manchester let Liverpool dominate the game. Man City led 0-3 after only 45 minutes of the first test. If the strikers of “The Kop” are sharper, the Etihad team can lose a lot.
People expect Man City and Liverpool to continue to perform the same top football as last week. However, in the confrontation at Wembley, only one team kept its form, which was Liverpool. “The Kop” strangled Man City in the first half. Coach Jurgen Klopp’s team did not give the opponent the opportunity to get on the ball.
Rarely do people see a Pep Guardiola team being overwhelmed by an opponent like the last match. The Catalan strategist uses many players who are often substitutes when facing Liverpool. Compared to the match against Atlético Madrid In the middle of the week, Man City had up to 7 changes in the starting lineup in the FA Cup semi-finals.
That decision to rotate is considered the main reason why Man City lost the match. Zack Steffen, Nathan Ake, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fernandinho or Jack Grealish started against Liverpool. These are all good players, but they are not at the level that can play fair with Liverpool, the team that launched almost the strongest squad against Man City.
After the match, Pep clarified that he had no other choice in the context of Man City experiencing a tight schedule. “We have to play many important games, move constantly over time,” Man City captain said. “That’s why I have to rotate the players.”
Pep asserts:We lost the first goal (against Man City – PV) from a set piece. Liverpool are very strong in that area. The second goal was an accident“.
Man City head coach still protects his players. However, it is difficult for him to ignore the fact that the difference in qualifications between the starting and subs makes the green half of Manchester pay the price against Liverpool.
At Man City’s first goal, Ake lost in a dispute with Ibrahima Konate. The French midfielder scored the third goal with his head for Liverpool in the last 4 matches. A person who values details like Pep knows well Konate’s aerial combat ability. But he could not do anything when the Man City players on the field were inferior to their opponents in terms of level.
Ake hasn’t reached the level of Ruben Dias yet. Zinchenko struggled to face Mohamed Salah and the mischievous attacking players on the Liverpool side. In the middle, Fernandinho could not help Man City dominate the game.
The disastrous goal from goalkeeper Steffen partly reflects the level of Man City’s reserve players. Pep has a reason to use Steffen, but Man City fans also do not forget that in the opposite goal, coach Klopp carefully used Alisson Becker instead of Caoimhin Kelleher.
The 23-year-old goalkeeper can be started in the League Cup or in FA Cup matches. However, when Liverpool faced a strong team like Man City in the FA Cup semi-finals, coach Klopp had to let Alisson play. At least two brilliant saves from the Brazilian goalkeeper kept Liverpool from conceding against Man City.
In the middle of the week, “The Kop” also experienced a tense match with Benfica in the Champions League. But coach Klopp still launched the strongest squad in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
Pep’s excuses about the schedule thus became less convincing. Alan Shearer says Guardiola failed his gamble against Liverpool. “Klopp made the right decision to let Allison kick instead of Kelleher”, Former England striker analysis. “Pep gambled on using Steffen instead of Ederson and paid for it.”
Steffen was in a similar situation to Ederson a week ago. Both Man City goalkeepers receive the ball at a similar position and angle. However, Ederson showed his class when he touched the ball just enough to escape the close phase of the Liverpool player. Steffen received the ball worse, so he conceded a goal.
Man City’s ambition to win three seasons this season has failed, and Pep has a lot of work to do before important matches in Champions League and the upcoming Premier League. The Etihad Stadium team is showing signs of decline in form.
After the second leg of this season’s Champions League quarter-final, Pep claimed that if Man City kept playing like the second half against Atletico Madrid, they could never win the European Championship. The Etihad Stadium team had a good match against Liverpool in the Premier League last week, but when they faced Atletico in Spain, they let the opponent overwhelm.
A tired Man City easily let Liverpool lead 0-3 after the first half ended. The substitutes can be a big cause, but the other pillars of Man City are also playing below their strength.
Jack Grealish, the most expensive player in Man City history, did not perform well when given the opportunity. Former star Aston Villa scored to shorten the score to 1-3, but his overall performance was not good. That’s something that can worry Pep.
The Spaniard once said that Man City spent up to £ 100 million to buy Grealish because he believed the English player “can make a difference” when needed.
When Kevin De Bruyne is not playing, Foden or Sterling are underpowered, can Man City rely on other attacking stars? When confronting Real Madrid In the semi-finals, the Etihad Stadium team is not allowed to make mistakes or squander many opportunities like at the beginning of the season.
Losing to Liverpool can affect the spirit of Man City. However, it is also a lesson that helps Pep realize many problems. Losing in the FA Cup is still easier to accept for Man City fans than coming in second in the Premier League this season, or continuing to hold a grudge in the Champions League playground.
at Blogtuan.info – Source: vtc.vn – Read the original article here