English League Cup: Manchester City defeats Liverpool in the round of 16

The game: 3-2

The last round of 16 of the English League Cup looked, on paper, like a final at the Etihad Stadium, where Manchester City received the defending champion, Liverpool. Faced with the Reds weakened by the absence of their “globalists” (Alisson Becker, Konaté, Van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold) and numerous injuries (Firmino, Jota, Diaz), Pep Guardiola’s training started with a bang on Thursday evening , like this first opportunity wasted by Erling Haaland, missing his lob on Caoimhín Kelleher from the twentieth second.

After a quarter of an hour, Jürgen Klopp’s men were not given a lot of skin, as the Mancunian domination, rewarded by the opener of the score of Haaland emerging at the near post in front of Joe Gomez on a cross from De Bruyne ( 1-0, 10th), was outrageous. But Cole Palmer, alone at six meters, had missed the inevitable (6th), before De Bruyne topped his recovery (10th).

Minute of madness after returning from the locker room

Failing to realize their huge opportunities, Manchester City was punished on one of the first forays of the Reds in their camp, when Fabio Carvalho, lonely at the penalty spot, took over a cross from the right of a cross from his captain James Milner (1-1, 20th). The latter had to leave his teammates through injury (38th). Regaining control of operations, the Skyblues stumbled on an excellent Kelleher (36th, 37th) and failed to be surprised before the break, but Darwin Nunez missed the target (42nd, 45th + 2).

Mohamed Salah, in the duel with Rico Lewis (D. Chesterton / Offside)

The second half started off at a frenzied pace. Upon receiving a cross from Rodri, Riyad Mahrez eliminated Andrew Robertson on his control and deceived Kelleher with a curled shot from the left (47th). Liverpool stuck in the next minute, after a sumptuous collective movement. Entering the game at the break, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain found Nunez in depth, whose center back was victoriously taken over by Mohamed Salah (48th), who played Nathan Aké.

At fault on the equalizer, the defender recovered by restoring the advantage to the Skyblues with a header, on an offering from De Bruyne (58th). Stunned and blunt, Liverpool did not manage to pick up this time, Nunez wasting a new opportunity on the counter (72nd).

Man of the match: De Bruyne double assist

While he had gone through the final phase of the World Cup in Qatar like a ghost, the Belgian playmaker has regained his superbness and his vista, in the Manchester City jersey. Already a scorer and decisive passer in a friendly match against Girona (Spanish D1, 2-0) five days ago, De Bruyne took care of his stats, sending two assists on the opener of Haaland (10th) and the third goal signed Aké (72nd). The Belgian attacking midfielder even almost made the score worse at the end of the match, but his shot was pushed back on his line by Fabinho (84th).

Kevin De Bruyne (left) and Rodri surround Darwin Nunez.  (D. Chesterton/Offside)

Kevin De Bruyne (left) and Rodri surround Darwin Nunez. (D. Chesterton/Offside)

The fact of the match: the triple failure of Darwin Nunez

In flagrant lack of confidence in front of goal, the Uruguayan striker from Liverpool missed three huge opportunities that are all copy-pasted. Found deep in the game (42nd, 72nd) or on a free kick (45th + 2), Darwin Nunez, slightly off-center on the right of the surface, each time crossed his shot from the right too much, failing to find the frame by Stefan Ortega Moreno.