‘Absolutely woeful’ Liverpool player savaged after Man City disaster as familiar problem haunts Klopp

·3-min read
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool Credit: Alamy
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool Credit: Alamy

Former England international Stuart Pearce has torn into a Liverpool man after his poor showing against Manchester City on Saturday.

Liverpool were beaten 4-1 by City at the Etihad as Pep Guardiola’s men picked up all three points to keep the pressure on Arsenal. Liverpool, meanwhile, were handed their ninth league defeat of the campaign and are now at serious risk of failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp’s side took the lead in the 17th minute when Mo Salah beat City goalkeeper Ederson with a powerful left-footed strike after some good hold-up play by Diogo Jota.

But City were on level terms 10 minutes later when Julian Alvarez finished from close range after Jack Grealish picked him out in the box.

The two sides were level at 1-1 as they headed into the break. However, City came out firing in the second half and took the lead through Kevin de Bruyne in the 46th minute.

The Belgium international mimicked Alvarez’s goal by scoring from just a few yards out after being found by Riyad Mahrez.

READ MORE: Enraged Jurgen Klopp berates Liverpool over ‘absolutely not acceptable’ double error; thanks Man City for limiting score to 4-1

Ilkay Gundogan made it 3-1 soon afterwards, while Grealish got a goal of his own to round off a memorable victory for City.

Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold endured a torrid afternoon trying to keep up with City’s man of the match Grealish. And Stuart Pearce, who made 78 appearances for England in the 1980s and 1990s, has accused Alexander-Arnold of jumping out of a 50/50 challenge in the build up to De Bruyne’s goal.

Stuart Pearce tears into Trent Alexander-Arnold

“You can see the frustration in Klopp,” Pearce said during an appearance on talkSPORT.

“Trent Alexander-Arnold has jumped out of the way of a challenge and that is absolutely woeful.

“Why he’s jumped out of a 50/50 I will never know. But the ball across the face of the goal was outstanding and it’s a lovely goal.”

Pearce continued: “I’m looking at the City full-backs in [Nathan] Ake and [John] Stones and they have been very good. I can’t say the same for the Liverpool pair.

“City are so arrogant with the football. The beauty is they know they can switch the football and keep it.

“I think for everything that Manchester City are with confidence with the ball, Liverpool aren’t at the moment.

“Klopp’s team just haven’t got that confidence that they’ve had in recent years.”

This is far from the first time Alexander-Arnold has been criticised for his defending. He is sometimes caught ball-watching while the player he is supposed to be marking makes a free run to the back post. Compilation videos have even been made of the 24-year-old’s poor defensive awareness.

City are now on 64 points from 28 matches, having scored 71 goals in that time. Guardiola’s side remain eight points behind leaders Arsenal following the Gunners’ 4-1 win over Leeds, although they do have a game in hand.

Liverpool, meanwhile, sit in eighth spot, seven points behind fourth-placed Tottenham. A win against City would have shown that they mean business and can be considered serious contenders for UCL qualification, but Klopp’s men did not turn up and were blown away by City.

Liverpool will have to go on a brilliant winning run in the final few months of the season to give themselves a shot at making next season’s UCL. But even then they will have to rely on the teams above them dropping plenty of points.

Meanwhile, Jamie Carragher has pointed out a mistake from a Liverpool player who does not often get the blame for opposition goals.

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