One positive that can be taken from Manchester City's 4-1 thrashing on Saturday to Liverpool was that oft-injured Fabian Delph got 45 meaningful minutes for the first time this season and performed at an adequate level. Delph's impact on the match was noticeable - pairing with fellow halftime sub Ferandinho he provided more cover for the center back who were exposed badly in the first half, while pushing forward and wide in space allowing the Blues to show more midfield quality.
Delph's insertion into the match came at the expense of Yaya Toure whose inconsistent form has bothered Blues supporters. But one must remember Toure is now 32 and since Cup of African Nations Tournaments are played during the winter months in Northern Hemisphere, Toure has hardly had a breather in years. While the Ivorian's unwillingness to rule of further international duty is frustrating, particularly after his nation won the 2015 Cup of African Nations it is a reality the Blues must deal with.
Should Delph remain healthy he provides meaningful cover and a different look since he is able to push regularly into wide areas and supplement the Blues attack. While Saturday yielded few positives for the Blues this is one take away that could be interpreted as positive.
Delph reflected on the game in an interview with MCFC's official website.
"Fair play to Liverpool for the way they came out but we looked too clumsy.
"Obviously the new manager they've got has implemented a system to press high. We expected that and we knew what they were going to come with.
"We were off in the first 45 minutes; then the performance in the second half was a bit more positive - a bit more direct."
"We know we've got the capabilities to get back in the game - if not turn the game around. We were always confident we could do something in the second half but it wasn't our day and we've dropped points.
"We'll put this behind us and then look to answer in the next games.
"We have a game in the Champions League next week, so we'll be looking to get it out of our system pretty fast."