This was not an enjoyable week of action for Manchester City fans. Between City falling to Barcelona and Liverpool, United and Arsenal getting wins, and Chelsea practicing their trophy lifting for the end of the Premier League campaign, maybe we can all agree that this week just never happened.
Before we shove this week out of our collective memories forever, though, let's go over what we learned from today's match.
1. Sometimes you've just got to tip your cap
Recently the Manchester City back four has come under deserved criticism for their performances in losses. Even today they were far from perfect. With that said, despite allowing some scoring chances to Liverpool, the 2-1 scoreline does a disservice to how they played today. Instead of directing blame at City, we should be tipping our caps to Liverpool.
To clarify, this isn't to say that City's defense was rock solid with the exception of two great goals, but that Liverpool didn't punish them for the bulk of that shaky play, instead scoring with shots that normally sail harmlessly off target.
When you look at Liverpool's two goals, you can certainly argue that City's defense should have closed down better on Henderson and Coutinho, but both of those goals were rockets from the outskirts of the penalty area, and not the kind to be pinned on the defense. Sometimes you have to give credit where credit is due, and Liverpool deserve all the credit for their deadly shooting accuracy today.
2. Save your Pellegrini blame for later
Manuel Pellegrini, much like City's back line, has been far from perfect this season. His tactics haven't always been spot on, which is one of the many reasons that City will go without a trophy this season. But he was just fine today, and the #PellegriniOut crowd look foolish for going after him for today's game.
City got a goal thanks to one of their strikers setting up the other. While Pellegrini's 4-4-2 may not have been the optimal choice of formation against a team like Barcelona, it worked today (in that City scored, at least. Whether chance creation was up to snuff was another story), save for two highlight reel goals from Liverpool. After some of the other mistakes Pellegrini has made this season, it seems silly to break out the torches and pitchforks for a match in which one team deserves credit for a few excellent plays.
3. This isn't City's year
I know that there are eleven matches left in the season, and that being five points back isn't a monumental gap, but City will go trophyless this season, and we need to come to grips with that reality.
Chelsea are too strong to drop enough points to let City back into the title race, especially with a game in hand against last place Leicester on their side. And even if Chelsea did slip up enough to open the door for City, it doesn't look like City is consistent enough to take advantage. While today wasn't an instance of City being inconsistent, the squad losing on multiple screamers tells the story, and further illustrates that the planets just aren't aligned for the blue moon to rise above Chelsea this season.
Surely you took something away from this match as well, and surely someone out there wants to blame Pellegrini for today's loss. Regardless, let us know what you took from today below.