Manchester City lost on New Year's Eve away to Liverpool 1-0 marking the end to a quite sad year for City supporters. This game felt worse than it should have. Losing to a good team like Liverpool isn't anything to hang your head about, but the way City lost this game simply wasn't acceptable. City were dismal in the first half and while they looked more desperate in the second half, one has to wonder where that effort was for the first 45 minutes.
After opening the season with a big winning streak City have been lackluster for the last few months or so. However, each time City are questioned they’ve responded with a big win. They’ve beaten Barcelona and Arsenal in recent months but have also been decimated by Chelsea in between. City’s big wins have masked what is truly not a squad capable of challenging on multiple fronts this season.
Typically 1-0 isn't a scoreline to suggest a large divide between teams but considering City had everyone other than much maligned Vincent Kompany and Liverpool were missing arguably their best offensive and defensive players in Philippe Coutinho and Joel Matip, 1-0 seems like a bigger divide. Liverpool’s lone goal was a header scored from the penalty spot by Georginio Wijnaldum and City struggled to get back into it from that point forward.
Below are the ratings for City’s players who saw the pitch against Liverpool. There isn't much time to dwell on this disappointment though as City are right back at it on Monday against Burnley.
Claudio Bravo: 6.0
The Chilean certainly can question his defense on the goal scored, but regardless his lack of clean sheets is disturbing. A team with the ambitions of City needs a better goalkeeper than what we’ve seen from Bravo.
Pablo Zabaleta: 5.5
Zabaleta deserves about 30% of the blame for Liverpool’s goal. His lack of closing down on Adam Lallana allowed the Englishman to pick out a great cross for Wijnaldum. After that Zaba didnt do much wrong, but also offered little going forward.
John Stones: 6.0
After having to be an early sub against Hull City, Stones came back and looked alright against Liverpool. Often times surging forward trying to start something looking like an attack, Stones wasn't terrible.
Nicolas Otamendi: 6.0
Otamendi was fine but there is still something about the Argentine that makes supporters nervous. For the moment though, he’s City’s best center back.
Aleksandar Kolarov: 5.0
The Serbian’s time at City has to be up after the display against Liverpool. Whether it’s being caught flat-footed for the goal, smashing a free kick into the wall, or generally misplacing passes, Kolarov represents a real issue in the City squad.
Yaya Touré: 5.5
The Ivorian certainly wasn't the same influence he was in past City victories. The pace of the game looked completely beyond Touré and while he did provide some decent passes in the middle of the park, he looked quite tiresome.
The Brazilian was his usual self against Liverpool, breaking up plays and tackling in the center of the park. However, the park where Dinho really lacked was springing any sort of attack forward.
David Silva: 7.0 (City man of the match)
Silva was the only City player who looked lively in the second half and if anything was going to come good for City, Silva was going to be a part of it.
Raheem Sterling: 6.0
Sterling was abused for the entire 90 minutes and really didn’t do anything to hurt his former club. The Englishman had a few decent runs and dribbles but never produced a final product.
Kevin De Bruyne: 5.5
The Belgian wasn't great in this game. That doesn’t mean he all of a sudden isn't a great player, he just had a bad game. Hopefully De Bruyne can pick it up against Burnley.
Sergio Agüero: 5.5
Agüero was welcomed back but had quite a rough go of things in this game. There was maybe only one or two sequences where he looked mildly threatening and City will certainly need more from him going forward.
Jesus Navas: 6.0
Navas was brought on very late on and couldn't really influence the outcome of the game.
Kelechi Iheanacho: 6.0
Again, the Nigerian was brought on with too little time to make anything.