From Guard of Honour to Walk of Shame - Takeaways from Manchester City's thrashing of Liverpool
Outgoing Premier League Champions thrashed and tore apart the Upcoming Premier League Champions in a statement of intent, issuing a warning that we are coming for them in the next season. But what transpired in the 90 minutes between the clapping and the thrashing? Here's what we think!
By Ankit Sharma
We, as football fans, belong to a generation that has seen one of the biggest football clubs of England, with a rich history of throwing bricks and bottles at club buses and hacking of rival scout database, go without the Premier League trophy for 30 years. This year, 'however', they finally did it. To be fair, they were an absolute juggernaut, demolishing records after records on their way to their title, but since this post is for Manchester City Delhi, that is not what were going to talk about. The English media does enough of 'touching itself inappropriately' to that story as it is.
Instead, we'll be talking about their first game after their crowning, where they equalled another record of the worst defeat as a PL champion. Was it just a simple, on-field, one-off defeat against our club? I don't think so. I have multiple take-home stories, many more small wins, from that game. Read on.
1. Tactical masterclass
First instance in a long time, I felt that Pep had tweaked his stringent system, in the sense that he no longer asked Sterling and Mahrez to hug the sideline and get the proverbial/literal 'chalk on the boots' to widen the playing field. Instead, they flooded the midfield, and when you put our midfield against Fabinho, Henderson and whats-his-name, you can be sure of three players who didn't receive an awkward, unnecessarily tight hug by Klopp that day.
2. Sterling v Gomez
In interest of complete honesty, Raheem may have wronged Gomez earlier this season in a weak moment of anger. So, it all made sense that Raheem apologize to him in the most warm, human way possible: Get a penalty out of him, score a goal through his legs and earn him a rest for the second half of the match. We are proud Raheem!
3. The youth has arrived?
There were tweets flying about to start Minamino and other Scouse youth so that City players can feel more embarrassment while giving them a guard of honour. Liverpool put out their best 11, and City started with Garcia in defense and Foden in attack. While Foden deservedly got a brilliant goal, Garcia put in a masterclass in defense at the other end. The media may laugh it off as a one-off brilliant game by Garcia, but we also know that people have earned Ballon d'or nominations for such achievements.
4. Guard of YAWNour
Let's be real. Any club loves a Guard of Honour, especially from a rival club. Obviously, rival players hate it, but some legends absolutely despise it to the limit that they bring out a hot beverage in order to avoid clapping their hands, and such players are our heroes because they usually run down the wing, Silva! make the blue boys sing, Silva! We're going to Lisbon!
5. KDB v Henderson
This year has been one global horror show: A deadly virus outbreak, world war 3 rumours, trans-continent locust swarms and an entire fanbase believing that Jordan Henderson has had a better season than Kevin de Bruyne. If you watch the repeat telecast of the game, watch the 78th minute and you'll watch Kevin de Bruyne show the world where exactly Henderson stands in his comparison (spoiler alert: not able to stand, literally)
Well, the bottom line is that City conceded the title to Liverpool, and for that, we are apologetic to humanity. The forceful, overzealous creation of an underdog narrative that has been going on for years finally has a happy ending now. Yet, this farcical match analysis brought me some relief. You may disagree, and I must clarify that I'm not an actual football pundit after all. One could argue I still make more sense than Jamie Carragher though. Will Gary Neville agree? 🤞