Fewer touches than Kelleher: Liverpool dud who lost 86% duels cost Klopp the EFL Cup – opinion

    Liverpool crashed out of the League Cup last night at the hands of bitter rivals Manchester City, in what was a hard-fought encounter.

    Finishing 3-2, the Cityzens did dominate large parts of the game. Boasting 57% of the ball, their 18 shots and nine on target dwarfed the seven and two on target from the reds, via Sofascore.

    Admittedly, the score line somewhat flattered Jurgen Klopp’s men, but it shows that the game was clearly winnable.

    Where it was lost was in the midfield, with a weak showing from a makeshift trio.

    Arguably the most disappointing performer from the night came from those three, with youngster Harvey Elliott once again struggling to compete with the incomparable quality Pep Guardiola boasts.

    The 19-year-old has become something of a mainstay in the side for the Merseyside outfit, having already made 42 appearances despite only signing in 2019.

    However, besting the likes of Kevin De Bruyne is a task few have accomplished, and the teenager was the latest to fail miserably last night.

    Having been dragged off after 57 minutes, his 5.9 rating was the worst of any player on the pitch. Elliott was invisible, and only recorded 32 touches all game.

    Even goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher recorded more (62).

    Whilst he maintained an 88% pass accuracy, it was his work rate and defensive deficiencies that made him such a villain for the travelling support.

    Having competed in seven duels, the former Fulham man would win just one, marking an 86% failure rate.

    He would not make a single tackle, clearance, block or interception, and was also dribbled past once, as per Sofascore.

    This performance allowed the Belgian maestro the freedom of the Etihad, as he strolled around the park making 72 touches and recording two vital assists.

    Despite winning the trophy last season, Klopp’s men, unfortunately, failed in their trophy defence as Man City marched on. They are now on track to win the competition for the fifth time in the last six years.

    Whilst there were a few disappointments to note throughout the game, Elliott stood out as the key failure in their midfield. It allowed Guardiola’s key man to thrive, and he unsurprisingly was the game changer.

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