How do you stop Liverpool?
It’s a question many managers will be asking themselves this season and the majority of them will struggle to come up with a good enough answer.
With the ridiculous pace of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane either side of Roberto Firmino, Jurgen Klopp’s side can be unplayable at times on the counter.
Even Manchester City – who romped to Premier League glory last season – failed to stop them on three occasions last season.
Liverpool beat City 4-3 in the league and 3-0 in the Champions League quarter-final first-leg both at Anfield, before triumphing 2-1 at the Etihad in the return-leg in Europe.
But Pep Guardiola did manage to stop Salah, Mane and co. earlier in the season.
Liverpool travelled to the Etihad in September and were thrashed 5-0 by a rampant City side.
And in the first episode of Man City’s eight-part documentary series, All Or Nothing, Guardiola can be seen telling his players exactly how to stop Salah and Mane.
According to the Mirror, Guardiola masterminded the victory by telling his players how to deal with Liverpool’s two livewires.
“Today I’m going to explain to you what they do in attack, with the ball – Liverpool,” he says.
“It’s a team who is so good at running – runs in behind – because the men up the pitch are so important.
“Just focus today, when the ball is outside, close the channel. Mane and Salah, play in those positions, so when the ball is here (midfield) they make the move or put the ball here (the channel).
“They are so fast. Even when the (City) full-back has to go, try to make that movement (out wide) to close here, the play here (inside). Okay?”
It seemed to work wonders.
Of course, Guardiola and City were helped massively by the fact Mane was sent off for a nasty challenge on Ederson in the first-half, reducing them to 10 men.While Guardiola’s tactics clearly worked on that day, he players couldn’t quite “close the channel” in the following three matches.