By Editor Wayne Veysey
Lallana can still be key figure
This was the player Liverpool have been crying out to see for virtually two seasons. Confident, classy, commanding, Adam Lallana was the best player on the pitch as the Merseysiders put their Wembley agony behind them to comprehensively beat Manchester City in the league for the second time this season. Lallana opened the scoring with superb strike, had a major hand in the goals of James Milner and Roberto Firmino, and looked every inch a £25million player. About time. He showed he can still be a key figure at Anfield next season.
City’s title dreams are almost over
A third consecutive league defeat has virtually ended City’s hopes of a third Premier League title of the Sheikh Mansour era. A lethargic, almost disinterested display provided further proof that a major overhaul is required at Etihad Stadium in the summer. This was City’s eighth league defeat out of just 27 matches, and they remain 10 points behind leaders Leicester, albeit with a game in hand. Liverpool were excellent, but City were awful. Not for the first time in a marquee match this season.
No light at end of tunnel for Benteke
Reduced to Plan C, what a fall from grace it has been for the club’s second most expensive signing. At least he got a rare run-out against City, although it would not have escaped Klopp’s notice that Liverpool were far less effective when Christian Benteke replaced Divock Origi for the final half-hour. Origi did not get on the scoresheet but provided the mobility and ability to move defenders out of position that Benteke struggles to provide.
Flanagan deserves a new deal
Klopp had no option but to axe Alberto Moreno following his desperate display in the League Cup final. Intriguingly, he switched Nathaniel Clyne over to left-back against City and played Jon Flanagan in his favourite right-back role. The Academy graduate responded with a hugely impressive display, blocking, denying space to the opposition and using the ball sensibly. Three things that Moreno struggles to do consistently. Flanagan is out of contract in the summer. Liverpool should ensure a player who has been so cruelly affected by injuries, and has so much to offer, is given an extension.