in

Aymeric Laporte shows why Man City are so far behind Liverpool FC in Premier League – Manchester Evening News, Manchestereveningnews.co.uk

Aymeric Laporte shows why Man City are so far behind Liverpool FC in Premier League – Manchester Evening News, Manchestereveningnews.co.uk

Manchester City have spent enough money on assembling their squad that they will rightly not get much sympathy from rival fans over injured players.

So deep are their talent reserves that Pep Guardiola’s Centurions were able to rack up points last season effectively without Kevin De Bruyne , the best player in the league from the previous season.

The Blues have nobody to blame but themselves for not strengthening in defense last summer either, when Vincent Kompany departed for a new challenge at Anderlecht.

However, neutrals as well as Blues are allowed to feel disappointment at the cruel bit of luck that has seen the defending champions without Aymeric Laporte for five months. Where the midfield could step up last season, the defense has simply not been able to this time and so Liverpool have raced away.

On his first appearance since August, the center-back showed exactly what he adds to the team.

The composure was there even before kick-off ; Nicolas Otamendi attempted to give some last-minute instructions to the returning star and got a quizzical look that suggested he had never been away.

He had, of course, and there was some rustiness early on. A Fernandinho toe-poke stopped what would have been a golden chance for the home team as Billy Sharp tried to take advantage of getting in behind the Frenchman to lay on a teammate in the box.

On the whole though, Laporte’s control rubbed off on his teammates.

In the 43 Th minute, he popped up on the right side of defense with a clearing header. When Riyad Mahrez ran into trouble and gave Aleks Zinchenko a hospital pass, Laporte was back on the left with a meaty challenge to see the ball out of play.

Video Loading

Video Unavailable

Click to play Tap to play

After getting caught late on by Mo Besic just after that, as every Blue breathed a sigh of relief he just picked back up doing what He does again.

It isn’t always flashy – although a chip to Raheem Sterling from his own six-yard box brought some gasps at Bramall Lane – but he was nearly always in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. There is no money in the world that can guarantee that kind of solidity and quality, and given what has unfolded this season it is hard not to think that the title race would still be alive had Laporte been fitter for longer.

If the win over Sheffield United boosted their remaining league ambition of finishing second, the return of their best defender provided optimism for the three knockout competitions left to play for including the blockbuster Champions League tie with Real Madrid coming up next month.

Read More

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

'I can only be happy': Dan Evans exits Australian Open with a smile – The Guardian, Theguardian.com

'I can only be happy': Dan Evans exits Australian Open with a smile – The Guardian, Theguardian.com

Sainsbury's CEO Mike Coupe to quit as supermarket confirms hundreds of job cuts – Mirror Online, Mirror.co.uk

Sainsbury's CEO Mike Coupe to quit as supermarket confirms hundreds of job cuts – Mirror Online, Mirror.co.uk