Rodri aims dig at Liverpool over crisis claims as he offers blunt PL verdict


Mueez Ajao

– Liverpool look well below their ususal standards and risk falling too far behind usual title rivals Manchester City who currently enjoy an eight-point lead over the Reds.

– Manchester City star Rodri has sent a subtle shot in the direction of his side’s long-term title rivals Liverpool by insisting they are “less effective” this season.

– The Reds are the only team that have been truly able to stay within touching distance of City over the course of the last few seasons and actually interrputed their dominance by winning the league themselves in the 2019/2020 campaign. However, things appear to be unravelling over at Anfield after a slow start to the new league campaign.

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– City currently sit second, one point behind shock leaders Arsenal but Pep Guardiola’s side are still yet to lose a single game in their opening seven. In contrast, Liverpool languish as low as eighth with a return of just nine points after six games played.

– Jurgen Klopp’s men have won two, drawn three and lost once – the defeat coming at the home of City’s local rivals Manchester United. Rodri has discussed Liverpool’s poor start to the season with Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport.

– “The Premier League level is so high that as soon as you slow down, you lose points,” he explained. “Liverpool are not in crisis, they are just less effective, and the Premier League does not allow you to relax.”

– While the comments of the Spain international may sting from a Liverpool perspective, it is difficult to argue with them. It is however, worth exploring the reasons behind why a title rival feels confident enough to come out and directly say the Reds aren’t as effective this time around.

– The most obvious answer would surely come in the form of Sadio Mane’s absence. After six years on the red half of Merseyside, the Senegal international upped sticks to Bayern Munich in the summer and has left a void at Anfield that is yet to be filled.

– Mane’s goals simply haven’t been replaced, with Mohamed Salah suffering a poor start in front of goal by his extremely high standards. The Egyptian international has netted just twice in six outings so far, something that many have put down to the fact he is taking up wider positions than he did last term.

– Liverpool’s attacking woes don’t stop there, they have struggled to integrate marquee summer signing Darwin Nunez as the Uruguayan was sent off in just his second league game for the club after foolishly headbutting Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen.

– The 23-year-old has just one goal to his name, while Rodri’s City teammate Erling Haaland, who joined in the same window as Nunez, is currently sitting on a stunning tally of 11 goals in 7 league outings.

– Haaland’s sensational form may also be another factor behind why Rodri clearly feels like Liverpool aren’t quite the threat they once were.

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