Outside Influences v Our Deficiencies:
This morning there will be a lot made of the referee and his impact on the game. Yes, the Leroy Sane goal should have stood. Maybe we should have even had one or more penalties, but we didn’t. To blame the referee solely for us losing the tie is to not to address all the issues.
He also didn’t send off Ederson for raising hands against Sadio Mane in the first half. There really was no reason for the Blues keeper to get involved, and certainly could have seen red. The referee also wasn’t responsible for fifteen of our twenty shots not being on target.
Again, squad tiredness has seen the City side drop off in the second half of the last two games, seeing a winning position surrendered to a loss on each occasion. Nine of Manchester City’s players have racked up 1900 or more minutes in the Premier League alone this season.
For Ederson, it means he has missed only the game against Liverpool, when he was injured by Mane. Otamendi, one of the players who has seen a drop in form recently, has played 2762 minutes in 31 games. That means the Argentinian has not been on the field for 118 Premier League minutes.
It is simply a pace which cannot be maintained. Younger players, such as Foden and Diaz have played a combined 48 minutes, and reserve keeper Claudio Bravo has just the one half game, coming on for Ederson.