Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville insists that Liverpool are on a ‘different level’ to Man City when it comes to the application of the two sides.
The Reds edged a thriller against Leeds Utd to kick off their campaign before securing wins over Chelsea and Arsenal as they have made an impressive start to the defence of their Premier League title.
Meanwhile, although things started positively for City too, they fell to a heavy 5-2 defeat to Leicester City at the weekend which in turn has raised fresh doubts over their ability to topple Liverpool this season and wrestle back the league crown.
Neville spoke on the two teams after Liverpool’s win over Arsenal on Monday night, and he pointed out the application of the Merseyside giants as being a hugely important part of their game which makes them so much more convincing and dangerous moving forward.
“When I watch the application of Liverpool in the game against Arsenal, and the application of Manchester City, it’s a different level. And that’s the one thing that Pep Guardiola will really need to affect,” he told Sky Sports.
“It was a brilliant performance against Arsenal. You are watching a team that’s in sync, together in possession and out of possession. They can control the game, they can counter-attack and they can press. They can mix it with you if needed and can score from set pieces. They can do everything you’d want a good football team to do.
“The signings of Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota were big moves because it signalled intent.
“It’s a really top team and we know that from what they’ve achieved over the last couple of years, but it looks like they’ve come back to do it again.
“For two seasons, their [Man City] transition from losing the ball to winning the ball back was off the scale, like we’ve never seen. He was bringing Barcelona to the Premier League.
“They’ve stepped off it. They stepped off it last season and I think at that point I felt with the levels they’d reached they were always going to go over the edge a little bit. I expected them to start this season really, really at it.”
Time will tell if Guardiola and City can get things back on track and add more quality before the deadline to show that they can rival Liverpool this season and keep up with the pace that they set.
For now though on the basis of what we’ve seen in the opening weeks of the Premier League campaign, it certainly looks as though Liverpool are going to be difficult to stop as they go for back-to-back titles.