City’s World Cup winner looked like a square peg in a round hole at Anfield

Manchester City’s World Cup winner Julian Alvarez looked like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole at Anfield yesterday. The champions drew 1-all with Liverpool yesterday after being forced onto the back foot for large portions of yesterday’s game. The result sets up a riveting Premier League title race for the remainder of the season between City, Arsenal and Liverpool.

The performance of City’s World Cup winner was arguably his worst for the season. Playing out wide on the left Alvarez couldn’t make a meaningful positive impact on the game. He did have a couple of chances in the first half but that was the sum of his efforts. It was a frustrating day for the Argentinian. The position of Alvarez also looked to unbalance the champions as too often Nathan Ake had no support defensively on City’s left-hand side.

Alvarez was guilty of losing possession on multiple occasions before he was substituted. This played into Jurgen Klopp’s team’s hands as it allowed them to get at City in the break. Pep Guardiola’s team has been susceptible to quick breaks this season. With Alvarez loose in possession it allowed Liverpool’s confidence to grow. It was only some poor finishing from the hosts and some desperate defending from City that kept Liverpool from taking advantage of the chances provided.

Alvarez wasn’t alone in having an off day but his performance hurt the champions

Julian Alvarez wasn’t alone in having a poor game for City. Many of his teammates also struggled in the face of Liverpool’s pressure. But with Alvarez off his game on City’s left-hand side, it did place more pressure on the champions all over the pitch.

City’s World Cup winner did look out of position during yesterday’s game. He does his best work playing either upfront or just off Erling Haaland. If it wasn’t for he and Phil Foden’s heroics earlier this season City may not be in this season’s title race. While Alvarez has attributes that are integral to the treble winners he couldn’t utilise them playing out wide.

But yesterday the world champions needed control in midfield. With Alvarez and his teammates off their game, it allowed the host to play the game they wanted. Liverpool thrives in games such as yesterday’s. They took control of the game away from Manchester City and almost came away with a precious three points.

To City’s credit, they dug deep to leave Anfield with a point. With Julian Alvarez playing on the left wing, it did look like an unbalanced Manchester City lineup in the face of Liverpool’s pressure. Manchester City looked more comfortable when Mateo Kovacic was introduced in the second half. In hindsight perhaps the Croatian should have started in midfield with Alvarez on the bench.

Yesterday’s performance could be a learning experience for Julian Alvarez

While he wasn’t at his best yesterday Julian Alvarez can take some valuable lessons from yesterday’s game. If he can take the lessons learnt from yesterday it will aid his game and Manchester City in the long term.

It looked like City’s World Cup winner was a square peg in a round hole at Anfield. Going forward the hope will be he will learn from his performance and also that Guardiola may shift him centrally where he thrives the most as the season reaches its crescendo.

Tags Anfield Arsenal Julian Alvarez Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Manchester City Mateo Kovacic Pep Guardiola Premier League title race