Liverpool’s attacking wealth would have taken them over the line at Crystal Palace, unlike Manchester City – and the Reds’ firepower could be the difference in the title race, says Gary Neville.
Premier League leaders City’s goalless draw at Selhurst Park saw Palace become the second team to prevent Pep Guardiola’s side from scoring home and away in a Premier League season, after Manchester United in 2020/21.
The stalemate ended an 18-game Premier League run where City had found the net, dating back to Palace’s 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium in October, and meant the champions – who are four points clear top after playing one game more than Liverpool – had failed to score for the fourth time this season.
By contrast, Liverpool have only had one blank this season, with Neville highlighting the abundance of attacking talent available to Jurgen Klopp compared to Guardiola.
“If Liverpool play this game [at Palace]they win this game because they have better attackers and finishers,” he said. Monday night football. “They are more ruthless and there are more, five players you would bet your money on.
“While at City there are more wide players playing in those positions. Phil Foden is a midfielder but he plays centre-forward. Jack Grealish could be a midfielder, but he plays on the left of a three in front.
“City have exceptional players in this squad, fantastic players, but as brilliant as they are, they’re not the most ruthless or clinical in front of goal.
“The difference at the end of the season could just be because Liverpool have more strikers who are clinical and goal-scoring. We know all season with City, the only thing that could let them down, that’s it. “
Neville continued: “City are top of the league but they haven’t scored four times this season. Liverpool have failed to score in a game once. Could that make a difference? Of course It could. Both teams are at the top level so you talk about what the difference could be.
“Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are all at Liverpool and they will score goals. City are a brilliant team and could still win this league, but it could be the difference.
“Liverpool are really dangerous. I look at those five forwards they have. They go into the last part of the season knowing they can win a lot of football games with those five forwards. City don’t have the same luxury in attack areas.
Carra: City should have chosen Kane over Grealish
Jamie Carragher believes City display the characteristics of a side without a proven striker and pointed to Harry Kane’s protracted and unsuccessful chase last summer as the root cause.
“When a team doesn’t have a striker, they often play better football because they will have more players who want to take the ball, will miss, and the teams won’t be able to take the ball away from them,” he said. he declares. “But there will be times when you need this guy to put the ball in the back of the net.
“Would Harry Kane have made a difference? I always said this summer I was surprised they didn’t spend the money they spent on Jack Grealish on Harry Kane.
“I didn’t think City needed Grealish in particular; he’s obviously a quality player but with Foden, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling able to play there, it probably wasn’t the right choice.
“But let’s not forget that City can still win a treble this season. They missed chances [at Palace] that any player – midfielder or defender – should score. Not having a striker could make a huge difference, but City’s position in the league – and every competition – shows its quality.”
Will Liverpool take the lead at Arsenal?
As City drop points at Selhurst Park, the door is left ajar for Liverpool to take the lead in the title race on Wednesday’s trip to Arsenal, live on sky sports.
Although City and Liverpool have nine and 10 games to play respectively, Carragher believes Liverpool can deliver a psychological blow ahead of a series of crucial encounters that could well determine who gets their hands on the title.
“City have been six points clear of Liverpool in recent weeks but they have the game in hand,” he added. “I think the game at Arsenal on Wednesday is absolutely huge. If Liverpool can do it at Arsenal, it would really hurt City psychologically.
“Bernardo Silva says City are still the favorites because Liverpool have to go to their stadium, and I absolutely agree with that. Arsenal and Manchester City away are the two big issues on Liverpool’s fixture list.
“But if Liverpool win at Arsenal and come within a point and then go on to beat Watford, the pressure will be on City at Burnley before the two teams meet at the Etihad in April.
“I know there are still games to be played, but I think City’s next three games and Liverpool’s next four games are the toughest and on us right now.”