Dejan Lovren was 'weakest link' for Liverpool at the Etihad, says Phil Babb
By Mark Crellin
Last Updated: 04/01/19 11:39am
Phil Babb thinks Dejan Lovren was the "weakest link" in the Liverpool team who suffered a 2-1 defeat at Manchester City on Thursday night.
Liverpool's lead at the top of the Premier League was trimmed to four points on a dramatic night at the Etihad and Lovren endured a tough time against City's attack.
Lovren was caught out by Sergio Aguero for City's opener and made a couple of errors in the second half which could have led to further goals.
Asked if Aguero had made a point of attacking Lovren, the former Liverpool defender told Sky Sports: "To say that Aguero specifically targeted him, I am not so sure.
"But, if you look across that back line, you would probably say the weakest link is Dejan Lovren - and that proved to be [the case], pretty much last night.
"He had a sketchy game at best. Some of his distribution was poor, [the] decision making.
"Even towards the end, when Liverpool were pushing forwards and (Virgil) Van Dijk was up, he (Lovren) was playing straight balls into the box - and you would probably say you need to angle them, so there is a better chance for the second ball and the knock down.
"But what do you say about Sergio Aguero? He is genuinely a world-class striker and a great asset for City."
Since 2011, Aguero has scored 37 goals in matches between the big-six clubs - 16 more than Tottenham's Harry Kane, who is in second with 21.
Former City and England forward Darius Vassell has started his own soccer skills schools and says Aguero sets a great example for young players.
He said: "I always go to Aguero for ability and the runs that he makes, the decisions that he makes in and around the penalty area.
"When you talk about targeting players for him, I think he targets areas of the pitch to dominate.
"Certainly for the goal, a strikers' area always is the near post.
"I am sure defenders are taught, 'make sure the ball doesn't get in the box, don' t let it go past the near post', but strikers are taught the opposite - 'make sure you get in front of the defender at the near post, to get your finish in'.
"At that moment in the game he showed his true qualities. When he did get in the box, he was very clinical."
Asked what parts of Aguero's game he particularly shows to young players, Vassell said: "It is the angles of your runs, where you can take defenders, and the quality of setting yourself up to get a strike at goal.
"He is one of the best at that right now and we use him as an example."