Pep Guardiola got his tactics wrong, says Jose Mourinho
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola's deployment of midfielder Kevin de Bruyne and his defenders cost them the game against Liverpool, said former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
Speaking on Sky Sports, the Portuguese believes de Bruyne, who played in a more advanced role, and Ilkay Guendogan were at fault for Fabinho's opener, which paved the way for the Reds to win 3-1.
Said Mourinho: "It was a fast shot. If it is a mistake, I think it's Guendogan that has to be better. I didn't like the position of de Bruyne.
"I didn't like during the game the position of de Bruyne. Even by the offensive point of view, the team lost a lot with him playing in this position that is not his natural position.
"Defensively, in the first goal... I think he has to (be) compact, and if he is compact, then Fabinho is not free to score."
Guendogan started alongside Rodri in the deep-lying midfield positions, but Mourinho felt the German affected City's style.
"I just think that the way normally City plays, (David) Silva didn't play for some injury situation, and by playing Guendogan, the team has immediately a different profile.
"When de Bruyne plays as a midfielder on the right, he gives much more of a connection with the attacking players."
City felt aggrieved that they were not awarded a penalty before Fabinho's goal, as the ball struck the arm of Liverpool fullback Trent Alexander-Arnold in the run-up to the opener.
But Mourinho believes the Reds' second and third goals could have been prevented.
He said: "Every time I play against Liverpool and I had a team that was not as good as Liverpool were, I was always concerned with the distances between my four defenders...
"And Liverpool scored two goals, one between (Kyle) Walker and (John) Stones and one between Fernandinho and Angelino... For me, yes (avoidable goals), very difficult. But you have to try."
Former United defender Gary Neville had expected more from Guardiola, saying on Sky Sports: "I just felt that Pep Guardiola would have something different for us today, something that was unique and unexpected...
"I got what was normal."