As a passionate Liverpool supporter, I feel it is my duty to voice my frustration about the early kickoff on Saturdays for TV. Many fellow Liverpool fans and I signed a call to action about this issue, and we believe it is an ironclad agreement.
In all honesty, there wasn’t much the Premier League could have done about the scheduling of Saturday’s clash between Liverpool and Manchester City. With City due to play in the Champions League on Tuesday, Sunday was not an option. Additionally, Manchester police ruled out a 5:30 local start to avoid potential trouble between rival supporters. Therefore, the only available television slot was the 12:30 kickoff.
Unfortunately, this early kickoff did not work in Liverpool’s favor. Three of their key players, Alexis Mac Allister, Darwin Nunez, and Luis Diaz, are South American and had limited training on the right-handed side of the Atlantic before the match. In contrast, City had only one player, Julian Alvarez, who had been involved in COMNEBOL qualifying.
The lack of preparation time for both teams resulted in a quieter affair than we are accustomed to seeing from these two rivals. City seemed to play with their food for too long, a habit they have developed this season, and allowed Liverpool to equalize late in the game. Liverpool struggled in the first half and found it difficult to break through City’s defense, especially when faced with a five-man defensive line.
One standout performer in the match was Bernardo Silva, who consistently found space to receive the ball despite Liverpool’s efforts to mark him out of the game. Silva’s brilliance in both attack and defense posed a significant challenge for Liverpool, particularly Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was often left in limbo due to Silva’s positioning.
Liverpool’s equalizer came as a result of Silva being rooted out of his position, opening up space for Alexander-Arnold to receive a pass from Mo Salah and score.
In the end, the 1-1 draw did not reveal anything new about these two teams. City still have a few gears to move through, especially when John Stones and Kevin De Bruyne return from injury. Liverpool, on the other hand, are in the midst of a rebuilding phase and their ability to challenge for the title will depend on how quickly they can finish reconstructing.
Aside from the Liverpool-City clash, there were other notable events over the holiday weekend. Everton faced their first game after being docked 10 points for financial irregularities, and while their supporters protested the injustice, the team struggled to find their form against Brentford. Crystal Palace, a team that has been a consistent presence in the Premier League, suffered a surprise loss to Luton. Aston Villa showcased their potential in an open game against Tottenham, demonstrating that they are a serious contender this season.
Overall, while the early kickoff on Saturdays may frustrate Liverpool supporters like myself, it is essential to recognize the challenges faced by the Premier League in scheduling matches. Despite the unfavorable timing, both Liverpool and City put on a competitive display, showcasing the talent and potential of these two top teams.