Jurgen Klopp was left to admit not even a possible Rodri red card could have given Liverpool hope in their 4-1 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday.
Mohamed Salah’s opener for Liverpool was soon cancelled out by Julian Alvarez before City took total control early in the second half courtesy of quickfire goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Gundogan. Jack Grealish wrapped up the scoring.
But, Man City were fortunate to not see Rodri sent off for a second bookable offence in the first half when the scores were level.
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The Reds players surrounded referee Simon Hooper after the midfielder pulled back Cody Gakpo with both arms moments after being booked for a cynical challenge on Diogo Jota to stop two counter-attacks.
Speaking after the match, Klopp agreed that Rodri was fortunate to stay on the pitch. But he was in no mood to use it as an excuse after his side’s poor display at the Etihad.
“I didn’t see it well enough (but) I realised the situation,” the Liverpool boss told reporters. “Could he have got a second yellow? Yes, probably. He will not get it now.
“I’m not sure we would have won today against 10 men, to be honest.”
Klopp added: “You come out of half-time, a ball in midfield, not even a challenge, we are too deep. If you are too deep, too passive, they use that so that is 2-1.
“Then 3-1 super quick, after we have three or four one-on-one situations and we don’t make a challenge and you saw what happened, we were not there, anyone, too passive, too open, too deep, too far away from anything.
“Four performances were okay, the two midfielders, Hendo [Jordan Henderson] and Fab [Fabinho], worked a lot, Cody [Gakpo] and Ali [Alisson] and that is very difficult.
“If you want to get something here, 14 or 15 players have to be on top of their game and that was not the case.
“We had a situation for 3-2 when Robbo broke through but apart from that City could do what they wanted because the spaces were too big so we were lucky they only scored one more.”