Man City star claims team feel ‘deflated’ after Liverpool draw

John Stones said Manchester City felt 'deflated' after the 1-1 draw against Liverpool.John Stones said Manchester City felt 'deflated' after the 1-1 draw against Liverpool.
John Stones said Manchester City felt 'deflated' after the 1-1 draw against Liverpool. | AFP via Getty Images
After a positive start, Manchester City allowed Liverpool to take control of the second half.

John Stones claimed Manchester City felt ‘deflated’ after the team’s 1-1 draw at Anfield on Sunday.

The defender handed City a 23rd-minute lead when he turned in Kevin De Bruyne’s cross as City were in charge of the early stages. But that changed in the second half as Liverpool dominated and got back on level terms via an Alexis Mac Allister penalty.

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In the end, City were pleased to escape with a point and Liverpool missed several big chances from the likes of Luis Dias and Darwin Nunez, as the hosts were cheered on by a raucous crowd. Liverpool could even have been awarded an injury-time penalty when Jeremy Doku caught Mac Allister with his studs in the box, but both the referee and VAR deemed it not worthy of a second spot-kick.

For Stones and City, as well as the frustration of the second-half performance, there was an added sense of annoyance that they didn’t push on after a strong start.

“We created quite a lot of chances early on in the game and probably could have taken a few more and been two or three up,” the England international told Sky Sports. “That’s football. 

“But we know what we’re coming into, coming here, and the opposition we are playing. I think we feel a bit deflated in the dressing room, maybe. We came here to win and we got a point out of the game. This is such a difficult place to come and we knew that and we gave everything out there.

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“It’s a bit raw for me right now to analyse the full game with the expectation of wanting to come here and win. I’ll analyse it and probably have a clearer outcome of what happened.”

Stones' opener was a well-worked set-piece routine as Nathan Ake nudged Mac Allister out of the way and allowed City’s no.5 a clear run at an unguarded front post. De Bruyne’s cross picked out Stones, who tapped in a simple goal.

The centre-back credited set-piece coach Carlos Vicens after the game, and revealed he spotted a weakness in Liverpool’s set-up. “We worked hard on it as we do every week on it and we spotted this yesterday, worked on it and it came off. It was pleasing to get on the scoresheet, the first one of the season and get off the mark in a big game.”

The result leaves City in third, with just a point separating Liverpool, Arsenal and the champions in the title race. “Every game is a final for us,” said Stones. 

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“We treat it like that and every game we play we always give the utmost respect to who we are playing. We have got to continue, take the positives out of today and really look forward to the next game moving forward and try and go on a nice run.”

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