Micah Richards has claimed that Liverpool and Manchester City have ‘subconsciously’ downed tools because they have nothing to play for, as he told Sky Sports Football (21/07/20 at 5:50 pm).
Since football restarted, Liverpool’s task was simply to do what was expected of them, which was to wrap up the Premier League title.
On the other hand, City had all but secured the runners-up spot, recently got knocked out of the FA Cup and are now waiting to play Real Madrid in the Champions League knockout stages.
Prior to City’s win against Watford, Richards was asked what his former side have to play for in that game and he offered this observation about the Manchester club and their title rivals.
“Just to stay fit, if I am being totally honest,” Richards told Sky Sports. “I think in games where you cannot do anything really.
“Subconsciously, you just down tools. If you look at Liverpool, once they won the league, they sort of wasn’t winning challenges and the possession hasn’t been as good as it has usually been.”
Liverpool’s performances since they became champions has been indifferent – defeats to City and Arsenal, whilst they had a tough time of it against the likes of Aston Villa and Burnley.
They now face a Chelsea team fighting for a top-four finish, and given that it will be their final game at Anfield this season, they will want to end it with all three points.
Plus, at the end of the match, the Reds will lift the Premier League trophy, and whilst it will be without fans, it will be a moment to remember for all involved.