Manchester City do not have a replacement for Vincent Kompany after the Premier League high-flyers were routed by Liverpool in the captain's absence, according to Frank Lampard.
Belgium centre-back Kompany missed Saturday's shock 4-1 loss at home to Liverpool due to a calf injury.
Martin Demichelis deputised in the absence of Kompany alongside Eliaquim Mangala, and the pair failed to cope as Liverpool raced out to a 3-0 lead after just 32 minutes.
Lampard, who spent the 2014-15 season on loan at City, feels Manuel Pellegrini and Co. are over reliant on Kompany.
"City were nowhere near their best, that was apparent from the first 10 minutes when they were off the pace slightly," Lampard said on Sky Sports.
"They have got two centre-halves in there who are not used to playing together, they are missing their captain, and that became apparent very quickly.
"We have all had bad games and when those first couple of passes go astray and then they are running at defenders and they are all over the shop, it is very hard to get that back, particularly when Liverpool keep the pressure on.
"They have to wipe it from their memory, because there is nothing good about it. And the good fact is they are still in the title race, as you can see from the table.
"I do not think that it changes, though, a few fundamental problems they still have - when Vincent Kompany does not play, you can see that they struggle at the back."
Lampard, now plying his trade with New York City in the MLS, also highlighted City's over reliance on Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Yaya Toure.
"David Silva is not fit and he is massive for them, there is an over-reliance on Aguero - he is one of the best strikers in the world, but when he is not there, you do wonder where they will pick up the points," the 37-year-old added.
"Yaya Toure is a massive player for the club, but when he is not at his best, I think it is a problem for them. Do you play him as a two, or more advanced?"