Coming into this game, these two teams clearly had very different objectives. Manchester City wanted to try and gain a measure of revenge against the new Champions of England, whereas Liverpool wanted to take another big step towards a potentially historic points total. In the end, it was Pep Guardiola’s side that got the last laugh in the form of a 4-0 demolition at the Etihad.
A true humbling
While the guard of honour served as a nice moment for the Reds at the home of their closest title challengers, it all seemed to go downhill after Mohamed Salah’s early effort smashed against the post. City seemed to grow in confidence from that point on, and after Joe Gomez was judged to have fouled Raheem Sterling in the box, Kevin de Bruyne stepped up and made it 1-0 from the penalty spot.
Sterling, who used to play for Liverpool, then managed to round off an impressive counter attack to double the former champions’ advantage. Phil Foden then continued his ascent towards greatness with a nice one-two with de Bruyne followed by a tidy finish to make it three before half time, and by that point, Liverpool were pretty much down and out.
Live and learn
The game seemed to calm down quite a bit in the first 10-15 minutes of the second half, with Manchester City basking in the glory of the performance that they’d put in. Then, after another nice move, Sterling found himself in acres of space and turned his shot in off of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for an own goal to make it 4-0. Riyad Mahrez proceeded to come off the bench and score late in the game, or at least, that’s what he thought had happened before the goal was ruled out by VAR for a handball in the build-up.
Liverpool won’t have long to rest on this defeat as they prepare for a return to Anfield to play struggling Aston Villa. Manchester City will travel to the South Coast in order to take on Southampton, but in reality, they’ll have one eye on the FA Cup and the other on the UEFA Champions League after this win.
Manchester City: Ederson (7.5), Mendy (7), Laporte (7), Garcia (7.5), Walker (7), Rodrigo (7.5), Gundogan (7), Sterling (8.5), de Bruyne (8.5), Foden (8.5), Jesus (6.5), B. Silva (6), Cancelo (6), Otamendi (6), Mahrez (6.5)
Liverpool: Alisson (5.5), Alexander-Arnold (5.5), Gomez (4.5), van Dijk (6.5), Robertson (5.5), Henderson (6), Fabinho (6.5), Wijnaldum (6), Salah (6.5), Firmino (6), Mane (6), Williams (6.5), Oxlade-Chamberlain (5), Minamino (6), Keita (6.5), Origi (6)
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Goals: de Bruyne pen, Sterling, Foden, Oxlade-Chamberlain OG
Yellow Cards: Walker, Mendy, Gomez, Henderson
Red Cards: N/A