Manchester City vs Liverpool. Premier League.
Sunday 22 November 2015 08:41, UK
Jurgen Klopp masterminded a rampant Liverpool performance as they thrashed Manchester City 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
The Reds boss sent out his side with a clear message to attack and they raced into a 3-0 lead inside 31 minutes with goals from Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and an Eliaquim Mangala own goal.
A returning Sergio Aguero reduced the deficit before half-time but Liverpool, who missed a host of glorious opportunities, finally made the game safe with 10 minutes remaining thanks to a fantastic Martin Skrtel half-volley.
Since taking over at Anfield, Klopp has now registered wins at Chelsea and City as Liverpool's high-energy game is providing excellent results on the road.
Meanwhile, City, who could have gone top of the Premier League with a win, are in third, two points behind surprise leaders Leicester City.
Aguero returned to the City side after missing the last seven games with a hamstring problem, but Liverpool had a plan to restrict City's star man by pressing high and to attack at every opportunity.
The visitors set a brisk tempo and took the lead inside just seven minutes when Coutinho robbed Bacary Sagna of the ball in his own half and found Firmino in behind the pedestrian City back-line.
He rolled the ball across the six-yard box and Mangala epitomised his team's sluggish start by clumsily turning the ball into his own net.
Buoyed by the goal, Liverpool continued to press.
From Coutinho's brilliance to City's major problems, we look at five talking points from the Etihad
The Brazilian duo of Firmino and Coutinho were having a huge effect on the game and their bright play doubled the lead on 22 minutes.
Firmino broke clear down the right-hand side and had the presence of mind to pick out his countryman with a glorious reverse pass. Coutinho, from eight yards, was in no mood to miss.
The home fans were now venting their frustration with their side's lacklustre tempo and it was soon 3-0.
With 31 minutes on the clock, Emre Can produced an outrageous back-heel to find Coutinho down in space behind Sagna and he cut the ball across the six-yard box for Firmino to tap into an empty net.
City needed a boost and their talisman Aguero stepped up just before half-time to give his side hope.
The Argentine picked the ball up about 25 yards from goal, shifted the ball to his right and fired a wonderful shot into the far corner.
Manuel Pellegrini's team had been out-thought, out-run and outclassed in the first period and he responded by bringing on Fernandinho and Fabian Delph for a very quiet Yaya Toure and Jesus Navas.
In doing so, City tightened up the midfield and managed to restrict the space afforded to Coutinho but chances were at a premium for the hosts.
Liverpool remained the team with more creativity in the final third and Can picked out Firmino on 60 minutes but Hart made a fantastic save with his right leg.
City defender Mangala looked off the pace from the first-whistle and his performance never picked up. His sloppy pass on 60 minutes presented a chance for Firmino and Coutinho to break once again and although Coutinho rounded Hart and rolled the ball home, the linesman cut short the celebrations as he correctly flagged the Liverpool man offside.
Raheem Sterling, facing Liverpool for the first time since leaving in the summer, cut a frustrated figure throughout but he nearly got his new team back into the match on 64 minutes. He latched onto an under-hit James Milner back-pass and squared the ball for Aguero but his shot from 15 yards was clawed away by Simon Mignolet.
Liverpool weathered the pressure and the odds on a City comeback lengthened two minutes later when a tired-looking Aguero was replaced by Kelechi Iheanacho.
With Klopp barking orders out from the touchline, Liverpool remained in control and wrapped up the points with 10 minutes remaining.
A corner dropped at the feet of Skrtel and from about 18 yards he rocketed a half-volley past Hart into the top corner.
Liverpool have now scored as many goals in their last two away Premier League games (seven) as they managed in their 11 before that. The Klopp era appears up and running.
Man City: Hart (7), Sagna (5), Demichelis (5), Mangala (4), Kolarov (6), Toure (5), Fernando (6), Navas (6), Sterling (6), De Bruyne (7), Aguero (7)
Subs used: Fernandinho (6), Delph (6), Iheanacho (6)
Liverpool: Mignolet (7), Clyne (7), Skrtel (8), Lovren (7), Moreno (7), Lucas (7), Can (8), Milner (7), Lallana (7), Coutinho (9), Firmino (8)
Subs used: Toure (6), Ibe (7), Benteke (6)
Man of the match: Philippe Coutinho