Man City honor Liverpool - then hammer them 4-0

By Simon Evans

Manchester City generously applauded new champions Liverpool onto the field before their Premier League match on Thursday -- and promptly showed no mercy by thrashing them 4-0 at the Etihad stadium.

With the title secured a week ago, there was little at stake for Juergen Klopp's Liverpool side who showed far from their usual levels of intensity but the loss, just their second of the league campaign, was an emphatic reminder that City will be desperate to regain their crown next season.

Klopp was quick to defend his team's attitude, rejecting any suggestion they had taken the game lightly.

"I saw a brilliant attitude. I saw fight. We didn’t behave like somebody who became champions a week ago. We lacked fluidity. And in some 50-50 situations they were quicker than us," he said.

"Man City are incredible. I saw their season, they didn't play a bad game even when they lost," he said.

After the guard of honour, which included City manager Pep Guardiola, the visitors started brightly and Ederson had to be alert to keep out a fourth-minute effort from Mohamed Salah.

Salah then struck the post after a clever pass from Roberto Firmino, whose hair was colored red, but if Liverpool thought they were in for another night of festivities, they were in for a rude awakening.

Joe Gomez could not cope with Raheem Sterling's twisting and turning in the box, pulling him to the ground before Kevin De Bruyne converted the penalty in the 25th minute.

Sterling doubled the lead 10 minutes later when after a swift break, Phil Foden found him inside the box and the ex-Liverpool forward cut inside Gomez and slid the ball home.

The 20-year-old Foden made it 3-0, firing past Alisson after a swift exchange with Kevin De Bruyne.

City were showing an unusual willingness to play long balls and after Rodri launched a pass deep to De Bruyne, the Belgian found Sterling inside the box and he slipped the ball goalwards, with substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's outstretched touch only turning it into his own net.

It could have been even worse for Liverpool with Riyad Mahrez's fine solo effort in the final moments but VAR spotted a handball by Foden in the build-up.

The loss was the joint-heaviest defeat by a side already crowned Premier League champions. Arsenal were beaten 4-0 at Liverpool in 1997-98 in the game after they clinched the title.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Hangover game.

Looking interesting for next year with Liverpool, City and a resurgent Man U.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Looking interesting for next year with Liverpool, City and a resurgent Man U.

I wouldn’t say Man U are resurgent. They have done okay since the league resumed but are nowhere near Liverpool or City, and Solskjaer isn’t in the same class as Klopp or Guardiola. I’d be surprised if they got within 20 points of the winners next season. I don’t think Lampard, Arteta or Mourinho ( now ) have got what it takes to challenge the top 2 either.

Man U a good chance of a Champions league slot this season and next.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I didn't watch the game. I watched the highlights. We didn't turn up for the game. Penalty from Gomez and own goal from Oxlade. No one in the team deserved one than a 5 rating. Even Alission the goal keeper was poor, coming off his line when he should have stayed. They showed us our weaknesses and will need to improve.

But only two losses so far this season.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

De Bruyne is absolutely superb. Up there with the best midfielders I’ve seen in the Premiership.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

De Bruyne one of the greatest midfield players.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Even though the loss of Liverpool to its most formidable in the PL did not change the result of the season, I hope that it would persuade John Henry and Klopp to reinforce their squad next season. Having another world-class CB and world-class striker would consolidate Liverpool position not only in domestic but also in international competitions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's a big win against the champions. Pep and his boys are preparing well for the season ahead. Congratulations to Manchester City footballers. Well played.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm not sure how much it means. Liverpool have not been their all-conquering selves recently. Watford thrashed them 3-0 a couple of games ago. I'm sure they'll be back strong next season. And a season is about consistency, not one game - Man City need to turn up every week, not just against Liverpool. There are 3 massive players they need to replace, Kompany, Fernandinho and Aguero. Not easy to find replacements for those guys.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wouldn’t say Man U are resurgent. They have done okay since the league resumed but are nowhere near Liverpool or City, and Solskjaer isn’t in the same class as Klopp or Guardiola. I’d be surprised if they got within 20 points of the winners next season.

The main problem with Manchester United was that they didn't know how to break down lower teams that park the bus while United had to bed in the new players and deal with quite a young squad, but Solskjaer does great against top teams. Against Klopp and Guardiola combined, he has a 3-1-2 record overall this season.

Since Bruno Fernandes was signed in late january, Solskajer found ways to break those bus-parking opponents down to greater effect too. The Portuguese playmaker also played once against the top 2 this season and it was in a 2-0 United win over City right before the pandemic. I swaw somewhere that United and Wolves are equals as the best 2 teams in the PL on points since February.

Also don't forget the growing confidence of the teenager Mason Greenwood as well. He was already a scoring machine with the U23 team, but he has become even better since he started more regularly in the senior side.

Considering that it will be very likely that Manchester United will get fresh blood to build upon a good team core, the competiton at the top will definitely be more ferocious. But of course, you can never predict anything in the Premier League when teams can be in a bad form at any time and when untimely injuries strike any team.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It also didn't help Solkskaer in having to gut a squad and start to rebuild it, which he has done very well. It has taken Klopp nearly 5 years to win the league, see where Solkskaer is in 5 years. And Klopp started with a much better squad.

Guardiola and City are just billionaires playthings.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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