Reds start well, but go downhill after fateful sending off of Sadio Mané.
Manchester City were able to punish 10-man Liverpool 5-0 at Etihad Stadium yesterday.
Sergio Agüero opened the scoring with aplomb midway through the first half, before Sadio Mané was shown a straight red card for a collision with City goalkeeper Ederson.
Gabriel Jesus doubled City’s lead in first-half stoppage time, and got his second soon after the break, before Leroy Sané came on for the Brazilian and scored a late brace to make it embarrassing for the Reds.
The match looked pretty even in the opening stages, with Liverpool’s pacy front three looking threatening, but it wasn’t to be their day, despite some early promise.
The breakthrough came in the 25th minute via Agüero. The ball fell to Kevin De Bruyne with a bit of time to pick the pass, and he slid it straight through the Reds’ defence and onto the path of Agüero’s run.
Having been put clean through, the Argentinian had no problem rounding Simon Mignolet and slotting home.
Liverpool’s pacy forward players always looked capable of attacking the space behind the City defence, and that tactic almost worked when Mohamed Salah was picked out on the right flank, but he was unable to squeeze it past Ederson at the near post.
It could have been worse for Liverpool in the 34th minute, when Ragnar Klavan was dispossessed by Jesus, but the Brazilian couldn’t take advantage.
For a second, it looked like Mané would be able to take advantage of a long ball over the top, but Ederson was coming out of his box to deal with it. The Reds forward went for it with his feet as the City goalkeeper looked for the header, resulting in an ugly collision. As he picked himself up, Mané couldn’t believe the red card being shown to him by referee Jon Moss.
City struck again six minutes into the lengthy added time that followed the Ederson-Mané collision, this time through Jesus.
De Bruyne was again the architect with a delicious cross in from the left for the Brazilian to head home from close range.
The third arrived not long after the restart, and almost immediately after Agüero was denied a goal for offside. This time, the Argentinian was onside when Fernandinho slipped it through the Reds defence, leaving both he and Gabriel on onside. Agüero played it square to his strike partner, gifting him a goal.
As the match entered the final 15 minutes, Liverpool were just hoping not to concede a fourth, but that was exactly what happened when Sané picked up a pass from De Bruyne. The German played it wide left to Benjamin Mendy and carried on his run to get it back before firing home first-time.
Sané then got his second just before the final whistle, taking advantage of the space afforded him to expertly curl one into the top corner. That makes it three wins and one draw from their opening four matches. – TEAMtalk-Media