Liverpool’s bold new era under manager Jurgen Klopp reached arguably its highest point to date with a 4-1 away demolition of heavyweights Manchester City.
After an own goal by City’s Eliaquim Mangala opened the scoring for the visitors after just eight minutes, Brazilian international Roberto Firmino – who set up the own goal – bagged his first Liverpool goal and laid on another for teammate Philippe Coutinho.
Roberto Firmino’s first half by numbers: 100% take-ons 3 shots 1 assist 1 goal Constant threat. pic.twitter.com/WFUrlUiGMA
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 21, 2015
Vanquished City’s only rebuttal was a superb solo effort in the shadows of halftime by Sergio Aguero, which pegged back the score to 3-1 at the break. But there was never any genuine threat of a comeback, and Martin Skrtel’s 81st-minute strike sealed the emphatic result.
It was an unhappy night for Raheem Sterling, who joined City after an acrimonious split with Liverpool, in his first match against his former club. Sterling had been the focus of pre-match talk, but ex-Hoffenheim star Firmino, 24, snared the headlines for his stellar performance.
The loss, just Man City’s third of the season, foiled the Blues’ bid to reclaim the EPL lead from Leceister City, instead consigning them to third behind Manchester United. Liverpool’s watershed victory only lifted them to ninth with a record of five wins, five draws and three losses – but they are a mere six points behind Man City and the fourth-placed Arsenal.
The likeable Klopp was understandably delighted with his charges’ victory at Etihad Stadium, although he said he thought the Liverpool side seemed “surprised” to be in front at halftime.