Manchester City kicked off the fourth matchweek of the English Premier League with an impressive win over Liverpool at Etihad Stadium this Saturday. Led by inspiring performances from Sergio Agüero, Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus, Pep Guardiola’s men fought hard but eventually cruised their way to a 5-0 win in a game that was decided once Liverpool got down to 10 players late in the first half.
A goal from Agüero, a brace from Gabriel Jesus and two second-half goals from Leroy Sane were enough to see City dispatch The Reds. But the final score did not do enough justice to what happened on the pitch.
Open Start Between Two Positive Sides
The hosts dominated the contest right from the start and they quickly pushed the lines forward. With De Bruyne and David Silva moving the ball around near the final third, The Citizens established themselves as an early attacking force.
Their first chance came in the 13rd minute when Fernandinho tested Mignolet from long range, but the goalkeeper responded with a good save towards the right side of the goal. Liverpool answered quickly with a cross into the far post that found Roberto Firmino, but the Brazilian could not control the ball and Ederson erased the danger.
City Goes On Top Midway Into The First Half
The game was tight, but City broke the deadlock in the 25th minute. De Bruyne recovered the ball in midfield and sliced a delightful through ball to Sergio Agüero. The Argentinian then had no problems to get past Mignolet and score into the open goal. City jumped to a 1-0 lead midway into the first half, and as one would expect, things opened up right after the goal.
Liverpool had a slight advantage in possession, but it seemed the goal woke them up. Emre Can tried with a free-kick from the edge of the box, but his effort went wide. Mohamed Salah went clear on a one-on-one with Ederson, but the Brazilian was excellent to deny the former Roma winger. But City responded in the 35th minute after a corner kick when John Stones found himself with the ball near him. However, Mignolet was excellent once again to deny the former Everton defender.
City Extend The Lead Before The Break, Liverpool Down To 10 Men
The match had been quite even through the first 35 minutes, but then one sequence changed the game for good. A long ball towards Sadio Mane was cleared by Ederson, but the winger tackled the goalkeeper with a high foot towards his head. Jon Moss did not hesitate and gave Mane his marching orders in the 37th minute, leaving Liverpool one man down. Ederson received attention for nearly 10 minutes and left the game on a stretcher, so Claudio Bravo eventually took his place between the posts.
City were inches away from adding a second goal before the break when Gabriel Jesus nodded the ball home after a cross, but the Brazilian’s goal was ruled out due to an offside. However, the former Palmeiras star would get his revenge only a few minutes later. De Bruyne assisted with an accurate cross into the box, and Jesus sneaked into the centre-backs to head the ball home past Mignolet. City established a comfortable 2-0 lead at the break, but it’s safe to say Liverpool deserved better luck based on what they did in the first 35 minutes.
City Exploited Their Advantage Against An Out-Of-Ideas Liverpool Side
Jürgen Klöpp sent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain into the game to bolster their midfield, but the move did not pay off. City continued to dominate, and they quickly added a third goal when Gabriel Jesus netted the ball home thanks to an assist from Agüero on a two-on-one situation. It is worth noting that the Argentinian had a goal disallowed a few seconds before Jesus’ goal as well.
Liverpool chose to send James Milner into the game to add some much-needed fresh legs in midfield. On the other hand, Guardiola sent Sane to replace Gabriel Jesus, as the Brazilian youngster netted his first brace of the season and once again proved he is the best attacking partner for Agüero. Liverpool lacked ideas to turn things around, and City chose to avoid unneccesary risks thanks to their three-goal advantage.
City Closed Things Out With Absolute Ease
The final 25 minutes could have been uneventful. However, City would have two more goals left in store thanks to Sane. The talented winger made it 4-0 from close range following a cross from Mendy, and added the fifth goal with an impressive shot from outside the box on stoppage time.
The five-goal differential was too much, though. If anyone saw the game during the second half, it would have been easy to believe City cruised their way during the entire match. There is no question the red card – and the late-goal from Jesus on stoppage time – tipped the scales on City’s favour. Prior to that it had been a very even game, but The Citizens deserve credit. They saw an advantage and made the most out of it.
Despite the win, City need to correct several things. Neither Mendy nor Kyle Walker looked comfortable as left-wing backs, and perhaps Guardiola needs to go back to a four-men defensive line where everyone will play on their best roles. Liverpool made things difficult for City when both sides were at full strength. In fact, the game could have easily ended with a different outcome hadn’t Liverpool played with 10 men during the entire second half.
On the other hand, Liverpool can find (some) comfort on the fact that the game was even before the red card shown to Mane. They couldn’t adjust once they got down to 10 men, and that is something they must work on in the future. But we must be honest. Playing with 10 men against City on the road is quite difficult. The Reds gave a huge advantage to City, and the hosts took advantage of it to cruise their way to an easy win.
Manchester City: Ederson (Bravo 45+1′); Danilo, Stones, Otamendi (Mangala 71′); Fernandinho; Walker, De Bruyne, Silva, Mendy; Agüero, Gabriel Jesus (Sane 57′)
Liverpool: Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Klavan, Moreno; Can, Henderson, Wijnaldum (Milner 58′); Salah (Oxlade-Chamberlain 46′), Firmino (Solanke 67′), Mane
Goals: Agüero (24′), Gabriel Jesus (45+6′, 53′), Sane (77′, 90+1′)
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Yellow Cards: Otamendi (6′), Alexander-Arnold (20′), Fernandinho (28′), Emre Can (80′)
Red Cards: Sane (37′)
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!