Manchester City hosted Liverpool football club at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday night, June 2, for the first time since the Merseyside club won the Premier League. As promised, Pep Guardiola‘s squad gave Jurgen Klopp and his squad a guard of honour for being the newly crowned champions of the league, which is a tradition in the league.
From the blast of the whistle, there were indications that Manchester City didn’t host the champions to show them any respect. They kept pressing until towards the 25th-minute mark when City’s Raheem Sterling was brought down in Liverpool’s box-eighteen by Joe Gomez. Kevin De Bruyne stepped up to take the spot-kick and he did it beautifully by sending the goalkeeper, Alisson, to the wrong direction.
When Klopp thought he could contain that, Sterling drove himself into a 10-yard distance to Liverpool’s goalpost before he meticulously slotted the ball into the corner that Alisson could not have an answer. The 35th-minute goal was initiated and assisted by Phil Foden.
It took Manchester City just 10 minutes to seal the match in the first half by scoring the 3rd goal in the 45th minute, giving Jurgen Klopp his worst first half match since 2007. Foden did the finishing after a beautiful one-two play with De Bruyne.
Both teams went into the locker room with the uncertainty of how the second half would turn out. Would Liverpool come back into the game by scoring three goals to show that they are true champions? Or would City give Liverpool their worst defeat of the season? Those were the questions in the minds of most fans.
Unfortunately, Liverpool could not show any sign that they planned to safe themselves from the humiliation as they continued to struggle with defending, tackling, and connecting with their deadly front three – Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, and Firmino.
Liverpool’s wobbling and fumbling continued until the 66th minute when Sterling showed his brilliance by striking so hard that Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could not do better than to help the ball into the net to complete the embarrassing 4-0 victory. The 4th goal was counted as an own goal.
Watch Liverpool V Manchester City Highlights Here:
The man of the match award was given to Kevin De Bruyne for being involved in all the goals and scoring one for himself from the spot-kick.
Though the win didn’t change the Premier League table standing, it has reduced the margin between the Premier League champions and the second-placed Manchester City. The points between both teams have been reduced to 20 from 23 points. Liverpool will now have to win 5 out of their remaining 6 games in order to break City’s 2017/2018 record when they became the first team to finish a season with 100 points.
The reaction of Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool manager after the match:
“I like my team how they set up. I think we proved that point. And City proved they are an unbelievably good team. Isn’t it nice that another team can be champions even when City is around and plays this kind of football?
“City is incredible. I’ve seen their games – they haven’t played a bad game all season. Even when they lost they still played really good football. But in the end, the situation is like it is.
“I saw a brilliant attitude. I saw the 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.”
The reaction of Pep Guardiola, Manchester City manager after the match:
“We beat the champions, an extraordinary team. We are brave to play, they are brave to play. My team, I like every single game. We tried to play football, take risks. The best team I have ever faced in my life at high pressing.
“We had the courage to play in small spaces. It is important. I saw the guard of honour, how they work inside, how focused they were. They didn’t even say thank you because they were focused.
“They drank a lot of beers this week but they arrived here with no beers in their blood which is why I give us a lot of credit.”
The Ugly records for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp after the match
The three-goal deficit in the first half is Liverpool worst performance in 5 years. The last time they suffered such a fate was in 2015 when Stoke City defeated them 6-1.
Jurgen Klopp has suffered the biggest defeats away in the hands of City in the Etihad Stadium. In September 2017, City defeated Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool 5-0 while on 2 July 2020, Klopp suffered 4-0 in the hands of Pep Guardiola.
Last night defeat is the joint heaviest defeat for a club that has just been crowned a Premier League champion. The second club that has suffered such a fate was Arsenal; they lost 4-0 away at Liverpool immediately after they were confirmed champions of the league during the 1997/1998 season.