MANCHESTER CITY demolished Liverpool at the Etihad after Sadio Mane was controversially sent off.

It might be suggesting a little too much to argue this was the day that Manchester City’s title challenge fully ignited. After all, they were aided considerably by an awful error of judgement from Sadio Mane, whose 37th minute boot the face of City goalkeeper Ederson became the defining moment of this much-anticipated game.

Saturday’s contest at the Etihad Stadium burst into life when Aguero broke the deadlock to become the Premier League’s all-time leading non-European goalscorer on 124.

But given an opportunity to show their attacking prowess, which is considerable, they took it. Kevin de Bruyne ran the game; Sergio Aguero flourished; Gabriel Jesus scored twice as did Leroy Sané, who added a glorious footnote with two superb goals.

And the breakthrough came when Liverpool’s defence was cut open by Kevin De Bruyne’s throughball and Aguero coolly rounded Mignolet before slotting home his sixth goal in as many home Premier League games against the Reds.

Yet the early running had been made by Liverpool in those opening twenty minutes. Just as they threatened to assert their dominance, with Salah relishing the opportunity to run past Benjamin Mendy, City struck, City struck. In truth, it wasn’t a goal from the Pep Guardiola playbook of patient possession, though it did involve a sumptuous pass from Kevin de Bruyne.

After winning 4-0 against Liverpool in the previous round of fixtures, this will be a huge blow for the Anfield side. Meanwhile, the three points sees Pep Guardiola’s side top the table for the time being as Liverpool drop down to fifth.

 

By Masoom Kalra