Liverpool beats Man City 4-1 in best showing under Klopp
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 22, 2015 07:29 AM
Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino crosses the ball which is then turned in by Manchester City's Eliaquim Mangala, no 20 left, who scores an own goal for the opening goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
DAVID GERGES, Associated Press
Liverpool produced its best performance since the arrival of new manager Juergen Klopp to beat Premier League title chasers Manchester City 4-1 on Saturday.
A stunning first-half display of high pressing and counterattacking saw Klopp's side surge into a three-goal lead at the Etihad Stadium.
It was the first time since February 2003 that City had conceded three before the interval in a league fixture.
"It was very, very good. We took our chances and made brilliant goals in the counterattack," Klopp said.
"With results like this the boys will start to believe in themselves and that's very important," Klopp added following a result that moves his side to within six points of a Champions League berth.
First-half goals from Brazilian duo Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino stunned the hosts which had fallen behind after Eliaquim Mangala put through his own net.
Firmino enjoyed his best performance in a red shirt since joining the club from German side Hoffenheim for a reported fee of 29 million pounds ($45.8 million). And he was flanked by compatriot Coutinho, who continues to thrive under Klopp. The pair were involved in all three goals as Liverpool established a firm hold on the game.
Coutinho dispossessed Bacary Sagna inside the City half before racing toward goal. He fed Firmino whose cross was mistakenly converted by Mangala inside the opening ten minutes.
Liverpool doubled their advantage in the 23rd with Firmino once again the provider. He picked out Coutinho in the box, who side-footed past Joe Hart.
Firmino was eventually rewarded with his first goal in a red shirt following a superb team goal. With his back towards play, Emre Can picked out Coutinho. The German's backheel pass was ushered into Firmino, for the simplest of finishes.
Fit-again striker Sergio Aguero pulled one back shortly before the interval, curling a splendid effort beyond Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini made two changes at the interval with the momentum having slightly shifted in his side's favor following Aguero's strike. Midfielders Fernandinho and Fabian Delph replaced Jesus Navas and Yaya Toure in a move that saw City exert early pressure.
However, the visitors defended in large numbers and continued to use the counterattack to full effect.
Firmino should have netted his second on the hour-mark after another break but Hart foiled his effort.
Substitute Christian Benteke was also denied by Hart after being played through by Jordan Ibe. From the resulting corner defender Martin Skrtel thumped in the fourth as Liverpool registered its biggest win of the season.
Former Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling was ineffective in his first game against his former side following his acrimonious summer move away from Anfield.
"Today we did it all wrong. Individual performances, in the way we defend, in the way we attack. It was a really fake game for us. It's not normal (for us) to play in this way," Pellegrini said.
City slipped to third on 26 points, two adrift of new league leader Leicester, while Liverpool move up to ninth with 20 points.