Manchester City temporarily took the lead in the Premier League after a brilliant victory over Liverpool (5-0). The men of Pep Guardiola made the difference in a first dramatic and agonizing period, marked by the attack of Sadio Mané on the Brazilian guardian of the Citizens.
What better than an attractive Manchester City-Liverpool for the Premier League recovery? In theory, this duel between two forward-facing teams promised spectacle and goals. And at the end of ninety minutes, the eventual winner would take the lead, for a few hours at least. Everything was therefore reunited for a game of fire between two clubs still undefeated this season. On the side of the Citizens, Pep Guardiola opted for his tactical schema used at home: a 3-1-4-2 with Fernandinho before the defense – private of injured Kompany – and the return of Agüero in attack. The absence of Sterling, the heroic striker against Bournemouth (2-1) excluded for having exaggeratedly celebrated his goal.
As for the Reds, Jürgen Klopp trusted the same forwards and midfielders who had pulverized Arsenal (4-0). The defense was turned upside down, with Mignolet’s return in goal, and Klavan and Alexander-Arnold replacing Lovren and Gomez. Finally, Coutinho – still disturbed by his desired transfer to FC Barcelona – stayed home. Liverpool took control of the game in the first minutes, with the trio Firmino-Salah-Mané who combined dangerously. But the high pace of the start of the match hid technical flaws from several players, who may have had legs still heavy international matches. De Gruyne (7th) and Fernandinho (13th) were easily saved by Mignolet. The Reds replied by a mischievous center of Henderson who found a Firmino out of the box, but too eccentric to worry Ederson (14th).
Mané sends Ederson to the infirmary … then Liverpool collapses
At the heart of this first period, which intensified, Manchester City opened the scoring by Agüero, launched in depth by De Bruyne. Taking advantage of the defensive misalignment, the Argentinian had only to dribble Mignolet before scoring in the empty goal (1-0, 23rd). An advantage that the Citizens could have lost quickly, after a big opportunity of Salah who was adjusting Ederson poorly (31st). The men of Guardiola could have made the break just after, with a superb individual feat of Gabriel Jesus (34th) who crossed the defense of Liverpool but stumbled on the Belgian goalkeeper. On the corner after the action, Stones also saw his shot pushed back by Mignolet. The hopes of Liverpool then broke out after Mané’s attack on Ederson (37th). As he made his way to the goal, the Senegalese striker kicked a violent kick in the face of the Brazilian goalkeeper. Results: red card for Sané; a worrying state for Ederson cared for in the infirmary and replaced by Bravo; and to crown everything: the goal of Gabriel Jesus who took from the head a center of De Bruyne (2-0, 45th + 6).
After the anguish of the end of the first act, the match fell into banality. Manchester City controlled his solid lead and Liverpool was inevitably spending more energy at ten to eleven, despite the entry of the new Oxlade-Chamberlain rookie for Salah. The Sky Blues definitely put KO the Reds, with Gabriel Jesus (3-0, 53 ‘) scoring in the empty goal after being served generously by Agüero, who was enjoying a surgical opening by Fernandinho. Liverpool clearly showed up, and his opponent managed quietly until the final whistle. Sané was even invited to the party, resuming at the first post a tense center of the former Monegasque Benjamin Mendy (4-0, 77th). Sané did not stop there, since he offered himself a double in the stoppage of play (5-0, 90 + 1) on a magnificent coiled strike. This is Manchester City leading the Premier League, a point before its rival Manchester United, who moves late in the afternoon to Stoke City (6:30 pm). As for Liverpool, the cardboard against Arsenal is canceled by this stinging defeat, on a score even more salty: 5-0.