Liverpool edged Manchester City as the Blues finally lost a Premier League game for the first time this season following a thrilling encounter between both sides at Anfield.
The Reds — who were also playing their first game since Philippe Coutinho’s £142m move to Barcelona — claimed a victory as they ended City’s hopes of going through the league season without losing, and extended their own unbeaten run to 18 games.
Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain’s low drive gave Liverpool an early lead after just nine minutes, but City were level before half-time through Leroy Sane, who beat Loris Karius at his near post following Joe Gomez’s mistake.
However, the game turned decisively in two minutes either side of the hour mark, when poor defending by John Stones let in Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane — who had just hit the post — struck a stunning finish high past Ederson.
Not long after, Ederson’s poor clearance gifted Mohamed Salah a fourth, and despite their late wobble, Liverpool closed out the win to go third in the table.
At the sound of the final whistle, a jubilant Jurgen Klopp said that he believes Liverpool issued an “important statement” about their future without Philippe Coutinho.
“We made the right statement,” the Liverpool manager said. “It was not that I said to the players before the game: ‘It would be nice if you could win so nobody talks about Phil,’ but it was important for us to show it’s possible to win without him. It was a very important statement but that is all. We’ve got three points but we got them in a very important moment.”
“You have no alternative if you want to beat City. You could sit deep in your box and hope nothing happens but we are Liverpool and we should try to win this way. The way we pressed in the second half was outstanding, on a different planet. It is a historical day. It may be the only game City lose this season because they are so strong.”
While the Reds’ top-four challenge tends to fluctuate, City can still reflect on a 15-point lead over Manchester United, who host Stoke on Monday.