Man City 4-0 Liverpool: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Citizens Exact Revenge on Premier League Champions

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City put on a dominant first-half display against Liverpool | DAVE THOMPSON/Getty Images

Manchester City exacted revenge over Liverpool with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over the Premier League champions on Thursday night.

After being greeted with a guard of honour, the Reds looked hungry from the beginning and went close when Mohamed Salah's shot beat Ederson's dive, only to come off the post.

But after Joe Gomez gave away a penalty for impeding Raheem Sterling's run, Kevin De Bruyne confidently swept the ball past Alisson to put the hosts in front.

Not long after, the Citizens doubled their lead as Sterling finished off a quick counter-attack, and there was still time for Phil Foden to loft a shot past Alisson for City's third before half time.

Liverpool were unable to respond after the break and another City breakaway led to Sterling's shot being diverted by substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain into his own net. Riyad Mahrez struck late on, only for it to be ruled out by VAR.

MANCHESTER CITY

Key Talking Point

Sterling finally scored against his former side
Sterling finally scored against his former side | PETER POWELL/Getty Images

Prior to this game, Sterling had never scored against Liverpool in nine league encounters with his former club. The Reds' title celebrations would surely have been difficult to watch for the 25-year-old, whose departure was heavily criticised in 2015.

But the winger looked sharp as the first half went on, causing problems for his England teammate Joe Gomez. It was his run that won City their penalty, as the Reds' centre back held on to his shirt for far too long before referee Anthony Taylor intervened.

Not long after, he was able to score himself, with Foden's brilliant run giving him the easy task of finishing past Alisson. With their opponents using a high backline, the Englishman was always a threat, and he could have had his second had it not been for Oxlade-Chamberlain's unfortunate intervention.

Manchester City Player Ratings

Starting XI: Ederson (6); Walker (6), García (6), Laporte (6), Mendy (7); Rodri (6), Gündoğan (5); Foden (8), De Bruyne (9) Sterling (8); Jesus (6).

Substitutes: Mahrez (6), Cancelo (6), Otamendi (N/A), B Silva (N/A).

Kevin De Bruyne

While Liverpool may be the best team in England, De Bruyne showed why he deserves to be considered the best player in the Premier League.

The Belgian was at the heart of every City attack, using his exquisite passing range to launch counter-attacks, while his deft touch for Foden's goal was inch-perfect.

It was his confidently taken penalty that set City on their way for a totally dominant first-half display.

LIVERPOOL

Key Talking Point

Liverpool made some uncharacteristic defensive errors during the game
Liverpool made some uncharacteristic defensive errors during the game | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Having celebrated their first league title in 30 years last week, Jürgen Klopp elected to go with his first-choice side, determined to continue their push for a record-breaking points tally.

After the first 20 minutes, the Reds looked to be at their devastating best, with sharp ball movement and a relentless press. But after De Bruyne scored his penalty, they looked vulnerable at the back, with Gomez and Robertson in particular guilty of making uncharacteristic errors that led to City's first-half goals.

With the centre back substituted off at half-time, Klopp sought to inject some energy into his team, as the likes of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Divock Origi came on after the game's restart. But their defence continued to play a high line and was punished again for the fourth goal.

While they may have already wrapped up the league title, their below-par display may suggest to Klopp that greater squad depth is needed at Anfield, if they are to establish a period of dominance.

Liverpool Player Ratings

Starting XI: Alisson (6); Alexander-Arnold (6), Gomez (4), Van Dijk (6), Robertson (5); Henderson (6), Fabinho (6), Wijnaldum (6); Salah (6), Firmino (6), Mané (6).

Substitutes: Oxlade-Chamberlain (6), Keita (7), Origi (6), Williams (N/A), Minamino (N/A).

Naby Keita

On a rare off-night for Liverpool, Keita had a lively cameo off the bench and was their best player after coming on.

The Guinean put in an energetic shift in midfield and tried to drive his team forward, despite the lopsided scoreline. With this performance, he will certainly be a player to watch for the Reds' remaining games of the season, if afforded the opportunity.

Looking Ahead

City next travel south to play Southampton on Sunday night, while Liverpool host Aston Villa on the same day.