Manchester City eased past 10-man Liverpool in a controversial encounter at the Etihad.
Sadio Mane’s red card proved the decisive moment as he was dismissed for a reckless challenge on goalkeeper Ederson.
The visitors had started the brighter but found themselves behind as Sergio Aguero rounded Simon Mignolet and slotted in.
Gabriel Jesus added a second shortly after Mane’s red before Aguero teed his strike partner up for another.
Aguero’s goal had put them ahead before the key moment as Jon Moss showed the Liverpool winger a straight red. In an attempt to control the ball, Mane clattered into the City stopper with a high challenge.
Ederson was forced off on a stretcher as a result and Liverpool were down to 10 men.
Replays showed Moss got the decision right but it left the Reds in real trouble – and it wasn’t long before Jesus added a second.
Liverpool’s tactics were clear from the start – get at Nicolas Otamendi.
The City defender had a tricky time against Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the channel on the left side in the recent draw with Everton.
And Jurgen Klopp set out to exploit those areas again with Pep Guardiola opting to go with a back three.
Wing-back Bernard Mendy was often forced to close down Trent Alexander-Arnold, meaning there was plenty of space for Salah to exploit – and he skinned Otamendi on more than one occasion.
The Argentine was dragged all over the place in the early exchanges as City’s defence struggled to get to grips with the Liverpool attack.
Aguero just can’t stop scoring against Liverpool. For the sixth home fixture in a row against the Reds, the Argentine found the net – but he owes a lot to Kevin De Bruyne. The midfielder collected the ball and slided a delightful through ball for Aguero, who was never going to miss.
The goal also made Aguero the highest non-European goalscorer in Premier League history. He has been warned he is no longer an automatic starter, such is City’s plethora of attacking talent. But in that position, there are few quite as deadly.
Oxlade-Chamberlain first Arsenal outing came in a thrashing across the city at Old Trafford. His Liverpool debut was one to forget too as he entered the fray at half-time with the encounter pretty much gone.
Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced Mo Salah and played in an inside right position. But he saw very little of the ball as Liverpool tried to keep the score down. He will have better days than this.
While Aguero and Jesus may get the headlines (besides Jon Moss) Kevin De Bruyne is the man that continues to make City tick.
He had a huge hand in the first two goals and is arguably the most important player in Guardiola’s side.
Credits: The Mirror