Manchester City 4, Liverpool 1
Manchester City came back from a goal down to demolish Liverpool at the Etihad as they closed to within 5 points of league leaders Arsenal.
Mo Salah had set the Etihad on edge when he scored after 17 minutes but the Blues were back level after 27 minutes through Julian Alvarez.
They took the lead 53 seconds in the second half through Kevin De Bruyne and by the time Ilkay Gundogan had put City 3-1 up after 53 minutes Liverpool were on the ropes.
City delivered the knockout blow after 74 minutes through the imperious Jack Grealish who had earlier tracked all the way back to his own half to prevent Liverpool from scoring a second goal before delivering the equaliser to Alvarez in the first half.
Liverpool looked a spent force after that as City cruised to a fully deserved win.
PLAYER RATINGS – Manchester City 4, Liverpool 1
Ederson: 6. Saved from Cody Gakpo on the 6 yard line after he turned and shot.
John Stones: 8. Playing in the inverted fullback role in midfield but got back to defend when needed. Great passing and looked a natural in midfield.
Manuel Akanji: 6. Played Jota onside and failed to stop him from setting up Mo Salah for the opening goal.
Ruben Dias: 7. Solid defending when needed.
Nathan Ake: 7. Had a game on his hands looking after Mo Salah but also did his bit defensively.
Rodri: 8. Dominant in midfield again but treading a disciplinary tightrope after an early booking for accumulating fouls. Essential link man.
Kevin De Bruyne: 9. Broke the lines, attracted plenty of the ball and scored a deserved goal 53 seconds into the second half. His cutback to Jack Grealish for City’s fourth secured the points.
Ilkay Gundogan: 8. Almost set up an early goal for Julian Alvarez but set up Jack Grealish for the equaliser. Always close to the goal when the ball was in danger area and he scored City’s third after Julian Alvarez’ shot was blocked by Trent Alexander Arnold.
Riyad Mahrez: 8. Free kick curled just past the back post and a great chance to equalise sent over the bar. Started the move that ended with Julian Alvarez equaliser. Cut the ball back for Alvarez chance which ended with Ilkay Gundogan scoring.
Jack Grealish: 9. Lung busting run to get back and block a pass to Jota from Mo Salah who had raced clear of City’s high back line again looking for 2-0 Liverpool. His cross then set up Julian Alvarez’ equaliser. Scored a popular late goal after a releasing Kevin De Bruyne and getting the ball back from him.
Julian Alvarez: 8. Involved in the play and had early sighter saved by Alisson and then was in the right place to tap in Jack Grealish’s low cross into the six yard box from the left. His second half shot was blocked by Trent Alexander-Arnold but Liverpool could not stop Ilkay Gundogan from sweeping home the rebound.
Bernardo Silva (on for Rodri, 83): protecting Rodri from a second yellow card, no time to mark.
Cole Palmer (on for Jack Grealish, 89): no time to mark
GOALS – Manchester City 4, Liverpool 1
Man City 0, Liverpool 1: 17. Mo Salah rapped home the opening goal after reaching the loose ball from 15 yards after Jota laid off the ball to him under pressure from Manuel Akanji who had played him onside from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s ball forward.
Man City 1, Liverpool 1: 27. Julian Alvarez tapped in the equaliser from close range after a low cross from the left by Jack Grealish after Riyad Mahrez had come inside and switched play to the left via Ilkay Gundogan.
Man City 2, Liverpool 1: 46. Riyad Mahrez cross from the right after a run deep into the Liverpool half and Kevin De Bruyne was there to finish fro 6 yards out.
Man City 3, Liverpool 1: 53. Ilkay Gundogan swept home the loose ball after Julian Alvarez was set up by Riyad Mahrez but his shot was blocked by Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Man City 4, Liverpool 1: 74. Jack Grealish was there to slide in City’s 4th after a cutback by Kevin De Bruyne.
MATCH STATS – Manchester City 4, Liverpool 1
Man City: Ederson, Stones, Akanji, Dias, Ake, Rodri (Bernardo Silva 83), De Bruyne, Gundogan (C), Mahrez, Grealish (Palmer 89), Alvarez
Man City Subs: Ortega, Walker, Phillips, Laporte, Gomez, Perrone, Lewis
Booking: Rodri 33 (shirt pull on Jota)
Goals: Alvarez 27; De Bruyne 46; Gundogan 53; Grealish 74
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, van Dijk, Robertson (Tsimikas 70), Elliott (Oxlade-Chamberlain 70), Fabinho, Henderson (C), Salah (Nunez 70), Gakpo (Milner 82), Jota (Firmino)
Liverpool Subs: Kelleher, Gomez, Arthur, Matip
Booking: Salah 19 (kicking the ball away)
Goal: Salah 17
Referee: Simon Hooper