Manchester City cruised to a dominant 4-1 victory against a Liverpool side who have not lost at all this season when they have scored first as they look to maintain the pressure on Arsenal in the Premier League title race.
City’s lineup had Ederson in net, John Stones came in at right-back, with Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake remaining in the eleven. Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne made up the midfield, with Jack Grealish keeping his spot in the side and Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez coming in following the absences of Phil Foden and Erling Haaland.
City started strong in the opening ten minutes holding most of the possession against an extremely out-of-form Liverpool side who only have four away league points out of a possible 18 in 2023.
The first chance for City came in the 8th minute after De Bruyne’s cross found Gundogan on the edge of the six-yard box, but Alisson was not troubled. Shortly after, another chance created by De Bruyne found Rodri, whose shot found the hands of Alisson.
City picked up a free-kick right on the edge of the box as Jordan Henderson fouled De Bruyne; Mahrez took the shot, and it was only a whisker away from glory.
Liverpool opened the scoring in the 16th minute with Mohamed Salah. Trent Alexander-Arnold found Diogo Jota making an excellent run in on goal with Akanji just playing him onside. Salah was behind the Portuguese international in support and eventually got the ball, placing the ball into the left side of the goal with ease.
City could have equalised after yet another chance was created by De Bruyne in the 21st minute. Grealish’s chipped through ball found the Belgian, whose delivery across the face of goal failed to find a sky blue shirt.
Only seconds later, Mahrez found himself volleying the ball over the bar inside the box.
Liverpool almost had a second after a loose clearance found a Liverpool shirt; Salah was able to break on the counter, but Grealish tracked back superbly to end the attack with an interception.
City equalised in the 27th minute after perfect teamwork in the build-up, which saw Gundogan feed Grealish a great through ball delivered across the box, allowing Alvarez to tap the ball in past Alisson.
Rodri took down Cody Gakpo in the 33rd minute, and red shirts swarmed the referee as the midfielder was already on a yellow, but Simon Hooper only gave Rodri what could be a final warning.
Liverpool broke through the City defence again after a great touch from Salah saw him in a one-on-one situation with Ake, City did well to deal with it, and Grealish was there again to help.
City earned a corner in the final minute of normal time, which Mahrez delivered to Rodri at the back post, but the ball hit the side netting.
It only took one minute for City to take the lead after the break. A fantastic switch of play from Alvarez found Mahrez, who found De Bruyne to score his seventh of the season and give City a well-deserved lead.
Gakpo almost brought the score level again with a great touch in the box, but Ederson did well to come out and save it. The fourth official ended up raising the flag for offside.
Gundogan put the game to bed in the 53rd minute. Mahrez slipped the ball into Alvarez, but the World Cup winner’s shot was blocked and fell to the German, who placed the ball past Alisson.
Gakpo went down in the City box after a dive, and Hooper allowed play to continue, which saw City counter; Grealish find himself in the edge of the box and shot, but Alisson did well to tip the ball beyond the far post.
City continued to dominate, with Liverpool barely able to get a sniff of the ball.
Liverpool made four changes with Kostas Tsimikas, Roberto Firminio, Darwin Nunez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming on for Andy Robertson, Salah, Harvey Elliott and Jota in the 70th minute.
Not long after, Grealish and De Bruyne combined perfectly on the left wing for the Englishman to take City’s lead to four as the in-form winger slotted the ball into the back net after a cut-back from De Bruyne.
Pep Guardiola made City’s first substitution as Rodri was replaced by Bernardo Silva in the 82nd minute.
Bernardo was straight into the action as he was only inches away from getting onto the end of a Mahrez corner.
Grealish made his way off the pitch to a huge standing ovation in the 88th minute and was replaced by Cole Palmer.
City saw the game out and picked up a huge three points in what will be a tense end to the Premier League campaign.
Man Of The Match
3 shots (100% accuracy)
1 chance created
2/2 successful dribbles
3 defensive recoveries made
Ederson - 7
Stones - 8
Akanji - 7
Dias - 8
Ake - 8
Rodri - 8
Gundogan - 8
De Bruyne - 9
Mahrez - 8
Alvarez - 8
Grealish - 9
Written by: @CharlieTate02
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