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    Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool Match Report


    Manchester City put down an early-season marker in the title race with a 5-0 thrashing of Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium courtesy of two goals apiece from Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane.

    The visitors had started the brighter side until Sergio Aguero's opener but were reduced to 10 men shortly before half-time when Sadio Mane was sent-off for catching City goalkeeper Ederson in the face with a high boot.

    Liverpool's shortcomings were ruthlessly exposed thereafter by a clinical City team, who found gaps in the opposition's defence at will and were rarely threatened at the back once they had weathered an early storm.

    It was the hosts, albeit somewhat against the run of play, who took the lead on 23 minutes when Kevin De Bruyne's pass split the Liverpool defence and Sergio Aguero rounded Simon Mignolet before coolly slotting home from 10 yards.

    Gaps were also opening up at the opposite end of the pitch, with Mane's cleverly-weighted through-ball finding Mohamed Salah in acres of space on the right flank but the Brazilian's effort lacked the power to seriously test Ederson in the City goal.

    Even before the sending-off, the home side were beginning to find a stronghold in the game and would have doubled their lead on two occasions in the space of a minute had it not been for the heroics of Mignolet.

    The Belgian needed to be at his best to deny Gabriel Jesus following his mazy run and near-post strike, while he also saved with his feet from a close-range John Stones effort as the home side started to increase their intensity.

    What was already appearing like an uphill task for Liverpool then suddenly became all the more difficult when Sadio Mane attempted to touch the ball past Ederson, from a Joel Matip through-ball, but ended up catching the City player instead.

    Although the Senegalese international's eyes were clearly fixated on the ball, he was deemed in the opinion of referee Jon Moss to be endangering the safety of an opponent with his actions causing the Brazilian to be stretchered off with a facial injury.

    City were then denied a two-goal lead in the latter stages of the first-half when Jesus' header from De Bruyne's delivery was correctly ruled-out for offside, although the home side didn't have to wait long before finally putting the match out of 10-man Liverpool's reach.

    In the fifth-minute of stoppage-time, De Bruyne's pinpoint cross from the opposite flank was headed home by Jesus from six yards for the Brazilian's 10th goal in English football since his £27 million move from Palmeiras.

    City maintained their measure of control at the start of the second-half and were inches away from taking a three-goal lead when Sergio Aguero, who was standing in an offside position, slotted Benjamin Mendy's low cross past Mignolet.

    Seconds later, however, Fernando's clever pass split the Liverpool defence and Aguero, this time standing in an onside position, unselfishly laid the ball off to his strike partner Jesus to stroke the ball into an empty net.

    Although the game was now firmly out of Liverpool's hands, the hosts were showing no signs of offering any mercy to their opponents and duly took a 4-0 lead when Leroy Sane swept home Mendy's left-wing cross with 15 minutes remaining.

    Sane, who had replaced Jesus after 57 minutes, then almost turned provider minutes later as his cross to the back-post found the stretching Aguero but the Argentinian was unable to find the pace or precision to beat a sprawling Mignolet.

    The rout was finally complete when Mane scored the goal of the game in stoppage-time with a left-footed effort from over 20 yards, which sailed into the top left-hand corner past the forlorn dive of Mignolet.

    The result propels City up to second-place in the Premier League, where they move level with Manchester United after the leaders were held to a 2-2 draw against Stoke at the bet365 Stadium.

    Liverpool, meanwhile, drop from second to eighth in the table and join Tottenham, Huddersfield and Burnley, as well as ninth-place West Brom, on seven points after four matches.

    Both sides return to action on Wednesday night when they play their first group games in the Champions League, with City travelling to the Netherlands to face Dutch champions Feyenoord and Liverpool entertaining 2016 Europa League winners Sevilla.
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    Item Reviewed: Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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