Man City 4-0 Liverpool: Blues set down marker for next season

Premier League
Thursday 02 July 2020 - 8:15 pm
Etihad Stadium
Man City4
Show Match Events
24' Gomez
⚽️ De Bruyne25'
⚽️ Sterling35'
⚽️ Foden45'
46'↔️ Gomez off, Oxlade-Chamberlain on
Jesus off, Mahrez on ↔️58'
62'↔️ Wijnaldum off, Keïta on
62'↔️ Firmino off, Origi on
⚽️ own goal66'
76'↔️ Alexander-Arnold off, Williams on
Laporte off, Otamendi on ↔️79'
Sterling off, Silva on ↔️79'
85'↔️ Mane off, Minamino on
90' Henderson
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It was perhaps the result some feared after a week of celebration for the newly crowned Champions.

Man City were starting down the barrel of a potential 26 point gap behind the reds, but by the end of this fixture they had narrowed the gulf to a less humiliating 20 points.

Before kick off the reds were treated to a half-hearted guard of honour by Man City.  It was to be expected - City celebrated winning the title last year with their players singing songs about the reds - some in poor taste given the life-threatening injuries sustained by supporter Sean Cox a few months earlier.

There is clearly little love lost between the two groups of players and Joe Gomez and Raheem Sterling's feud earlier in the campaign was a backdrop to the opening goal of the game.

Liverpool, with the same line up as against Crystal Palace eight days previously, actually started the game well.  They just lacked any sort of ruthlessness in front of goal - a common feature of a number of recent away games.

Things could have been different if Mo Salah's early attempt hadn't smashed the post and if the rebound had been controlled.  Sadio Mane too got a free header all wrong from about 8 yards out in the opening phase.

Raheem Sterling, the wily penalty winner that he is, managed to pull Gomez for just the right length of time to attract the wayward arms of the Liverpool defender.  Gomez held on too long and Sterling was right to tumble to the ground.

Up stepped Kevin de Bruyne to flash away the penalty, at that stage somewhat against the run of play, just before the first half drinks/coaching break.

As it happened: City 4-0 LFC

Andy Robertson was having a fairly poor game too - making rash decisions to go for the ball and often missing.  And de Bruyne and Foden combined to feed the ball to Sterling who sidestepped Gomez again and put it back through his legs into the net.

The reds were sliced apart as Robertson got horribly out of position - allowing Foden plenty of space to dispatch a third before half time.

Klopp removed Gomez from the fray at half-time - Fabinho moving back into central defence with Oxlade-Chamberlain coming on.

But it was the Ox who scored the final goal of the game - Sterling's curled shot looked like it was going to edge past the post but in the determination to clear Oxlade-Chamberlain merely poked the ball into his own net.

City had a 94th minute goal ruled out after there was a handball in the build up - and the reds continued to waste more chances, despite again having a decent spell early in the second half.  Sadio Mane free inside the box somehow managing to step over the ball that would have been easier to bounce off his leg and into the net.

It was one of those nights.

Klopp certainly appeared to be disappointed at full time.  Almost furious infact - which only serves to highlight his professionalism just seven days after Liverpool ended a 30 year wait for the title.

City and Liverpool then share the Premier League spoils this season, but there are 18 other teams in the Premier League.  The greatest complement that the reds can probably be afforded is that despite how good this City side is - Liverpool are a huge 20 points better.

After the game youngster Phil Foden congratulated the reds on their title before going on to add words to the effect of 'Next year is our year.'  It will have left a wry smile on the face of many reds fans.

The Champions return to Anfield on Sunday to face Aston Villa.  Man City travel to Southampton.

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