Liverpool moved eight points clear at the top of the Premier League after a pulsating 3-1 win over champions Manchester City at Anfield.
- Premier League explain why penalty wasn't given
- Scroll down for highlights, report and reaction
Goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane did the damage for Jurgen Klopp's side, who made the most of City's obvious defensive deficiencies to carve out a match-winning advantage, with Bernardo Silva's late strike not enough to stage a City comeback.
VAR came into the picture a couple of times, with Pep Guardiola furious his side were not given a penalty in the lead-up to Liverpool's opener, but more alarming for the City boss was the way his patched-up defence looked like conceding time after time.
Going forward, City were excellent, but Liverpool offered a constant threat and their clinical finishing saw them maintain their flying start to the campaign that now sees them eight points clear of Leicester and Chelsea, with City a further point behind in fourth heading into the international break.
It was a furious start with City forcing the issue from the off, yet they found themselves behind after just six minutes when Fabinho fired a powerful effort beyond Claudio Bravo from 20 yards out.
City were furious as they had claimed a handball against Trent Alexander-Arnold just moments earlier, but both on-field referee Michael Oliver and then the VAR team in Stockley Park both decided it was not a penalty.
The visitors continued to press and created a couple of big chances from free kicks that Liverpool failed to defend properly, but with Liverpool’s second real stint with the ball they doubled their lead.
Andy Robertson produced a wonderful cross from the left that Salah arrived on and stooped to nod his header beyond Bravo for a barely believable 2-0 scoreline after just 13 minutes.
The pattern continued of City pressing but looking more than shaky at the back, with both Aguero and Sterling going close for City and Angelino’s deflected bobbler striking the foot of Alisson’s post.
City started the second half as brightly as they did the first, but just as in the first period they conceded a goal after six minutes when Mane got on the scoresheet with a back-post header from a sublime Jordan Henderson cross from the right.
Still, the chances for goals kept coming at both ends, with Sterling dancing into the box but having a shot blocked by Dejan Lovren, while Liverpool always looked likely to pounce on a ponderous visiting defence.
Aguero wasted a glorious chance just before he was substituted, as he clocked up a total of 782 minutes played at Anfield without scoring a goal.
City got themselves the goal their play had deserved with 12 minutes left, when Silva stroked in a nicely-taken left-footed finish to set-up a nervy finish as the visitors continued to push, but it was too little too late for the champions.
Liverpool v Man City reaction
Pep Guardiola: "The way we played was incredible. I'm so proud of my team, more than ever...we played so good.
"Ask the referees. Ask the referees, not me. Ask Mike Riley and the guys running the VAR. I'm trying to do a job, I'm trying to talk about our performance that was so good.
"Our performance was awesome, one of the best we have played and played in a way that shows why we are back-to-back champions.
"At the end, there is still seven months and if Liverpool win I will be the first to congratulate them because we cannot deny how good they are.
"But the way we played and the way we created the chances, the personality to play every time, it was good."
"We want to fight until the end. We dropped points through our own fault and for other things that we cannot control. It's the way it is. It's important to grow as a team, as a club, transition.
"I think it was an honour for both teams to show the Premier League to the spectators with this kind of game.
"All of Europe will have watched this game. Two English teams who want to attack, want to create chances and it's appetising what we can offer. It was good for the Premier League.
"I'm not in a position to know the future. Now it's the international break, hopefully they come back, people who are injured come back and then it's Chelsea at home."
Jurgen Klopp: "No, I didn't see it. People told me that at first it hit Bernardo Silva's hand and then it was Trent's hand. Someone has to decide that. If Bernardo Silva had scored with his hand it would have been disallowed, wherever the hand was. Who wants to make that decision?
"I didn't see it but I understand each disappointment after conceding a goal after a situation like this, 100 per cent. We would have felt exactly the same.
"I've never had nine points ahead of City, especially not after a game with City, so it's completely new. Each point we need to get through the most intense period ever."
Trent Alexander-Arnold: "There's VAR and it has hit my arm but I think it might have hit Bernardo Silva's first. It's one of them where you have to carry on playing and we went down the other end and punished them.
"They were complaining about the goal...we went down the other end and went 1-0 up.
"We're on a good run of form, still unbeaten, which is what we want to do. We've got to keep on picking up the three points. At home we've got the advantage with the fans, every time we're here we want to pick up the three points and feel like we should. So for us it's about keeping that momentum up and we're just focused on ourselves.
"We picked up a lot of points last season and it still wasn't enough, so we know we're going to have to get in and around the same kind of numbers to hopefully come away with a bit of silverware.
"But it's still early doors and there's a long way to go."
Liverpool 3-1 Manchester City Opta stats
- Liverpool have won 11 of their first 12 Premier League games this season and lead the table by eight points – only Manchester United in 1993/94 have had a bigger lead after 12 games of a Premier League season (nine points).
- Man City manager Pep Guardiola has lost eight matches in all competitions against Jurgen Klopp – three more than he has against any other manager.
- This was the second time this season Man City have conceded three goals in a Premier League game (also 3-2 against Norwich) – they only did so once last season, losing 3-2 to Crystal Palace in December 2018.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 17 home Premier League games against Manchester City (W12 D5 L0) since losing 2-1 in May 2003.
- Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has been involved in 69 goals in 60 appearances at Anfield for the Reds in all competitions (51 goals, 18 assists), scoring in three of his four home appearances against Man City in that time.
- Man City manager Pep Guardiola has lost more away games at Anfield against Liverpool than he has at any other ground in all competitions (four defeats).
- Fabinho’s goal was Liverpool’s ninth from outside the box in all competitions this season – more than any other Premier League side.
- Since August 2018, Sadio Mané has scored 22 Premier League goals at Anfield for Liverpool – more than any other player has scored at a single venue in that time.
- Manchester City conceded twice in the opening 15 minutes of a Premier League game for the first time since December 2016 against Leicester City.
- Since the start of last season, only Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser (16) has provided more Premier League assists than Liverpool full-back Andrew Robertson (15).
- This is the fewest points Man City manager Pep Guardiola has won through his first 12 top-flight league matches of a season (25), and the first time he has been more than three points behind the top of the table at this stage of the season (nine points currently).
- This was Sergio Agüero’s ninth match at Anfield against Liverpool in all competitions for Manchester City – he has never scored there for City, attempting 14 shots without success across those nine games.
Liverpool 3-1 Man City - As it happened
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