Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain felt Manchester City‘s tactics played into Liverpool’s hands as the Reds handed Pep Guardiola’s side their first Premier League loss of the season with a thrilling 4-3 win at Anfield.
Oxlade-Chamberlain set the hosts on their way early on, with Leroy Sane equalising before the break. A blistering start to the second half saw Liverpool roar into a 4-1 lead thanks to goals from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, but City threatened an unlikely comeback thanks to late efforts from Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan.
“We know they like to play out from the back and they are really good at it, but at the same time we thrive when teams try and do that, it can play into our hands,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said on Sky Sports.
“Second half when we went on a bit of a rampage for five or 10 minutes that showed.”
The loss was runaway leaders City’s first in 23 league games this term. “It’s a nice statement to make,” said Oxlade-Chamberlain.
“They’ve been brilliant all year.
“We knew we had what it took if we were 100 per cent at the races to get three points today.”
Mane admitted the nerves were jangling at the end, though, as City fought back to within one goal.
“It was not easy for us – 4-1, 4-2, 4-3, you are a bit scared, but we worked as a team and I think we deserved to win today,” he said.
Guardiola was gracious in defeat, but admitted his side had to show greater defensive resilience after falling 2-1 down.
“Congratulations Liverpool for the victory,” he said. “In the second half we started much better (than in the first), the game was in our hands, we had one or two chances on the counter-attack and the finishing was not good.
“And after 10,15 minutes the 1-1 to 4-1 – in football you can concede one goal, but you have to be stable and in that moment we were not solid enough.
“After the second goal they scored the third and fourth and after that it’s always a complicated recovery.”