The Reds were given a guard of honour by last season’s Premier League champions, but that was the highlight of the evening for them.
Despite a good start that saw chances created, it wasn’t long before City took control, as Kevin De Bruyne fired home from the penalty spot.
Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden added further efforts before half-time, prior to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain‘s own goal completing the victory for the hosts.
Both tried their best on a forgettable night, proving far more noticeable than the majority of their team-mates.
Ian Doyle of the Echo hailed Fabinho for a “strong tackle on De Bruyne,” as well his ability to drop into a centre-back role in the second half.
Meanwhile, Salah received praise from TIA’s Karl Matchett, saying his “excellent forward runs created early danger,” with the Egyptian testing Ederson and also hitting the post.
Next in the reckoning was captain Jordan Henderson (5.4), on a proud night for him personally, leading the troops out as champions for the first time.
Sky Sports lauded “one wonderful pass” to Sadio Mane (5.2) after the break—one that the Senegalese should have done far better with.
The Redmen TV felt the skipper deserved a “bit of credit” for continuing to work hard until late in the day, unlike some of those around him.
Robertson (3.5) suffered a dreadful night at the office, receiving the lowest rating and leading to Matchett to surmise he was “too hungover” to function.
Gomez (3.7) wasn’t much better, conceding the penalty, being turned inside out by Sterling for his goal and finding himself substituted at half-time.