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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 1, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' and captain Jordan Henderson look dejected as Manchester City score the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Man City 4-1 Liverpool: Pathetic defeat leaves top four unlikely

Liverpool took an early lead only to slip to a predictability pathetic display at Man City, losing 4-1 to limp into this month’s defining run of fixtures.

Man City 4-1 Liverpool

Premier League (28), Etihad
April 1, 2023

Goals

Salah 17′ (assist – Jota)
Alvarez 27′
De Bruyne 46′
Gundogan 53′
Grealish 74′


After a long break between games, Liverpool resumed play at the Etihad with Jurgen Klopp fielding a 4-2-3-1, with Mohamed Salah leading the line ahead of Cody Gakpo as No. 10.

They were starved of possession early on, though, and when they did recover the ball, the Reds often found themselves giving it away cheaply.

Then out of nowhere, Liverpool were ahead, with Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s long pass finding the lurking Diogo Jota, who beat the offside trap and laid it off for Salah to power home.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 1, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores the opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Salah had another chance as he broke free on the counter, but his pass to Jota was cut out by Jack Grealish and then, minutes later, Man City had equalised through Julian Alvarez.

Fouls and flareups built up as referee Simon Hooper risked losing control of the game, with the two sides going into the break level.

HT: Man City 1-1 Liverpool

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 1, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' and captain Jordan Henderson look dejected as Manchester City score the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With 60 seconds of the restart City had taken the lead, with a simple ball through the defence allowing Riyad Mahrez to tee up Kevin De Bruyne for a tap-in after Alisson and Andy Robertson‘s miscommunication.

A positive first half undone, Liverpool had a task on their hands to regain control, with the looming presence of Darwin Nunez on the bench surely a tempting one.

The embarrassment of Klopp’s defence was magnified when Alvarez was able to dance through and, after his shot was blocked by Alexander-Arnold, Ilkay Gundogan tucked home for 3-1.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 1, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) is replaced by substitute Darwin Núñez during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There seemed to be a long pause as the game lulled and even Jordan Henderson looked to be urging Klopp to make changes, and he eventually sent on Nunez along with Kostas Tsimikas, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Roberto Firmino.

No number of changes could improve the attitude and application of this Liverpool side, though, with midfield and defence sleepwalking as Grealish tied it up at 4-1.


TIA Man of the Match: N/A

Referee: Simon Hooper

Man City: Ederson; Stones, Akanji, Dias, Ake; Rodri (Bernardo 83′), Gundogan, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Grealish (Palmer 89′), Alvarez

Subs not used: Ortega, Laporte, Walker, Gomez, Lewis, Phillips, Perrone

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson (Tsimikas 70′); Fabinho, Henderson; Elliott (Oxlade-Chamberlain 70′), Gakpo (Milner 82′), Jota (Firmino 70′); Salah (Nunez 70′)

Subs not used: Kelleher, Matip, Gomez, Arthur

Next match: Chelsea (A) – Premier League – Tuesday, April 4, 8pm (BST)