Liverpool struck a potentially decisive blow in the Premier League title race. Their victory over the reigning champions, City at Anfield opened up an eight-point lead at the top of the table.
The confrontation between Liverpool and Manchester City had been billed as a defining moment in Liverpool’s 30-year quest to land on the title.
This outcome leaves the club with a commanding advantage over Leicester City in second place.
Liverpool took the lead after six moments when Fabinho flashed a 25-yard drive past keeper Claudio Bravo.
Manchester City, on the other hand, were threatening in possession. However, the team was ruthless in attack as proved when Mohamed Salah doubled their lead six minutes later heading in at the far post from Andrew Robertson’s superb cross.
Sterling missed a headed chance. Aguero saw a shot deflected on to the post as City tried to find a foothold. Disappointingly, it was all over six minutes after the break when Jordan Henderson’s pinpoint delivery lured Bravo into a critical moment of hesitation and Sadio Mane headed in.
Silva pulled one back with 12 minutes left. But it was too late for City who will rue not making the most of their plentiful possession and opportunities as they now lie nine points of the top in fourth place.
Guardiola was fuming at the final whistle appearing to thank referee Michael Oliver sarcastically before leaving the pitch.
Liverpool, meanwhile, celebrated a victory that gives them a real hold at the Premier League summit.
Liverpool’s title to lose
How Klopp and Anfield celebrated their victory said everything about its magnitude.
A huge roar went up from the top as Liverpool’s players gathered in front of it after the final whistle. Such is their form this season with 11 wins from 12 league games. That it is surely their title to lose now.
This is a team that has lost one of their past 51 league games.
Liverpool’s defense was seriously troubled by City. Nonetheless, Klopp’s side can score from anywhere at any time which makes them so dangerous.
City proved well but was stunned by Fabinho’s superb strike. Once Robertson provided that terrific arcing cross for Salah, Liverpool was in control of what may well come to be seen as a pivotal moment in the season.
Liverpool got relieved when City missed opportunities they had and the scoreline became flattering. But Klopp and his players will not care.
They have game-changers in all areas of the pitch and carry an ominous threat even when under pressure.
There is a growing sense of destiny about Liverpool’s season, although they will still look in the direction of Brendan Rodgers’ excellent Leicester City side and Chelsea after seeing off Manchester City at an exultant Anfield.