Manchester City ensured that their unbeaten start to the Premier League season remained intact after a Gabriel Jesus double inspired a comfortable victory against ten-man Liverpool at the Etihad.
After a relatively cagey opening to the game it was a moment of quality that broke the deadlock, with Kevin de Bruyne’s defence-splitting ball finding Sergio Aguero to slot the ball into an empty net.
The big talking point came shortly after though when Sadio Mane’s high-challenge on goalkeeper Ederson was deemed dangerous enough for referee Jon Moss to give the Liverpool a straight red.
And the hosts wasted little time in capitalising on their man advantage when Gabriel Jesus – who was denied by the offside flag moments before – headed De Bruyne’s pin-point ball past Simon Mignolet.
Pep Guardiola’s side continued dominating after the break, with Jesus getting his second of the day before substitute Leroy Sane rounded off a convincing victory with two late efforts to make it 5-0.
The home side then comfortably saw out the remainder of the game to move top of the table – momentarily at least – whilst Jurgen Klopp’s side will now reflect on their first defeat of the season.
See below for how Manchester City rated as they eased to three points on Saturday lunch-time.
Ederson – Got down well to thwart Salah early on and keep his side ahead before his afternoon ended prematurely following Mane’s 50/50 challenge, being stretchered off after a long period on the ground. Had been commanding up to that point and Guardiola will hope it’s nothing serious. 6.
Benjamin Mendy – Awarded his home debut and, after a slow start to proceedings, he began to show more confidence attacking down the left-hand side and earnt his assist. Provided some useful cover for Otamendi inside his own half too and, given more top-flight experience, he’ll be a dangerous asset. 7.
John Stones – Nearly made a telling impact at the other end of the pitch when he forced Mignolet into a smart stop with his feet but it was his defensive work that impressed. Stood tall in the heart of City’s three-man defence and barely gave Firmino a sniff – a promising display from the youngster. 8.
Nicolas Otamendi – Was clearly targeted by Liverpool as a weak link in the City side and, following a booking for a rash early challenge on Salah, he was walking a tightrope for 85 minutes. Often dragged out of position, leaving gaps wide open, and it won’t be a game he’ll want to remember. 5.
Danilo – Brought into a make-shift back-three following an injury to captain Vincent Kompany, the Brazilian adjusted well and kept Liverpool’s notorious attacking threat quiet. Mane’s dismissal arguably halved his work-load for the afternoon but he proved that his versatility will be useful this season. 6.
Kyle Walker – Returned to the side after serving his suspension and he immediately looked to get on the front foot and attack the inconsistent Moreno, putting in his trademark lung-busting runs into opposition territory. Had very little to do defensively but had a solid return to top-flight action. 6.
Fernandinho – Out-muscled his opponent in the air in the build-up to City’s opening goal and he administered a good level of control in the midfield, allowing the visitors very few opportunities to attack down the middle. Has really made his mark on the City side this season with his discipline. 7.
David Silva – The fact that he blended into the background of an excellent City performance shows just how influential De Bruyne was, but his partnership with the Belgian continues to grow on the pitch. Found space regularly as the match went on and kept possession ticking along in midfield. 6.
Kevin de Bruyne – Roamed the opposition third superbly all match and Liverpool simply couldn’t handle him, supplying a sublime through ball to set-up Aguero’s opener before putting the ball on a plate for Jesus to double the lead. Posed a threat whenever he was on the ball and proved to be influential. 9.
Sergio Aguero – Made his return to the starting line-up and continued his excellent recent record against Liverpool inside just half an hour, coolly rounding Mignolet for his 124th Premier League goal. Unselfishly gave the ball to Jesus when clean through to top off an excellent afternoon’s work. 7.
Gabriel Jesus – After being denied by the linesman’s flag he made no mistake second time around, finding himself free in the six-yard box to nod past Mignolet and double the lead just minute before the break. Slotted into a gaping net for his second to secure his third goal of the new campaign. 8.
Claudio Bravo – Wouldn’t have expected to make his first appearance of the season when he woke up but he was called upon following Ederson’s injury. Can’t remember him being forced into action once such was the lack of attacking threat that ten-man Liverpool posed. 6.
Leroy Sane – Given the majority of the second-half to stake a claim for a starting role and he joined the party late on, side-footing the ball into the net before unleashing a simply unstoppable left-foot-strike. 8.
Eliaquim Mangala – Came off the bench late on to replace Otamendi. N/A.