Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool boast a magnificent record against fellow top six sides, but that was far from the case at the Etihad against Manchester City on Saturday.
The Reds got off to a poor start when Sergio Aguero opened the scoring midway through the first half, but a sending off for Sadio Mane for dangerous play opened the floodgates for Manchester City.
Gabriel Jesus added a second before half-time and a third not long after, with Leroy Sane adding another two strikes late in the second half to compound a woeful afternoon for Jurgen Klopp.
Here are three things that The Boot Room learnt from the game…
Liverpool collapsed and the decision not to buy a defender looks a poor one
Sadio Mane’s sending off proved to be a turning point in this fixture. Manchester City had dominated even before the red card, but afterwards the Reds capitulated. Their shambolic defending, with Ragnar Klavan in particular disappointing, allowed Pep Guardiola’s side to take the tally to five and it could have been more.
The club’s decision not to sign a central defender in the summer transfer window now seems a grave error, as many believed it would. Klavan is clearly not good enough to be a regular in the Liverpool first team, but with such a lack of depth Jurgen Klopp has been left with no choice but to turn to him.
Manchester City have what it takes to compete
The Citizens were by far the better side from the very first whistle. To claim that the dismissal of Mane was the main factor behind their rout would do a disservice to the home side, as they were equally as imperious before Jon Moss sent the Liverpool forward off for a high foot on Ederson.
Few sides in the Premier League can boast the kind of attacking threat that City displayed on Saturday lunchtime, with the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane running riot with Kevin de Bruyne providing great service from midfield.
Mohamed Salah has to work on his finishing
There were far more concerning signs at the Etihad for Liverpool fans on Saturday, but Mohamed Salah’s finishing remains a concern. The Egyptian often finds himself getting into great positions, but once again he couldn’t provide the final touch to put the ball into the back of the net.
In the early stages that proved decisive, and with Liverpool down to ten men before half-time and a goal down, they had to remain fairly open in the hope of finding an equaliser. With Salah having forgotten his shooting boots, that was an uphill battle.