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.
Liverpool’s reported £70m and Keylor Navas deal for Sadio Mane could improve team
If Liverpool’s reported pursuit came off, could they be better off without their forward?
Real Madrid are reportedly interested in signing Liverpool‘s Senegalese speedster Sadio Mane this summer, and are said to have offered terms the Reds should seriously consider, according to Diario Gol.
The European champions are reportedly offering a staggering 80 million euros (£70 million) and their current number one, Keylor Navas, for Mane’s services. And the question bears asking: would Liverpool be better off as a team accepting the terms, considering their reported pursuit of Lorenzo Insigne? (TransferMarketWeb).
The suggested fee would put Liverpool in with a great chance of landing the Napoli superstar, while pocketing a fair amount to improve other areas of the team.
Klopp undoubtedly needs to resolve the goalkeeper situation at Liverpool, with Lloris Karius showing he isn’t up to the required standard at such a huge club.
And, so far, linked stoppers are being touted for ridiculous fees, with the likes of Jasper Cillessen and Alisson supposedly sitting on price-tags well in excess of £50 million for their services.
Navas could represent the best option for Liverpool in their current predicament then, and although losing Mane doesn’t bear thinking about for fans, if the brilliant Insigne can be brought to Anfield, the club must surely consider Real’s offer.
The point needs stressing though, Insigne is vital in any deal, and if Napoli aren’t serious about moving the 27-year-old on, the Reds should dismiss any talk of Mane leaving this summer.
Liverpool fans want Ivan Rakitic following brilliant performance against Argentina
Liverpool fans want yet another top midfielder at the club this summer.
Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic was nothing short of sensational last night in Croatia’s 3-0 dismantling of Argentina, and Liverpool fans have taken to social media to commend the midfielder, with many asserting that Jurgen Klopp should sign him this summer.
Luka Modric was in his usual scintillating form in the centre of the park, but Rakitic was equally as good, and the two essentially ran the game for the whole duration, as Argentina scratched their heads for a way to get into the game.
The 30-year-old rounded off a truly dominant display by slotting home into an empty net from close range, after Mateo Kovacic unselfishly played him in, but it was nothing less than Rakatic’s performance deserved on the night.
Reds fans, having already secured the high-profile signings of Naby Keita and Fabinho, took to Twitter to suggest that the club should complete a hat-trick of midfield acquisitions this summer and bring the £60 million rated man to Anfield.
Here’s the reaction:
Him and rakitic… must admit i would love rakitic at #LFC
— Brian Graham (@BrianGraham17) June 21, 2018
I would have took less money for Coutinho if it meant we would have got Rakitic as part of the deal. I think he is hugely under appreciated at Barca. Brilliant tonight again.
— Adam Deasy (@DeasyAdam98) June 21, 2018
Rakiti? was outstanding
— RedRightHandLFC (@RedRightHandLFC) June 21, 2018
Hey Liverpool, I think Rakitic may be for sale in the summer.
— Nadya (@nadyaissa) June 21, 2018
— Rob (@RT3960) June 21, 2018
— Morten Liland (@Mor10lil) June 21, 2018
As for Rakiti?, if Barça we’re looking rid of him, I’d take him at #LFC in a heartbeat
— Paddy McCouldBeWorse (@paddymccleery) June 21, 2018
— Ahmed ? (@KingDivock) June 21, 2018
Sign Rakitic @LFC
— Ahmad (@Lallannaa) June 21, 2018
It has to be said that the logistics of completing a deal for the Barcelona man, who was ever-present in the side last season, make any serious movement unlikely on Liverpool’s front. But many are starting to regret the club’s decision to turn their nose up at the prospect of signing him, in a make-weight deal for Philippe Coutinho last summer.
Jurgen Klopp should bring in Emil Forsberg to replace Adam Lallana
The Swedish star is keen on leaving RB Leipzig this summer and Liverpool have been linked in the past.
It seems Sweden midfielder Emil Forsberg has made his mind up over his RB Leipzig future. The talented playmaker has told Fotbolskanalen in his homeland:
“I’m ready for the next big step. That’s going to be very interesting.
“I am in dialogue with RB and always had a good relationship with the club.
“I have the dream of playing for the strongest clubs in the world.”
Those words certainly suggest he is on his way. Plenty of teams have been linked with the player recently.
That seems a little high and Liverpool could surely get the player cheaper.
It is definitely a deal Liverpool should consider. Forsberg is a similar talent to Adam Lallana.
Capable of playing anywhere along the front behind the front-man he relies on his cunning, technique and brains too make up for his lack of pace.
In fact, when watching highlights of the pair in action, the similarities are uncanny.
However, Forsberg is four years younger than Lallana and the ex-Southampton man’s recent injury record has been awful.
Undoubtedly, Lallana is a magnificent talent. He is also a favourite of Jurgen Klopp’s, often considered the German’s teacher’s pet.
But Liverpool simply cannot rely on the 30-year-old to stay fit anymore. Klopp loves him, but he would love Forsberg just as much.
It might be time for Liverpool to trade in for a newer model.