Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane recorded a brace each to steer Manchester City to a 5-0 victory over Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday, inflicting Juergen Klopp’s worst loss as a manager in 11 years.
Liverpool’s evisceration at the Etihad Stadium unfolded after Sadio Mane was sent off in the 37th minute for a high challenge on Ederson that led to the goalkeeper being carried off on a stretcher.
At the time, City was only leading through Sergio Aguero’s 24th-minute strike. Once City had a man advantage, Gabriel Jesus netted again in first-half stoppage time and eight minutes into the second half.
The Brazil forward was then substituted and his replacement, Sane, grabbed two goals as well.
“We played really smart,” City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne said. “We didn’t give Liverpool time and if you score a few goals it makes it a lot easier.”
It was a miserable Liverpool debut for Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, whose last game for Arsenal was in a 4-0 rout by Klopp’s team before the international break.
Liverpool’s optimism has been quickly deflated. Not since Klopp’s Mainz was beaten 6-1 by Werder Bremen in October 2006 has the German experienced a heavier loss in his coaching career.
“It’s an experience, a very bad one, but that’s how life is,” Klopp said. “You have to take what you get and make the best of it.”
This was the type of commanding performance City was missing in the opening weeks of the season even as it collected seven out of nine points.
Fernandinho tested Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet from distance before De Bruyne split the Liverpool defense open with a superb throughball for Aguero’s opener. The Argentina forward rounded Mignolet and tucked home his sixth goal in as many league home appearances against Liverpool.
Liverpool responded with Mane racing clear only to be felled on the edge of the area by Fernandinho. Emre Can blasted the resulting free kick wide before Salah failed to beat Ederson from close range.
The game’s major talking point came when Mane chased a long ball over the top and raised his boot as Ederson came rushing out. He accidentally caught the Brazilian in the head and the ‘keeper instantly fell to the ground.
The game was held up for eight minutes as Ederson received treatment before being carried off. City later reported that Ederson was not concussed and he was checked for facial fractures at a nearby club medical facility before returning to the stadium.
Referee Jon Moss deemed Mane’s actions worthy of a red card, but Klopp disagreed.
“In the first moment everyone thought it was really bad,” Klopp told broadcaster Sky Sports. “It was unlucky. It was an accident. The goalkeeper comes out, Sadio wants the ball. To get a red card in a game like this is really unlucky.”
The incident seemed to dampen Liverpool’s spirits and the visitors had a let-off when Gabriel Jesus’ header was ruled out for offside. It proved only a minor reprieve as he headed home another effort from De Bruyne’s cross just before the break.
City soon killed off the game in the second half.
Aguero had another strike chalked off but, again, that didn’t matter much as then he raced onto Fernandinho’s pass to tee up Gabriel Jesus for the third.
Liverpool was being carved open all too easily and Benajmin Mendy combined well with Sane for a well-worked fourth in the 77th. Mignolet produced a sprawling save to deny Aguero but Sane had the final word by curling in a superb fifth in stoppage time from 25 yards (meters).
“I wanted to use my chance today and it was a good day for me,” Sane said, “and I especially enjoyed the second goal.”