The two dominant forces in English football in recent years renewed their rivalry this afternoon as Man City cruised to a first win at Anfield since 2003.
The two sides have won the last three Premier League titles between them, with Liverpool dethroning City last season to claim their first championship for 30 years.
However, City are now firmly back in the title ascendancy and sit five points clear at the top with a game in hand after a 10th successive top-flight win.
Ilkay Gundogan scored twice after initially blazing a penalty over the crossbar, while Mohamed Salah equalised for Liverpool with his own spot-kick.
However, two Alisson errors then helped City run away with things, with Raheem Sterling and the excellent Phil Foden also on target in a thumping win that leaves the defending champions fourth and 10 points off the title pace.
Follow the latest reaction from Anfield with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog below…
Keane unimpressed by Liverpool ‘excuses’
Liverpool have been without key defenders Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez for the majority of the term while goalkeeper Alisson Becker has also been missing for periods, but his return against City was overshadowed by two costly errors.
Roy Keane continued: “You could say it is a one-off, a freak season, it is corona… Just get on with it and perform like champions – you are Liverpool Football Club. Keep performing like that and it will be another 30 years before you win the league title, trust me.
“If everyone had all their players it would be fantastic, but if you want to look at Man City for a moment and the run they have been on, you could say they are missing two of their best players (Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne).
“But they have come to Liverpool and Liverpool had a strong team out. I know the two centre-halves are missing, but they still had their best attacking players on the pitch, their best goalkeeper available, they still have international players in midfield.
“After the game Jurgen Klopp is talking about the goalkeeper’s feet being cold. I know it is tongue in cheek a little bit but it is excuses after excuses.”
Keane lays into ‘bad champions’ Liverpool
Roy Keane described Liverpool as “bad champions” after Jurgen Klopp’s side lost a third game in a row at Anfield to lose further ground in the Premier League title race.
He told Sky Sports: “They are making a lot of excuses. To me they’ve been bad champions and I don’t just mean today.
“You can lose a game of football but there is a way to get beaten. I don’t see that and I think maybe they have all believed the hype over the last year or two.
“We spoke about will there be some sort of drop-off, but they are playing for a big team in Liverpool. It’s as if they have won the league last year and they have all got a bit carried away and believed the hype, but in my mindset when you have won a league title, the next challenge was, ‘Can we do it again?’.”
Jurgen Klopp on Alisson’s mistakes:
“We cannot hide that. It is true as well that we did not give him a lot of options in those moments, especially around the first one. I think the second one, he just miss-hit the ball.
“I don’t know, there is not a real explanation there. Maybe he had cold feet or something. That sounds funny but it could be. But there is still the opportunity to kick it in the stands.
“Ali has saved our life plenty of times, no doubt about that. Tonight he made two mistakes, that is how it is.
Pep Guardiola on Phil Foden:
“Phil Foden is a guy who keeps the ball really well, he arrives so aggressive but he is also still so young. When he plays wide it is more easy for him, he will learn. The action for the second goal and the fourth goal, we know what a huge talent he is but he is still young and hopefully he can understand he can still improve.”
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola speaking to Sky Sports:
“We played in the way you have to suffer here. Hopefully next time we can win here with people. Anfield is always impressive but with people it is much more.
“Huge victory for us. Three more points at the end but I take into consideration the fact we won after we missed a penalty and conceded a goal but the way we reacted… that made the difference.
“It is an important win but it is February. Of course the gap to fifth is big right now and that means for the Champions League for next season is important but 10 wins in a row in this period is something exceptional. Today is the time to talk about this but tomorrow we look to the next game.”
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson speaking to Sky Sports:
“Very disappointed with the result of course. I don’t think the end result reflected the performance to be honest but we made mistakes and got punished.
“We competed well, this was more like the performance we are used to but like I say mistakes at the wrong moments cost us.
“It is hard to take now but in football you have to move on quickly. We don’t look at the league table, just concentrate on the next game and try and win every game we can whether you are on top or fourth or fifth.”
Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden speaking to Sky Sports:
“When you beat the champions your confidence is sky high. So it can help us a lot.
“It’s brilliant, every player wants to play in big games like this and we showed that courage from minute one. They made it so difficult for us but we showed our courage to play our football and keep going, and in the end it paid off.”
Liverpool 1-4 Manchester City
Emphatic from the Foden-inspired visitors, who seal a first win at Anfield since 2003 and go five points clear at the top of the Premier League with a game in hand.
A nightmare second half for Alisson. Liverpool stay fourth and are now 10 points off the title pace.
90 mins: Three minutes of added time signalled.
Liverpool look shellshocked with this well and truly over as a competitive contest.
85 mins: Some late petulance from Alexander-Arnold, who clashes briefly with Ederson.
A miserable, sobering second half for Liverpool.