Mane off as five-star Man City crush Liverpoolsports Updated: Sep 09, 2017 19:24 IST
Mancheste Liverpool’s Sadio Mane was dismissed for a challenge that saw goalkeeper Ederson stretchered off as Manchester City destroyed their Premier League title rivals 5-0 on Saturday.
Brazilian Ederson was carried off in a neck brace after being caught in the face by Mane’s foot as he raced out to head the ball away late in the first half and the Liverpool forward was shown a straight red card.
City already led 1-0 through Sergio Aguero’s opener at that point and braces from Gabriel Jesus and substitute Leroy Sane completed City’s biggest win over Liverpool since March 1937.
With Liverpool having avoided defeat against their top-six rivals last season, it was the first time Jurgen Klopp’s side had lost to one of their principal adversaries since a 1-0 loss at home to Manchester United in January 2016.
It meant Alex-Oxlade-Chamberlain had a deja vu debut after coming on at half-time for Liverpool, having succumbed to a 4-0 defeat against his new club on his last appearance for Arsenal before the international break.
While Mane’s dismissal was a key factor in the game’s outcome, the emphatic nature of City’s win suggests Pep Guardiola’s second season as manager will yield a serious title challenge.
City are unbeaten in 12 league games, their best run under Guardiola, while Argentina striker Aguero is now the outright leading non-European goal-scorer in English top-flight history with 124 goals.
It took City 24 minutes to unpick the visitors’ back four as Kevin De Bruyne’s delicately weighted through-ball freed Aguero to skip past Simon Mignolet and score for the sixth successive home game against Liverpool.
Guardiola had reverted to a 3-5-2 system and left-sided centre-back Nicolas Otamendi immediately looked vulnerable against Liverpool’s speedy right-winger Mohamed Salah.
Otamendi was booked for clattering Salah in the sixth minute and after City’s opener, the Argentinian’s poor positioning allowed Mane to release Salah, only for Ederson to come to the rescue with a smart save.
Sane added a fourth with 13 minutes to go, brilliantly sweeping home debutant Benjamin Mendy’s left-wing cross, before putting the cherry on the cake in stoppage time with a sublime curler into the top-left corner.
First Published: Sep 09, 2017 19:24 IST