Fri | Aug 7, 2020

‘Cityzens’ arrest - Former champs spoil Liverpool EPL celebration party with 4-0 win

Published:Friday | July 3, 2020 | 12:25 AM
The scoreboard at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, shows the final score during the English Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool yesterday.
The scoreboard at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, shows the final score during the English Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool yesterday.

MANCHESTER, England (AP):

As they stepped on to the pitch, Liverpool’s players were given a guard of honour from Manchester City. It was the only time they looked like English Premier League (EPL) champions yesterday.

“I think they drank a lot of beers in the last week,” City manager Pep Guardiola said.

The dethroned champions made sure there was an abrupt comedown from the partying. A merciless attacking display sparked by City scorers Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, and Phil Foden consigned Liverpool to a 4-0 loss exactly a week after their 30-year title drought ended.

“They were quicker than us in mind – we lacked fluidity,” Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said. “Isn’t it nice another team can be champions when Man City play so well?”

The slack defending and lack of sharpness from Liverpool were perhaps forgiveable from players who had spent the previous 31 rounds establishing an unprecedented 23-point lead to become England’s earliest champions.

Such an emphatic loss is not how Liverpool wanted to close out such a memorable season, especially when there are still enough games to overhaul City’s record 100-point haul from 2017-18.

Klopp wasn’t as downbeat as the result suggested.

“I saw a brilliant attitude. I saw boys who were fighting with all their effort,” he said. “We didn’t behave like somebody who became champions a week ago.”

A Night to Forget

It was a night to forget for so many Liverpool players – particularly Joe Gomez, who dragged Raheem Sterling down to concede a penalty converted by Kevin De Bruyne in the 25th minute.

“We tried to play football, taking risks,” Guardiola said, “because they are the best team I ever faced in my life with high pressing. It is incredible how fast they are, how quick they play.”

De Bruyne and Phil Foden helped City stylishly waltz through Liverpool and show how the title can be reclaimed next season.

Receiving a pass from Foden, Sterling took the ball past Gomez with left boot before using his right to knock in City’s second in the 35th minute. Sterling and Gomez reunited in an EPL match for the first time since Liverpool’s victory over City at Anfield in November that was followed the next day by a training camp fight while they were on England duty.

Yesterday’s EPL results

Sheffield United 3-1 Tottenham

Man City 4-0 Liverpool