Manchester City laid down a statement of intent ahead of next season, thumping newly crowned champions Liverpool 4-0 at the Etihad.
Man City took full advantage, and opened the scoring from the spot after Joe Gomez and Raheem Sterling renewed rivalries, the Reds defender holding onto his England colleague for too long in the box, with Kevin de Bruyne sending Alisson the wrong way after 25 minutes.
10 minutes later, Sterling finally ended a long wait to score against his former side, picking up a good ball from Phil Foden before squeezing the ball in at the near post from close range.
On the stroke of half time, and the increasingly impressive Foden made it three, the Stockport born midfielder coolly firing the ball home after a neat one-two with Kevin de Bruyne on the edge of the box.
City weren’t finished there, Raheem Sterling’s 66th minute effort being diverted goalbound by Alex Oxlade Chamberlain before the Blues were denied a fifth when Riyad Mahrez’s 90th minute strike was ruled out for a handball in the buildup.
Speaking afterwards, Pep Guardiola was impressed with his side’s ‘courage’, admitting Liverpool are the best pressing team he has ever come up against in his career.
“We beat the champions, an extraordinary team. We are brave to play, they are brave to play,” Guardiola told Sky Sports.
“My team I like every single game. We tried to play football, take risks. The best team I have ever faced in my life at high pressing.
“We had the courage to play in the small spaces.
“It is important. I saw the guard of honour, how they work inside, how focused they were. They didn’t even say thank you because they were focused.
“They drank a lot of beers this week but they arrived here with no beers in their blood which is why I give us a lot of credit.”
While the title is already over, City could still end the season with a treble, Guardiola’s side still able to add the FA Cup and Champions League to the League Cup they lifted back in March.