Liverpool’s time as champions of England got off to a disappointing start after they were resoundingly beaten 4-0 by their nearest rivals, Man City.
However, it was Jurgen Klopp’s side that looked the more jaded following their jubilant celebrations last Thursday night, the deposed champions taking advantage of an uncharacteristically rusty performance from the new kings of England.
City 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.
On the stroke of half time, 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 though, 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, in what was a spikey and tetchy interview, Jurgen Klopp admitted his side ‘lacked fluidity’ against a side who were mentally ‘quicker’.
“Is the game important to us? I saw a brilliant attitude,” he told Sky Sports.
“They were quicker than us in mind. We lacked fluidity. Against Man City you have massive problems.
“We had moments. We had chances, we didn’t use them. The result we have to take.
“If you want to lead this story in a direction that we were not focused, then do it. I liked my team’s attitude, you ask again. Isn’t it nice another team can be champions when Man City can play so well.
“Man City are incredible. I saw their season, they didn’t play a bad game.”
The result leaves Liverpool 20 points clear at the top, and with six games still to play, they are still chasing a whole host of records, including most points and biggest winning margin.