Premier League: Liverpool lose 0-4 to Manchester City after receiving guard of honour; Sheffield United beat Tottenham

Manchester City generously applauded new champions Liverpool onto the field before their Premier League match on Thursday — and promptly showed no mercy by thrashing them 4-0 at the Etihad stadium.

FP Sports July 03, 2020 08:24:37 IST
Premier League: Liverpool lose 0-4 to Manchester City after receiving guard of honour; Sheffield United beat Tottenham

Manchester City generously applauded new champions Liverpool onto the field before their Premier League match on Thursday — and promptly showed no mercy by thrashing them 4-0 at the Etihad stadium.

With the title secured a week ago, there was little at stake for Juergen Klopp’s Liverpool side who showed far from their usual levels of intensity but the loss, just their second of the league campaign, was an emphatic reminder that City will be desperate to regain their crown next season.

Klopp was quick to defend his team’s attitude, rejecting any suggestion they had taken the game lightly.

“I saw a brilliant attitude. I saw fight. We didn’t behave like somebody who became champions a week ago. We lacked fluidity. And in some 50-50 situations they were quicker than us,” he said.

“Man City are incredible. I saw their season, they didn’t play a bad game even when they lost,” he said.

After the guard of honour, which included City manager Pep Guardiola, the visitors started brightly and Ederson had to be alert to keep out a fourth-minute effort from Mohamed Salah.

Salah then struck the post after a clever pass from Roberto Firmino, whose hair was coloured red, but if Liverpool thought they were in for another night of festivities, they were in for a rude awakening.

Joe Gomez could not cope with Raheem Sterling’s twisting and turning in the box, pulling him to the ground before Kevin De Bruyne converted the penalty in the 25th minute.

Sterling doubled the lead 10 minutes later when after a swift break, Phil Foden found him inside the box and the ex-Liverpool forward cut inside Gomez and slid the ball home.

The 20-year-old Foden made it 3-0, firing past Alisson after a swift exchange with Kevin De Bruyne.

City were showing an unusual willingness to play long balls and after Rodri launched a pass deep to De Bruyne, the Belgian found Sterling inside the box and he slipped the ball goalwards, with substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s outstretched touch only turning it into his own net.

It could have been even worse for Liverpool with Riyad Mahrez’s fine solo effort in the final moments but VAR spotted a handball by Foden in the build-up.

“We beat the champions, an extraordinary team,” Guardiola said.

“We tried to play football, take risks against the best team I have ever faced in my life at high pressing,” he added.

“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.”

The loss was the joint-heaviest defeat by a side already crowned Premier League champions. Arsenal were beaten 4-0 at Liverpool in 1997-98 in the game after they clinched the title.

Mourinho's gripe

While Klopp defended his players after the defeat, Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho was quick to assign blame after a 3-1 loss at Sheffield United in Thursday's other game.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane thought he had immediately canceled out Sander Berge’s opener in the first half but Lucas Moura was then penalized by the video assistant referee for handling in the buildup to the goal. But the Brazilian only touched the ball after he appeared to be fouled and fell to the ground.

“We’re going in a direction that’s really bad for the beautiful game,” Mourinho said, “the game that everybody fell in love with.”

Still, Mourinho did not want his players using that frustration as an excuse.

“We have to be mentally stronger," he said, “to cope.”

Tottenham didn't cope, with Lys Mousset and Oli McBurnie exploiting slack defending to score. Kane did eventually find the net but it was only a consolation as Tottenham was leapfrogged by the hosts.

After reaching last season’s Champions League final — losing to Liverpool — Tottenham might not qualify for any European competition next season.

Tottenham slipped to ninth, seven points behind fifth-place Manchester United. The Blades in seventh place are now better placed to qualify for the Europa League.

With inputs from Reuters and AP

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