Liverpool scored three times in nine minutes on the way to a dramatic 4-3 win over Manchester City on Sunday which ended the Premier League leaders’ unbeaten start to the season.
Liverpool struck after less than 10 minutes when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain surged forward from midfield to collect a neat layoff from Roberto Firmino and send a low shot past City keeper Ederson.
Leroy Sane equalised shortly before the interval, but Liverpool blew City away after halftime with Firmino chipping Ederson to restore the home side’s lead and Sadio Mane striking from the edge of the box.
Egypt international Mohamed Salah looked to have completed the rout when he collected Ederson’s clearance and sent the ball sailing back over the stranded keeper’s head, but City substitute Bernardo Silva grabbed one back and midfielder Ilkay Gundogan prodded home in stoppage-time.
City’s first league defeat in 23 games this season left them 15 points clear at the top, ahead of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.
“Congratulations to Liverpool for the victory,” City manager Pep Guardiola told Sky Sports.
”The game was in our hands at 1-1 but our finishing was not good and then it went suddenly to 4-1. You have to live this kind of situation in the season.
“The reality is we lose the game, we have a week to recover and prepare for the Newcastle game. All credit to the opponent, we know how difficult it is against a Juergen Klopp team, so aggressive, at Anfield too. We did a good performance apart from a few minutes.”
Against the runaway leaders and without Brazilian Philippe Coutinho following his big-money move to Barcelona, Liverpool started strongly and their high pressing game was vindicated when Oxlade-Chamberlain surged forward and finished brilliantly.
In an entertaining match which produced chances at both ends, City began to assert themselves before a deserved equaliser.
Kyle Walker’s brilliant pass beat Joe Gomez and Sane, having controlled the ball superbly with his chest, fizzed a shot past Loris Karius’s weak attempted save at his near post.
The game continued at the same frantic pace after the break with chances for both sides before Liverpool, in one of the most irresistible attacking displays of the season, scored three times in nine blistering minutes.
Firmino lifted a deft finish over Ederson to restore their lead before Mane - just seconds after curling a shot against the post - unleashed an unstoppable drive into the top corner with his left foot.
With Anfield in raptures and the visitors looking shell-shocked, Ederson’s attempted clearance only found Salah who controlled the ball before clipping it over the Brazilian from long range.
Late goals from substitute Silva and Gundogan exposed Liverpool’s defensive fraility without the injured Virgil van Dijk and set up a tense final few minutes, but City’s revival came too late.
Klopp was delighted with his team’s reaction to the departure of Coutinho.
“He’s probably jumping in his new living room in Barcelona and will be happy about the win tonight,” the German said.
“Of course, for us, it’s important to show we can play without him and we did it, so that’s a very important statement, absolutely.”