After trouble outside the ground involving the visiting coach, the expected fiery start ensued, with City controlling possession but it was the Reds who opened the scoring. A high line by the visitors looked suspect and allowed Mo Salah to break, squaring to Roberto Firmino whose effort was blocked by Ederson, only to bounce off Kyle Walker and into the path of Salah who fired home.
Anfield was rocking and it got better for the home side soon after when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain turned 25 yards from goal before unleashing a rocket into the corner of the net. Jurgen Klopp was keeping his cool but rather than sit back, Liverpool kept going, and Sadio Mane made it 3-0 with a brilliant downward header from Salah’s cross.
Pep Guardiola responded by altering his shape at the break, moving Ilkay Gundogan inside and switching Kevin de Bruyne out to the right.
The headline news of the early part of the second half was the withdrawal of Salah who appeared to have tweaked his groin and went straight down the tunnel for treatment.
Liverpool dropped deeper as the game went on but for all of City’s possession, they lacked their usual penetration. Gabriel Jesus did have a goal disallowed but Leroy Sane was harshly flagged offside in the build-up.
Even Raheem Sterling couldn’t make an impact but he was involved in what could prove to be a key moment as Jordan Henderson was booked for a foul on the winger and as a result will miss the return game.
That was the only negative to come from a great night for Liverpool and the Reds will now head to the Etihad next week with a commanding 3-0 advantage.