Manchester City 1: Aguero 44'
Liverpool 4: Mangala (OG) 7' Coutinho 23' Firmino 32' Skrtel 81'
Liverpool's brutal stretch of away fixtures against top tier sides is over. It ends with a thorough beating of Premier League favorites Manchester City at the Ethiad in one of Liverpool's best performances in recent memory. Led by the electric duo of Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho, the Reds put four past Joe Hart and could have had even more.
Roberto Firmino started at striker with Christian Benteke and Daniel Sturridge stashed on the bench. Firmino gave Liverpool's attack a proper spearhead, as he made all the necessary runs to stretch Manchester City vertically. The vacated space created by Firmino's movement gave Coutinho room to orchestrate attacks in the midfield, pushing Manchester City to the brink of disaster each time Liverpool broke forward at pace.
Liverpool's dogged high-press led by the midfield trio of James Milner, Emre Can, and Lucas Leiva compounded Manchester City's problems by keeping the hosts pinned back in their own half. Manchester City's own sloppiness played right into the pressure to gift the Reds easy breakaway opportunities on multiple occasions.
At the back, Liverpool did enough to hold one of Europe's most deadly attacks to a single goal. Nathaniel Clyne shut down Raheem Sterling out wide with a world class defensive display, while Martin Skrtel played a jitter-free game to secure the central defense.
Liverpool started the scoring seven minutes in through an own goal from Eliaquim Mangala and never looked back. In the 23rd minute, Firmino ran onto a bouncing ball, drove forward, and whipped a through ball to Coutinho, who doubled Liverpool's advantage with his finish.
Liverpool's third goal was a work of art: Coutinho worked a one-two with Can to set himself free, Can found Coutinho with a back heel flick, and Coutinho unselfishly squared to Firmino for a simple tap-in.
Sergio Aguero gave Manchester City life just before half time in typical Aguero fashion, dribbling past Lucas before unleashing a perfect long-range strike into the corner of the net.
There was a moment when it seemed like the Aguero goal would lift City to a second half comeback. Joe Hart repeatedly denied Liverpool's big chances as City crept back into the match offensively, making things more nervy than they had to be.
But Martin Skrtel put the match to bed with a cracking volley from the edge of the box that flew past Hart before he could react to it. 4-1 at the Ethiad, a couple weeks after beating Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool are past the hardest part of their schedule, and with Klopp's influence beginning to set in, there's reason to be optimistic about the next month. It's fun to be a Liverpool fan again.