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Liverpool 3, Manchester City 0: First Thoughts

Only one side was up for it tonight, and it was the Reds. It does nothing to take away the cup defeat, but it felt good nonetheless.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Liverpool 3: Lallana 34', Milner 41', Firmino 57'
Man City 0:

  • Pregame Thoughts: Definitely feeling a pre-match hangover. Nice to see Flanagan back in the starting XI. Shades of beating Chelsea after losing to them in the FA Cup final in 2012. Yeah, it was nice, but at the end of the day it didn't wash the taste of bitter disappointment out of my mouth. Anyway, here we go. 

  • Liverpool out to a surprisingly bright start. I couldn't blame them if they were just as "Meh" about tonight as the rest of us. I'm guessing Klopp isn't giving them too much time for self-pity. 

  • Flanagan with a clumsy challenge on Sterling, giving a free kick away in a dangerous area. Nothing comes of it, but come on Flanno! You can do better than that! 

  • The only time we hear the Anfield faithful is to boo Sterling every time he's on the ball. Even still, it's only half-hearted, and mostly out of a feeling of obligation. 

  • Half an hour gone and only 3 shots total between the sides, and only 1 on target. It's still knotted at zeroes, so obviously that shot on target is ours. 

  • GOAL! Um, disregard that last bit of snark. Lallana hits a slow, dribbling, easily savable shot from distance, but somehow catches Hart daydreaming about curling up with some Ben & Jerry's and watching his favorite rom-com when he gets home, and the ball gently rolls into the back of the net. 1-0 to the Reds. 

  • GOAL!! If the first one was a bit lucky, the second was pure class. Lallana finds Firmino with a nifty little back heel, and Firmino works a perfect through ball to Milner. Milner's first touch is perfect, and his second touch is a clinical finish off the post and in. Milner gives precisely zero fucks about celebrating against his old team, doing some awkward lasso motion in front of the away fans. 2-0 to Liverpool. 

  • Milly's coming up big tonight, blocking a goal-bound Aguero header off a corner. You might ask, "Isn't it better if Aguero doesn't get free headers on set plays?" And that's a reasonable position, sure, but baby steps!

  • Halftime: So yes, this is working out exactly like Chelsea in 2012 so far. Do I want to hold on and beat City? Yes. Still very disappointing, considering we've outscored the Citizens 7-2 over 255 minutes so far, and those jerks get the stupid League Cup that they don't even care about. Rabble, rabble, rabble. 

  • Bony on for Sterling. Liverpool fans will have to figure out something else to be fussed about. Or not. Whatever. 

  • GOAL!!! Bobby Firm gets his. Lallana picks up a loose ball, slots it in to Firmino, and Firmino slams it home with a first-time finish. Easy as you'd like. 3-0! 

  • Milner wants a second, and nearly gets it with a great shot from outside the box, but Hart was up to the challenge (for once tonight). 

  • Benteke on for Origi. Let's see the big guy bag a goal. Origi had a decent night. He wasn't directly involved in any of the goals, but his pressing was instrumental in setting the pace, and creating room for his teammates. 

  • Kolo! Just bossed around Aguero in the box. Maybe the best thing I've seen so far tonight. 

  • Wee Joe Allen on for Firmino. Bobby and Lallana really looked great pressing from the front and linking up tonight. More of that, please. 

  • Henderson goes close with a free kick that beats Hart, but it curls just wide of the near post. Would have been a nice exclamation point from the captain. 

  • United have just gone up on Watford, meaning if the results stand we'd be helping the other half of Manchester. Ew. 

  • Ibe on for Milner. Milly's had a great night tonight. He popped up all over the pitch, and his goal was very well taken. 

  • Wee Joe! The Welsh Pirlo nearly hits the target with an audacious volley from distance. If only...

  • Full Time: So, I could continue to be a stick in the mud, but fuck it: we just completed the league double over Manchester City. We looked good. Our goals were well taken. And the result was deserved. If Liverpool have nothing left to play for in the league, they didn't play like it tonight.

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We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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