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City 5-0 Liverpool: Pep verdict

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Pep Guardiola hailed Kevin De Bruyne’s Man of the Match display as City romped to an impressive 5-0 thrashing of Liverpool.

Sergio Aguero opened the scoring with his sixth goal in six home games against the Reds, before Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane bagged a brace each.

De Bruyne was responsible for two assists, helping Pep Guardiola’s men to a 2-0 half-time lead, and he was at the heart of the Blues’ best attacking moves throughout.

Guardiola told press City are lucky to have the Belgian.

“He has quality and commitment, he is intelligent and he understands things quickly,” the manager declared.

“He makes a huge amount of passes, he is quick and he always sees spaces where others do not.

“He is good with the ball at his feet and he finds space. He is a complete player and we are a lucky Club to have him with us.

“I am so happy with his performance – and not just for today.”

A highly-entertaining clash saw Liverpool reduced to ten men five minutes before the break, as Sadio Mane was sent off for a dangerous, high challenge on Ederson.

The goalkeeper was substituted in place of Claudio Bravo but returned to the bench after assessment.

Guardiola admitted City’s midweek Champions League clash may arrive too soon for the Brazilian and insisted he saw no malice in the challenge which led to his injury.

“He does not have a broken bone,” he explained. ”That is important. Maybe he will be more beautiful after it!

“He is so important for us. There was no intention from Mane because he didn’t see but Ederson is hurt. Hopefully, he can walk but maybe he won’t play in the next game.

“We play so high that the ‘keeper has to play around the 60-yard mark to help us defend a little bit. It is not the first time (he has come out bravely). It was brave. Unfortunately, he is injured but hopefully, he will come back as soon as possible.

“Liverpool had one clear chance and Ederson showed how good he is.”

Whilst it is often deemed more difficult to play against ten men, Guardiola added the sending off proved beneficial to his side.

“Having two teams at that level at 10 v 11 for 50 minutes is a good advantage,” he reflected.

“It had been even at 11 v 11. Sometimes it is not easy to play against ten men but we did it well.

“The second goal helped us a lot.

“We spoke at half-time and said: don’t let them run. We cannot play a game up and down. We have to find the right moment. We had wasted some minutes pressing.

“They attacked a lot in the channels. They are so fast and they have quality. They created problems. Hopefully, when we play at Anfield, we can solve that.

“It is important to touch the ball as much as possible. To control the counter-attacks, I thought we could defend better with three at the back than four. We changed at half-time – sometimes you can use both systems.

“The full-backs gave us a lot of energy. Benjamin MendyKyle WalkerDanilo… they have a lot of legs! They can run and put in a lot of crosses. That helped us to hurt the opposition. It is a big step for us.

“We had patience and read the situation well.

“For a long time, City were unable to beat Liverpool but we did it today. It gives us confidence before our Champions League game.”