Manchester City kept their hopes of a third successive Premier League title alive with a 4-1 comeback victory against Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
City, who were without 42-goal Erling Haaland through injury, fell behind to a Mohamed Salah strike early on, but responded quickly to level the match through Julian Alvarez, who led the line in Haaland’s absence. Pep Guardiola’s rampant side established a comfortable lead in the second half to move within five points of league leaders Arsenal, who play later on Saturday.
City’s hopes of garnering a title push and Liverpool’s attempts to force a surge towards the top four culminated with the match starting in a high-tempo yet cagey manner.
But Salah rocked the hosts by opening the scoring on 17 minutes, netting his fourth goal in as many matches against City this season.
Diogo Jota’s perfectly executed run beyond City’s back line was not dealt with and as Manuel Akanji attempted to thwart him, the ball was left for Salah to power through and fire home emphatically past Ederson.
However, City levelled the game 10 minutes later as Alvarez scored his 13th goal of the season. An incisive move saw Ilkay Gundogan find Jack Grealish in space down Liverpool’s right side. His low ball into the middle was swept home by Alvarez to give Guardiola’s side a foothold for a comeback.
And within a minute of the second half beginning, City took the lead through De Bruyne.
Alvarez picked out the onrushing Riyad Mahrez with an inch-perfect cross-field pass, leaving the Algeria forward to play a simple ball into De Bruyne who slid home past Alisson.
With momentum in their favour, City punished Liverpool further and Gundogan scored their third on 54 minutes.
Alvarez was again heavily involved in the build-up. His nimble footwork helped play the ball out on the right flank, and he found his way back into the box to fire against Trent Alexander-Arnold. The effort was blocked into the path of Gundogan, who slotted home from close range to tighten City’s grip on the lead.
Grealish compiled Jurgen Klopp’s side’s misery 16 minutes from time as he slid the ball beyond Alisson after a neat combination with De Bruyne, scoring City’s 17th goal across their last three matches.
The setback leaves Liverpool in sixth place in the league table, seven points off fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur with a game in hand.