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Manchester City 1-4 Liverpool: 5 Things We Learned As The Reds Ran Riot At The Etihad

Jurgen Klopp had a wonderful day at the office today. His charges, Liverpool turned in a superb display to stun Manchester City at the Etihad.

After seeing Arsenal lose to West Brom earlier in the day, Manuel Pellegrini's side must have been eyeing all three points in Saturday's late game.
Roberto Firmino celebrates with Philippe Coutinho after Eliaquim Mangala scored
Roberto Firmino celebrates with Philippe Coutinho after Eliaquim Mangala scored
But Jurgen Klopp and his charges had other ideas, scoring three first-half goals on the way to a commanding 4-1 win that left the home fans stunned.

Here are five things we learned:

1) City's second string defence not up to it

With skipper Vincent Kompany sidelined through injury, Manuel Pellegrini was taking a massive gamble leaving his other first-choice central defender, Nicolas Otamendi, on the bench, despite him having only arrived back from international duty with Argentina on Thursday.

Martin Demichelis was handed his first Premier League start since September 26 and it showed. He, along with Eliaquim Mangala, was hopeless, static and left befuddled by Liverpool's pace and movement, chiefly from Coutinho and Firmino.
Got the Blues: City were not at their best
Got the Blues: City were not at their best

2) Hart saved City real embarrassment

After an unconvincing start, Joe Hart made three world-class saves, denying Firmino a hat-trick and blocking an angled shot from substitute Christian Benteke. But for Hart's heroics between the posts, City could have suffered even more humiliation by losing by an even bigger margin.

With a woeful defence in front of him, England No.1 Hart proved his enduring value to City, who were indebted to him for keeping the scoreline down.
Thankless task: Hart did well even as City were thrashed
Thankless task: Hart did well even as City were thrashed

3) Toure's half-time withdrawal could be telling

It was no surprise to see Yaya Toure hooked at half-time, after a wretched first-half in which he expended more energy in throwing his arms up at every perceived injustice.

Toure's failure to track Firmino's run for Liverpool's third goal once again shone a light on his defensive shortcomings and laziness when things aren't going City's way.
Handed the captain's armband in the absence of Kompany, Toure should have led by example. Instead, he was made an example of by Pellegrini.

Tough choices: Pellegrini hooked Toure and Navas at the break
Tough choices: Pellegrini hooked Toure and Navas at the break

4) Firmino looks the real deal

After a slow start to his Liverpool career, there were legitimate question marks over the wisdom of paying £28m for the Brazilian playmaker.

But Firmino destroyed City's defence with his guile and movement, the provider for the first two goals, while scoring his side's third. He could have had a hat-trick, but was twice denied by fine saves from Hart.
Three and easy: Firmino pokes home...
Three and easy: Firmino pokes home...
...and wheels away to celebrat

5) Sterling had a day to forget

All eyes at the Etihad Stadium were on Raheem Sterling, coming up against former club Liverpool for the first time since his acrimonious £49million summer switch to City.

Things couldn't have gone much worse for Sterling, who was taunted with chants of “Sterling, what's the score?” and “one greedy b******” by the travelling section of Liverpool fans.

To compound Sterling's miserable afternoon, he missed what was effectively an open goal, falling over with the goal at his mercy in the 85 minute.
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