Irresistible Liverpool thrash Man City in UCL quarterfinal first leg
Liverpool 3 - 0 Man City

Irresistible Liverpool thrash Man City in UCL quarterfinal first leg

05/04/2018

Liverpool drew significant first blood in their all-English Champions League quarterfinal as Manchester City were blown away in 45 minutes in a raucous 3-0 Anfield defeat.

Jurgen Klopp's side may not have delivered a fatal blow but first-half goals from Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane provided a healthy advantage heading into next week's second leg at the Etihad Stadium.

Concerns about windows being smashed on the Manchester City coach, with thousands of Liverpool fans lining the streets on their approach to the ground armed with smoke bombs and flares, were nothing compared to Pep Guardiola's annoyance at the wheels coming off in the opening 45 minutes.

Liverpool, who beat City 4-3 in the league here, were ahead after 12 minutes when James Milner played a sumptuous ball down the touchline and even though there was a hint of offside as Salah broke on the halfway line City were powerless to prevent what happened next.

The Egypt international played in Roberto Firmino and although Ederson blocked his initial shot the loose ball fell to Salah who had the presence of mind to wait just long enough to see where the defenders were scrambling to before firing home his 38th goal of the season from close range.

Guardiola had deployed Salah's rival for player of the year, Kevin De Bruyne, alongside holding midfielder Fernandinho in an attempt to control game from deep.

The Belgium international barely had a touch of significance as Liverpool swarmed all over the centre of the pitch, winning every second ball with an energy and tenacity their visitors could not match.

Leroy Sane scuffed a shot wide when he had options either side of him but surprisingly that was City's best chance of the half.

Klopp's side were far more clinical and when Firmino appeared to be fouled by Vincent Kompany, referee Felix Brych played on and Milner swept ball inside to Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Advancing a few steps the midfielder repeated his feat of January against City, albeit with a much fiercer effort from 20 yards which Ederson barely saw never mind getting near.

City were dominated like never before this season -- not even in their previous defeat here -- and their creative duo of De Bruyne and David Silva never had any time on the ball.

Their desperation was evident towards the end of the half as long, high balls were pumped into the penalty area without reward.

By then they were 3-0 down after Mane out-jumped men much bigger than him to head in Salah's inswinging far-post cross.

Had Virgil van Dijk's header looped in and not narrowly wide in added time it would not have flattered Liverpool.

Guardiola experimented with Aymerick Laporte, a ВЈ57 million centre-half, at left-back against Everton at the weekend and he was barely troubled by Theo Walcott.

However, he endured a torrid time against Salah and it was a relief for him -- and a worry for Liverpool -- when the winger was forced off with an apparent groin injury early in the second half.

The tide turned after the break with City enjoying the sort of dominance to which they are accustomed but they could not carve out a decent chance with Silva's uncharacteristic poor control in the six-yard box indicative of the pressure they were under.

Jordan Henderson's booking for a foul on former Reds winger Raheem Sterling rules him out next week but it could not spoil another special night under the lights.

Related news

Juventus overcome Ronaldo red card to win Champions League debut

Juventus overcome Ronaldo red card to win Champions League debut

Cristiano Ronaldo's Champions League debut for Juventus lasted only 29 minutes as he was red-carded but the Italians began their Group H campaign impressively with a 2-0 victory at Valencia on Wednesday.

Paul Pogba scores two as Man United open Champions League with win vs. Young Boys

Paul Pogba scores two as Man United open Champions League with win vs. Young Boys

Paul Pogba scored two first-half goals as Manchester United spoiled Young Boys' first appearance in the group stage of the Champions League by cruising to a comfortable 3-0 victory at the Stade de Suisse on Wednesday.

Nabil Fekir helps fire Lyon to shock win over Manchester City

Nabil Fekir helps fire Lyon to shock win over Manchester City

Manchester City looked far from potential Champions League winners as they fell to a surprise 2-1 loss at home to Olympique Lyonnais on Wednesday with a flat performance that leaves them with plenty of work to do to progress from Group F.

Nikola Vlasic equalises late in CSKA Moscow draw vs. Viktoria Plzen

Nikola Vlasic equalises late in CSKA Moscow draw vs. Viktoria Plzen

CSKA Moscow salvaged a 2-2 draw with Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League on Wednesday after a penalty deep in stoppage time.

Bayern's Renato Sanches scores, earns applause on return to Benfica

Bayern's Renato Sanches scores, earns applause on return to Benfica

Bayern Munich midfielder Renato Sanches had a goal and an assist in his return to Benfica in a 2-0 victory on Wednesday.

Gareth Bale, Isco strike as Real Madrid outclass Roma in UCL opener

Gareth Bale, Isco strike as Real Madrid outclass Roma in UCL opener

Real Madrid rode goals from Isco and Gareth Bale to a 3-0 win against Roma in their Champions League Group G opener at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Hoffenheim and Shakhtar Donetsk draw as Nagelsmann becomes youngest UCL coach

Hoffenheim and Shakhtar Donetsk draw as Nagelsmann becomes youngest UCL coach

The youngest coach in Champions League history drew his debut game Wednesday as Hoffenheim's match at Shakhtar Donetsk finished 2-2.

Nicolas Tagliafico's double guides Ajax to comfortable win over AEK

Nicolas Tagliafico's double guides Ajax to comfortable win over AEK

Nicolas Tagliafico scored two second-half goals as Ajax marked their return to the Champions League group stages with a 3-0 victory over AEK Athens on Wednesday.

Late Roberto Firmino goal seals dramatic Liverpool win over Paris Saint-Germain

Late Roberto Firmino goal seals dramatic Liverpool win over Paris Saint-Germain

A stoppage-time goal from Roberto Firmino gave Liverpool a 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain on a dramatic Champions League night at Anfield.

RELATED NEWS

Juventus overcome Ronaldo red card to win Champions League debut
Valencia 0 - 2 Juventus

Juventus overcome Ronaldo red card to win Champions League debut

Cristiano Ronaldo's Champions League debut for Juventus lasted only 29 minutes as he was red-carded but the Italians began their Group H campaign impressively with a 2-0 victory at Valencia on Wednesday.

Paul Pogba scores two as Man United open Champions League with win vs. Young Boys
Young Boys 0 - 3 Man United

Paul Pogba scores two as Man United open Champions League with win vs. Young Boys

Paul Pogba scored two first-half goals as Manchester United spoiled Young Boys' first appearance in the group stage of the Champions League by cruising to a comfortable 3-0 victory at the Stade de Suisse on Wednesday.

Nabil Fekir helps fire Lyon to shock win over Manchester City
Manchester City 1 - 2 Lyon

Nabil Fekir helps fire Lyon to shock win over Manchester City

Manchester City looked far from potential Champions League winners as they fell to a surprise 2-1 loss at home to Olympique Lyonnais on Wednesday with a flat performance that leaves them with plenty of work to do to progress from Group F.

Nikola Vlasic equalises late in CSKA Moscow draw vs. Viktoria Plzen
Viktoria Plzen 2 - 2 CSKA Moscow

Nikola Vlasic equalises late in CSKA Moscow draw vs. Viktoria Plzen

CSKA Moscow salvaged a 2-2 draw with Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League on Wednesday after a penalty deep in stoppage time.

Bayern's Renato Sanches scores, earns applause on return to Benfica
Benfica 0 - 2 Bayern Munich

Bayern's Renato Sanches scores, earns applause on return to Benfica

Bayern Munich midfielder Renato Sanches had a goal and an assist in his return to Benfica in a 2-0 victory on Wednesday.

Gareth Bale, Isco strike as Real Madrid outclass Roma in UCL opener
Real Madrid 3 - 0 Roma

Gareth Bale, Isco strike as Real Madrid outclass Roma in UCL opener

Real Madrid rode goals from Isco and Gareth Bale to a 3-0 win against Roma in their Champions League Group G opener at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Hoffenheim and Shakhtar Donetsk draw as Nagelsmann becomes youngest UCL coach
Shakhtar Donetsk 2 - 2 Hoffenheim

Hoffenheim and Shakhtar Donetsk draw as Nagelsmann becomes youngest UCL coach

The youngest coach in Champions League history drew his debut game Wednesday as Hoffenheim's match at Shakhtar Donetsk finished 2-2.

Nicolas Tagliafico's double guides Ajax to comfortable win over AEK
Ajax 3 - 0 AEK

Nicolas Tagliafico's double guides Ajax to comfortable win over AEK

Nicolas Tagliafico scored two second-half goals as Ajax marked their return to the Champions League group stages with a 3-0 victory over AEK Athens on Wednesday.

Late Roberto Firmino goal seals dramatic Liverpool win over Paris Saint-Germain
Liverpool 3 - 2 Paris Saint-Germain

Late Roberto Firmino goal seals dramatic Liverpool win over Paris Saint-Germain

A stoppage-time goal from Roberto Firmino gave Liverpool a 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain on a dramatic Champions League night at Anfield.