Saturday 9 September 2017 14.29 BST First published on Saturday 9 September 2017 11.30 BST
FULL TIME: Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool
And that’s that! City go top of the Premier League, at least for a couple of hours, with a five-goal skelping of Liverpool. They were already leading when Sadio Mane clattered into Ederson and received his marching orders; the game was only heading one way after that. Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane and Benjamin Mendy were magnificent. And Ederson is back on the touchline, with a plaster on his jaw but otherwise looking healthy, which is the most important thing of all.
Updated at 2.31pm BST
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GOAL! Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool (Sane 90 +1)
Scrub that! There’s time for Sane to pick up possession just to the right of the Liverpool D. He takes a touch and curls one into the top left! A beauty, and this is now officially a rout.
Updated at 2.34pm BST
90 min: Everyone would be happy to hear the final whistle now, if the keep-ball going on in the middle of the park is anything to go by. That’ll be sounded in two minutes’ time.
88 min: De Bruyne, quarterbacking from deep, slides a pass down the inside-left channel for Sane, who crosses low. Aguero slides to meet the ball at the far post, and guides it goalwards, but Mignolet spreads himself to save well.
86 min: Solanke sprays a fine ball down the right for Henderson to chase. Out comes Bravo to smother. Henderson thought about going in for the 50-50, but opted out of the challenge, understandably so in the circumstances.
85 min: Sane comes straight through the back of Moreno. Not sure how he’s escaped a booking for that, but it’s just a wee chat.
84 min: 4-0’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has a run down the left. It doesn’t lead to much. Liverpool have had no outlet in this second half. Was it such a good idea to take Mo Salah off?
83 min: Fernandinho curls in a cross from the right. Can tries to trap it with his buttocks, perhaps not the wisest idea. The ball clanks to Aguero, who turns Can on the outside and smacks a shot into the side netting on the right.
81 min: Can is booked for a frustrated slide on Aguero. The resulting free kick comes to nothing.
79 min: More keep ball from City, whose fans are now in Party Mode. Penny for erstwhile Arsenal player Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s thoughts, now facing two 4-0 defeats in a row with different clubs. If not something even worse.
GOAL! Manchester City 4-0 Liverpool (Sane 77)
This had been coming. Another powerful run by Mendy down the left, and another peach of a cross. He slips it inside to Sane, who fires a first-time effort into the bottom left. Mignolet was beaten at his near post, though in truth he’d have done very well to stop that crisp shot, with Liverpool all over the shop at the back.
Updated at 2.17pm BST
74 min: Mendy is rampant right now. He strides again down the left and Henderson does very well to swivel and hoick his cross away while standing in front of goal. The away fans are making the most noise right now, as supporters so often do when their team are in an awful pickle like this.
72 min: A brilliant reaction save by Mignolet, from his own player! Mendy whips a low cross in from the left. Matip hangs out a leg, and the ball flashes towards the bottom left. Mignolet does very well indeed to keep the effort, such as it is, out with a strong arm.
70 min: Eliaquim Mangala comes on for Nicolas Otamendi.
69 min: Solanke’s first contribution is to win the ball in midfield with some determined scrambling. He sets Milner off down the right. Milner is clipped by Danilo, and is happy to sit on the turf awhile, running down the clock. The resulting free kick comes to naught.
68 min: Alexander-Arnold is forced to tap out for a corner under pressure from Mendy, pressing hard down the left. From the set piece, Silva and Sane nearly open Liverpool up with some pretty quick-fire passing down the wing, but the offside flag goes up after a crisp one-two.
67 min: Firmino hasn’t stopped chasing, despite the desperate situation Liverpool find themselves in. But his race is run: he’s replaced by Dominic Solanke.
65 min: But suddenly City spring into life, Sane turning on the jets out on the left. He pulls back a cross for De Bruyne, who, breaking news, finally does something that isn’t superb! He leans back and blooters a shot miles over the bar, with the goal at his mercy.
64 min: City with more of the sterile keep-ball. Liverpool will take this, in the hope of avoiding a cricket-score thrashing. Meanwhile here’s Rory Craig again: “After letting myself calm down, and confirming that my unbridled bias towards the Reds got the better of me, that probably was a red card really. But it might not have been. I don’t know. Hardly matters, we probably would have still lost.”
62 min: City play a bit of keep ball in the middle of the park. Walker threatens to break free down the right but Klavan just about manages to keep him away from the danger zone.
60 min: Liverpool can’t get out of their own half. The home crowd are enjoying this.
58 min: James Milner comes on for Georginio Wijnaldum. The City fans give their former player the bird. Always time for a bit of panto in the Premier League.
57 min: The brilliant Gabriel Jesus, who has scored two and had another goal disallowed, won’t be getting his hat-trick. He’s replaced by Leroy Sane.
56 min: … some intricate triangulation which releases Mendy into space. He rolls a ball across the six-yard box, with Jesus again hovering. Mignolet smothers. Yes, Liverpool have to watch themselves here.
55 min: This could get embarrassing for Liverpool. David Silva slips a pass down the left for Mendy, who hooks towards the near post, where Jesus lurks. The ball’s deflected out for a corner by Klavan. And from the set piece..
GOAL! Manchester City 3-0 Liverpool (Jesus 53)
City have the ball in the net again, and it’s another disallowed goal, Aguero clipping a right-wing cross home but from an offside position. No matter! Seconds later, they intercept a Liverpool hoof upfield. Fernandinho slides a pass down the middle, splitting Liverpool’s new back three, and Aguero is away! He unselfishly passes to Jesus on his left, and the young man finishes with Mignolet utterly stranded!
Updated at 1.56pm BST
50 min: Firmino has a couple of runs at the City back line, clearly not of a mind to let this one go yet. The second earns a corner down the right, from which …
48 min: All a bit quiet at the Etihad, however, with a general sense that this is pretty much over, unless Otamendi, for example, manages to get himself sent off. Meanwhile in the interests of balance, which everyone loves on the internet, here’s Rory Craig: “Yes, Mané’s boot is high, but is he not allowed challenge for the ball? Calling the keeper defenceless is a bit of an overstatement I think; his half-hearted challenge for the ball put himself in more danger than if he had dived for it, but that’s just from my view of the challenge.”
46 min: Gary Neville is still standing his ground, incidentally, in his belief that the Mane-Ederson incident was unfortunate, but just a yellow. I guess we’ll be hearing more of it. People like talking points, huh? Adults with differing points of view? Still, how football has changed. This wasn’t even a free kick!
Here we go again, then! And what a moment for Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain to make his Liverpool debut, as he comes on for Mo Salah. The home side get the ball rolling for the second half.
Hats off to Jon Moss. Because, yes, that’s a red card. On first viewing, it looked an innocent coming together. But Sky have run a few other angles, and while Mane was clearly fixated on controlling the ball, he had his boot recklessly high, and poor Ederson paid the price. Plenty of you agree…
Peter Van: “Mané doesn’t intend to harm Ederson, but he lunges recklessly into a defenseless opponent. You might argue he doesn’t know Ederson is there, but that’s just not true; the way he extends his leg lets you know he is aware of the keeper’s presence. He didn’t intend to harm Ederson, but he did not do all he could to avoid a clash that might have – did have – dreadful consequences. It should be a red.”
Leo Carroll: “It’s disingenuous to suggest Mane didn’t know the keeper would be there or thereabouts, so at best he was reckless putting his foot that high in that situation, and people tend to forget about peripheral vision when they talk about whether a player has his eye on the ball or not. Players at that level know where the ball is and where other players are around them. So in short, it was a red, and an easy one.”
Matthew Wheythorpe: “I’ve never seen a clearer red card.”
Lorraine Berry: “On NBC, they have shown an angle that shows Mane’s boot catching Ederson in the chin with a very high boot. Regardless of whether Mane saw him, his boot head high has to be dangerous play. I think the red was justified.”
HALF TIME: Manchester City 2-0 Liverpool
Well that escalated quickly. City were already leading when Sadio Mane was sent off for a high-footed attempt to round Ederson that went horribly wrong. They’re now two goals and a man to the good. The result is theirs for the taking. Back soon!
45 min +8: Salah embarks on another fine dribble down the right, but once again his decision making is poor and he delivers neither cross nor shot.
GOAL! Manchester City 2-0 Liverpool (Jesus 45 +6)
No mistake this time! De Bruyne tries a cross from the left, and it drops on the head of Jesus, who plants a fine header past Mignolet! That was another peach of a cross! City are in control now.
Updated at 1.30pm BST
45 min +5: Liverpool are desperate to hear the half time whistle. They can’t get hold of the ball. “I thought it was harsh at first bust looking at the replay I think Moss has got it spot on,” writes Kasete Skeen. “Mane’s foot was high, high enough to hit Ederson in the head and the fact they converged so forcefully makes it all the worse.” Yes, you might be right. Who’d be a referee?
City goal disallowed!
45 min +3: De Bruyne, deep on the right, curls a glorious ball into the middle. Jesus rises and plants a header past the flapping Mignolet. That was some cross, he couldn’t miss! But the flag goes up, correctly, for offside.
45 min +2: Mendy whips a gorgeous cross into the Liverpool box from the right. Aguero, at the far post, seems surprised and can only force a corner. From which…
45 min: Ederson departs, and Claudio Bravo comes on. There will be eight extra minutes added to this half.
43 min: Was Mane unlucky to be sent off? Maybe. Maybe not. Certainly, poor Ederson has come off worst in physical terms, and he’ll take no more part in the game. He’s being carefully loaded onto a stretcher.
40 min: Ederson is down getting a bit of treatment. To be fair, he did take an awful clatter in the face there. But it looked like an honest coming together in an innocent 50-50. I guess folk will have different opinions on the decision, but on Sky both Gary Neville and Thierry Henry think it’s harsh on Mane, regardless of Ederson’s injury. On the touchline, Jurgen Klopp is beside himself with anger. Moss comes over to calm Klopp & Klopp down.
RED CARD! Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
37 min: A long hoick down the middle. Mane springs the offside trap and goes after the ball. Ederson comes out of his area. Mane looks to nick the ball past the keeper on the left. His raised leg connects with the keeper, who goes down. It’s a free kick, sure. But there’s shock in the air as Jon Moss brandishes red. Nobody expected that! That looks a slightly harsh decision, with Mane looking at the ball as the pair collided. Having said that, the keeper did take an unfortunate one in the face.
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