Football: Manchester City pay respects to new EPL champions Liverpool - then poop on parade

Manchester City generously applauded new champions Liverpool onto the field before their English Premier League match on Thursday - then showed no mercy by thrashing them 4-0.

With the title secured a week ago, there was little at stake for Juergen Klopp's Liverpool side, who showed far from their usual levels of intensity, but the loss - just their second of the league campaign - was an emphatic reminder that City will be desperate to regain their crown next season.

After the 'Guard of Honour', which included City manager Pep Guardiola, the visitors started brightly and Ederson had to be alert to keep out a fourth-minute effort from Mohamed Salah.

Salah then struck the post, after a clever pass from Roberto Firmino, whose hair was coloured red, but if Liverpool thought they were in for another night of festivities, they were in for a rude awakening.

Joe Gomez could not cope with Raheem Sterling's twisting and turning in the box, pulling him to the ground, before Kevin De Bruyne converted the penalty in the 25th minute.

Sterling doubled the lead 10 minutes later, when after a swift break, Phil Foden found him inside the box, and the ex-Liverpool forward cut inside Gomez and slid the ball home.

The 20-year-old Foden made it 3-0, firing past Alisson, after a swift exchange with De Bruyne.

City showed an unusual willingness to play long balls and after Rodri launched a pass deep to De Bruyne, the Belgian found Sterling inside the box and he slipped the ball goalwards, with substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's outstretched touch only turning it into his own net.

The scoreline could have been worse, with substitute Riyad Mahrez finding his target in the final seconds, but losing the goal when a video review found Foden handled the ball.

Klopp was quick to defend his team's attitude, rejecting any suggestion they had taken the game lightly.

"I saw a brilliant attitude," he said. "I saw fight.

"We didn't behave like somebody who became champions a week ago. We lacked fluidity and in some 50-50 situations, they were quicker than us.

"Man City are incredible. I saw their season, they didn't play a bad game, even when they lost," he said.

The loss was the joint-heaviest defeat by a side already crowned Premier League champions. Arsenal were beaten 4-0 at Liverpool in 1997/98 in the game after they clinched the title. 

Reuters

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