Liverpool’s 45 minutes of perfection that shook the world

Jurgen Klopp is playing down Liverpool’s chances of a historic quadruple, but he could not hide his satisfaction with their first-half dismantling of Manchester City.

“I think the first half was one of the best we ever played,” Klopp said post-match. “We did all the right stuff, we scored in the right moments, we played an incredible game in the first half, I really loved each second of it.”

Considering the way his Liverpool team have swept teams off the pitch in the early stages of games at Anfield, that is quite some statement.

City were weary after their exertions against Atletico Madrid – when they made just two changes to their starting XI in contrast to Liverpool’s seven against Benfica – and their vulnerabilities were ruthlessly exploited.

Liverpool’s first-half was markedly more intense and high-quality compared to their opening 45 minutes at the Etihad in the league match, when they were fortunate to stay in the game.

There were the moments that comprised a Liverpool masterclass.

Liverpool’s press

Manchester City were able to gain mastery of the Premier League meeting with a slight tweak to their usual midfield structure, with Bernardo Silva dropping deeper alongside Rodri to give them an extra dexterous ball-player to escape pressure.

Though this move in the 12th minute showed City’s intentions as they worked the ball from Zach Steffen into Bernardo Silva and into Jack Grealish in a centre-forward position, it was a rare occurrence of City playing through Liverpool lines.

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