Manchester City and Gabriel Jesus hammer 10-man Liverpool 5-0
Manchester City beat Liverpool 5-0 at the Etihad, with doubles from Gabriel Jesus and Leroy San, with Sadio Man sent off for a foul on the keeper after Sergio Ageros opener
By the time this game had finished Ederson, Manchester Citys goalkeeper, had just reappeared from the x-ray suite at the clinic where he had been taken to check his cheekbone and jaw were still in working order. Ederson had been caught flush in the face, head-high, by Sadio Mans flying studs and the red card that was shown to the Liverpool player does at least offer his team some kind of excuse for this score.
Not entirely, though. There is a way of playing with 10 men and this was absolutely not it. Liverpools response to Mans dismissal did not offer great encouragement about their competitive courage and, not for the first time, it was difficult to imagine how Jrgen Klopp can achieve his ambitions if his side are going to defend this generously. Liverpool crumbled far too easily and once City sense weakness they can be merciless opponents. It was the first time City have scored four, or more, past the team from Anfield since 1937 and Liverpools heaviest defeat in Manchester for 70 years.
City were already winning, courtesy of Sergio Agero, by the time the referee, Jon Moss, decided that Mans collision with Ederson 25 yards from goal constituted an automatic sending-off eight minutes before half-time. Gabriel Jesus headed in a second in the time added on at the end of the first half and when the same player made it 3-0 early in the second half it was almost a surprise City restricted themselves to two more. Leroy San, one of their second-half substitutes, scored them both and Ederson had just arrived back in the stadium to see the final one the games outstanding moment fly into the top corner.
This was certainly not the way Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, a substitute, must have imagined his Liverpool debut going and the punishment for Man will be considerable, with a three-match ban to follow. Will Liverpool appeal? Possibly, but it is unlikely that the decision will be overturned. These matters are not decided on whether or not it was intentional. Klopps reaction was that it would be another waste of time.
As red cards go this one will polarise opinion. Mans sympathisers will argue that he was entitled to go for the ball and that, as Guardiola conceded, it was an accidental collision. Equally, the attackers studs were way off the ground if the argument is whether it constituted dangerous play. All that can really be said for certain is that it poleaxed Ederson and left a clutch of City players frantically waving for medical assistance. The goalkeeper had taken an almighty whack, requiring eight minutes of intensive treatment, and it was lamentable that some Liverpool fans seemed to hold him responsible, booing as the stretcher bearers prepared to take him off.