Klopp effect visible as Reds crush Man City
THE Juergen Klopp effect began to really take hold on Saturday as Liverpool hammered mercurial Manchester City 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium to provide the Merseysiders' new coach with his most striking Premier League win yet.
Liverpool's buoyant German manager hailed the emphatic win as feeling "perfect" before insisting that he felt there was a lot more improvement to come from his confident side.
Klopp's men had defeated struggling champions Chelsea 3-1 last month but an own goal from Eliaquim Mangala and two beautifully worked strikes by Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, all in the first 32 minutes, put them on their way to an even more impressive triumph on the road.
City's returning Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero, a minute before half-time, produced a brilliant curling effort to threaten just briefly the possibility of a comeback win that would have taken them back to the top of the table.
Yet Liverpool, whose eye-catching Brazilian Firmino squandered a couple of other opportunities to seal the one-sided triumph, looked largely in control and completed the rout with a thunderous, if unlikely, 81st minute strike from Martin Skrtel.
It was a well-deserved win, full of zest and attractive football from the visitors which left Liverpool's Adam Lallana saying enthusiastically: "We didn't give them a second on the ball. Going forward we looked very dangerous, it was great fun."
Having lost just once in eight matches since Klopp took over from Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool have moved up to ninth in the table on 20 points, eight points behind leaders Leicester City.
Klopp told the BBC: "It feels perfect! The game was not perfect but it was very good." "We played with big passion and that's the most important thing for us.
"The good news is that we can do better. We have quality; we could have more goals. The boys can believe now that they are stronger than many people think.
"We took our chances and made our goals. They were brilliant goals," he added, evidently purring at how intricate interplay led to collector's items from his brilliant Brazilians Coutinho and Firmino.
It was a far cry from Liverpool's disappointing first defeat under Klopp at Anfield against Crystal Palace last Saturday.
"We need to stop slipping up at home," Lallana said. "These big wins go unnoticed if you lose at home but today is a great platform and hopefully we can kick on."
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini claimed that his team could not have played worse had they tried, which condemned City to their heaviest home loss since their move from Maine Road to the Etihad Stadium in 2003.
"Today we did it all wrong - the performance, the way we defended, the way we went forward. It was a fake night, a fake game," Pellegrini said in a television interview.
"It is difficult to understand. If we meant to do it on purpose, we couldn't have done it that badly. It is impossible to understand.
"We tried to make changes and have some options to score. We tried to fight, but continued making so many mistakes with the ball."
Speaking to reporters at his post-match press conference shortly after, Pellegrini described the performance as "a complete disaster".
City were bidding to reclaim first place in the Premier League, but finished the day two points below new leaders Leicester City in third place after their third defeat of the campaign.