LONDON: Liverpool condemned Manchester City to their first Premier League defeat of the season on Sunday (Monday in Manila) while Alexis Sanchez neared the exit door as Arsenal slipped to a damaging defeat at struggling Bournemouth.
Jurgen Klopp sent out an attack-minded line-up and was rewarded with a scintillating 4-3 win at a jubilant Anfield, where the emotions were in sharp contrast to Arsene Wenger’s misery after a 2-1 loss.
Liverpool’s victory means Pep Guardiola’s City, who were unbeaten in 30 league games between this and last season going into the match — which included an 18-match winning streak — can no longer match Arsenal’s “Invincibles”, who went the entire 2003-2004 unbeaten.
Guardiola said City were not composed enough when Liverpool got on top in the second half, even though they came close to staging a dramatic comeback to keep their run alive.
“After the second goal they scored two in a few minutes and it is hard to recover from that,” he said. “In every press conference for the last few months you have said that the Premier League is done and I always said ‘no, it is still to be done’.
“We will defend our position game by game.”
The result means that City remain 15 points clear of second-placed Manchester United at the top of the Premier League table ahead of United’s match at home to struggling Stoke on Monday.
Liverpool, who are unbeaten in the league since October, leapfrog Chelsea into third spot, level on 47 points with the Blues and United.
Klopp’s side, in their first match since Philippe Coutinho left to join Barcelona, showed they still have enviable depth in attack, taking an early lead when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain marauded forward and thundered a shot past City stopper Ederson.
The home side held onto their lead until five minutes before half time, when Leroy Sane gathered a raking cross-field ball from Kyle Walker and beat Loris Karius at his near post with a rasping left-foot shot that the Liverpool keeper should have saved.
Guardiola’s team appeared to be in control after the break before Liverpool’s goal glut.
Roberto Firmino dinked a clever shot in off the post and just two minutes later Sadio Mane, who had struck the woodwork himself seconds before, smashed a shot into the top corner to make it 3-1.
With City rocking, Mohamed Salah scored Liverpool’s fourth with a left-footed shot from more than 35 yards out after Ederson had misplaced a clearance.
City scored late through Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan to get back into the game but they ran out of time.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was delighted with his team’s display and said it was a wonderful advert for the Premier League.