10-man Liverpool thrashed 5-0 by ruthless Man City as De Bruyne, Jesus and Sané all star

10-man Liverpool thrashed 5-0 by ruthless Man City as De Bruyne, Jesus and Sané all star
(Picture: Getty Images)
Manchester City
5 0
Liverpool
Manchester City: Ederson (Bravo, min. 45+1); Walker, Stones, Otamendi (Mangala, min. 70), Mendy; Danilo, Fernandinho, De Bruyne, D. Silva; Agüero, Jesus (Sané, min. 57).
Liverpool: Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Klavan, Moreno; Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum (Milner, min. 58); Mané, Firmino (Solanke, min. 67), Salah (Oxlade-Chamberlain, min. 45).
SCORE: 1-0, min. 24, Agüero. 2-0, min. 45+6, G. Jesus. 3-0, min. 53, Jesus. 4-0, min. 77, Sané. 5-0, min. 90+1, Sané.
REFEREE: Jon Moss (ENG). Yellow cards: Otamendi (min. 6), Alexander-Arnold (min. 19), Fernandinho (min. 28), Can (min. 80). Red cards: Mané (min. 37)
INCIDENTS: 2017-18 Premier League match-day four clash between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

14:58. Well, that's all we've got time for this afternoon. We'll leave you with an attractive selection of 3pm kick-offs which includes Chelsea's clash with Leicester City and Everton hosting Tottenham Hotspur, as well as Arsenal vs Bournemouth. You can keep up-to-date with all of them right here on VAVEL UK. We'll also have all of Sunday's top-flight action covered too. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 

14:56. Let's reflect on an eventful afternoon then. Liverpool started well and had their chances in an even first 20 minutes, even after Sergio Agüero had put City 1-0 up. Sadio Mané's red card for clashing with Ederson, catching his jaw with his studs albeit not maliciously, changed everything and Gabriel Jesus doubled City's advantage before half-time. The second-half was a one-way affair as Jesus scored a second and substitute Leroy Sané bagged a brace to rack up a heavy 5-0 victory. A forgettable afternoon for the Reds, but one to favour for the Citizens.

14:53. Klopp insists he won't appeal the decision and says that he hopes the FA react without him needing to intervene. That may be a little hopeful on his part. 

14:50. Speaking after the joint-heaviest defeat of his managerial career, Klopp tells Sky: "That's what I told the boys at half-time, that's my biggest problem today. That I saw how big the chances [we had were]. We had all we needed to score goals. We had the chances. The first goal which we then conceded was really unnecessary in this situation. The situation which decides the whole game is the red card and what can I say? I don't think it was a red card. He [Mané] didn't see him. I saw the goalie already and obviously it's not that bad. At first everyone thought it was really bad, it was just unlucky. It was an accident. The keeper comes out, Sadio wants the ball. It was really unlucky to play against City with 10 men. We had our part in that, we felt the intensity. We had young players on the pitch who made not a lot of right decisions. You have to take what you get and make the best of it. That's for sure what we will do."

14:48. De Bruyne's team-mate Sané, stood beside him, says: "We have a very good team and top players, the young players and the old players. It's hard to play in the first eleven. I wanted to use my chance today and it was a good day for me. It was a good goal [the second one], Kyle played it good to me and I saw I was alone and decided to shoot." 

14:46. On the red card, the Belgian playmaker adds: "The first 20 minutes was a bit back-and-forth. After the goal we took control. Yeah unfortunately, that happened. It was not a bad foul but with the way Eddy comes out of it, I think it's normal. If he doesn't have that injury, it's probably a yellow. Afterwards we played it smart. We didn't give Liverpool time and obviously scoring a few goals makes it easier."

14:43. Man of the Match De Bruyne tells Sky's cameras post-match: "It was good to score a lot of goals. It was obviously a little different that they played with 10 men but you have to keep the shape and be focused on the way they play. It's very good for a lot of guys to get another game under their belts because the programme is getting busy so everyone will play."

14:40. Uh oh. Seems Oxlade-Chamberlain has a habit of forgettable debuts. His first Arsenal appearance was in the Gunners' biggest ever defeat, an 8-2 loss away to United, while his debut today was Liverpool's biggest loss in Manchester in 70 years. Fingers crossed for the midfielder that's the last debut he makes in this city...

14:36. Hands up, who had 5-0 on their accumulator? City stretch their unbeaten run to 12 games and what a statement that is to United - who play later today. City leapfrog their Manchester rivals to go top of the Premier League, though if United win at Stoke City in the 5:30pm kick-off, they'll return the favour.

14:33. How different could it have been 11-vs-11? Liverpool started well and should have made more of their chances, particularly Salah. But Jesus' strike before half-time essentially ended their hopes of a comeback and in spite of switching to a back-three, City tore through their hapless back-four in a comprehensive second-half. 

14:28. Nice to see Ederson was back out watching the final stages there, his left cheek bandaged. On the pitch in his absence, City turned up the heat on Liverpool's 10 men. Jürgen Klopp has suffered his heaviest defeat as Reds boss, and the club's largest margin of defeat since a 6-1 loss to Stoke City in May 2015. It turned into a rout and though Liverpool were one man down, their defending was abysmal and they can have few complaints about the final score-line. 

FT: Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool.

90+1' GOAAL!! It's 5-0 to City. City substitute Sané has his second and what a stunning goal it is. Mendy's cross comes across to Walker and he finds Sané, who has time to curl a left-footed attempt over Mignolet and into the top corner. 

89' Statistics showing that De Bruyne, today's Sky Man of the Match, has recorded 20 assists since August 2016. The Belgian really is the orchestrator of this City team when he's on form and his distribution is sensational, as it has been all game long. He's got two assists to his name but might even have more than that. Truly one of the Premier League's best players.

88' GOOD SAVE! Almost 5-0 for City from another magical De Bruyne ball, but as Agüero stretches to flick goalwards - Mignolet dives across his line to prevent the Argentine netting a second. 

87' That clock must never have ticked so slowly for Klopp - who will want to get back on that bus to Merseyside as quickly as possible. Perhaps having a game on Wednesday is a good thing for Liverpool, so that they can put this defeat past them as quickly as possible.

86' Henderson almost reaches a long pass forward into the box but with Bravo coming off his line and the incident with Mané and Ederson earlier seemingly in his mind, he hesitates to stretch a foot out and reach for the loose ball. 

85' How will this defeat affect Liverpool then? They were flying high going into this game and will be without their star man Mané - with three goals in three games and a Player of the Month award - for clashes with Burnley and Leicester City (Premier League and League Cup third round). He'll be available for their clash with Sevilla, though.

83' Dire defending from Can almost allows Agüero another goal but he's at too acute an angle to cut a shot back towards the far corner and fires wide at the near post.

82' Can goes into the book for a foul down the right-hand side but De Bruyne's cross from the free-kick is poor and Alexander-Arnold clears. 

81' Oxlade-Chamberlain's debut must be among the worst for a Liverpool player? Not by means of his performance, but by circumstance. Having lost 4-0 to this Liverpool team in his final Arsenal game, he comes on to chase shadows against an excellent City side and is staring another heavy defeat in the face. Ouch.

79' This is Liverpool's heaviest ever defeat under Jürgen Klopp, their previous a 3-0 defeat to Watford in December 2015. A chastening afternoon.

77' GOAAL! And just like that, it's 4-0 to City. Sané shares a one-two with Mendy, the full-back's cross finding the substitute to tap in at the near post and pile on yet more misery for the Merseyside outfit. Easy.

75' Given that there's fairly little happening at the Etihad at the minute, let's look ahead - both teams open their Champions League group stage campaigns this week. City travel to Dutch champions Feyenoord on Tuesday while Liverpool host 2016 Europa League conquerors Sevilla at Anfield on Wednesday.

72' The travelling Liverpool fans have perked up but their team have got no hope here. They've shown very little in the second-half and will just hope City can't add to the scoreline in the remaining 15 minutes. 

71' SAVE! Good reaction stop from Mignolet to prevent Matip's deflection from a Mendy cross going in for a fourth goal. 

69' Milner is fouled, allowing Alexander-Arnold to stand up a free-kick into the box but it's comfortably defended by City. Mangala, meanwhile, will replace Otamendi in the back three and that's all of today's substitutes used up. Be honest, you forgot Mangala was even a City player, didn't you?

68' Silva and Sané combine well but the former is flagged for offside. Meanwhile, Mangala is being prepared in the dug-out and will make his first City appearance since May 2016. 

66' Liverpool bringing on their third and final sub with England youth international Dominic Solanke coming on. A pretty thankless task. He replaces Firmino.

65' Chance for De Bruyne to make it 4-0 from Sané's low cross but he sends his inside-of-the-foot attempt into the stands. There'll be more chances for City to extend their lead before the 90 is up, though.

64'  Liverpool had kept clean sheets in six of their previous seven Premier League matches before today but their weaknesses at the back have been ruthlessly exposed. You'd think that they were light on defenders, and not attackers, on the pitch at the minute.

62' This will be Liverpool's first defeat to a top-seven team since January 2016 barring a miraculous, and frankly impossible, comeback from here. Salah's half-time withdrawal suggests that Klopp's mind was only ever on preventing City from racking up a heavy margin of victory, but with another half-an-hour plus stoppage-time remaining - this will feel like a long afternoon for his players.

61' "Raheem Sterling, he's top of the league!" sing the City fans. The ex-Liverpool winger isn't involved today but he'll be enjoying it from the sidelines. Meanwhile another ex-player, Milner, plays a pass straight out into touch and the home fans are loving it. 

60' Could Oxlade-Chamberlain be in line to become the first player to lose back-to-back Premier League games 4-0 for two different clubs? It's fully possible at this rate.

59' Liverpool look very vulnerable at the back and Milner is set to be brought on as Klopp looks to instil some stability. The ex-City midfielder is resoundingly booed as he replaces Wijnaldum.

57' Indeed, goalscorer Jesus - with a brace this afternoon - is replaced by winger Sané to give the Brazilian a rest. The German will also look to stretch the Reds in the space behind their wing-backs.

56' 10 men or not, Liverpool's defending has really let them down. Even with Can at the back, City are finding space and managing to get in behind. The Citizens are enjoying themselves now, Mignolet doing well to hold Mendy's fast-paced cross after a short corner before Otamendi can fire in. 

55' Jesus almost sent through again by De Bruyne but Can does well to get his foot to the ball first. Leroy Sané is set to replace Jesus, apparently. 

54' GOALLL!! 3-0 City. Fernandinho puts Agüero through beyond Can - moments after the Argentine sees a goal disallowed - and he squares to fellow frontman Jesus to fire past Mignolet into an empty net for his second of the afternoon. This could get brutal.

53' De Bruyne delivers one in towards Jesus, but Matip is first to it to clear. City enjoying a bit freedom with Liverpool down to 10 men, the visitors unable to begin their pressing - to avoid leaving themselves overly exposed at the back - until the home team enter their final third.

51' Firmino wins a corner from Stones as Oxlade-Chamberlain hangs one over for the striker at the by-line. Moreno's cross is poor and though Liverpool keep the ball, good City pressing forces the Reds back to their goalkeeper.

50' Firmino has the chance to get forward but without any support, it comes to nothing. Liverpool will struggle to threaten the home side unless they can get more bodies from midfield around the Brazilian quicker in such situations.

49' An update on City goalkeeper Ederson. 

47' Agüero goes down on the edge of the area but nothing is given. Liverpool launch a rather laboured counter-attack, missing the pace of Mané and Salah, which means City have too many men back and after a spell of possession, Klavan plays the ball out for a throw.

46' We're back for the second-half and Oxlade-Chamberlain does indeed enter the fray, replacing Salah. Liverpool have gone to a back three with Can joining Klavan and Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain joining Henderson and Wijnaldum in a midfield three. Alexander-Arnold and Moreno as wing-backs.

13:33. Game-ruining decision or a rightful red card? It feels like we might be stewing over that one for a while. Meanwhile Oxlade-Chamberlain is warming up at half-time and looks like he will be brought on for his debut. Not in the circumstances he'll have hoped for, mind. It's going to take some second-half for Klopp's men to get back into this.

13:30. But of course, let's address the big talking point. Here it is for you to judge for yourself. The decision has been met with a mixed reaction on social media, where do you lie on it? 

13:28. Let's not let Jesus go without praise too. With just 14 Premier League starts to his name, he's been involved in 13 goals - with nine goals and four assists. The 20-year-old is a huge, huge talent.

13:25. Two goals, two excellent De Bruyne assists. City are fully in charge now and Liverpool have been made to regret their poor end product earlier in the game. 

HT: Manchester City 2-0 Liverpool.

45+5' GOAL - 2-0 CITY! Well that one counts. Jesus heads in from De Bruyne's sumptuous cross from the left and the Brazilian flicks past Mignolet with a header, this time from an onside position. Game over?

45+4' Liverpool desperate for the half-time whistle here, still notably rocked by Mané's departure. City with more time and space to play the passing football they so like to play. 

45+2' GOA... oh wait, no it isn't. City dominating these final stages and Jesus heads in from De Bruyne's teasing right-sided cross, but he's just slightly offside. Good call from the linesman. 

45' Eight minutes to be added on as Bravo enters the pitch for his first league appearance of the season. Liverpool will go 4-4-1-1 with Salah behind Firmino. Mané's departure will be a huge one here.

44' Plenty of stoppage time to be added to the end of the first-half here as Ederson is eventually stretchered off. Let's hope his injury is nothing serious. 

41' While Ederson continues to receive treatment, Moss comes across to give a bewildered Klopp an explanation for Mané's dismissal but he still doesn't look satisfied. Meanwhile, Ederson is being put on the stretcher with Claudio Bravo readied to replace him.

39' Jürgen Klopp is incensed on the touchline and rightly so, Mané only looked to play the ball but he's been dismissed. Ederson appears in trouble and could be stretchered off, with the Senegalese winger appearing to make contact with the 'keeper's jaw. The Brazilian beats him to it and now Liverpool will play the rest of the game with 10 men. How decisive could that be?

37' WOW. RED CARD! Mané is sent through one-on-one and lifts his leg up high as he looks to beat Ederson to Matip's long ball, but he connects high up with the goalkeeper and is sent off by Jon Moss. A very harsh decision, is Mané not entitled to go for the loose ball? 

35' Incredibly, all six of Agüero's goals against Liverpool have come here at the Etihad - and all within the last six games, a joint-Premier League record. Thierry Henry - with six straight goals in Arsenal's home games against Aston Villa up to 2006 - is the the only other player with such a goaslcoring record.

34' GOOD SAVE! Stones goes close to making it 2-0 from the corner after a header falls his way, but though he has a few yards of space, his side-footer is close enough for Mignolet to save a sprawling left leg. 

33' Almost a horrific error from Klavan, who is dispossessed by Jesus down the right. The Brazilian jinks into the box and gets a shot away at the near post where Mignolet saves as Liverpool scramble around the box. 

31' HUGE CHANCE! This game starting to shape into the end-to-end encounter everybody hoped it would be, and it's Liverpool's turn to get forward. Can feeds Mané, who skips away from a challenge and finds Salah in space down the left behind Mendy. The Egyptian shows his intentions too easily as he looks to guide his effort into the far corner, but he puts it too centrally and Ederson saves easily. It should be 1-1.

29' Alexander-Arnold, Can and Moreno all stand over it but Can takes. He looks to bend one round the wall to the 'keepers side, but bends it a fair few yards wide. A little bit anti-climactic.

28' Mané's pace gets the better of Fernandinho and with Stones backing off, the Brazilian midfielder hauls down the winger on the edge of the box. Otamendi then comes clattering in on the Senegalese attacker, though after the whistle is already blown. Chance for a direct free-kick here.

27' Good chance for Liverpool to respond as Firmino slips Salah into space in the right channel, but again his cross is well dealt with by Ederson. 

26' With that, Sergio Agüero is now the Premier League's highest non-European goalscorer with 124 goals. Henderson's header in the centre of the pitch is too weak and Fernandinho beats Wijnaldum to the second ball. His header falls to De Bruyne, who plays a sensational first-time pass through to Agüero - who breaks between Klavan and Matip -  and the Argentine easily rounds Mignolet one-on-one before passing into an empty net from the angle. Advantage City.

25' GOAL!! Guess who? Agüero scores in his sixth straight home game against Liverpool and it's 1-0 to Manchester City!

24' Liverpool's threat out wide is bamboozling City but their end product isn't quite good enough, Stones clearing Mané's weak cross for a corner. Moreno's left-sided delivery is cleared and Henderson swipes only air as he looks to test Ederson with a 20-yard half-volley. 

22' Salah bursts away from Otamendi down the left and gets in towards the near post, but with Firmino looking for the tap-in, Salah's outside-of-the-boot left-footed flick towards the Brazilian is a yard or two ahead of him and straight into Ederson's grateful grasp. 

21' Can and Mané try to link up on the edge of the area but the midfielder looks to dink one over the on-running Mané in the box and the ball skids straight out for a goal kick. He's quick, but not that quick.

20' De Bruyne's delivery deflects across the box before Henderson heads away. City almost come back at Liverpool but Alexander-Arnold times his interception on the edge of the area well to prevent Jesus from going through on goal.

19' Good passages of play from both City and Liverpool so far, but they've been relatively comfortably dealt with. Alexander-Arnold is really struggling as he fails to deal with an aerial ball. De Bruyne wins it and forces a foul from him driving towards the by-line. The teenager goes into the book and City have a free-kick in a great position. 

17' Can tries one from range but slips as he hits it and that takes all the power away from the strike, with Ederson having plenty of time to get down to his right.

16' Half-chance for Liverpool as Henderson swings a lovely cross into the back post but Firmino's half-shot/half-pass to Mané inside him is collected by Ederson. Space is definitely available for both teams at either end of the pitch.

15' Liverpool yet to truly get their attack into the game yet but they have that threat on the counter. Firmino feeds Salah down the left but Stones blocks his infield pass excellently to shut down the counter-attack. Mané then runs on to Moreno's ball down the left but he gives the ball away as he looks to combine with Firmino in the box.

13' City enjoying the better of the game as they look to play into the space, Fernandinho drills a 30-yarder towards the bottom corner but it's comfortably paced enough for Mignolet to tip past his post. Silva is then caught offside from the resulting corner.

11' Alexander-Arnold is given a stern talking to from the referee for taking too long with a number of his throw-ins already. Minutes later the young right-back's pass back to Mignolet goes out for a corner under pressure from Jesus. Not the best of starts, though Liverpool deal with the corner as Mané is fouled by Jesus going for an aerial second ball.

10' Mendy and Silva combine down the left and the latter keeps it in for Jesus, but he the Brazilian plays the ball straight out of play as he looks to tee up for Mendy to cross in from the left. Some great link-up play from the hosts so far, though. It will be their fast-paced combinations that helps them find a way through Liverpool, you sense.

9' City win their first corner, which De Bruyne delivers deep. Agüero pulls it down well, but there's not enough space or time to get a shot away as Klavan dispossesses him.

8' Good opportunity on the break sees space open up in front of De Bruyne after Agüero's flick. David Silva isn't quick enough to sprint into the open space, allowing Liverpool to recover, and De Bruyne's attempt from distance is a routine stop for Mignolet. 

7' Moreno tries a shot, which is blocked before Alexander-Arnold tries to find a team-mate at the back post with the second ball but City survive the pressure and win a throw.

6' Yellow card! Salah rolls the ball through Otamendi's legs as he looks to break into the box and the Argentine goes into Jon Moss' book for scything the pacy Egyptian down. Good free-kick opportunity on the line of the right-side of the box.

5' As it always is, De Bruyne's deliver is dangerous but Jesus' flick is a bit too much with Otamendi breaking in behind Matip a few yards behind. 

4' Good interception from Henderson as De Bruyne looks to feed Jesus through on goal. Walker then wins a free-kick from Mané around 30-yards out, which De Bruyne will look to whip into the box.

3' Alexander-Arnold swings one in but it's a fairly simple catch for Ederson at his near post. He tries a first-time long ball but it falls right the way through for Mignolet to collect in the other penalty area.

2' Good early energy from both sides. Danilo messes up a simple clearance from Alexander-Arnold's ball down the channel but Firmino can't get enough power on his header to flick on to Salah. The Reds maintain possession and Moreno's drive from the edge of the box is deflected wide for a corner.

1' KICK-OFF! Martin Tyler's iconic "Aaaand it's live!" out of the way and we're ready to get proceedings started at the Etihad, which Liverpool do for us. The sunshine is back out, by the way, if you care. It looks lovely.

12:27. The two teams are readied, City in their traditional sky blue colours and Liverpool in their deeper red home strip. Not sure how to feel on City's new 'Tunnel Club' however, as fans peer into the tunnel where the players are stood from behind a panel of glass having paid a huge fee for the privilege. Mind you, if that's how those fans want to spend their money...

12:23. Both of these team's defences have come under scrutiny already this season and both will need to be concentrated against the movement, pace and intelligence of the other's front-lines. Agüero and Jesus as a top two is a lively duo, especially backed by the invention of De Bruyne and David Silva, while City have pace out wide with Mendy, Walker and Danilo all capable of stretching the Reds. Likewise, City will have to be careful in the channels where Mané and Salah will look to wreak havoc for Liverpool, with false-nine forward Firmino equally as dangerous with his technical qualities. We might be in for a treat, here.

12:20. Aaaand the rain's back. Just in time for kick-off, too. You never can rely on English weather. 

12:16. More on Klopp's comments on Lovren earlier: "Dejan played last Saturday for 27 minutes. Last Sunday, the rest of the game. Last Tuesday, 90 minutes in a quite difficult game against Turkey.  He came back not injured, otherwise he wouldn’t be on the bench, but he felt the intensity a little bit. Raggy [Klavan] didn’t play the second game [for Estonia] and did outstandingly good against Crystal Palace. That’s why we have the players."

12:13. Guardiola on starting Agüero and Jesus together to Sky Sports: "We try to score goals. I've said many times before, sometimes we're going to play both, sometimes one of them, sometimes none of them. Today I decided to try to arrive in the last part of the pitch where we can score goals [with these two]. We have two options to play, Danilo can play in the back three [with Stones and Otamendi] and we can play back-four with one of them in the middle."

12:10. Sadio Mané could become just the fourth Liverpool player to score in five successive Premier League games today. The Senegalese international's electric form, scoring in all of his club's first three games, saw him crowned the top-flight's August Player of the Month. 

12:06. As stiff a test it is for Liverpool, City too find themselves in for a challenge. Guardiola's side took just one point from six against the Reds last season with Guardiola and Klopp having enjoyed some great head-to-heads as Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund bosses. Winning today would lay down a huge marker for City, who are hoping to prove they can last the distance this season after starting last year spectacularly before burning out. They ended up finishing a hugely disappointing 15 points behind champions Chelsea.

12:03. Klopp has told Sky Sports cameras ahead of kick-off that Lovren's absence from the starting line-up, having started four of the Reds' five games this season, is merely to avoid fatigue. He did play 90 minutes twice for Croatia over the international break, so to be fair to the German, he's probably not lying. He also spoke of the importance of regular rotation in his pre-match press conference just yesterday. 

11:58. Just over half-an-hour to go until kick-off and the biblical rain has momentarily stopped, the sun making a brief appearance. The torrential rain of earlier is likely to return at some point but it won't affect proceedings all that much, though you sense City won't at all mind it given the slick passing football they like to play. They've even still got the sprinklers on! 

11:55. Under Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool are unbeaten away against last season's Premier League top seven - (P9 W5 D4 L0). Can they stretch that run here today? They'll certainly face a stiff test.

11:51. Today marks İlkay Gündoğan's first presence in a Manchester City match-day squad for 10 months, having missed the majority of his first campaign for the Citizens with a knee injury. Guardiola will no doubt be delighted to have the German back and available. 

11:48. As suspected, no Philippe Coutinho for Liverpool - but left-back and summer signing Andrew Robertson is a curious absence. He played well in his debut against Palace and scored for Scotland over the international break, but isn't in the Reds' 18 with the recently-rejuvenated Alberto Moreno trusted again to start and James Milner as his potential back-up on the bench.

11:45. The weather isn't exactly great in the Eastlands...

11:41. Two changes for today's visitors, with first-choice goalkeeper Simon Mignolet returning to replace Loris Karius, who started in goal against Arsenal. Dejan Lovren drops to the bench with Ragnar Klavan taking his place, the same centre-back partnership that started their previous trip to the Etihad.

11:38. Pep Guardiola makes three changes for City with skipper Vincent Kompany absent through injury. John Stones returns to take his place in central defence with the hosts appearing to line up in a back-four, with Kyle Walker returning from suspension to start at right-back - forcing Danilo into midfield. Bernardo Silva drops to the bench while Raheem Sterling is suspended, with Sergio Agüero returning up top alongside Gabriel Jesus - who started as a lone striker at Bournemouth. Benjamin Mendy makes his home debut.

11:35. Liverpool subs bench: Karius, Lovren, Gomez, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Solanke.

11:34. Manchester City subs bench: Bravo, Foden, Mangala, Sané, Gündoğan, Delph, B. Silva.

11:33. Liverpool starting XI: Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Klavan, Moreno; Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum; Mané, Firmino, Salah.

11:32. Manchester City starting XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Mendy; Danilo, Fernandinho, De Bruyne, D. Silva; Agüero, Jesus.

11:31. We're an hour away from kick-off and the team sheet has been printed...

A betting man would certainly back Agüero to score today too, as the 29-year-old has scored in all of his last five league games against Liverpool at the Etihad - exactly one goal per game. Only former Arsenal striker and all-time top goalscorer Thierry Henry has a better run against one opponent, having scored in six successive home games for the Gunners against Aston Villa up to April 2006. Can Agüero level that record today? And where would that put him among the greatest strikers in Premier League history? Tweet us your thoughts in to @VAVEL on Twitter and we'll share the best.

City front-man Agüero goes chasing a unique record today. If he scores, he will become the Premier League's highest non-European goalscorer in history, overtaking ex-Manchester United and Newcastle United forward Dwight Yorke's total of 123. The Argentine currently has 123 goals to his name in just 183 top-flight games until now, his torrid injury record preventing him from further extending that incredible ratio. 

Amazingly, City have only won one of their last seven Premier League meetings with Liverpool - their last victory in this fixture coming way back in August 2014, when they won 3-1. Their grim Anfield record plays a huge part in that record though, as they have lost only one of their last eight home games in the league against the Reds. It's difficult to split these two today, and should they maintain the form they've shown thus far - they will both surely be in the title fight come May.

Guardiola was a little less upbeat than his counter-part when asking about City skipper Kompany - who he ruled out of selection for the visit of Liverpool. He said: "I'm sad, I would like him to be fit. He made a huge effort [to be fit]. Our physios worked a lot to take care of him so the last seven, eight or nine games of last season he played without a problem. In pre-season he played 90 minutes for three games no problem at all. Now we start the period where we play every three days and unfortunately we lost him. We have [Eliaquim] Mangala, we have Tosin [Adarabioyo], we have other options."

Back to the international break for a moment, however, and Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has spoken of his delight for Ben Woodburn - or the 'Prince of Wales' as he's recently become known as - after his break-out international form for the Dragons. The 17-year-old, Liverpool's youngest-ever goalscorer after netting on his debut in the League Cup in October, scored the winner on his Wales debut against Austria last week before coming off the bench to have a similar impact against Moldova a few days later, his cross forcing the first goal in another win. Klopp said he is "really, really happy" for the Liverpool Academy graduate, reportedly in line for a new long-term contract in reward for his progress, and said: "He's our player, and that's the best news we can get. We try to help him with all we have, and we try to protect him with all we have. That’s important. He’s not only a good football player, he’s also a very good and smart person. I love the phrase 'Prince of Wales'. I said it already five times, I’m not sure he likes it too much, but I couldn't stop!"

But City have lost just one of their last 23 Premier League home games and have failed to score just twice in those 23 games - goalless draws with city rivals United and Stoke City. The Eastlands side are on an 11-game unbeaten run in the league - their best streak under Guardiola - having won eight of those games.

Impressively, Liverpool have lost just once in their last 22 top-flight games against last season's top seven (W12, D9) - a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United back in January 2016. They have won three of their four games against City under Klopp, including a 4-1 hammering of the Citizens on home soil back in November 2015.

Philippe Coutinho is back in training for Liverpool after failing to force his desired move to Barcelona in the recently-closed transfer window, but will not be involved despite featuring for Brazil earlier in the week. Deadline day addition Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, a £35 million capture from Arsenal, could make his debut but is likely to start from the bench. Right-back Nathaniel Clyne remains sidelined for the foreseeable future by a back injury while Adam Lallana is still out with a thigh issue.

Let's get stuck into the team news then. Manchester City will be without captain Vincent Kompany after the centre-back sustained a minor calf injury - his 15th calf-related problem in the last five years - on international duty with Belgium. That could force Guardiola into playing a back-four, though right-back Walker is back from suspension. Former Liverpool winger Sterling will be unavailable due to his dismissal at Bournemouth. Midfielder İlkay Gündoğan might feature in City's match-day squad for the first time since December after recently returning to training from a long-term knee injury.

But their respective attacking prowesses are not the only similarities between City and Liverpool, with their inarguable weaknesses their lacklustre defences. Guardiola has adopted a back-three of late but despite heavy summer spending, City's back-line still appears vulnerable - as Liverpool will look to show. The Merseyside outfit themselves are susceptible at the back, particularly to their own errors, while their set-piece organisation has come into question regularly under Jürgen Klopp. Both teams to score is surely an inevitability this afternoon, you'd think.

Today's visitors have also won twice and drawn once in their first three games. Since a dramatic opening day 3-3 draw at Watford, surrendering victory in the last minutes, Liverpool have added home victories over Crystal Palace and Arsenal without conceding a goal. Their victory over the Gunners, a comprehensive 4-0 thrashing which encompassed their attacking threat, very much proved that Liverpool are not to be underestimated this term. The Reds' front-three of Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and club-record summer signing Mohamed Salah have registered a combined seven goals and three assists already.

City opened their 2017-18 account with a professional 2-0 dismantling of top-flight newcomers Brighton & Hove Albion on the opening day, followed up by an underwhelming goalless draw at home to a well-organised Everton team as summer addition Kyle Walker was controversially sent off in the first-half. There was late, late drama at Bournemouth in their last outing, but Raheem Sterling's 97th-minute winner gave the Citizens three points down on the South Coast. After scoring, Sterling was contentiously sent off for his celebrations with the away end.

These two teams can both leapfrog this season's early front-runners Manchester United into first place with the full three points, having both claimed seven from nine thus far. United remain the only team with three wins from three at this stage, but City and Liverpool aren't far behind.

In a frenetic clash at this same venue back in mid-March, City and Liverpool played out a breathless end-to-end 1-1 draw that could easily have ended 4-4. James Milner's penalty was cancelled out by Sergio Agüero's strike with both sides feeling aggrieved by refereeing decisions and also wasting gilt-edged goalscoring opportunities. More of the same today, please.

City and Liverpool are two of the English top-flight's most aggressive, full-throttle attacking teams in their own ways. City's approach is typically more possession-based, à la Pep Guardiola's famed Barcelona team, as they look to create opportunities through slick build-up, dominating the game and hoping to draw their opposition out. Meanwhile Liverpool's high counter-pressing system uses the idea of pressuring their opponents in their own half and forcing them to turn over possession, with Liverpool then breaking at speed courtesy of a slick front five (three forwards, two advanced central midfielders). All the ingredients for an enthralling 90 minutes today then, especially if their last meeting is anything to go by.

Unless you're a Northern Ireland or Wales fan, you'll probably have found the international break a bit of a bore - Dele Alli's not-so-subtle middle finger and France's failure to score against Luxembourg at home aside - but rejoice, as the real entertainment is back. And how entertaining today's tie promises to be. 

Good afternoon folks and welcome to the weekend and back to Premier League football! We've got what promises to be a cracking clash today, with Manchester City hosting Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium. Luckily for you, we'll have all the live minute-by-minute text commentary updates you need here at VAVEL UK, with kick-off coming at 12:30pm BST. Until then we'll have all of the build-up before the two starting line-ups are announced at 11:30am, so stick around.