An early kick-off at The Etihad was not the most attractive fixture for Liverpool supporters to look forward to after the international break and that was with good reason considering the season for The Reds had been the worst under Jurgen Klopp.
It looked like they were going to give City a serious challenge and derail their title bid as after 17 minutes the Liverpool who can turn over any side with one ball were at The Etihad stadium.
Another defence splitting pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold put Diogo Jota away until he was held up by Manuel Akanji but he managed to flick the ball back to Mo Salah who hammered the ball home in a caring way to send the away end into oblivion.
They were celebrating again after a VAR check confirmed that Jota was just about onside and they realistically should have been going mental for another goal shortly after as Salah was put in with Jota running alongside him to his right.
The pass was poor though as Jack Grealish intercepted and even if he hadn’t it looked like Jota was struggling to keep up with Salah so he may have not even got to the pass.
That moment was the defining point in the game as after that it was all downhill from then on.
Ten minutes after Liverpool opened the scoring Erling Haaland’s stand-in, Julian Alvarez finished off a gorgeous Manchester City move but Klopp’s side were still competitive and in the game.
However that all changed one minute into the second half as Kevin De Bruyne scored a tap-in and Liverpool’s heads fell down yet again with any sort of self-belief diminishing by the second which has been the case throughout the campaign.
Six minutes after that it was then game over as Ilkay Gundogan scored to make it 3-1 and after the game Klopp thanked Manchester City for going easy on Liverpool at that point.
This is the same team that have been going toe-to-toe with City for the last several years yet Klopp had to thank for them taking their foot off the gas, which has to be a gut-wrenching feeling for the players who need to find something deep within themselves to get motivated for what possible could be a very long last stretch of the season.
Jack Grealish, who was brilliant all game, got City’s fourth after some lovely link-up play with De Bruyne to put the cherry on top of a belter day for Pep Guardiola who caused controversy by celebrating the equaliser in front of Kostas Tsimikas and Arthur Melo’s faces.
When that happened Tsimikas smirked at him and Arthur shook his hand which is symbolic of how Liverpool’s season has gone.
Nothing within themselves to fight back, to show that they will not stand for mediocrity and a willingness for opposition to walk all over them if they wanted to.
Chelsea is up next on Tuesday for Liverpool which will be a battle of the fallen ‘Big Six’ members.
The quicker the season is over for both, the better.