Reds half hour one of best in Prem history – Carra

Matt Stead

Jamie Carragher has hailed the opening half-hour of Liverpool’s performance against Manchester City as “as good as anything” in Premier League history.

The Reds bursted into a 3-0 lead within 32 minutes against City at the Etihad, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino in particular blowing the then Premier League leaders away with intelligent movement and interchanges.

Martin Skrtel added a fourth late on after Sergio Aguero had afforded the hosts some hope, but Carragher was suitably impressed with Jurgen Klopp’s side.

“The first 30 or 35 minutes was as good as anything I can remember,” the ex-Liverpool defender said on Monday Night Football.

“Not from Klopp or any Liverpool team, but in the Premier League – at least when going away to a big team like Man City who are one of the top sides.

“For Liverpool supporters in their forties or fifties, the run they went on for the first goal was like Ian Rush running onto the end of a Kenny Dalglish pass – a straight pass to a diagonal run. That is what you saw all day.

“It was like the Red Arrows watching Liverpool, they were just running through people all the time. They could’ve scored another two or three goals just from this sort of tactic.

“The front three of Coutinho, Firmino and Adam Lallana were scintillating and they played very narrow. The two reasons for that, I think, was to stop Man City – when they were in possession – from playing balls into midfield and force them wide.

“But also when they’re that narrow, they can make penetrating runs from there because City centre-backs like to step out to the ball, be aggressive and when they’re on the edge of the box, they always hold that line.

“You could see the work that had been done during the week.

“There was talk about why [Christian] Benteke wasn’t playing and Klopp said, ‘Well I’ve been using the same players for the last 10 days in training’ and you can see how that’s worked.

“We’ve spoken about the work of Klopp in terms of being organised and pressing. I think that was the first time we’ve seen the work of him offensively, what he can do and maybe the damage he can cause with his teams, and that’s from working with those players for 10 days during the international break.”