Man City blown away by Liverpool
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) - Liverpool blew away Manchester City with three goals in the first 31 minutes yesterday to secure a 3-0 first-leg win at a rocking Anfield and close in on a first Champions League semifinal in a decade.
On another European night that will go down in the club's storied lore, Liverpool reduced the best team in England to a rattled wreck as Mohamed Salah - with his 38th goal of the season - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane all scored in front of The Kop.
The Reds then held firm under incessant second-half pressure to stop City's attacking juggernaut from getting an away goal that would have changed the complexion of the quarterfinal matchup, especially given that Salah hobbled off injured and could be a doubt for next week's second leg at Etihad Stadium.
City's dream of a treble - it has already won the League Cup and could clinch the Premier League on Saturday in record time - might have disappeared in a 19-minute spell where the visitors folded in a red-hot Anfield atmosphere.
Pep Guardiola's decision to drop Raheem Sterling and add an extra body in midfield in Ilkay Gundogan completely backfired, with City lopsided and their four central midfielders seemingly unsure of their roles. Aymeric Laporte - a centre back - also looked lost as a makeshift left back, up against Salah.
Only in the 57th minute did Guardiola throw on Sterling, but that might have come too late.
Liverpool, with five titles in the European Cup, have now scored a tournament-high 31 goals this season and was irresistible in the first half. Salah's departure is a potential game-changer, though, and Liverpool did lose 5-0 at City in the Premier League this season.