Manchester City and Liverpool were involved in yet another thriller, with Pep Guardiola’s men winning 3-2 in a Carabao Cup classic.
Erling Haaland opened the scoring inside ten minutes, getting on the end of Kevin De Bruyne’s cross from the left.
The Reds hit back through Fabio Carvalho’s neat finish ten minutes later in a first half which also saw Caoimhin Kelleher do well to deny Ilkay Gundogan and Nathan Ake, while Darwin Nunez spurned two great opportunities.
City retook the lead when Riyad Mahrez swept the ball home with his left foot on 47 minutes.
But just a minute and 13 seconds later Liverpool were level again as Mohamed Salah tapped the ball home after good work from Nunez – the goal seeing Salah become the first player to score ten goals against Guardiola’s City.
But Ake put City ahead for a third time as he headed in a pinpoint cross by De Bruyne from the left following a short corner.
There were plenty more chances for both sides and Nunez should’ve equalised for Liverpool when he found himself through on goal down the right-hand channel but the Uruguayan dragged his shot wide.
Liverpool also had a penalty appeal waved away with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain going down following a challenge from Ake.
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It meant Ake’s header proved to be the winner as the reigning champions were knocked out of the competition.
Klopp spoke of a ‘spectacular game’ afterwards but lamented some slack defending.
“We played probably the best team in the world [so] it is normal you struggle in moments,” he said.
“We will not play every three days against Manchester City but we can do better and will work on it.
“We should have defended all three goals much better. The third goal especially, we are not switched on when they start their little routine and with the cross coming in we are not in the right positions.
“So there is obviously still a lot of space for improvement but then we had our moments, we could have scored more goal.
“But we can do better and we will work on that and then let’s make sure we’re ready for Aston Villa [on Boxing Day].”
City were drawn away to Southampton in the quarter-finals with ties to be played in the week commencing January 9.
Carabao Cup quarter-final draw
Ties to be played in the week commencing January 9
Manchester United vs Charlton
Southampton vs Manchester City
Nottingham Forest vs Wolves
Newcastle vs Leicester
“Manchester City vs Liverpool never disappoints,” talkSPORT’s Joe Shennan said on commentary during the match.
And that sums up this rivalry perfectly.
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