As Manchester City defeated league champions Liverpool 3-2 to advance to the EFL Cup quarterfinals, Erling Haaland scored his 24th goal of the year and Kevin De Bruyne put on a masterclass.
The first match after the World Cup break featured the two heavyweights serving up a thriller at the Etihad Stadium, and the Premier League champions rightfully prevailed.
What happened in the game?
In the first half of a thrilling match on Thursday, Fabio Carvalho tied the score after Haaland had taken the lead.
At the beginning of the second half of the season, Riyad Mahrez gave City the lead again, but Mohamed Salah quickly equalized with his 15th goal of the year.
The outstanding De Bruyne then gave Nathan Ake his second assist of the contest, and Jurgen Klopp’s team failed to respond once more, falling to City for the first time in six games.
After 10 minutes, Haaland scored the game’s first goal by getting in front of Joe Gomez and volleying De Bruyne’s accurate cross into the bottom-left corner. Liverpool had been unable to handle City’s early intensity.
The Reds suddenly found themselves on par. After James Milner picked him out in the penalty area ten minutes later, Carvalho calmly stroked the ball into the far corner.
After being brilliantly set up by De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Ake were denied by Caoimhin Kelleher before Darwin Nunez missed twice.
Just over a minute into the second half, Mahrez surprised Liverpool with a great touch from Rodri’s pass before scoring. However, City’s lead lasted just 79 seconds as Nunez displayed great speed to get away down the left and selflessly set up Salah for the equalizer.
But just before the hour mark, Liverpool was penalized for another defensive error when they failed to defend a short corner, allowing De Bruyne to whip in an exquisite cross that Ake nodded in.
Nunez missed yet another excellent opportunity when, after racing through the defense and shooting wide of the far post, City held on to win the game.