Liverpool opened up an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League with an emphatic and hugely impressive 3-1 win over defending champions Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday.
The victory leaves unbeaten Liverpool on 34 points from 12 games, eight ahead of Leicester City and Chelsea, and nine in front of Pep Guardiola’s fourth-placed City.
Yet City felt the stunning effort should have been ruled out — and a penalty awarded to them — as prior to the break that led to the goal Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold appeared to handle the ball inside the box but the VAR review went against the visitors.
City pushed forward in response and Raheem Sterling missed a close-range header, but Liverpool struck again in the 13th minute when Andy Robertson crossed from the left and Mohamed Salah nodded the bouncing ball past Bravo to make it 2-0.
City’s third defeat of the season look assured when Liverpool made it 3-0 six minutes after the interval as Jordan Henderson worked space for a cross on the right flank and Sadio Mane stooped to head home at the back post.
“What happened today we showed why are champion, I am so proud of my team, more than ever,” City boss Guardiola said postmatch. “We can be proud of how we played against the strongest team in Europe.
When pushed about the controversy around the first goal, he added: “Ask to the referees, don’t ask me. Ask to Mike Riley and the guys in VAR. I would like to talk about our performance, it was so good.
“It was one of the best performances we have played. We played like back-to-back champions. We cannot deny how good Liverpool are but the way we played, the personality, it was good. It was quite similar to the Champions League game. It was an incredible situations in that game too but the performance today was so good.
“Always we try, never give up that is why we are back-to-back champions. Always fight until the end. “It is important to grow as a club and as a team. It was an honour for both team to show Premier League to spectators this type of game.”