Football

Gerrard hails ‘perfect’ Liverpool performance

Liverpool, the only team to beat Manchester City in the English Premier League this season, again showed the rest how it's done yesterday morning (Singapore time).

This time, it was in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals, as they made light work of the EPL leaders to clinch a stunning 3-0 victory.

So good were Juergen Klopp's side, that Anfield legend Steven Gerrard described their performance as "perfect".

Now a BT Sport pundit, Gerrard, the last Liverpool captain to lift the Champions League crown back in 2005, also said that Klopp got his tactics spot on and that resulted in City "running out of ideas".

He said: "There were two things that impressed me about Liverpool. I thought they carried out their game plan as a whole really well.

"First half, it was typical Liverpool on the front foot. I thought (James) Milner and (Jordan) Henderson were excellent regaining the ball and showing what they are good at, which is counter-attacking at pace and scoring really good goals.

"The second half, you are always going to have a time against City when they are going to have possession and you need to work hard for each other and empty the tank, but defensively to a man I thought the back four was stunning and the 'keeper (Loris Karius) is getting better and better.

"I think Juergen Klopp will be delighted and he should be really happy and proud of himself because I thought his tactics were spot on."

Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino believes City were beaten at their own game, in a match they couldn't even muster a single shot on target.

Praising Liverpool's fearless approach, he wrote in The Times: "Liverpool are unique. Just about every Premier League team have defended in numbers against Manchester City, attempting to minimise risk and never pressing.

"But Juergen Klopp's team have shown zero respect to the way they play.

"Going toe to toe with such a brilliant side is a dangerous ploy, but nobody else has tested the champions-elect the way they have.

"Faced with a genuine heavyweight, Liverpool came out punching. City struggled with it.

"They haven't been asked to defend so they haven't learnt how to and, under pressure, they kept forfeiting possession."

The only clouds on a golden evening for Klopp were a muscle injury to Egypt star Mohamed Salah and a booking for Henderson that rules the Liverpool captain out of the second leg, reported AFP.

"We lose one player to injury and another - the captain - to a yellow card so it does not feel good. Mo said he feels good but we will have to see about that," Klopp said.

Football