Liverpool won a corner within the first 90 seconds after Alberto Moreno had a go with Mohamed Salah‘s early square ball, but Ederson collected the corner.
At the other end, Gabriel Jesus turned a free kick wide of the goal post with a header. We were off.
Salah then nutmegged Nicolas Otamendi on the edge of the 18 and was cleaned out by the Argentine defender, giving Liverpool a dangerous free kick from the right edge of the 18.
It led to nothing and Kevin De Bruyne carried 50 yards to test Simon Mignolet with a low offering.
A spell of Liverpool possession was broken up by a De Bruyne-won free kick on the right edge of the 18 which put Trent Alexander-Arnold in the referee’s book, but the Reds held strong against City’s opportunity.
Aguero scored in his sixth-straight Etihad Stadium appearance versus Liverpool, rounding Mignolet from De Bruyne’s through ball to make it 1-0.
Fernandinho then saw yellow for hacking down a dribbling Sadio Mane in the 28th minute. It provided a promising 18-yard free kick, but Emre Can sent his offering wide of the far post.
Ederson denied Salah at the half-hour mark, as the Egyptian kept asking the City keeper questions.
A jitterbug dribble from Jesus forced Mignolet to concede a 35th minute corner, but John Stones missed his terrific chance to make it 2-0.
That’s when Mane clipped Ederson, and saw red. City had a goal pulled back for an offside Jesus moments after the match restarted, but then pounded ahead through another De Bruyne to Jesus goal.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain entered the match for a Liverpool debut, and promptly saw his team concede when Fernandinho found Aguero with a terrific pass and the Argentine deferred to his Brazilian teammate for a left-footed finish.
With the match done and dusted, as evidenced by the plethora of subs from each side ahead of this week’s UEFA Champions League matches, Mendy raced up the left of the pitch and found Sane for a class finish.
Sane found a sliding Aguero for what could’ve been 5-0 if not for a splayed Mignolet.
The youngster completed the scoring with a left-footed beauty from atop the 18.
Both teams have picked up two wins and a draw through three league games thus far, but both will be without players who have proven key in the past. Philippe Coutinho will miss out, Jurgen Klopp confirmed, as the Liverpool star returns to fitness after missing the first few league games towards the end of the transfer window. Klopp said Coutinho probably could have played off the substitutes bench, but that he preferred to rest him this week and then play the Brazilian in the starting lineup.
On the other side, Raheem Sterling is suspended for City after receiving his red card last time out for celebrating a winning goal with fans who had entered the pitch. Defender Vincent Kompany is also injured, as the Belgian continues to struggle with a myriad of injury problems that have plagued the most recent few years of his career.
One man who could feature is new Liverpool signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who came to Liverpool on a permanent basis from Arsenal at the deadline, and has yet to play for the Reds.
What they’re saying
Pep Guardiola on playing Liverpool: “Every time I play Jurgen’s teams I learn a lot. Top manager, top club, top players. It will be a nice game tomorrow.”
Jurgen Klopp on his managing style: “I really am a relaxed person – the opposite of how I am during the game. It’s my job to be part of the game. You need to adapt as a player to my coaching style. Usually when a manager shouts as loud as I do, he’s angry – but I’m not angry, I’m just emotional and very loud!”
Both these teams are on attacking highs now, and both have occasionally shaky defenses, so this should be an incredibly entertaining match. Manchester City has the depth, while Liverpool has the form. At the moment, all things seem to cancel out, and the best bet is a high-flying 3-3 draw with plenty of entertainment. Look for goals!
Below we give all 20 PL teams a grade and sum up their summer window.
Manchester United – A
Their business was done early and properly with Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic starting off superbly and Victor Lindelof will settle in. Smart business by Jose Mourinho with his squad now looking like a much stronger unit overall. Didn’t need a new wide player in the end because his team started the season so well.
Manchester City – A- Pep Guardiola did plenty of business early in the window and he addressed his needs superbly with Kyle Walker, Danilo, Benjamin Mendy and Ederson improving their defense. Bernardo Silva is a luxury signing and Alexis Sanchez would have been something similar but City couldn’t get it over the line. Very solid window but one more center back would have given them an A.
Tottenham Hotspur – B+
Spurs had a really strong finish to the window, adding Davinson Sanchez, Serge Aurier and Fernando Llorente. That gives them more cover in defense and an extra option off the bench with Llorente happy to back up Harry Kane. Selling on Kyle Walker for over $65 million made sense and Mauricio Pochettino will be happy with his summer window after keeping hold of Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Kane and Danny Rose.
West Brom – B+
The Baggies had a really decent window and pulled off a big shock with silky midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak arriving on loan from Paris Saint-Germain. Jay Rodriguez, Kieran Gibbs and Gareth Barry are all solid additions who will start and Tony Pulis managed to keep hold of his skipper Jonny Evans despite interest from Man City and Arsenal.
Leicester City – B+
Decent window for the Foxes as they managed to keep hold of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy and although it seems likely they lost Danny Drinkwater to Chelsea, they added some deadline day deals in Aleksandar Dragovic and potentially Adrien Silva. Early additions of Harry Maguire, Kelchi Iheanacho and Vicente Iborra seem to have strengthened the overall squad too.
Liverpool – B Mohamed Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are both key additions in the window and sealing the deal for Naby Keita was a big one for next summer. However, not adding a top-class center back (the Virgil Van Dijk pursuit was doomed from the start) was a big letdown and there is still an issue with the goalkeeping department. Some issues not addressed but Philippe Coutinho seems all but certain to stick around, so that’s a positive.
Huddersfield Town – B David Wagner added more new players than any other team and Huddersfield have looked the part early on. Steve Mounie is a powerful forward with an eye for goal, grabbing Aaron Mooy on a permanent deal was superb business and goalkeeper Jonas Lossl has settled in well. Unlike the other promoted teams Huddersfield did their business early and were rewarded.
Swansea City – B
They held out and got a huge sum of $57.6 million for Gylfi Sigurdsson which they then spent wisely on re-signing Wilfried Bony and adding Renato Sanches on loan in a stunning deal from Bayern Munich. They did lose Fernando Llorente too, but Tammy Abraham seems like a steal on loan and the Swans will be hopeful their young squad can surprise opponents. Decent window all things considered.
Burnley – B
They lost Michael Keane and Andre Gray but did recoup over $60 million for the duo and spent it wisely with Chris Wood, Jack Cork and Jonathan Walters coming in. Plenty of experience added by Sean Dyche and the Clarets will once again be tough to break down. Solid window.
Watford – B Marco Silva added some decent signings from Udinese around deadline day and brought in Andre Gray and Richarlison to strengthen their attack. Nathaniel Chalobah and Will Hughes will add energy in midfield and overall an inventive window, once again, from the Hornets.
Stoke City – B
The Potters did some really good business late in the window which saved them. Jese and Choupo-Moting look lively up top and Kurt Zouma, Kevin Wimmer and Bruno Martins Indi will improve them defensively. Darren Flecther is another solid buy but another striker would have been ideal for Mark Hughes.
Southampton – B-
They kept hold of Virgil van Dijk which was the main aim and added Mario Lemina in midfield and center backs Jan Bednarek and Wesley Hoedt. Saints really could have done with freshening up their attack but it didn’t seem like they were close to key forward additions.
Chelsea – B-
A really weird window for Chelsea who kept seeing players turn them down. From Romleu Lukaku to Oxlade-Chamberlain and Llorente to Ross Barkley, Antonio Conte couldn’t get deals over the line and Chelsea’s squad isn’t looking as strong as it did at the end of last season. Selling Nemanja Matic to Manchester United was a bad decision and the situation surrounding Diego Costa’s future was handed poorly. Alvaro Morata will be a star and both Bakayoko and Rudiger are also good additions, but not a great window at all for the Blues.
Bournemouth – C+
Adding experience was the main aim and Bournemouth did that early with Asmir Begovic and Jermain Defoe coming in. Nathan Ake should be a solid buy too but Eddie Howe‘s attack is looking a little lackluster after the opening weeks of the season.
West Ham United – D
It looked like decent business on paper but three of their four buys in the window look like they could be ill-advised. Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will score goals for fun but Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart look low on confidence and Marko Arnautovic already has a red card and some poor displays against his name. Not a great window for the Hammers.
Crystal Palace – D-
Yes, they may well add Mamadou Sakho, but apart from that it has been a disastrous start to life in the Premier League for Frank De Boer. With three defeats he needed to add another two defenders and another striker to help ease the load on Christian Benteke. Palace have some big squad issues with a new playing style not suiting many of their players.
Brighton – F
Numbers have arrived but real quality hasn’t for the Seagulls. It is early days but you have to think more firepower was necessary for them to have any chance of staving off relegation. Davy Propper could be a good buy and so too could Jose Izquierdo but apart from that an underwhelming window. If they manage to add Vincent Janssen it would improve their grade, but not by much.
Arsenal – F
My goodness. What happened? From still having Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil around, to losing out on Thomas Lemar on the final day and selling Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsene Wenger has a nightmare. They added Alexandre Lacazette but did they really need another striker? Yet another window has come and gone without Wenger addressing the glaring problems in central midfield and defense. They way this situation has been handled from the top of the club is shambolic.
Newcastle United – F Rafael Benitez and his owner Mike Ashley have been airing their dirty laundry in the media and Benitez has not got the deals he wanted. Joselu could score some goals but overall it was a really poor window for Newcastle, a team who should be challenging for a top four finish considering their stadium and fanbase. This window suggests they will be battling relegation.