Sergio Aguero returned with a bang but Manchester City were comprehensively beaten 4-1 at home to Liverpool this evening as they missed the chance to return to the Premier League summit.
The Argentine striker, returning from a six-week layoff, gave the Citizens a glimmer of hope with this superb solo effort on 44 minutes, after they had been victims of a first-half Liverpool blitz.
Although Aguero was the only player capable of completing a potential City comeback, he was withdrawn midway through the second half by Manuel Pellegrini in light of his recent fitness problems.
The 27-year-old is still recovering from a hamstring injury, as The Guardian reports, and Pellegrini seemingly did not want to take any chances ahead of Tuesday’s crucial Champions League with Juventus.
Without him, City could not chip away at a deficit that been inflicted on them by some outstanding Liverpool attacking as Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino combined to devastating affect.
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Eliaquim Mangala turned Firmino’s cross into his own net to give the visitors a seventh-minute lead, which the playmaker doubled midway through the first half from an inch-perfect Firmino reverse pass.
Coutinho then returned the favour to supply Firmino with his first Reds goal since his summer arrival, although Emre Can deserves to share the plaudits for his delightful back-heel in the build-up.
The hosts were already well beaten when Martin Skrtel finished the scoring with a powerful 81st-minute volley. They are now third behind Manchester United and Leicester City at the top of the table.
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