Premier League
Man City3Liverpool1

Manchester City 3-1 Liverpool

Sergio Aguero
Substitute Sergio Aguero scored Manchester City's third goal with his first touch on the pitch
  • Manchester City make it two wins from two
  • Jovetic scores first Premier League brace
  • Balotelli watches his new side lose

Manchester City delivered an early statement of intent as the Premier League champions comfortably overcame last season's runners-up Liverpool at Etihad Stadium.

Stevan Jovetic scored either side of half-time to punish Liverpool, who dominated much of the first half without creating the opportunities to go with their excellent work-rate and approach work.

And as Liverpool's new £16m signing Mario Balotelli watched from the directors' box against his former club, any hopes of a comeback were snuffed out when Sergio Aguero slid home the third 23 seconds after coming on as substitute for the injured Edin Dzeko.

Pablo Zabaleta's own goal at least got Liverpool on the scoresheet but the last 20 minutes were played out as a formality, such was City's control.

Jovetic's first season at City was hampered by injuries but he has form for tormenting Liverpool after scoring twice against them in Fiorentina's Champions League win in 2009 and he showed his quality again here.

Stevan Jovetic
Stevan Jovetic only scored three Premier League goals last season, but netted twice in this game

Liverpool are in a period of transition with nine new signings this summer following the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona.

And, while they were the better side for the first 40 minutes, they never recovered from an error by debutant Alberto Moreno that allowed City to take the lead just before half-time.

The pleasure for Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini will not just come from the victory, but also from the fact that it was achieved without ever truly hitting the heights against the team who pushed them to the final day of last season's title race.

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Balotelli risk worth taking - Rodgers

For City, without needing to be at their best, this was very much business as usual for the reigning champions.

Liverpool will obviously miss a player of Suarez's world-class calibre but Rodgers must also be given time to bed in his reshaped squad, and these early days of the season will represent a work in progress.

Rodgers will also be hoping the maverick Balotelli will provide the sort of X-factor Suarez provided without the accompanying unsavoury headlines once he gets down to business after completing his move from AC Milan.

Liverpool's greater strength in midfield numbers and intense pressing posed problems for City until the deadlock was broken after 41 minutes in a manner the visitors' manager would have found hugely unsatisfactory.

Pablo Zabaleta
Pablo Zabaleta scored a late own goal under pressure from Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert

Dejan Lovren attempted to find Moreno with a header in the area but the £12m signing from Sevilla hesitated, allowing Jovetic to pounce and beat Simon Mignolet.

If Jovetic's first goal owed something to a Liverpool lapse, his second, 10 minutes after the restart, was a superb team goal started and finished by the talented Montenegrin.

Jovetic's brilliant flick set Samir Nasri free and he continued his run into the area to end a prolonged period of City passing with another emphatic finish.

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'Very important' win pleases Pellegrini

City wrapped things up in remarkable fashion with 21 minutes left. Aguero made his entrance to replace Dzeko and, within seconds, he was running on to Jesus Navas's perfect pass to beat Mignolet from a tight angle.

Liverpool pulled a goal back when Zabaleta turned into his own net after a far-post scramble with Rickie Lambert, but there was no consolation on offer here, only the concern of defender Glen Johnson limping off with what looked like a groin injury.

Rodgers will hope Balotelli can help bridge the gap between the sides over the course of a season but this was an impressively understated win from City.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini: "We worked the whole game and played a very good team. We worked without the ball for 95 minutes and with the ball we made enough danger to score three goals.

"When you play against a strong team you have to concentrate and our concentration and intensity was good. Liverpool are an important team and one that will be fighting for the title. It's so important to get six points from our first two games as it was a very difficult start for us.

"Stevan Jovetic was very unlucky last season and he had so many injuries. He has been patient and worked very hard to come again. We bought him because he is a very good player, he had a good pre-season and I'm very happy for him - he deserves it.

"We need four strikers. At this moment Stevan is doing very well but you cannot forget Alvaro Negredo is injured. Edin Dzeko and Jovetic and Aguero are working well. It is important that they continue playing the way they did."

Mario Balotelli
New £16m Liverpool signing Mario Balotelli watched the game next to other Reds squad members
Roy Hodgson
England manager Roy Hodgson was among the crowd at Etihad Stadium
David Silva
Manchester City won more home Premier League games than any other side last season
Manchester City
Manchester City have only conceded one goal from their two Premier League matches this season

Line-ups

Man City

  • 1Hart
  • 5Zabaleta
  • 4Kompany
  • 26Demichelis
  • 22Clichy
  • 8Nasri
  • 42Y TouréBooked at 29mins
  • 6Fernando
  • 21SilvaSubstituted forJesús Navasat 65'minutes
  • 35JoveticSubstituted forFernandinhoat 80'minutes
  • 10DzekoSubstituted forAgüeroat 68'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Sagna
  • 7Milner
  • 11Kolarov
  • 13Caballero
  • 15Jesús Navas
  • 16Agüero
  • 25Fernandinho

Liverpool

  • 22Mignolet
  • 2Johnson
  • 37Skrtel
  • 6Lovren
  • 18Moreno
  • 14Henderson
  • 8Gerrard
  • 24AllenSubstituted forCanat 75'minutesBooked at 76mins
  • 31SterlingSubstituted forLambertat 79'minutes
  • 15Sturridge
  • 10CoutinhoSubstituted forMarkovicat 60'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Jones
  • 4K Touré
  • 9Lambert
  • 17Sakho
  • 19Manquillo
  • 23Can
  • 50Markovic
Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
45,471

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamLiverpool
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home9
Away11
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away7
Fouls
Home13
Away7

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester City 3, Liverpool 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester City 3, Liverpool 1.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Alberto Moreno.

Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Fernandinho.

Attempt blocked. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Samir Nasri.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) because of an injury.

Foul by Yaya Touré (Manchester City).

Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Glen Johnson went off injured after Liverpool had used all subs.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Glen Johnson (Liverpool) because of an injury.

Goal!

Own Goal by Pablo Zabaleta, Manchester City. Manchester City 3, Liverpool 1.

Attempt saved. Rickie Lambert (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Daniel Sturridge with a cross.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Fernandinho replaces Stevan Jovetic.

Attempt missed. Emre Can (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Jordan Henderson with a cross following a corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Rickie Lambert replaces Raheem Sterling.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Gaël Clichy.

Booking

Emre Can (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Emre Can (Liverpool).

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Emre Can replaces Joe Allen.

Foul by Fernando (Manchester City).

Joe Allen (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 3, Liverpool 0. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jesús Navas with a through ball.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Sergio Agüero replaces Edin Dzeko because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Alberto Moreno with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Jesús Navas replaces David Silva.

Attempt saved. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Offside, Manchester City. Vincent Kompany tries a through ball, but Edin Dzeko is caught offside.

Samir Nasri (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dejan Lovren (Liverpool).

Attempt blocked. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lazar Markovic.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Fernando.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Lazar Markovic replaces Philippe Coutinho.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Tottenham220056
2Chelsea220046
3Man City220046
4Swansea220026
5Arsenal211014
6Hull211014
7Aston Villa211014
8West Ham210113
9Liverpool2101-13
10Everton202002
11Sunderland202002
12West Brom202002
13Man Utd2011-11
14Southampton2011-11
15Stoke2011-11
16Leicester2011-21
17Newcastle2011-21
18Crystal Palace2002-30
19Burnley2002-30
20QPR2002-50
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