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Jurgen Klopp was keen to stress that Liverpool’s previous thrashings of Porto at the Estadio do Dragao would count for nothing ahead of their Champions League tie, but the Reds still managed to replicate their past performances with a 5-1 drubbing of Sergio Conceicao‘s men on Tuesday.
The famed old guard in Mohamed Salah (2), Roberto Firmino (2) and Sadio Mane propelled their side to a dominant European success after their previous thrilling victory over AC Milan, but the Reds were frustrated by an inspired Brentford outfit in their most recent Premier League encounter.
Seeking to make the Brentford Community Stadium a fortress, Thomas Frank‘s side twice came back from a goal down to rescue a point against Klopp’s side in front of their own fans, with Yoane Wissa netting the all-important sixth goal of the game in the 82nd minute of that 3-3 draw.
However, that point was enough to see Liverpool rise to the top of the rankings after their upcoming opponents did them a favour against Chelsea and Manchester United lost to Aston Villa, while their tally of 15 goals scored is also the highest in the division.
Klopp’s side are also unbeaten in 10 competitive fixtures at Anfield and have scored at least three goals in each of their last six games since last month’s 3-0 win over Leeds United, but Pep Guardiola‘s defence is already proving near-impenetrable in the league this term.
Raheem Sterling goes back to Liverpool and on one hand he has very little to prove to his old club. However, for probably the first time in his Manchester City career, he has to demonstrate that he is still one of the main men for Pep Guardiola.
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On his first six returns, City lost five and drew the other 0-0 in a dismal game in 2018 that was unrecognisable from the usual exciting, adventurous football associated with Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola sides.
Then there is the close-range animosity hurled at Sterling from the Anfield stands that are tight to the touchline; his every touched booed, clattering challenges from Andy Robertson and Joe Gomez wildly encouraged and early substitutions celebrated with glee.