In what we always expected to be a tactical battle between two of the world’s top coaches, Jurgen Klopp came out on top. He got it spot on, with Liverpool sitting deeper than usual and inviting City on to them.
That resulted in a more robust defensive performance from Liverpool. And perhaps they have found another way of playing which will serve them well in 2017.
In this mini-league of the super six teams at the top, Liverpool may well step off a little from their usual aggressive approach so high up the pitch. They were helped by the early goal to do that. But ultimately, that approach won the game.
Overall, though, the game was disappointing, given the lack of scoring opportunities. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game between two top sides where the ball has been given away quite so much. City were the main culprits but both teams were guilty.
Pep Guardiola and City have a real battle on their hands to stay in the title race or even in the top four. For a side with such a glittering forward line — Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne — they created little.
Their first-half display was especially poor and there was no rally at the end to put Liverpool on the back foot. We saw none of those Yaya Toure surges which have carried City over the line so many times.