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Liverpool’s Klopp after Man City thrashing: Top four is ‘main target’

Manchester City opened up a commanding five-point lead at the top of the Premier League as Ilkay Gundogan scored twice in a 4-1 triumph at Liverpool for whom keeper Alisson endured a Sunday afternoon to forget.

An emphatic win, City’s 10th in a row in the league and first at Anfield since 2003, moved Pep Guardiola’s side to 50 points from 22 matches, five more than second-placed Manchester United who have played a game more. Gundogan missed a first-half penalty but made up for that by firing City ahead four minutes after the break only for Mohamed Salah to equalize from the spot just past the hour mark, Liverpool’s first goal at home this year.

City then had a John Stones goal ruled out before they were gifted two goals in three minutes by Alisson. First he passed straight to Phil Foden who showed great composure to set up Gundogan to restore City’s lead, then Raheem Sterling made it 3-1 after another dreadful error by Alisson.

It got even worse for champions Liverpool as the brilliant Foden added a superb fourth goal in the 83rd minute.

Fourth-placed Liverpool are now 10 points behind City and their title defense is in tatters.

When asked if Liverpool faced a tough battle to remain in the top four, Klopp told Sky Sports: “That is our main target, that is clear.

“We will try everything — there is enough games to play to secure that but we have to win games.”

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson ruled the reigning champions out of the title race after their 1-0 home defeat to Brighton on Wednesday.

Klopp also defended Alisson after his crucial mistakes versus City which saw Liverpool lose three consecutive matches at Anfield for the first time since 1963.

“It is true as well we did not give him a lot of options, especially the first one,” he added. “Second yeah, he just mishit the ball, maybe he had cold feet, it sounds funny but don’t know the situation. He has saved our lives many times, no doubt about that, tonight he made mistakes.”

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