Manchester City maintained the pressure on Premier League leaders Arsenal by shrugging off the absence of the injured Erling Haaland to outclass Liverpool with a magnificent display at Etihad Stadium.

City's 42-goal striker was ruled out with a groin injury, but Pep Guardiola's reigning champions demonstrated their all-round strength by coming from a goal down against a Liverpool side who have made life so difficult for them in the past, to run out convincing winners.

Liverpool caught City with a counter-attack after 17 minutes to take the lead, Diogo Jota making the break before Mohamed Salah applied a thumping finish.

City responded in devastating fashion with the outstanding Jack Grealish, who made a crucial intervention on Salah when Liverpool had the chance to double their lead, crossing for Julian Alvarez to equalise after 27 minutes.

Alvarez was the creator as City went ahead 53 seconds after the break, his raking pass finding Riyad Mahrez, who crossed for Kevin de Bruyne to slide home from close range.

John Stones delivered a masterclass in an unaccustomed role which saw him advance into midfield but also drop back into defence when required, and with City, in total control, Ilkay Gundogan added the third after a goalmouth skirmish.

Grealish deserved a goal and it duly arrived in the 74th minute when he timed his arrival perfectly to turn in De Bruyne's cross as Liverpool ended beaten and bedraggled.

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