Manchester City and Liverpool showed why they are two of the best clubs in England with an entertaining game at the Etihad.
Algerian forward Riyad Mahrez and his counterpart from Egypt Mohamed Salah were on target as Manchester City dethroned Liverpool in the Carabao Cup.
The defending champions, Liverpool, put up a gallant show on the road but fell 3-2 to their hosts, City, at the Etihad in round four on Thursday night.
The game was a clash between two former African players of the year winners as Mahrez had the last laugh in the five-goal thriller.
Mahrez was the first to get on the scoresheet just moments into the second half after the first ended 1-1.
The 31-year-old scored a stunning left-footed strike to restore the lead for Pep Guardiola’s men. It was a delicious effort that was set up by a properly cooked first touch from the Algerian superstar.
However, not to be outshone by his North African brother, Egypt’s Mo Salah hardly allowed Mahrez and City to celebrate their lead before firing the Reds level again for the second time in the game.
A devastating counterattacking move from the away side saw Darwin Nunez set up Salah, who expertly evaded his marker, Nathan Ake, to poke home the equaliser just a minute after Mahrez put City in front.
Last laugh for Mahrez and City
10 minutes after Salah levelled the scores in the highly entertaining match, Dutch international Ake made amends for his defensive error which allowed Salah space to score.
A perfectly weighted cross from Belgian playmaker Kevin de Bruyne found its way into the Liverpool box and eluded everyone but Ake.
Unmarked in the box, the former Chelsea star headed past the brilliant Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher and into the net from close range to seal the win.
What the result means
With the win, Manchester City booked a ticket into the quarterfinals while Liverpool’s title defense came to an entertaining end at the Etihad.
Mahrez scored his first-ever goal against Liverpool, who are the holders of the Carabao Cup, in his 15th game against the Reds.