It took 23 seconds. Sergio Aguero stepped onto the pitch and, 23 seconds later, the match was over. As Manchester City’s third goal hit the net, Liverpool were done. So close last season, the gulf between the two clubs looked significant on Monday night. There, in Aguero’s goal, Manchester City’s power was encapsulated.
It takes 23 seconds for blood to circulate around the body, but City’s power in the second-half might have frozen it in Liverpool’s veins. No other club in the Premier League has these options. There are some useful teams about this season, but not with City’s irresistible strength in depth.
To replace David Silva with Jesus Navas, and Edin Dzeko – who may be out for a short while with an injury to his left thigh – with Aguero, is not an option open to any manager bar Manuel Pellegrini. That the two arrivals then combined to take the game beyond Liverpool’s reach merely underlined those incredible resources. Manchester City have a great team – but if you don’t like it, don’t worry, they’ve got another almost as good.
The second-half display, certainly, was as impressive as it was ominous, as were the bald facts of this victory. Liverpool are the third biggest spending club in the world this summer, after Manchester United and Barcelona, yet they were undone by City’s fourth choice striker.
Not Aguero – he was merely the icing on the cake – but Stevan Jovetic, the Montenegrin purchased from Fiorentina in 2013 but as yet thwarted by injury and a queue of expensive strikers during his time in Manchester.
Not anymore, it would seem. Paul Scholes, among others, has been calling this as Jovetic’s year and his two goals against such well-fancied opposition, suggested he may be right.
It is not the first time Jovetic has tormented Liverpool either. In 2009, he scored both goals as Fiorentina helped to dump them out of the Champions League – the last time they competed in the competition before this season.