Liverpool have left no doubt of their Premier League title intentions with a convincing 3-1 win over Manchester City at Anfield.
Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were on target as the Reds moved eight points clear of Leicester City and Chelsea and left champions City nine points adrift in fourth.
The victory for Juergen Klopp side didn’t come without controversy as VAR played a part in the Reds’ sixth-minute opener.
City couldn’t recover from the early blow and may have seen their hopes of a third straight title slip away as unbeaten Liverpool made it 11 wins from 12 games this season.
“Obviously we’re on a good run of form, still unbeaten,” defender Trent Alexander-Arnold told Sky Sports.
“It’s about keeping up the momentum, it’s not about other teams – we have to focus on us.”
The game’s major talking point came when Alexander-Arnold handled the ball inside the box.
However, referee Michael Oliver ruled to play on and Liverpool went straight down the field and took the lead when Fabinho drilled home a rocket from 25 metres.
Oliver was then surrounded by players from both teams during the VAR review and City were left infuriated when the goal was given.
And things got worse for them seven minutes later when Salah headed home at the far post, the goal was confirmed by VAR after a check for marginal offside against the striker.
After making it to half-time without further damage, City’s hole got deeper six minutes after the restart as Mane made it 3-0 with a header of his own.
Bernardo Silva’s goal gave the visitors a glimmer of hope in the 78th minute, but it was simply a case of too little, too late.
At the final whistle, City boss Pep Guardiola appeared to tell Oliver and his assistants “thank you very much” as he shook their hands.
Afterwards, the Spaniard couldn’t be drawn into discussing VAR.
“Ask to the referees, don’t ask me. Ask to [referee’s head] Mike Riley and the guys in VAR,” he said.
“I would like to talk about our performance, it was so good. It was one of the best performances we have played.”
In Sunday’s other games, Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers climbed into the top half of the table with home wins.
Andreas Pereira and Marcus Rashford scored to help United beat Brighton 3-1, while goals from Ruben Neves and Raul Jimenez led Wolves past Aston Villa 2-1 in a West Midlands derby.
The wins leave the sides level on 16 points, with United above Wolves in seventh on goal difference.
“It was an excellent performance from the lads,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told the BBC.
“The table does not really matter at the moment.
“We need to keep improving and keep winning games and see where it takes us.”