Jurgen Klopp praised Liverpool’s performance in beating Manchester City 4-1, then warned rivals that his side can only get better.
Liverpool started brightly, and got their reward when Eliaquim Mangala scored a seventh-minute own goal to hand the Reds a deserved lead.
From there, Klopp’s troops were absolutely rampant, and raced into a 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino that left a strangely lacklustre City reeling in front of their home supporters.
The hosts, who went into the weekend top of the league, responded through Sergio Aguero, but a late Martin Skrtel strike completed the rout.
While Klopp couldn’t hide his delight at the performance, he was keen to challenge his side to build upon it.
“The good news is that we can do better,” he told BBC Sport.
“At half-time I told the boys they were surprised to be winning 3-0, and we must do better in that situation.
“We have quality, we could have more goals but 4-1 is perfect. The boys can believe now that they are stronger than many people think.”
City boss Manuel Pellegrini blasted his side, saying they “did it all wrong”, but Klopp has credited his own players for refusing to allow the hosts to get into their rhythm, especially early on.
“City couldn’t start like they want but that is important for us,” he added.
“We played with big passion and that’s the most important thing for us. The game was not perfect but it was very good.”
Much of the pre-match attention was on Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling facing his former club for the first time since a high-profile and largely bitter summer move.
However, it was James Milner, who moved in the other direction, who was left smiling.
“For us to come here and get a result is brilliant,” said the Liverpool midfielder.
“I thought we were top class during the first half, second half we probably did not play as well, but we defended just as well.
“It is always strange coming back to an old club. Five years is a long time and I made a lot of friends here, so to comeback was strange. But as soon as you step on that pitch, it’s all about getting the three points.”