Jurgen Klopp has urged his Liverpool players to believe in themselves more, claiming some of them were “surprised” to be beating Manchester City on Saturday.
An own goal from Eliaquim Mangala was followed by efforts from Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino at the Etihad Stadium as City conceded three league goals in the first half for the first time since February 2003.
Sergio Aguero’s ninth of the season just before the break on his return from injury barely softened the blow with Reds defender Martin Skrtel brilliantly volleying home in the second half to complete the rout.
Following a 3-1 win at Chelsea last month, Klopp has now maximum points from his meetings with last season’s top two.
His biggest win since taking over seven weeks ago more than made up for the home defeat against Crystal Palace immediately before the international break.
“It was very satisfying. I’m not sure if it was the best (performance) but I rarely compare games,” Klopp said.
“Two weeks ago we lost the game against Palace, now we have taken those points back.
“For us it is important we can see and feel there is a development in our game. We need common experience so we can work with it.
“We can do better than we did tonight – maybe not on the counter-attack because they were really good but we can start to believe in our own strength.
“At half-time I had a little bit of a feeling some of them were feeling surprised we were in the lead here and that is what we have to learn.
“It is normal in football if you have quality – and we have quality – you can be in the lead.”
Klopp left £32.5million striker Christian Benteke among the substitutes, where Daniel Sturridge was named for the first time in Klopp’s tenure after recovering from injury.
The German selected the majority of players he had to work with at Melwood during the international break and the link-up play between Coutinho and Firmino certainly proved that was the right call with the latter particularly impressive.
“I told you a few weeks ago I know about his quality,” said Klopp of Firmino.
“He trained 10-12 days with us without interruption, the same as Coutinho, and that is the reason we played like this with the formation like this – we tried to put on the pitch as many players who trained together.”