Benjamin Mendy showed off Ederson’s battle scars as explained the bravery of his Pep Guardiola goalkeeper as a necessity.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool looked dangerous in the opening stages, but the game turned on a dramatic red card as Sadio Mane was dismissed for a high challenge on City goalkeeper Ederson.
Pictures after the game confirm the damage done to Ederson’s face. However, the Blues will be reassured that after treatment at the training ground rather than going to hospital, the 24-year-old was able to return to the bench for the closing stages of the match.
“I don’t think the bone is broken,” said Guardiola. “That is so important. I don’t know if he will be more beautiful after that. Hopefully he can come back as soon as possible – he is so important for us.
“Of course it was not intentional from Mane because he didn’t see him but the impact was hard.
“Hopefully he can work and stay. Maybe he will not play in the next game but it’s okay.”
Lost in the controversy surrounding Mane’s (deserved) red card was the confidence of Ederson in going for the ball in the first place.
Mane caught Ederson with a boot to the face outside the penalty area and was sent off by referee Jon Moss, and City took full advantage as goals from Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus (two) and Leroy Sane (two) ensured a miserable day for Klopp in Manchester.
The Reds striker would have been clean through on goal but for the Brazilian’s intervention, and such actions will be needed again and again because of the nature of Guardiola’s teams playing such a high line in defence.
“When we play so high the goalkeeper has to play on the 18 yard box and go in that position and defend our back three or back four or central defenders,” he said.
It is not the first time – in pre-season against Tottenham he did it. It is so important to know we have one guy to help our central defenders with long balls.
“It is brave because Mane is coming. Unfortunately he is injured but hopefully he will come back as soon as possible.”
Jurgen Klopp appeared unimpressed with the decision to hand Mane a red but did not indicate he would appeal the decision.
“[Mane] is shocked about the situation and I am sure also about the decision. If the leg is not where it is is, it is a foul from the goalie.
“At the end of the day it is a red card and I’m sure enough people will find enough reasons to say it was the right decision but of course it was a big influence on the game.
“Can we [appeal]? What would be your advice? It never works. It would be another waste of time, like the game today.”