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Jurgen Klopp questions one area of Liverpool team after Man City exit

Nathan Ake headed the winner as Manchester City edged out rivals Liverpool 3-2 in a five-goal thriller to claim a place in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

Manchester City's Nathan Ake scores his sides third goal during the Carabao Cup fourth round match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. Picture date: Thursday December 22, 2022.© PA

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Jurgen Klopp was not happy with the defensive performance of his team as their defence of the Carabao Cup ended with a 3-2 defeat at Manchester City.

Nathan Ake headed the winner as Manchester City edged out rivals Liverpool 3-2 in a five-goal thriller to claim a place in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

The Dutchman turned in a superb Kevin De Bruyne cross just before the hour at the Etihad Stadium to put City ahead for a third and decisive time in absorbing contest on Thursday.

Liverpool had cancelled out earlier City goals from the prolific Erling Haaland and Riyad Mahrez through Fabio Carvalho and Mohamed Salah respectively.

City’s victory ended Liverpool’s reign as holders and kept Pep Guardiola’s side on course for a fifth victory in the competition in six seasons.

"The goals we conceded were completely unnecessary,” fumed Klopp.

"We had good spells and could have scored more goals as well. It's a result we have to live with now.

"It was a high-intensity game from both teams, that's normal. We played a good game but not good enough to beat City tonight. That says something but not everything. It's just how it is.

"There's a lot we can build on and we can take into the next games and that's what we'll do.

"We played a formation that we haven't played for a long time, and we had to change in pretty much our last session. You could see that, we needed time to adapt.

"In the first 15 minutes we had real problems and that killed our confidence and conviction a little bit.”

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson insisted there were some positive in the display, as Liverpool and City resumed hostilities in their first match after the World Cup in Qatar.

"There were positives, creating chances, sometimes we looked good on the ball but there were mistakes as well,” stated the Scot.

"It's our first game back in a long time and it's not often you're first game back is against Manchester City.

"We wanted to stay in this cup, we know how much joy it brought us last season. Ultimately disappointing but when we look at the clips we will be able to take positives.

"It's a good game, both sets of players were out on their feet, we always raise our games against each other. We didn't start great, go behind, Fabio scored a fabulous goal, we went behind early in the second half, reacted so well, had a couple of chances, then we switched off at a short corner.

"These are things that can't happen - their changing room will be a lot happier than ours."

The was far from the ill-tempered affair of their October meeting at Anfield but tensions did spill over late on after a rough challenge by Fabinho on Rodri.

City’s rewarded will be a quarter-final trip to face Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium, with Manchester United handed a home draw against Charlton in the last eight.

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