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Manchester City’s English midfielder Raheem Sterling (2R) vies with Liverpool’s English midfielder Jordan Henderson (R) during the UEFA Champions League first leg quarter-final football match between Liverpool and Manchester City, at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north west England on April 4, 2018.Anthony Devlin / AFP

Liverpool swept Manchester City aside with a three-goal blitz in 19 first-half minutes to take a commanding 3-0 first leg lead in their Champions League quarter-final.

Champions-elect City lead Liverpool by 18 points in the Premier League, but their only league defeat this season came in a 4-3 thriller at Anfield in January, and they suffered an even worse fate on Wednesday to leave their hopes of winning the European Cup for a first time hanging by a thread.

Just as in the January meeting between the sides, the prolific Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane were on target for the hosts.

However, a perfect night for Liverpool was marred when Salah limped off with an injury early in the second half.

City could already be crowned English champions by the time the sides meet again for the second leg in six days’ time should they beat local rivals Manchester United on Saturday.

However, it will take an extraordinary Etihad turnaround if they are to make just their second ever Champions League semi-final.

City were well aware of the cauldron they were facing from the off as their team bus was battered by bottles and cans on their arrival at…



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