Julian Alvarez walks around and enjoys to underline status as world's best second-choice striker

The Manchester City striker had just equalized against Liverpool and his top scorer's delight was palpable. But the 42-goal man was in the executive box, the City player closest to him was the 1990 midfielder, his father Alf Eng.

The forward and finisher on the pitch was Julian Alvarez. On a day to suggest the World Cup winner may be the world’s best second-choice striker, City had few reasons to regret Haaland’s absence.

His antics in the plush seats suggested his groin problem should not sideline him for long, but if City are to retain their Premier League title, it will owe much to a tour de force from his deputy.

Álvarez scored City's first goal, set up his second and played a key role in the third. By the time Jack Grealish scored the fourth, the deficit had been turned into an emphatic 4–1 victory.

In the process, he enabled Pep Guardiola to beat the man he deemed his toughest rival, Jurgen Klopp, while condemning Liverpool to a third successive defeat.

If City helped knock Liverpool out of contention for a Champions League place, victory will serve them another benefit.

it was a seventh straight win, the only stroke of fortune coming when Rodri escaped a second booking in swift succession in the first half.