The morning after the humiliating night before and Manchester City’s players were understandably looking a little glum as they returned to training after their Champions League humbling by Liverpool.
Three goals by Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane in a 19-minute first-half blitz left Pep Guardiola’s side with a mountain to climb if they are to reach the semi-finals.
Despite an improved second-half, shell-shocked City were unable to secure a crucial away goal and have it all to do in next Tuesday’s return leg at the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling drives into training on Thursday morning in the wake of their 3-0 Champions League loss to Liverpool at Anfield
City forward Gabriel Jesus looks downbeat as he arrived at the Etihad Campus for training
Kevin de Bruyne looked glum as he made his arrival at City’s training base on Thursday
Bernardo Silva drives into training as City reflect on their 3-0 humbling at Anfield
Defender Nicolas Otamendi behind the wheel of his Rolls Royce as he arrives at training
In the meantime, attention must turn to Saturday evening’s derby with Manchester United, where a win will secure them the Premier League title.
Guardiola’s squad made their way to the Etihad Campus on Thursday morning for a recovery session as they reflect on their mauling at Anfield and how to launch a comeback next week.
Meanwhile, Kevin de Bruyne has urged Manchester City’s fans to create a white-hot atmosphere of their own at the Etihad next week to help Guardiola’s side turn the tie around.
De Bruyne played down suggestions that the pre-match attack by home supporters on City’s team bus outside Anfield played any part in a stunning 3-0 win for Liverpool.
But he admitted that Liverpool’s fervent support and the hostile reception for City inside the ground was a factor in one of the great European nights at the famous old ground.
Sterling came off the bench to face his former club at Anfield but couldn’t turn the game
Sterling is surely going to start in the return leg on Tuesday as City seek a comeback
Otamendi, who struggled in the defeat at Anfield, drives into training in his Rolls Royce
Now the Belgium star wants City’s fans to turn the Etihad into a cauldron in the return leg on Tuesday as the Premier League leaders try to stage an unlikely comeback.
‘They probably got a lot of inspiration from their fans,’ said De Bruyne. ‘Hopefully we can have the same on Tuesday.
‘It would be nice obviously. It’s difficult because the circumstances are different but we will be up for it. It’s football. You never know what is going to happen. We have a lot of confidence in our qualities so we’ll see.’
On the ugly scenes involving City’s team bus, he added: ‘I already saw (things like this) before. It happens. I don’t think it’s something bad.
‘Obviously it’s not nice if you see windows breaking that’s not a good thing. But if supporters do that without being violent then I think it’s okay.’
City’s Benjamin Mendy arrives at training in his Ferrari – he remains sidelined through injury
Mendy did stop to pose for photographs with a group of young City fans as he drove in
City’s 5-0 win over Liverpool at home in September has given them hope of overturning the three-goal deficit.
But De Bruyne admits it is going to be very difficult to stop Jurgen Klopp’s side from reaching the semi-finals now – even more so because City first have to play the Manchester derby on Saturday.
‘We know it’s going to be difficult,’ he said. ‘We need to focus on Saturday and then we will try everything in our power to get a result against Liverpool.
‘They are going to be the big favourites but I think we have played a lot of games where it was possible to score three goals, so why not? But obviously they have a big advantage.
‘It’s not impossible. The way this team plays, everything is possible. But it’s going to need something special.
‘I have confidence in the team. If we start well and maybe score an early goal, you never know. They scored three in 90 minutes and we have already shown a lot of times that we can score more than three in 90 minutes, so we’ll see.
‘At 3-0, they have a big advantage but it’s still a game and we’ll see in the end what happens. If they go through and they deserve it, that’s the way it goes.’
City’s players were left shell-shocked by Liverpool’s three-goal blitz inside the first 31 minutes
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored a stunning goal as Liverpool went two goals ahead
De Bruyne wants City’s fans to replicate the intense Anfield atmosphere in the second leg
There were unsavoury scenes outside Anfield as the City team bus was pelted with projectiles