Simon Mignolet revealed a pep talk delivered by Jürgen Klopp at half-time on Saturday ensured Liverpool fulfilled the gameplan devised by the manager to defeat Manchester City.
Perhaps even the German could not have hoped the match would play out so heavily in his team’s favour, with the Reds silencing the Etihad Stadium by sealing an unforgettable 4-1 victory.
Klopp’s charges were full value for the result, using their speed and invention in attacking areas to find ways through and beyond the home side’s defence.
An Eliaquim Mangala own goal set them on their way but it was the piercing manner in which Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino subsequently found the target that left City stunned.
Sergio Aguero mustered a response with a beauty from range, though it proved mere consolation when Martin Skrtel guaranteed maximum points with a wallop of his own late on.
Mignolet told Liverpoolfc.com: “We did really well and are very pleased with the result. Before the game the gaffer laid out a plan for us and it worked out perfectly.
“What he said before the game was the case. We didn’t let them breathe and on the counter-attack we had a chance with the three players up top – Adam [Lallana], Phil and Roberto. They did brilliantly.
“We scored three early goals and just before half-time there was a bit of a setback, but we didn’t let it affect us and in the second half we were the better side again.
“The gaffer has worked really hard on that and at half-time he said when you come into the dressing room at 3-1 away to Manchester City, you have to be happy and you have to go out in the second half with a positive feeling.
“That’s what we did and we didn’t let it affect us. We played our game and scored a fourth goal. We had so many chances to score many more – that’s what you want to do when you play Manchester City.
“With the amount of chances we had, we could have possibly scored more goals than the four we did. We’re very pleased with the result – we can move forward and try to do the same things next week.”
The display was reminiscent of the kind that had caught Chelsea similarly off guard three weeks ago, full of the pressing and pace Klopp demands from his players.
“It was all about us,” continued the goalkeeper.
“We had to set the tempo of the game and didn’t let them breathe when they had the ball. When we had the ball, we tried to break quickly with all the pace we have up front.
“That was the option and we created a lot of chances on the counter-attack; that’s what you have to do when you play away from home against a good Manchester City side.
“But I don’t think they came into the game. You always know there’s going to be two or three opportunities for them during the game, but we defended really well and then created a lot of chances – which is a good thing.”
The trip to Manchester signalled the beginning of a busy fixture schedule for the Reds, who will mix league, cup and continental commitments in the remainder of 2015.
Next up is a Europa League tie against Bordeaux at Anfield, with qualification to the knockout stages possible via a victory, and Mignolet insisted the post-City celebrations will therefore be short.
He said: “We have to take it game by game. Next Thursday is a massive one again because we want to get through in the Europa League.
“So we’ll focus on that. We can celebrate this victory and then from Sunday onwards we’ll work to make sure we’re ready for Bordeaux, which is going to be a massive one at home again.
“Let’s take this momentum and confidence into the next game and it can only be better for the future.”