Things were a lot different the last time Jurgen Klopp took his side to the Etihad in the Premier League
And it matched the heaviest defeat the German has ever suffered as a manager.
Not since losing 6-1 with Mainz against Werder Bremen in 2006 had Klopp been on the receiving end of a beating similar to that meted out by Manchester City at the Eithad in September 2017.
Just four games into the new season, Pep Guardiola's side delivered an ominous warning of their title credentials with a 5-0 thrashing of a Liverpool team many were tipping as likely challengers for the Premier League crown.
Whatever could go wrong did go wrong for Klopp's side.
Not least in the 37th minute when Sadio Mane was dismissed for clumping City goalkeeper Ederson in the side of the face with a high boot.
The signs were already not great for Liverpool, Sergio Aguero having netted the opener in the 24th minute when Kevin De Bruyne's simple pass cut a huge hole through the visiting defence.
By half-time Gabriel Jesus had doubled the advantage against the 10-man Reds. Another Jesus goal and a double from substitute Leroy Sane rubbed salt into an alarmingly gaping wound.
Liverpool's January Fixtures
"The first goal was so easy to defend... push up! Then two players are offside," he said.
“But we didn't, and that's what the first half was like, we weren't compact enough and didn't cause them enough problems. I was not happy."
Few expect there to be so clear a mismatch when the teams meet again in the Premier League at the Etihad on Thursday evening with the Reds now the team in pole position in the title race, a full seven points clear of champions City at the top of the table.
And the Liverpool side that lined up that dismal afternoon last season is hugely indicative.
With the exception of Trent Alexander-Arnold – and it's worth noting that he was still 18 at the time and making only his fourth Premier League start – the Reds are almost certain to field a completely different defence.
Back then, Simon Mignolet was in goal with Alberto Moreno left-back and Ragnar Klavan partnering Joel Matip at the heart of the backline.
On Thursday, it's expected Alisson Becker, Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren will start.
Sixteen months ago saw Emre Can, now of Juventus, feature in midfield. And while the regular front three started the match, none completed it with Mane dismissed, Mohamed Salah sacrificed at half-time and Roberto Firmino substituted long before the final whistle.
By contrast, City could this week conceivably play 10 of the 11 starters that afternoon.
Of course, when Liverpool returned for their Champions League quarter-final second leg in April, a 2-1 win underlined their rapid progress under Jurgen Klopp.