Roy Keane has torn into Manchester City after their 3-0 defeat at Anfield and dismissed claims of them being a “great” team as “a lot of hype”.
The Manchester United icon laid into Pep Guardiola’s side after they went into the tie as favourites.
Now they face the massive task of trying to overhaul a three-goal deficit at the Etihad next Tuesday without even an away goal to give them hope.
Keane said on ITV’s Champions League highlights: “It’ll be a hard game for the manager to analyse, after the game he said they had a lot of possession, but possession doesn’t win you football matches.
“There has been a lot of hype about this Manchester City team, talk about them being a great team.
“It was a reality check for this team tonight, they have a lot to do yet before they want to be regarded as a great team.
“You look at City players there, they will be shell-shocked. There is no way they would have visualised being 3-0 down after the first leg tonight.
“Even if they thought they were in for a tough night, I’m sure they thought they were going to score a goal, so they will be shell-shocked.
“I think for what we have seen this season, they showed a real lack of quality tonight but you have to give Liverpool credit for that.”
City have swept all before them in the Premier League this season but failed to register a shot on target last night.
But it was always going to be a difficult task against a team that ended their 22-match unbeaten run in January in a thrilling 4-3 Premier League win for the Reds.
But Keane reserved special praise for Jurgen Klopp’s side, particularly their all-English midfield trio.
He added: “A great team performance, they had a great start.
“We’ve seen previously that Liverpool have got players that can hurt Man City, particularly on the counter attack and they got heavily punished for it tonight.
“Liverpool, for a team performance were outstanding, the three players in midfield were outstanding as well. I thought Milner, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain gave them that foundation to go on and win the game and I bet Liverpool can’t believe their luck to be 3-0 up.
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“OK it’ll be a tough second leg, but Liverpool will fancy themselves to get an away goal and then the tie will be over.”
Keane’s former club United take on City on Saturday with Guardiola’s side able to clinch the Premier League title if they beat Jose Mourinho’s team.