KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Match of the Premier League season is coming up at Anfield next Sunday after Manchester City hit back from a goal down to beat United 3-1 and remain within one point of Premier leaders Liverpool.

Phil Foden followed up last season’s hat-trick with two superb goals. The inevitable Erling Haaland scored City’s late third.

Manager Pep Guardiola said: “Phil Foden was always a talented player but now he is more mature and understands more the game, especially defensively. He can play middle, right, make moments and cut inside, play in the left, scoring from the left. What can I say? He is the best player in the Premier League right now for the amount of things he does. Unbelievable.

“Will we do it? I don’t know. We have today more points at this stage than last season.”

United manager Erik Ten Hag had promised to make life difficult for City. His team endorsed the strategy by taking the lead after only eight minutes. Marcus Rashford scored his seventh league goal from 25 metres after goalkeeper Andre Onana’s clearance was moved on by Bruno Fernandes.

Rashford, who has come under criticism for poor form this year, might have scored another but failed from close range.

The goal provoked intense City pressure for the rest of the first half. They controlled 70pc possession, won 11 corners, forced several sharp saves from Onana and saw Erling Haaland contribute one of the most remarkable ‘misses’ of the season.

City’s effort was rewarded by Phil Foden’s in the 56th minute. United were furious. They had wanted a penalty seconds earlier when Rashford was tipped off balance by Kyle Walker’s hand on his shoulder. Ten Hag was shown a yellow card for his protest to fourth official Darren England.

The writing was on the wall. In the 80th minute Foden struck again for his 11th league goal in his 100th appearance in the competition. Haaland underlined City’s superiority two minutes into stoppage time.

United manager Ten Hag said: “It was a good performance overall. We went 1:0 up, we defended very well then there were two defining moments when we nearly made a breakthrough and conceded the first goal. We still had opportunities to at least get one point but the win was also possible.”