Four days after Argentina and France served up what some have claimed to be the greatest game of all time in the most important game, Manchester City and Liverpool provided their own treat at Etihad Stadium to remind everyone English domestic football remains the most entertaining weekly dish on the menu.
Despite five goals, 25 shots and two confrontations involving City midfielder Rodri, this EFL Cup fourth-round tie will clearly not live anywhere near as long in the memory as the efforts of Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe in Qatar.
But, for the 50,000-plus in attendance and those watching on TV at home, after a six-week break, this was English football in the raw, the two clubs who have set the standards over the past five seasons going head-to-head. Even the managers loved it.
“It was a spectacular game,” said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, manager of the losing side.
“For us it is always like this. When we are on top of our game, we push each other always to the next level. I saw the game, it was really good.”
Opposite number Pep Guardiola was in agreement after watching Liverpool peg his side back twice, before Nathan Ake headed home the winner just before the hour to earn City a 3-2 victory and a quarter-final trip to Southampton.
“Liverpool and City respect what they have done in the last years,” he said.
“It is not easy to keep the ball against them. They have the most difficult structure I have faced in my career. They don’t need anything to score and create chances. When they are much better they destroy you.”