Manchester - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini claimed that his team could not have played worse had they tried following their 4-1 drubbing at home to Liverpool on Saturday.
An Eliaquim Mangala own goal and strikes by Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Martin Skrtel condemned City to their heaviest home loss since their move from Maine Road to the Etihad Stadium in 2003.
"Today we did it all wrong -- the performance, the way we defended, the way we went forward. It was a fake night, a fake game," Pellegrini said in a television interview.
"It is difficult to understand. If we meant to do it on purpose, we couldn't have done it that badly. It is impossible to understand.
"We tried to make changes and have some options to score. We tried to fight, but continued making so many mistakes with the ball."
Speaking to reporters at his post-match press conference shortly after, Pellegrini, whose side replied through fit-again striker Sergio Aguero, described the performance as "a complete disaster".
City were bidding to reclaim first place in the Premier League, but finished the day two points below new leaders Leicester City in third place after their third defeat of the campaign.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, whose side rose one place to ninth, told the BBC: "It feels perfect! The game was not perfect, but it was very good.
"City couldn't start like they want, but that is important for us. We played with big passion and that's the most important thing for us.
"The good news is that we can do better. At half-time I told the boys they were surprised to be winning 3-0, and we must do better in that situation.
"We have quality. We could have more goals, but 4-1 is perfect. The boys can believe now that they are stronger than many people think."