City have a poor recent record at Anfield and Townsend believes manager Pep Guardiola set out to avoid a repeat of last season's 4-3 defeat there, earning a goalless draw against a Liverpool team who have also started the season unbeaten.
"That is how far Liverpool have grown, that's how much of a danger he would see Klopp's boys to his own team," Townsend says. "[Guardiola] has had to accept a 0-0.
"Man City were never going to be as attack-minded and get punished like they have done against this team. They have done their homework and they have stifled Liverpool a bit."