Liverpool and Manchester City remained locked together in the Premier League after playing out a 0-0 draw at Anfield on Sunday.
The goalfest anticipated ahead of the game did not come to pass as a hard-fought affair unfolded and Riyad Mahrez missed the best chance of the match – an 86th-minute penalty sent over the crossbar.
Here are five talking points from the clash…
An unexpected stalemate…
In four meetings in the Premier League and Champions League last season, Liverpool and City scored a combined total of 18 goals.
The pre-match expectations of another showdown brimming with action in either box were therefore more than justified – but it just did not quite happen in L4 this time.
No league fixture so far this term had fewer shots in the first half than this one (three) and 62 minutes elapsed at Anfield before a shot on target was registered.
While Liverpool failed to find the goal they craved, they did extend a proud defensive record at home in the Premier League.
They needed a stroke of luck along the way, of course, as Mahrez fired his late spot-kick into the Anfield Road End.
But Jürgen Klopp’s charges have not conceded in the league at Anfield since February – a run that now totals 841 minutes of football.
West Ham United’s Michail Antonio was the last player to do so, during a fixture that the Reds nevertheless won 4-1 eight months ago.
The current streak is the club’s best since clocking a sequence of 934 minutes under Rafael Benitez in 2007.
Lovren settles back in…
The manager made a change to his backline for only the second time in the Premier League this season as Dejan Lovren came in for Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez moved to right-back.
Liverpool’s No.6 had played in the finals of the Champions League and World Cup since his last league appearance, at home to Brighton and Hove Albion on the final day of 2017-18.
And Lovren performed impressively on his return, denying one threatening City counter-attack in the second half with an expertly-judged tackle.
The centre-back led his team in passes (77), touches (91), duels won (72.7 per cent of 11) and tackles (five) while only defensive partner Virgil van Dijk bettered his four clearances.
Three years on….
Monday marks the third anniversary of Klopp’s appointment as Liverpool manager, with this the 166th match played by the club in all competitions since.
The goalless draw with City means the German has won 88 of those games and his team have scored 333 times – at a rate of almost precisely two per fixture.
In the Premier League specifically, the Reds have gained 219 points from 114 matches under Klopp.
Three’s a crowd…
The stalemate between the sides at Anfield means they are both joined by Chelsea with a record of six wins, two draws and 20 points at the summit of the Premier League.
The Blues eradicated the gap that previously existed – and moved ahead of the Reds on goal difference – courtesy of a 3-0 success at Southampton earlier in the day.
We’ll now pause for October’s set of international matches before Liverpool return to action with a trip to Huddersfield Town in 13 days’ time.