Liverpool play out pulsating 2-2 away draw with Manchester City

Match reportLiverpool play out pulsating 2-2 away draw with Manchester City

By Sam Williams at Etihad Stadium


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Liverpool remain one point behind Manchester City at the top of the Premier League following a pulsating 2-2 draw at Etihad Stadium.

Extended highlights: Man City 2-2 Liverpool

The division’s leading sides went toe-to-toe and put on a relentless spectacle that ended all square after the Reds twice came from behind.

It was 1-1 by the 13th minute as Diogo Jota equalised Kevin De Bruyne’s deflected opener, but City went in at half-time ahead thanks to Gabriel Jesus’ goal eight minutes before the break.

Within a minute of the restart, it was level again when Sadio Mane produced a fine finish.

The remainder of the game ebbed and flowed and City went closest to edging it as Raheem Sterling was denied a winner for offside following a VAR review, but the spoils from an epic tussle would be shared.

Team news

Joel Matip, Jordan Henderson and Jota came into Liverpool’s starting XI in place of Ibrahima Konate, Naby Keita and Luis Diaz.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Thiago, Henderson (Keita, 78), Mane (Firmino, 84), Salah, Jota (Diaz, 70).

Unused substitutes: Kelleher, Konate, Milner, Gomez, Jones, Tsimikas.

First half

Alisson Becker made a brilliant save to deny Sterling at the conclusion of the game’s first attack of note but, seconds later, City led.

Bernardo Silva fed a quick free-kick into the feet of De Bruyne, whose shot took a huge deflection off Matip and span in off the post.

Amid the crackling noise of a buoyant Etihad, the Reds’ riposte was impressive and an extended spell of probing possession brought about their first equaliser.

Andy Robertson picked out Trent Alexander-Arnold on the byline with a lofted pass and the right-back cushioned a volleyed cut-back into Jota, who calmly slotted home a low finish.

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Already the contest was being played at a break-neck tempo and clearances from John Stones and Virgil van Dijk were needed to cut out teasing low deliveries from Robertson and Kyle Walker.

City got themselves back in the ascendancy, though, and De Bruyne and Joao Cancelo each went close before Jesus restored their advantage.

The visitors cleared a corner but Jesus sprang in behind in the second phase of play, was found by Cancelo and looped his effort home.

There was still time for the Reds to fashion a chance to level again prior to the break, but Jota took too much time weighing up his options when in on goal and Aymeric Laporte got back to make a last-ditch tackle.

Second half

‘Perfect’ is the only word to describe Jürgen Klopp’s side’s start to the second period.

Immediately, they were on the front foot and a textbook Liverpool move resulted in Mane pegging the hosts back again.

Van Dijk’s switch eventually found its way to Alexander-Arnold, who in turn fed Mohamed Salah. The No.11’s pass into the path of Mane was weighted to perfection and the Senegalese swept a superb, first-time hit into the top corner.

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Ederson then made a sprawling save from Jota following another fine Salah ball, before Van Dijk retreated and blocked Jesus’ low shot after the Brazilian had jinked in off the byline.

The action was unrelenting and Sterling thought he’d made it 3-2, only for the ‘goal’ to be ruled out by VAR.

Outstanding one-on-one defending by Van Dijk then thwarted Sterling and, with 20 minutes left, Klopp made his first change, with Diaz replacing Jota.

Keita and Roberto Firmino were then introduced for Henderson and Mane as Klopp sought fresh legs for the closing stages, during which the tempo never dropped.

There was still time for one more clear-cut chance in stoppage time. Riyad Mahrez got in on goal but scooped his attempt over the crossbar and a dramatic, breathless contest finished level to leave the title race finely poised with seven games now remaining.



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This article has been automatically translated and, while all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, some errors in translation are possible. Please refer to the original English-language version of the article for the official version.