Man City 2 – 2 Liverpool

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Liverpool came from behind twice in a thrilling 2-2 draw with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium that leaves the Premier League title race still on a knife-edge.

Amid a raucous atmosphere in a game that had been billed as a title decider, Kevin De Bruyne and Diogo Jota traded goals early on before Gabriel Jesus restored City’s lead.

But Sadio Mane found a second equaliser for Liverpool early in the second half and though both teams pushed for the winner, it is as you were in the title race – City ahead by a point.

Player ratings

Man City: Ederson (6), Walker (6), Stones (6), Laporte (7), Cancelo (7), De Bruyne (7), Rodri (6), Silva (7), Jesus (8), Foden (6), Sterling (6).

Subs: Mahrez (6), Grealish (N/A)

Liverpool: Alisson (6), Alexander-Arnold (7), Matip (7), Van Dijk (8), Robertson (6), Henderson (6), Fabinho (5), Thiago (6), Salah (7), Jota (7), Mane (7).

Subs: Luis Diax (6), Keita (N/A), Firmino (N/A)

Man of the match: Kevin De Bruyne

Raheem Sterling had spurned a clear chance even before De Bruyne’s shot deflected off Joel Matip and into the corner in the sixth minute, as the game came alive from the kick-off.

Pep Guardiola’s side were the dominant force throughout the first half, playing with great intensity, but the quality of Jurgen Klopp’s side ensured there was always danger.

Jota’s goal made that clear, laid into his path beautifully by Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cushioned volley. It silenced the home support – but not for too long.

City’s side seemed built to harry and press, the inclusion of Jesus in a Premier League starting line-up for the first time since New Year’s Day summing up the plan.

And Guardiola’s decision was vindicated when the Brazilian was on the end of Joao Cancelo’s angled ball into the penalty box to divert his shot beyond Alisson.

Gabriel Jesus celebrates his goal with Phil Foden
Image:
Gabriel Jesus celebrates his goal against Liverpool with Phil Foden

Team news

Pep Guardiola made three changes from the midweek clash with Atletico Madrid. Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker returned with Nathan Ake, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan dropping out.

Jurgen Klopp also made three changes from midweek against Benfica and decided to go with Diogo Jota through the middle with Luis Diaz on the bench. Joel Matip returned to partner Virgil van Dijk and Jordan Henderson replaced Naby Keita.

The goalkeepers were prominent in the game, making saves and making mistakes. Alisson invited pressure with his casual passing. Ederson almost put the ball into his own net.

It was City who went into the interval ahead but the lead did not last long, Mohamed Salah setting up Sadio Mane to level things up within moments of the restart.

By now, this was, as Gary Neville put it, the street-fighters of Liverpool with their knockout punches, up against the more controlled football of City. What could separate them?

Raheem Sterling thought he had found a way midway through the second half only to see his goal ruled out as a result of a narrow offside decision.

Both sides chased the winner, Salah seeing a shot deflected wide, Jesus missing the target when there were options in the middle. In the final minute, substitute Riyad Mahrez curled a free-kick wide of the post.

There was still time for Mahrez to attempt an ambitious chip in stoppage time with the goal right in front of him only to see it sail over the bar.

It was exhausting, it was exhilarating. It was indecisive.

The race continues.

Liverpool’s fixture schedule:

April 13 – Benfica (h) Champions League QF second leg

April 16/17 – Man City (Wembley) FA Cup semi-finals

April 19 – Man United (h) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

April 24 – Everton (h) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

April 26/27 – Villarreal/Bayern Munich Champions League SF first leg *

April 30 – Newcastle (a) Premier League

May 3/4 – Villarreal/Bayern Munich Champions League SF second leg *

May 7 – Tottenham (h) Premier League

May 10 – Aston Villa (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

May 14 – FA Cup final *

May 15 – Southampton (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

May 22 – Wolves (h) Premier League

May 28 – Champions League final *

* Subject to progress

Manchester City’s fixture schedule:

To be rearranged: Wolves (a) Premier League

April 13 – Atletico Madrid (a) Champions League QF second leg

April 16 – Liverpool (Wembley) FA Cup semi-finals

April 20 – Brighton (h) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

April 23 – Watford (h) Premier League

April 26/27 – Chelsea/Real Madrid Champions League SF first leg *

April 30 – Leeds (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

May 3/4 – Chelsea/Real Madrid Champions League SF second leg *

May 8 – Newcastle (h) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

May 14 – FA Cup final *

May 15 – West Ham (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

May 22 – Aston Villa (h) Premier League

May 28 – Champions League final *

* Subject to progress



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