It was a tight and testy clash of top-four hopefuls at The Etihad Sunday night. In the end both teams will be thankful for taking something away, but both will feel hard done by not finishing off their opponent. The result leaves the race for Champion’s Cup qualification even tighter than before, with Arsenal and Man United knocking at the door. It also left league leaders Chelsea with an even more impressive berth at the top.
The match started City’s way, with Pep Guardiola making some tactical changes from the squad that disappointed against Monaco. Silva almost opened the scoring early on, but fired wide. Slowly, the game started to open up and several chances either squandered or stamped out. Both sides had legitimate penalty shouts in the first half, but the first 45′ ended at 0-0.
Liverpool were up within ten minutes of the second half. After Firmino was brought down in the box, Milner converted his 7th goal in seven from the spot this season. The Reds, now content with the lead tried to hold on until the final whistle.
This was put to rest by Sergio Aguero in the 69th minute. The Argentine drilled home the equalizer from De Bruyne’s inch-perfect cross. Both teams had chances to take full points from the clash, but neither could seal the win in the end.
Location : Etihad Stadium, Manchester City
Referee : Michael Oliver
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STARTING LINE UP
Pep Guardiola decided to change up his team selection following his side’s disappointing Monaco clash. Yaya Toure and Clichy came into the starting 11 and a change of tactics saw them line up in a 4-1-4-1 formation. While they certainly drove at Liverpool from the off, Yaya’s involvement was less than stellar, with Fernandinho moving up into his role following his substitution.
STARTING LINE UP
Some possible cheekiness from Klopp in the build-up to the match. The German made it quite clear in his pre-match presser that Firmino and Origi were both doubts to start, but both were involved on the day. The Brazilian striker failed to finish two good chances, but won his side the penalty. Klavan continued to do well in Lovren’s absence, but could have been at fault for the equalizer.
Man Of The Match
It was a match without a lot of stand out performances. Could have been Aguero, Milner or Mane in all honesty, but the defensive midfielder showed his quality Sunday night. After coming under scrutiny in recent weeks, this showed fans his willingness to fight for the shirt and brought a steel to the center of the park that LFC sometimes lack.
The Citizens continue their run of top six clashes after the international break with a trip to London to face Arsenal.
The Reds host their blue neighbors in what will surely be a contested Merseyside Derby. Both clubs have had good seasons, but Everton will be hoping to continue their electric form at Anfield and undo their loss on home soil.