Man City and Liverpool play out intense 2-2 draw in heavyweight Premier League clash
Man City 2-2 Liverpool.
Manchester City and Liverpool played out an intense, entertaining and action-packed 2-2 draw in what was billed as a potential Premier League title-decider at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Pep Guardiola's side twice went ahead in the game, with Kevin de Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus scoring for the home side.
Liverpool, however, twice pegged them back. Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane scored for Liverpool in a frantic game.
Man City v Liverpool: First half.
Man City and Liverpool came into the game with just a point between them and the two teams didn't ease their way into the match.
It was full steam ahead from the first kick and City needed just five minutes to open the scoring when the Premier League's best player had made a significant impact in the league's biggest game of the season.
De Bruyne skipped past Liverpool's midfield on the edge of the penalty area and struck the ball with his left foot from around 25-yards out. The shot deflected off Joel Matip and was out of reach for Alisson in the goal. City were on top and Liverpool looked rattled, unable to get a grip on the match.
However, the away team began to gradually work their way back into the game. After 13 minutes, Mohamed Salah collected the ball in the box with his back to goal and attempted to play in Jota, who had been selected to start ahead of Roberto Firmino.
Man City cleared the ball but it landed with Andy Robertson, who crossed to the back post for Trent Alexander-Armstrong to cut a pass back for Jota to score.
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) April 10, 2022
The match continued in that fevered manner, with Klopp's often rushing their play when the ball broke for them on the counter-attack.
Man City were in control and Guardiola's side targetted the space behind Liverpool's full-backs with long diagonal balls. Robertson and particularly Alexander-Arnold were given several warnings before City eventually punished them.
Eight minutes before half-time, Liverpool cleared a corner but the ball reached Joao Cancelo, who played a wonderful, swinging cross to the back post for Gabriel Jesus.
The Brazilian scored after drifting away from Alexander-Arnold, who didn't track his opponent's run.
Man City v Liverpool: Second half.
Liverpool had been outplayed for most of the first half, but immediately made up for it in the second half.
Alexander-Arnold found Salah with a pass on Liverpool's right-hand side. The Egyptian lifted his head, spotted Mane in space behind Kyle Walker and slipped him in with a brilliant pass.
Mane hit a first time shot and lifted the ball into the roof of the net beyond Ederson. There were just 47 seconds between the second half beginning and Liverpool equalising.
🎙️ "Alexander-Arnold... Salah... IN FOR SADIO MANEEE!"
It's level AGAIN at the Etihad!! 🤯pic.twitter.com/K0lKrBX9Dv
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) April 10, 2022
Liverpool looked more dangerous in the second half, but Man City continued to create openings. Sterling had a goal ruled out for offside by VAR, while Jesus could have wrapped up all three points if he opted to square for De Bruyne, who was free at the penalty spot, rather than shooting from a narrow-angle and hitting the side netting.
The game fizzled out as the two teams struggled to keep the frantic pace going. De Bruyne was on the end of some robust challenges by Liverpool players, while Fabinho was fortunate not to receive a second yellow card for his tackle on Bernardo Silva. Riyad Mahrez, meanwhile, hit the post from a free kick.
The teams remain a point apart in the Premier League title race, with Man City in control of their destiny. As long as Guardiola's side don't slip up in their final seven games, they will be crowned champions again.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are now relying on rivals to do them a favour after missing their chance to go two points clear of City. Here is how we rated the players.
RESPECT! Guardiola & Klopp hug it out at full-time 🤝 pic.twitter.com/5sxHfxpJrA
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 10, 2022
Man City v Liverpool: Player ratings.
Kyle Walker: 5
John Stones: 6
Aymeric Laporte: 6
Joao Cancelo: 7
Kevin De Bruyne: 9
Bernardo Silva: 7
Gabriel Jesus: 7
Raheem Sterling: 6
Phil Foden: 7
Riyad Mahrez: 7
Jack Grealish: N/A.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 6
Virgil van Dijk: 6
Joel Matip: 6
Thiago Alcantara: 6
Jordan Henderson: 5
Diogo Jota: 8.
Sadio Mane: 7
Mohamed Salah: 7
Luis Dias: 6.
Naby Keita: N/A
Roberto Firmino: N/A