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Manchester City 1, Liverpool 1: First Thoughts

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A wet pitch and bad calls kept this from being the goalfest we’re used to.

Manchester City v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Manchester City 1 Aguero 69’ Liverpool 1 Milner 51’ (penalty)

  • Pre-match: The battle for a top four position rages on and confidence mingles with nerves as the Reds play in Manchester today. Bobby Firmino is back in the lineup, thankfully, while Yaya Toure returns for the home side (on his brother’s birthday, even!).
  • Rainy afternoon in Manchester but Liverpool look intense with Lallana getting into the box in two minutes and Otamendi giving up a vital free kick at three in his only effort to stop Mané.
  • James Milner already has his work cut out for him as City have already exploited the right side in every chance they’ve taken.
  • High drama with the tackles, with Firmino receiving an early yellow for a tackle but it’s Touré with the studs up shortly after being tackled by Can at 21 minutes. It’ll be a wonder if anyone comes out of this unscathed.
  • Apparently you’re allowed to tackle people in the six yard box today, as Toure takes down Wijnaldum and nothing comes of it. Frustrating doesn’t even begin to describe.
  • Liverpool are awarded a free kick in a pivotal spot after Clyne goes down and Milner delivers a golden shot, only for Matip’s header to go just wide.
  • After three corners and two spectacularly saved shots, Liverpool are absolutely banging down City’s door. It’s mind-boggling that we haven’t gotten one yet, but we have to believe a goal can’t be far behind.
  • I’m just gonna say it. Michael Oliver is terrible and sure he’s probably accounting for the rain and the slippy pitch but he has made some poor decisions for both sides today.
  • Halftime: Goalless at the half. Both sides have come to play today, and despite the tackles and questionable calls, it’s been hard to discern who is the better side. Weaknesses have been exposed on both sides and it’ll be a definite race to the first goal and final whistle.
  • RETRIBUTION FINALLY as Firmino goes down in the box after a tackle from Clichy and Liverpool are awarded a (long overdue) penalty.
  • GOAL! Ever dependable James Milner converts from the spot, throwing Caballero in the wrong direction to smash it into the left corner, bringing the Reds to the lead!
  • For all his faults, this is the kind of match Emre Can thrives in and it’s been evident. He’s been proving his worth all day, leaving the only question to be how long he can sustain it.
  • Praise also for Sadio Mané today, whose work off the ball has been impeccable. Every chance to win the ball back he’s been instrumental in.
  • Reds have turned it up to eleven since the penalty, looking to wear out City and it’s working. 65 minutes and a second goal can’t be far behind.
  • ....I stand corrected. Goal for the home side as Aguero just taps in a beauty as Klavan fails to clear it from him.
  • Origi on for Coutinho at 72 minutes. With all the movement down City’s left side, this might be Divock’s time to shine.
  • Adam Lallana with the missed chance of a LIFETIME at 79 minutes and some black magic is the only thing to give him the bad touch for the first time in his life.
  • Final: Nervy and evenly matched, both teams showed their strength in a match that was lucky to end in a draw for both sides and neither receiving the loss.

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.