Manchester City 2 - 2 Liverpool
Manchester City: Kevin De Bruyne 5’, Gabriel Jesus 36’
Liverpool: Diogo Jota 13’, Sadio Mane 46’
It’s here - the big one. Maybe a title decider. Maybe a rivalry. Luis Diaz and Roberto Firmino are on the bench, and the front three today are Jota, Mane, and Salah. And Klopp has deployed his strongest midfield so far - Thiago, Henderson and Fabinho. Gabriel Jesus gets his first start in the Premier League since New Year’s Day.
Liverpool kicks off with an intense press harassing City’s back line, with Jota in particular chasing Aymeric Laporte forcing him to cede possession. But City get away on the break at around 4’ - Kevin De Bruyene gets in behind Liverpool’s midfield and takes a shot that is just about saved by Alisson. One minute later De Bruyne slithers through the back line once again and sends a neat and powerful shot in, that deflects off Matip, and GOAL. Alisson is forced into making a number of other clearances. At 12’, a nice Liverpool team sequence ends with Trent delivering the ball to Diogo Jota the master poacher, who finds himself in the right spot in Ederson’s box and equalizes - GOAL!!!!
The game is then stretched end to end. There’s another close shave at 28’ when a City counter-attack is received by De Bruyne, who does a graceful 360 and hits the ball just wide off Alisson’s net. They hold about 57% posession at this point to Liverpool’s 43%. At 36’ Gabriel Jesus, who is unmarked by nearby Trent, receives a cross, and lobs the ball over Alisson - and GOAL. Liverpool look nervy defensively, and Alisson has been busy making some game-saving saves. City on the other hand look a little bit faster, a bit sharper, and a bit more dangerous.
46 seconds into the 46th minute of the half, Trent passes the ball to Salah who sends it in Mane’s path. Mane taps it in and GOAL!!! The score line is level at 2-2.
Liverpool definitely look more threatening after half-time, and are getting the ball into the box more often. Jota forces a save again from Ederson at 51’, receiving a cross in from Salah.
The Reds are dominating possession and looking more in control of the game. Henderson puts in a vital shift of protective cover at right-back for Trent, who is higher up the pitch chasing an attacking run. At 62’, Raheem Sterling receives the ball and slips past Matip, hitting the ball out of Alisson’s reach and into the net. But it is deemed offside.
Klopp brings on Luis Diaz, Bobby Firmino, and Naby Keita as substitutes hoping for an impact on the attacking front. But City pick up a good spell of possession in the final 10 minutes of the half, forcing Liverpool to defend their two goal scoreline. At 89’, Virgil fouls De Bruyne. Riyad Mahrez steps up to take the free-kick, but he hits the bar and the ball goes wide. The half ends 2-2.
Final Thoughts and Man of the Match
Liverpool were not at their best today, particularly in defense. They are positioned exactly as they were relative to City before the game - with 73 points to City’s 74, and a higher goal difference of 57. With seven games each in hand, the title is Manchester City’s to lose. The Reds can keep up the pressure by putting in match-winning performances in all of their remaining fixtures, but only a loss by City will now guarantee that Jordan Henderson lifts the trophy.
Who was Liverpool’s Man of the Match vs. Manchester City?
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