Liverpool continue their dominance over the top six teams
We all witnessed a hugely entertaining game at the Etihad where Liverpool continued their dominance over the top six teams with a 1-1 draw against Manchester City.
As expected the game was full of talking points and astonishing misses.
However both sides will feel that there was a sense of injustice having both been on the receiving end of debatable decisions from referee Michael Oliver.
Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool
Agüero (69′ minutes)
Milner (51′ minutes pen)
- Sergio Aguero has scored in all five of his Premier League games against Liverpool at the Etihad.
- Manchester City and Liverpool had to settle for a point apiece as they battled out a thrilling draw at Etihad Stadium.
- James Milner put Liverpool ahead with a penalty after Gael Clichy was penalised for a raised boot on Roberto Firmino.
- Both sides wasted glorious opportunities to secure a vital win in the race for top-four places.
It’s fair to say that during the game both teams created and missed game changing opportunities, ones that would make life a little easier in the closing stages of the season. This further illustrates the strengths and weaknesses of both sides, demonstrating their ability to attack and equally their weakness in defence.
Sterling could not find the final touch to Silva’s cross in the first half, with Fernandinho missing a relatively easy finish whilst standing behind him.
Aguero then stumbled at the vital moment after his superb approach play had fashioned a clear chance eight yards out. After he fluffed his shot, De Bruyne hit the loose ball against the post.
Klopp threatened to rip his cap off in a mixture of shock and disgust as later in the game Lallana could have netted the winner for Liverpool – however he did win the award for miss of the season when he somehow failed to tap Firmino’s pass into an empty net before.
On top of that Aguero volleyed over the sort of chance he normally takes with comfort.
Milner stepped forward to score a penalty again
Some would feel that when Mané fell under the pressure of a challenge from Otamendi in the first half we were denied a penalty. However, Man City fans would argue that Mané made contact with his own leg as he prepared himself to shoot after escaping the City defender with embarrassing ease.
But, no one could defend the decision not to send Toure off after a wild lunge on Can, where he caught the Liverpool midfielder in the chest.
However in the second half Clichy’s foot was dangerously high on Firmino as he raced in on goal and Oliver had no hesitation in pointing to the spot this time. James Milner stepped forward making it 1-0, with his seventh conversion this season. The celebrations didn’t last too long as in the 69th minute, Aguero met de Bruyne’s perfect cross to make it 1-1.
Intense managerial rivalry
Klopp and Guardiola have shared a lot of intensive battles whilst working in the Bundesliga, today both were extremely active in their respective technical areas. Showing signs of increasing frustration as both of them paraded along their respective technical areas.
At one point they were united in mutual dissatisfaction in the technical area, scenes of Guardiola racing towards Klopp for what looked like a heated exchange, which surprisingly concluded with a flamboyant high five.
Klopp was again as animated as ever leaping around in frustration, threatening to throw his cap to the floor as Liverpool squandered good positions, whilst an equally emotional Guardiola almost slumped to the turf in anguish after Aguero’s miss towards the end of the game.
Emre Can was again an able deputy for Jordan Henderson. A superb effort as he really stepped up his game.
He clearly prefers the deep-midfield role but sometimes there is an indiscipline to his game. Not this time. This was probably his most accomplished performance of the season. He was comfortable in possession and also delivered an exquisite pass to Firmino in the build-up to the penalty.
We now go into another break, this on an international one. Hopefully the squad will return intact with no injuries. Then we face a Lukaku inspired Everton in the local Derby on April 1st.