MATCH REPORT: LIVERPOOL 2-2 MANCHESTER CITY, A GRIPPING ENCOUTER OF THE HEAVYWEIGHTS FINISHES ALL SQUARE

Anfield played hosts to two of the favourites for the title as came to visit. Jurgen Klopp has faced Pep Guardiola the most times in his career and this latest chapter provided to be just as engrossing.

Both sides made a fast start to the game, moving the ball around well without any real danger. The two defences were famed for their solidity as the early exchanges proved. Foden had the first chance of the match after a marvellous run by Silva set him through but Alisson saved well.

 

 

City were seeing more possession now, with having to remain alert. Their front three were struggling to make inroads while Foden was looking extremely bright down the left-wing. Milner was being targeted by the visitors as a potential weak link, Foden’s cross finding De Bruyne who blazed his running header well over before Alisson had to rush out to deny him a good chance again.

 

 

Nevertheless, it remained 0-0 at halftime but clearly, it was Guardiola and co. who were asking all the questions.

The team talk by Klopp seemed to have worked with the Reds much quicker off the blocks this time. Jota had their first shot on target after a neat turn but Ederson was up to it. It was now City’s time to batter down the hatches to prevent this surge into turning something more costly.

However, they failed to do so. Salah’s superb run down the right was not stopped which allowed the Egyptian to slide in the ball to Mane who made no mistake with the finish.

 

 

City were woken up by that goal and they equalized in less than 10 minutes. Foden was found in acres of space by Jesus, with the former taking a touch before rifling a low shot across Alisson and into the net. The game was getting a bit fractious, Guardiola raging on the touchline as he felt a few fouls were not going his team’s way. With 15 minutes left, it did look like there were still goals in it. And so it was proved.

 

 

Salah’s mazy run near the right of the box floored Cancelo and Silva before turning Laporte inside out to finish past Ederson with his right foot. Once again, City were not behind for long.

De Bruyne’s long ball found Foden whose cutback was touched back by Walker for the Belgian to run onto and strike with his left foot. It looked like Alisson had it covered but Matip’s deflection took it away from the keeper for the game’s fourth goal.

 

 

Fabinho should have scored next after being found unmarked by Salah from a free-kick. Ederson was nowhere in goal and just when he struck the ball, Rodri made a diving tackle that blocked it off. That was the last notable action of the game with both teams seeing the rest of the time out without incident to take the draw.

 

 

Here are the three key takeaways from the match:

 

SALAH DOES IT AGAIN FOR LIVERPOOL

The home side were slow in the first half, especially in attack. Liverpool had to really be patient and try to find spaces in City’s defence that were not forthcoming. Instead, they were having to defend a lot with the visitors going down the right flank time and again.

Milner was being overrun by Foden who had a few half-chances to put his side ahead. After the break, it was a different story entirely as Liverpool were getting forward much more. Jota saw a good shot saved but then Salah stepped up to do what he does best.

 

 

First, his run and pass found Mane who made no mistake in scoring the game’s first goal. The next one was all him. Salah’s bamboozling charge left four defenders in his wake before he placed the ball with perfection in the net. It was his fifth consecutive goal in five matches in the Premier League which earned a point.

 

CITY GET THE POINT THEY DESERVED

The first half was all about overrunning Liverpool for Guardiola’s side though they had nothing to show for it. It looked like the goal was eventually coming after the break but it was from Liverpool. City were stung and responded very well with Foden scoring from a tight angle. It was just a reward for City’s best player who was once again heavily involved in the second goal.

 

 

His run and cutback found De Bruyne who scored the final goal of the game. Though they felt some decisions were going against them in the second half, but a heroic block from Rodri was needed to leave Anfield with a point.

 

PREMIER LEAGUES KEEPS GETTING BETTER

This season of the league is a far cry from last year’s cakewalk for City. Chelsea and Liverpool have kept up the pace week after week while Manchester United are not far behind. It is not going to be easy to call a winner from the early season games as it genuinely looks like it will go on till the final weeks of the season next year.

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