Clash of the titans as Liverpool and Manchester City finish on level terms

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Salah and Jesus struck as the match finished 1-1

Both clubs faced off today in what could have been a potential title decider – despite Manchester City’s poor early season form. Both teams had their chances, but neither succeeded in scoring a match winning goal as the game finished 1-1.

Prior to the game, Liverpool had been on an impressive run of form. They won their last 5 games, including an astonishing 5-0 win over Atalanta midweek. They started the season slowly – by their standards – but have been reinvigorated in recent weeks, despite the absence of Virgil Van Dijk. Liverpool could have claimed top spot with a win tonight, but remain in 3rd for the time being.

Manchester City had an even worse start to the season than Liverpool. Their 5-2 loss to Leicester in gameweek 2 was one of the most disappointing results in their recent history. They have picked up their form in recent weeks, however. They’re yet to break into the top half, though, with tonight’s result leaving them in 11th.

The fist goal of the game came in the 10th minute. Sadio Mane burst into the box before being taken down by Kyle Walker. The referee showed no hesitation as he pointed to the spot almost immediately. The resulting penalty was tucked away with aplomb by Mohammed Salah. His goal today was his 8th Premier League goal this season after as many games.

It took Manchester City 25 minutes before they got their first real opportunity of the game. A brilliant De Bruyne cross into Raheem Sterling left the winger with space on the edge of the 6-yard box. He took too much time however, and his shot was easily saved in the end.

They put that miss aside, however, as they equalized in the 31st minute. The goal came as a result of fantastic play by Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian striker produced a brilliant turn to make space from Alexander-Arnold and Matip before toe poking into the net. The goal came after a sustained period of possession by Manchester City, having failed to do so earlier in the half.

Manchester City had a penalty shout in the 38th minute as an attempted De Bruyne cross struck the arm of Joe Gomez. VAR took a look at the incident and decided that a penalty should be given after serious deliberation. The decision caused controversy among the football community with many claiming the decision was harsh. This is not the first time a contentious penalty has been given this season and it’s unlikely to be the last. Nonetheless, De Bruyne stepped up to take the resulting penalty and unexpectedly missed.

Liverpool had a chance to go ahead just before the break, also. Alexander-Arnold made a late run into the box before being fed into his feet. His shot, however, was poor as Ederson gathered with relative ease.

The first half ended with the scoreline at 1-1. Liverpool largely dominated the first portion of the half, but Manchester City gradually grew into the game. The half time scoreline was probably a fair reflection on the first half proceedings.

The second half started as the first ended as both teams attacked with intent. Diogo Jota had a chance in the 48th minute to add to his tally in recent weeks as Ederson’s palmed clearance fell to him. He scuffed his shot, though, and it was easily saved in the end.

Gabriel Jesus had a glorious opportunity to get his second in the 54th minute. A pinpoint ball through from Cancelo left Jesus with acres of space in the box. The resulting header, however, went wide as Alisson breathe a sigh of relief.

Liverpool have had their injury troubles this season in the defensive area, particularly to Virgin Van Dijk. Their list of casualties was added to in the 63rd minute as Trent Alexander-Arnold went down. He was forced off and replaced by James Miler. Thankfully though, the injury is not suspected to be long term.

After the Jesus chance, the chances dwindled as Manchester City controlled possession without creating much in terms of chances. Liverpool tried to move the ball quickly when they retained possession but time and time again failed to create chances in the final third.

The second half ended as it begun with the scoreline at 1-1. In truth, it was a poor second half, devoid of any real quality. The final score was probably a fair result with all things considered. Leicester remain top of the Premier League after their win earlier today.

Man City XI: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; Rodri, Gundogan; Torres (Silva 60′), De Bruyne, Sterling; Jesus.

Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold (Milner 63′), Matip, Gomez, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum; Jota, Firmino (Shaqiri 58′), Mané; Salah.

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