On matchday 31 of the English Premier League, Manchester City defended their narrow lead of one point in the table with a high-class 2-2 (2-1) win over second-placed Liverpool FC. An almost perfect first half was not enough for the Cityzens to win.
Here is everything about the game in the live ticker.
Kevin De Bruyne (5th) and Gabriel Jersus (37th) scored for Manchester City and Diogo Jota (13th) and Sadio Mane for Liverpool FC in the fast-paced and ultra-intensive top-flight game that really deserved the title . The decision in the title race is not made in a direct duel.
“I’m a bit disappointed. Liverpool were good too, they have quality. But if we dominated the game, we deserved to win the game, but we didn’t score enough goals,” said De Bruyne after the final whistle sky. Coach Pep Guardiola said: “We feel like we missed a great opportunity. We were the better team and let them live,” said former Bayern coach Guardiola on Sky. “We could have made many better decisions in the opposing third.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp compared the game to a “boxing match, it was an epic fight,” he said NBC and credited the game with “insane intensity.” Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson said: “It was an intense game. We were a bit hectic at the beginning but then we played better football and showed character. Nothing is lost.”
Manchester City vs Liverpool FC: The Analysis
City coach Pep Guardiola had, among other things, dispensed with Ilkay Gündogan and Jack Grealish and, somewhat surprisingly, put Gabriel Jesus, who had been suffering from muscle problems for a long time, in the starting line-up. The Brazilian played his last 90-minute game in the league on December 29, 2021. Jürgen Klopp relied on the Portuguese Diogo Jota in the center of the attack instead of Roberto Firmino. Both coaches showed a lucky hand with their line-ups, as both players became protagonists of this high-class game.
Both teams defended and pressed as usual, both trying to get behind the opposing chains with quick, direct moves. Manchester City did a much better job of that in the first half. Bernardo Silva confused Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson with a quick and short free-kick in the fifth minute, Kevin De Bruyne got the ball, picked up the pace, lured Joel Matip out of the back four and, with friendly support from the deflecting ex-Schalke, made it 1-0 away.
With a similarly direct and quick play, Liverpool equalized eight minutes later. Trent Alexander-Arnold, already something of a playmaker full-back, put Diogo Jota in position for his 15th league goal of the season with a superb volley after a side shift. After the equalizer, the teams slowed down a bit, but the game remained high quality – and the Cityzens formidable. Joao Cancelo played with a side shift behind the Liverpool chain, Gabriel Jesus sprinted up and made it 2-1. Liverpool barely defended City’s attacks, which played an almost perfect half.
The fact that the second half was no less high-class and fast-paced, but more balanced, was of course also due to the early equalization. Mo Salah played, of course, behind City’s chain, Sadio Mane finished powerfully to make it 2-2. 45 seconds had just passed since the restart. Both teams continued to attack. City took control of the ball, Liverpool sought their momentum in the transition situations. And although both teams defended carefully and worked backwards in an exemplary manner, both teams had top-class chances – which both left behind. The bottom line was that the draw was a little flattering for Liverpool despite an almost even second half.
Manchester City vs Liverpool FC line-ups
Manchester City: Ederson – Walker, Stones, Laporte, Cancelo – Bernardo Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne – Gabriel Jesus (Grealish 83), Sterling (Mahrez 75), Foden.
Liverpool FC: Alisson – Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, van Dijk, Robertson – Henderson (78 Keita), Fabinho, Thiago – Salah, Diogo Jota (70 Luis Diaz), Mane (84 Firmino).
Manchester City – Liverpool FC: the data of the match
The star of the game: Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)
Few had expected his use in the starting XI. The Brazilian had been ailing for a long time, he had been chasing his form for weeks, and he hadn’t scored a goal in 15 league games for a long time. But Pep Guardiola knows what he’s doing. Crowned his very dedicated performance with his goal to make it 2:1.
The flop of the match: Joel Matip (Liverpool)
Had a rather unfortunate evening. Was involved in both goals conceded, deflected the 0:1 after he let himself be lured out of the chain a bit naively and canceled the offside before the 1:2. The fact that he then avoided the duels rather than looking for them rounded off the unfortunate picture. But saved from De Bruyne in the closing stages.
The referee: Anthony Taylor
The nomination of the 43-year-old caused controversy, as Taylor comes from Wythenshaw – a district in the south of Manchester. But Taylor had no trouble leading the big game. But the players made it easy for him in the intense and fast-paced but very fair game.