Date published: Sunday 8th November 2020 6:26
The spoils were shared as Manchester City and Liverpool settled for a 1-1 draw in their first meeting this season.
The two sides are expected to fight for the title this season, with Liverpool the reigning champions and City having won the two editions before that.
However, neither side was able to assert their early credentials over the other, as a Gabriel Jesus goal cancelled out Mohamed Salah’s opener in a first half which was much livelier than the second.
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Jurgen Klopp chose all four of his star forwards for Liverpool, with Diogo Jota keeping his place after scoring a Champions League hat-trick in midweek. Roberto Firmino came back into the lineup, alongside Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
City also had a returning Brazilian of their own up front, with Jesus passed fit to start. Ferran Torres, who has been deputising as a false nine, kept his place but moved back out wide.
Liverpool were given the chance to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty in the 12th minute. Sadio Mane was brought down by Kyle Walker after an instinctive piece of dribbling.
Salah stepped up to take, and fired the ball into the bottom left corner. It went beyond the reach of Ederson, despite the keeper diving the right way, to make it 1-0.
LIVERPOOL LEAD! 🔴
Walker gets caught the wrong side of Mane and Salah confidently dispatches the penalty. What a start from Klopp’s men!
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 8, 2020
City were aggrieved, as Raheem Sterling appeared to have been fouled just outside the Liverpool box around 45 seconds before the goal.
Sterling had City’s first shot of the game around 10 minutes later. Kevin De Bruyne picked him out with a brilliant pass across the ground from the right wing, but the angle was too tight for the England international to score against his former club.
City did find an equaliser just beyond the half-hour mark. De Bruyne fed the ball into Jesus, who dragged the ball behind his leg to turn to face goal, before prodding it into the net with an outstretched boot.
The hosts won a penalty of their own after Joe Gomez handled the ball in the box after a cross from De Bruyne. After a VAR check, the referee gave a spot kick.
The man whose cross led to the penalty, De Bruyne, sent Alisson the wrong way – but crucially dragged his penalty wide of the post. Hence, it stayed all square at the break.
1 – Kevin De Bruyne’s penalty is the first to miss the target completely in a @premierleague game since October 2018, when in the same fixture at Anfield, Riyad Mahrez blazed over against Liverpool for Manchester City. Spooky. #MCILIV pic.twitter.com/OesSCn9NSk
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 8, 2020
Second half quieter
City had the first real chance of the second half after Joao Cancelo floated a cross into Jesus. However, the striker could only head it wide.
There was a concerning moment for Liverpool when Trent Alexander-Arnold went down off the ball just after the hour-mark. The full-back had to go off, and James Milner replaced him.
It was the champions’ second change of the game, coming just minutes after Firmino had gone off for Shaqiri. City also made a change around the same time, with Bernardo Silva coming on for Torres.
However, both players who had come on and those that had started struggled to build up many efficient attacks throughout the remainder of the second half.
Therefore, both sides had to settle for a single point. It means Liverpool stay five points above City, but miss out on the chance to return top of the table – which Leicester will occupy at the end of this round of games.
City, meanwhile, remain in the bottom half after their first seven games due to goal difference.