It would appear that both Liverpool and Manchester City have lost ground on second-placed Tottenham after the 1-1 draw at the Etihad.
Still, a scratch under the surface would reveal a deeper insight so take a read through our five key conclusions from this afternoon’s exhilarating football show to get the full lowdown on the match between Manchester City and Liverpool.
Citizens have picked up the broken pieces
It seems as if Manchester City have bounced from the Monaco defeat and put the Champions League elimination behind them as they headed into the Etihad encounter against Manchester City in high spirits.
Pep Guardiola’s men enjoyed a lively half during which there was a penalty shout when Matip appeared to have held back Sergio Aguero as one of the highlight moments in the first 45 minutes.
Arguably the biggest chance for the hosts however came through David Silva who whistled a great half-volley wide of the target.
Liverpool were more determined in the second term as Manchester City became rather sloppy and lost their initial pace and stamina. A moment of recklessness from Gael Clichy cost the hosts dearly as Liverpool were awarded a penalty shot Milner converted successfully to put the visitors ahead.
Sergio Aguero proved his value once again when it was most needed however, as the Argentinean latched on De Bruyne’s delivery inside the box and ended up beating Mignolet with a lovely first-time touch to save his team from embarrassment.
Aguero’s scoring run continues
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has come under huge criticism this season as it appeared that Pep Guardiola was pushing his star over the edge and out of the Etihad, ultimately.
With the impressive emergence of Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City seemed to be getting a viable alternative for Aguero, but the Argentine never lost his focus and ended up proving his value for Citizens over and over again.
The 28-year-old striker was closely guarded by Ragnar Klavan and Joel Matip during the most part of the game but should have still scored three on the occasion as he missed a good load of chances ultimately. A great striker as he genuinely is, Sergio Aguero ended up using the slightest chance to put his name on the score sheet and help his team when it was most needed.
With his goal at the Etihad, Sergio Aguero continued his excellent scoring run against Liverpool which currently stands at five goals in five meetings with Jurgen Klopp’s men.
It takes more than few whistles to disturb James Milner
Liverpool left-back put in a proper captain’s performance against Manchester City.
Former Manchester City midfielder was on the receiving end of loud boos and whistles from the stands as Citizens fans made sure to have their disappointment heard. It would appear that Manchester City supporters are displeased to see him perform so well for Liverpool, maybe even more so than with the very fact he left City to join Reds in the first place.
It takes more than just few whistles to disturb James Milner however, whose reliability continued much to delight from Jurgen Klopp.
England international was the one to take responsibility from the penalty spot and converted another shot to continue his impressive penalty form.He now stands at seven penalties takes and seven goals scored to confirm his status as one of Jurgen Klopp’s most consistent performers this season.
Additionally, his defensive influence was of great importance against Manchester City, as it was the England international who cleared the ball off the goal-line in front of Raheem Sterling in the first half in one of his many clearances during full 90 minutes for the Reds.
Emre Can finally coming good for Liverpool
The German international Emre Can has come under great criticism this season at Liverpool and there have even been emerging rumours that he might end up leaving Liverpool at the end of the season.
Can was a mainstay in the starting eleven last season, but the emergence of Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum have marginalized the former Bayer Leverkusen midfielder this term.
However, Can’s drop in form did not disturb Jurgen Klopp who offered the German international a new contract due to be signed soon enough. Can’s importance for Liverpool was evident once more as the strong midfielder put in a commanding performance against the Citizens in the centre of the park.
It was Can who assisted Firmino with a lovely precise lofted pass prior to Clichy’s penalty foul in what has been the most significant detail in Can’s overall fine performance for Liverpool.
Champions League doors still wide open
The Premier League title race might be good as over with Chelsea running away with the title in their hands ten points in front of their closest opposition, but the top four finish is still long way off from being decided and solved.
Manchester City and Liverpool’s share of spoils still keeps them in the same spot – third and fourth, respectively – with only a point separating them on the standings.
Arsenal’s top 4 bid took a serious blow with a defeat at WBA, which pushed them down in the sixth place – behind Manchester United – albeit with one game in hand over Manchester City and two over Liverpool.
The top four race is far from being over and the Champions League doors are still wide open for five teams in total.
Liverpool will hope their rivals’ results will go in their own favour as Manchester City are due to play Arsenal and Chelsea in the matter of days after the international break so new excitements are expected once the club football resumes.
MANCHESTER CITY: Caballero 6.5 – Fernandinho 6.5, Stones 7, Otamendi 7, Clichy 6 – Toure 6 (Sagna 6) – Sterling 6.5, De Bruyne 7, Silva 7, Sane 6.5 (Fernando 6) – Aguero 7.5.
Unused subs: Bravo, Garcia, Iheanacho, Kolarov, Nolito.
LIVERPOOL: Mignolet 7 – Clyne 7, Matip 7, Klavan 7.5, Milner 8 – Wijnaldum 7, Can 7.5, Lallana 7 – Mane 6.5, Firmino 6.5 (Lucas 6), Coutinho 7 Origi 6).
Unused subs: Alexander-Arnold T., Karius, Lovren, Moreno, Woodburn.
REFEREE: Michael Oliver
Other results today
Middlesbrough 1-3 Manchester United
Tottenham 2-1 Southampton
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