Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool: Game in 12 Tweets as Klopp and Pep share spoils of lively game

Ahead of the Manchester City vs. Liverpool game in the Premier League, both Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp had been dealing with the unfamiliar feeling of being under pressure. Guardiola’s men had been dumped out of the Champions League by free-scoring Monaco in midweek, while Klopp’s Liverpool revolution started stuttering in 2017.

Liverpool had plenty of reasons to be cheerful ahead of this one, though. They lead the overall head-to-head league record between the two sides and were unbeaten in nine league games against the Premier League’s top six. City, by contrast, had lost five of the last six league meetings between the two sides – including a 4-1 thumping in this fixture at the Etihad Stadium last season.

With the title likely gone but top four places still very much up for grabs, who would come out on top in this titanic battle?

SEE ALSO: The Premier League 2017 Run-In Roundtable Discussion? Who wins the title? Top 4? Relegation and more

Guardiola made two changes from the Monaco defeat, bringing in Yaya Toure and Nicolas Otamendi. With Bacary Sagna on the bench and Pablo Zabaleta injured, it appeared as though the surprisingly versatile Fernandinho would fill in at right back.

Liverpool’s selection looked more straightforward, with Klopp’s preferred forward line of Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino looking to wreak havoc amongst a somewhat makeshift City backline.

At a rain-soaked Etihad, both teams started a high tempo. Less than 30 seconds had gone when fill-in right back Fernandinho saw his cross cleared, but soon after Liverpool were on the front foot, with Adam Lallana claiming a penalty after going down under Toure’s challenge. The referee, Michael Oliver, remained unmoved.

Clear-cut chances were at a premium as both sets of players appeared to struggle on a slippery pitch. Fernandinho – again – supplied the best chance, with a low whipped cross that just evaded Sergio Aguero’s outstretched leg. For his part, the Argentine claimed he was impeded by Joel Matip. City’s pass-masters in midfield – Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva – had the upper hand, and the Spaniard came closest to breaking the deadlock. After a Leroy Sane cross-come-shot was blocked by Simon Mignolet, the ball broke to Silva who half-volleyed just wide of the post.

Soon after, Liverpool had a penalty shout. The quicksilver Mane ran through, with Otamendi struggling to keep up, and as he shaped to shoot, the Senegalese went down. At first glance, it looked like a penalty, but replays showed that the referee probably made the right decision. They soon had another shout. Gini Wijanldum wriggled through City’s defenders and fell amid a tangle of limbs with Toure. Again, no penalty was given.

It was a game that was impossible to call, with both teams being capable of wonderful attacking moves and defensive horror shows.

Coutinho had possibly Liverpool’s best chance ten minutes before half time. Cutting in from the left in a trademark move, he swung a right-footed curler towards the top corner. So many times we’ve seen those hit the back of the net, but this one went just over the bar. Soon after they fashioned another chance – Matip heading wide at the far post from a James Milner free kick.

Suddenly, it was end-to-end. A low Silva cross somehow evaded Raheem Sterling just a few yards out, with an open goal. It looked as though Milner brought him down. Then Firmino jinked inside the box and forced a save from Willy Cabellero. He then punched out a corner straight to Lallana, who forced another save with a shot. Somehow, it was 0-0 at half time.

Early in the second half, Liverpool got a penalty. Firmino ran onto an Emre Can dinked through ball and was downed by a clumsy Gael Clichy challenge. Ex-City man James Milner stepped up to give Liverpool a 1-0 lead.

From there, it was a real battle, with both sides on the offensive. Aguero – who unilt then had been having a quiet game – had a good chance with a header from Silva’s floated pass. Instead of heading towards the net, though, his attempt went across the goalmouth.

That was just the striker finding his range, though, because he soon scored. Fernandinho – moved from right back to central midfield – fed De Bruyne, who whipped a sumptuous cross in for Sergio Aguero to slam home.

He almost had a second with fifteen minutes to play. Through on goal, past Liverpool’s creaking defence after an excellent one-two with Silva, Aguero lost his balance at the crucial moment. The ball then fell to De Bruyne, who struck the post.

Despite the City chances, Liverpool were not out of it. Not by a long shot. A lovely counter-attacking move involving Lallana, Firmino and Wijnaldum saw a bouncing ball fall to the England midfielder at point-blank range. He couldn’t miss…except he did. He took his eye off the ball and wasted the chance. Not to be out done, his international colleague Raheem Sterling missed at the other end. Though in fairness he did have a lunging Mignolet to contend with when he poked it wide.

The chances didn’t stop coming. Another Liverpool counter attack saw Firmino streaking through, but with Lallana in support, he struck a wayward shot high and wide from the right hand corner of the box. Aguero then had a(nother) golden opportunity, latching onto Silva’s pull-back at the near post, but he was only able to scoop the ball over. Soon after, the fired over again, this time on the volley at the far post.

Despite the flurry of chances at both ends, the game ended Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool. Here’s the Game in 12 Tweets.

Game in 12 Tweets

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