Liverpool and Manchester City produce an absorbing, chaotic encounter that could conceivably have finished 5-5…
Liverpool left the Etihad on Sunday evening with mixed emotions after playing their part in an enthralling 1-1 draw with fellow top four protagonists Manchester City.
On the balance of play, and given the quality on an opponent who had a point to prove after their Champions League elimination in midweek, a point was an acceptable outcome, but it was one that came tinged with a degree of regret.
The visitors took the game to their hosts for long periods of the contest and should have extended the lead, given to them by James Milner‘s 51st minute penalty, during an extended period of dominance either side of half-time.
City, who had started the better, reasserted themselves in the closing stages and could easily have snatched all three points themselves following Sergio Agüero’s 69th minute equaliser.
Both sides missed glaring opportunities throughout the encounter, not least Adam Lallana after a beautiful move culminated in the midfielder miss-kicking from point-blank range with the goal at his mercy.
There were also a number of questionable decisions adding to the drama with both teams feeling they were hard done by when it came to a series of penalty claims and fiercely contested tackles.
Analysing proceedings to host broadcaster Sky Sports at the full-time whistle, Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp alluded to a certain amount of frustration at not securing all three points.
“I thought we could have won this game because their goalkeeper made a few outstanding saves,” remarked the German. “But we didn’t close the game and we let them recover.
“They came back and with the quality, they have one strike and they scored – they deserved the goal of course – but I thought we could have scored more.
“It is a point and that’s good. Tomorrow I will be happy but in this moment I am a little bit disappointed, not too much but a little bit…
“We had three or four chances, open goals in the first half, in the six-yard box. I don’t know how they defended this.
“But of course they had their moments too so maybe it is okay. I’m not happy in this moment but give me a few hours and I will be happy.
“They deserved the goal, but we could have scored more. Two highly motivated sides, both wanted to win until the last seconds.”
The point means the Merseysiders stay in 4th, a point behind City, but they can now be overtaken by Manchester United and Arsenal, who both have two games in hand on them.
If Liverpool do miss out on a top four finish come the end of the season it won’t be afternoon’s like this that are responsible.
The result ensured the Reds remained unbeaten in their 10 matches against the rest of the top six this season, amassing 20 points in the process (W5, D5).
By contrast all five of the league games they have lost have come against teams in the bottom half of the table, including against three of the current bottom six.
Next up for Klopp’s men, after an international break, is the small matter of the second Merseyside derby of the season against Everton.
So that’s what both us and Klopp thought about the game, how about you? Let us know your views below…
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