In the game of the weekend and one of the matchups of the season, Liverpool and Manchester City played out a thrilling 2-2 draw. The game didn’t come to life until the second half, yet epitomised how open this year’s Premier League title race is.
Liverpool remain the only undefeated team in the division after they forced City to come from behind twice, and get the draw.
Though there were no goals in the first half, both sides had chances, with the majority falling to the Manchester side. Phil Foden found himself in several promising positions but could not capitalise and find a way past Reds keeper Alisson.
1 – Liverpool have had just one shot in the first half, their fewest in the opening 45 minutes of a Premier League match at Anfield since January 2017 against Chelsea (also one). Tepid. pic.twitter.com/HH5eCUjVbu
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 3, 2021
In the second half, Liverpool talisman Mohamed Salah took matters into his own hands, sliding Sadio Mane in on goal where the former slotted past Ederson to put the Merseyside team up by one.
The lead was short-lived as City hit back, Foden collected a pass from Gabriel Jesus and drilled a low shot into the net from a tight angle.
The goal of the game followed, with Salah picking up the ball just inside the opposition half, he then slalomed his way through defenders before powering a finish with his weaker foot in the box.
The Cityzens weren’t to be put down and earned themselves a deserved point as Kevin De Bruyne scored from a Joel Matip deflection, to ensure the points were shared.
A point apiece means that Chelsea stay top of the Premier League after their win over Southampton, leaving as little as two points between the top six after seven games played.
In the past Liverpool have managed to almost bully City on their visits to Anfield, as the away side has struggled with the hostile environment, and the high press that the Reds do so well.
In this game, especially in the first half, City dominated the ball and the majority of the play. It took two bits of magic from Salah for them to really get a grip on the game.
11 – Mohamed Salah has either scored (8) or assisted (3) in eight of his nine games in all competitions this season, having a direct hand in more goals so far in 2021-22 than any other Premier League player. Thrust. pic.twitter.com/XiH7F2yf4r
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 3, 2021
Salah, himself, almost won the game single headedly, but Liverpool struggled going backwards with Rodri holding the ball for City in midfield and Foden tormenting James Milner throughout his time on the pitch.
Milner would make one challenge on Bernardo Silva which left Pep sieving on the sidelines as the makeshift RB did not get a second booking.
Man City made it very clear why they are the reigning Champions; they hold the ball well, they create multiple opportunities, they have the pace to rip open even the best of defences and yet they lack that clinical finisher up front.
City could have wrapped this up early on, but it looks as though they crave that striker after all.
As for Liverpool, having Salah in your team will give you a chance in any game and when they get up to speed, they are more than the explosive, high pressing team, that has won trophies.
Against Man City they looked slightly off, but they remain undefeated and sometimes having the players to create something from nothing – so that you keep racking up points – can be the difference maker come May.
The matchup between the two powerhouses was a thrilling game that kept fans on the edge of their seat from minute one to 90 and the result keeps us wanting more. If this is to be the Premier League title race, then it could be one helluva of a season.