Manchester City and Liverpool shared the points in a tense affair at the Etihad Stadium which saw Erling Haaland become the fastest player to score 50 goals in the Premier League.
Strikes from the aforementioned Norwegian sensation and England international Trent Alexander-Arnold entertained viewers as Pep Guardiola’s men moved eight games unbeaten at home against Liverpool.
From minute one, Manchester City’s intentions were clear as Jeremy Doku threatened Alexander-Arnold with his pace and dynamism on the left side, twisting and turning the fullback, dancing his way past him.
There was an early scare for the visitors when Alisson clumsily gave the ball away to Phil Foden on the edge of the penalty area. But the Englishman failed to take advantage of the opportunity and fired his effort straight at the Brazilian goalkeeper.
Another poor kick from Alisson fell to Nathan Ake, who manoeuvered his way past Dominic Szoboszlai and Alexander-Arnold before slotting the ball through to Haaland, who found the bottom corner for the opener.
The Norwegian superstar became the fastest player to reach 50 Premier League goals, doing so in just 48 matches, netting his 14th goal of the season to put the hosts ahead. Phil Foden then came close to doubling the lead after his effort from range looked destined for the bottom corner, only to be denied by Alisson’s outstretched hand.
The first half ended with Haaland’s effort being the difference, with City dominant in possession and threatening with each attack. Liverpool had been dangerous on the counter through Darwin Nunez.
A chance fell to Julian Alvarez early into the second half as Doku skipped past Alexis MacAllister before pulling it back to the Argentine, but his first-time effort sailed over the crossbar.
City were denied a second after VAR ruled out Ruben Dias’ tap-in at the back post from a corner. Alisson came to claim the cross but was nudged softly by Akanji and the goalkeeper failed to hold onto the ball which Dias tucked away. Liverpool were arguably very fortunate to have that one ruled out.
The visitors found an equaliser through Alexander-Arnold in the 80th minute. Mohamed Salah picked up the ball on the right side of City’s penalty area and laid it off to the full-back who found the bottom corner.
The final minutes of the game saw City pushing relentlessly for a winner, fighting for every ball and pushing deep into the Liverpool half. The Blues were unable to find a goal however and this tense affair finished level.
Ederson – 6
Makes his passing look effortless, made good saves but couldn’t do much about the goal.
Kyle Walker (C) – 6
Didn’t contribute much to the attack but kept Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz quiet on the right side of defence.
Ruben Dias – 8
Great, solid performance. Didn’t let anything past him and gave his 100%. Denied a goal due to a very soft foul.
Nathan Ake – 8
Kept Salah out of the game and provided a great assist for Haaland’s opener. Supported Doku in the attack.
Manuel Akanji – 7
Had a good game defensively. Gave the ball away a few times but he is still adjusting to stepping into midfield.
Rodri – 8
Mr Reliable. You always know what you’re going to get with Rodri and he looks after the ball so well.
Phil Foden – 7
Had a few shots on target and looked to have the better of Tsimikas in their battle. Won fouls in the second half.
Julian Alvarez – 6
Gave the ball away a few times and struggled to create chances. Head never dropped, however.
Bernardo Silva – 8
Works so hard for the team and covered every blade of grass. Very rarely lost the ball and contributed to every attack.
Jeremy Doku – 7
Tormented Alexander-Arnold and got past him nearly every time. Always looked dangerous on the ball.
Erling Haaland – 8
Took his chance well and tracked back when needed – helping to get the ball back from the opposition.
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