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Dublin: 6°C Thursday 26 November 2020


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Man City 1-1 Liverpool

Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

Man City face Liverpool, with the two sides who have dominated the title race in recent years set to face off.

By their high standards, both have had a less-than-vintage start to the season.

That said, Liverpool could go top with a win, while a City victory would see them jump from 12th to 6th in the table.

This fixture has been anything but predictable in recent times, with Pep Guardiola’s side winning 4-0 the last time the sides met, albeit after the Reds had already been confirmed as last season’s Premier League champions.

It should be a similarly fascinating encounter this afternoon.

Confirmation of today’s teams below. Interestingly, Firmino and Jota both start for Liverpool.

Who do you think will win today?

Poll Results:

Liverpool (532)
Man City (198)
Draw (193)

Straight away, Liverpool have a chance.

Firmino latches on to Alexander-Arnold’s long ball, beating the City’s defence’s offside trap in the process.

However, Ederson is out quickly to put the striker under pressure and the Liverpool star eventually overruns it.

manchester-city-v-liverpool-premier-league-etihad-stadium Manchester City and Liverpool players during a minute's silence for Remembrance Sunday. Source: PA

Liverpool have looked the better side so far, controlling the play and dominating possession.

That said, the Reds haven’t threatened City’s goal too often.

Mane escapes Walker and the defender clips him as he does so.

Definite penalty.

Ederson goes the right way, but has no chance of stopping Salah’s assured spot kick.

Meanwhile, City are not happy, as there appeared to be a foul on Sterling, which was was not awarded, in the lead up to the penalty decision.

Liverpool’s 1-0 lead is fully deserved.

They’ve been much the better side so far, with City struggling to get hold of the ball.

Rodri loses it in midfield and Liverpool break, before Mane’s cross is ultimately cut out.

The Reds continue to look the more dangerous of the two teams in attack.

De Bruyne’s cross finds Sterling, and his goal-bound shot is blocked by Alisson.

Jesus is not happy, as the England international might have been better off squaring it to him, given that the Brazilian was in a better position.

Wijnaldum, in particular, will breathe a sigh of his relief, as it was his sloppy play in conceding possession that led to the attack.

City have improved and are seeing more of the ball since going behind.

Nevertheless, you still wouldn’t be too confident in their defence’s ability to deal with Liverpool’s potent attack.

Man City equalise with a well-worked goal.

De Bruyne plays an incisive pass through to Jesus, who escapes the attentions of Alexander-Arnold, before poking it home.

That flick and sharp turn away from the Liverpool full-back was either inspired or really fortuitous by the Brazil international — it’s not 100% clear whether he meant the sublime touch, but it certainly looks like he did.

This has been a very entertaining match so far, with the sides looking well matched.

Neutrals will hope it stays that for the remaining half and a bit.

De Bruyne’s cross comes off the arm of Joe Gomez.

It was hardly deliberate, but the referee gives it after consulting VAR.

Chance for Liverpool down the other end.

Salah lays it to Alexander-Arnold, whose shot is gathered at the second attempt by Ederson.

Roy Keane, as ever, is lacking any semblance of diplomacy when analysing City’s concession of a penalty on Sky.

He refers to Kyle Walker as an “idiot” for fouling Mane.

Matip is booked for a late challenge on De Bruyne.

It’s a bit of a worry for Guardiola, as the Belgian is currently receiving treatment for the injury.

Fortunately for City, it looks like De Bruyne will be okay to continue.

As I type, he sends in a cross as City counter, though Alisson does well to gather it with a few attackers lurking nearby.

Down the other end, Ederson makes a mess of an innocuous shot. It falls to Jota on the edge of the area, but the Liverpool attacker’s effort is tame and comfortably saved.

Golden chance for Jesus!

Cancelo plays a lovely clipped through ball for an unmarked Jesus, who heads wide from close range.

He should have scored there.

Jesus squares it to De Bruyne, whose dipping shot from distance goes just over.

This is City’s best spell of the match so far.

Liverpool look in need of inspiration and make a change, as Shaqiri replaces Firmino, who’s been quiet.

Meanwhile, there are shouts for a penalty, as a cross appears to hit the arm of Cancelo.

However, the fact that he didn’t have his arms outstretched there probably saved him.

Now, City make a change, with Ferran Torres replaced by Bernardo Silva.

Meanwhile, there’s a worrying sight for Liverpool, as Alexander-Arnold pulls up with what looks like a calf injury.

Alexander-Arnold can’t continue, and he’s replaced by Milner.

That’s a blow for Liverpool, and Jurgen Klopp will hope it’s nothing too serious.

The second half has been a bit stop-start and hasn’t quite lived up to the excitement of the first 45.

Still though, it’s all to play for as we enter the final 20 minutes.

City are looking the stronger of the two sides at the moment, as they have for much of the second half.

However, they’ve struggled to create many clear-cut openings.

Liverpool in particular have been pretty underwhelming in this second half.

Perhaps the hectic fixture list is catching up with them, as they’ve looked a tired side today.

This second half has felt increasingly stale.

You get the sense that a point wouldn’t be the worst result for either side, and it’s looking likely to end that way.

There will be four minutes of stoppage time…

It remains an underwhelming finish, as we’re deep into stoppage time.

However, Liverpool have just won a free kick in a promising position.

So that’s that.

A very entertaining first half turned into a damp squib after the break.

Liverpool had the better of the first half, while City looked stronger as the match wore on, so a draw is probably a fair result on reflection.

Klopp will be concerned with the injury suffered by Alexander-Arnold, but will otherwise likely be relatively happy overall, given that the Reds have often come away with nothing from this game in the past.

Similarly, with City only five points behind the Reds with a game in hand, Guardiola won’t be too disheartened by that outcome.

Just how relentless the fixture schedule has been this season has been well documented, and the manner in which this game panned out was perhaps a reflection of that problem.

After an entertaining first half, the second was a pretty poor spectacle with neither side really throwing caution to the wind amid an anti-climactic conclusion.

Right, that’s all from me. 

Thanks for reading and commenting.

You can read our match report here, and we’ll have more reaction to follow.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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