Kevin de Bruyne’s deflected late equaliser gave Manchester City a fully deserved point after a moment of genius by Mohamed Salah looked to have earned Liverpool victory in an Anfield thriller.
Reigning champions City and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool were each hoping to take over from Chelsea at the top of the table, but this result means Thomas Tuchel’s side stay clear at the Premier League summit.
City dominated the first half but wasted a host of chances and was punished when Sadio Mane was the beneficiary of more Salah brilliance to apply a clinical finish to put Liverpool ahead after 59 minutes.
Liverpool’s lead lasted just 10 minutes until Phil Foden, who tormented the struggling James Milner throughout, took a pass from Gabriel Jesus and fired a low, angled finish across Alisson at the Kop end.
City manager Pep Guardiola was nursing an understandable sense of injustice after Milner somehow escaped a second yellow card for blatantly upending Bernardo Silva before Anfield exploded in joy after 76 minutes when Salah slalomed his way beyond a succession of City defenders to power home a stunning finish.
City’s performance merited at least a point and secured it when De Bruyne’s shot took a deflection off Joel Matip to beat Alisson with nine minutes left.
The Reds should have won it with five minutes remaining but Fabinho’s goalbound shot was kept out by Rodri’s sensational block.
Liverpool has bullied City at Anfield in the past but the tables were turned here in the first half, the champions dominating possession and pinning the hosts back in a manner rarely seen under Klopp in recent seasons.
Klopp’s side needed a spark to return to at least something like their normal selves and it was talisman Salah who provided it with a virtuoso second-half performance.
The Egyptian first of all showed his class to set up Mane for a goal that was against the overall run of play but was the result of Liverpool increasing the pace at the start of the second half. Salah’s run and pass was sheer perfection and his attacking partner gratefully accepted the invitation to finish in style.
And after the excellent Foden drew City level, Salah scored a goal that will live long in the memory as he twisted and turned in between a host of City defenders before lashing an unstoppable finish past Ederson.
It was a goal worthy of winning any match, but in reality, Liverpool could not complain at only getting a point as they struggled to exert their authority.
Salah’s masterclass, however, showed once again that he truly belongs among the game’s elite.
Source – BBC