MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 19, 2017: Liverpool's James Milner celebrates scoring his teams first goal from the penalty spot against Manchester City during the FA Premier League match at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by Gavin Trafford/Propaganda)

Man City 1-1 Liverpool: Top-4 rivals share spoils in belter at Etihad

Liverpool played out an enthralling 1-1 draw away to Man City on Sunday afternoon, as the battle for a top-four finish continues.

Man City 1-1 Liverpool

Premier League, Etihad Stadium
March 19, 2017


Milner (pen) 51′ (assist – Firmino)
Aguero 69′ (assist – De Bruyne)

Taking to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon, Liverpool looked to continue their unbeaten run against the Premier League‘s top six and cement themselves as favourites for a top-four finish.

Having secured a gritty 2-1 win at home to Burnley last time out, and a 1-0 victory over City on New Year’s Eve, Jurgen Klopp‘s side will have been confident as they headed across the M62.

Klopp’s hands were tied when it came to selection however, with both Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge still sidelined through injury, leaving the German to make one change to his side from the previous weekend.

Nevertheless, facing off against a City side reeling from their midweek Champions League exit, this was a clash Liverpool needed to take all three points from, but the home side made it difficult.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 19, 2017: Liverpool's Emre Can in action against Manchester City's Yaya Toure during the FA Premier League match at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Milner scores opener on 450th career league appearance
  • Aguero equalises as Liverpool look to take control
  • Both sides squander great chances to grab the lead
  • Reds stay one point behind City in top-four battle

City enjoyed the best of the game in the opening stages, with the pace of Raheem Sterling giving James Milner a tough time at left-back, as David Silva pulled the strings in his creative role.

Liverpool had their first real chance on 24 minutes, as Sadio Mane raced onto a loose ball, beating Nicolas Otamendi before being charged down by the Argentina international when through on goal.

Philippe Coutinho found himself worryingly out of form throughout the first half, and the 24-year-old squandered a great opportunity for the Reds after the half-hour mark, bending his effort high over the crossbar.

With the away side growing into the game, Joel Matip was given a promising opening following a Milner free-kick, but he was unable to head his effort on target at the far post.

The Reds were then majorly let off as Sterling missed a perfect cross-goal pass, Fernandinho turning his effort wide of the post from five yards out, with Liverpool saved by Michael Oliver’s half-time whistle.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 19, 2017: Liverpool's James Milner celebrates scoring the first goal against Manchester City from the penalty spot during the FA Premier League match at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Coming out for the second half the more enthusiastic outfit, Liverpool began strongly, and with Firmino fouled in the box by a lunging Gael Clichy, Milner was given a chance from the penalty spot.

The vice-captain duly stepped up and slammed it home into the bottom corner, giving the Reds the perfect start after the interval.

While Liverpool looked to take control with a more stable, defensive approach, it wasn’t to be so simple for Klopp’s travelling side, with Kevin de Bruyne laying the ball through for Sergio Aguero to equalise with 20 minutes left to play.

City could have had a second shortly after, and it was Aguero who again proved the inspiration, driving through the Reds’ defence before stumbling outside the six-yard box.

Liverpool had an even better chance as the clock ticked on, with Georginio Wijnaldum‘s excellent lifted pass allowing Firmino to square for Adam Lallana, who missed an open goal from point-blank range.

This set the tone for the closing stages, with two fatigued sides failing to trouble their opposing goalkeepers as Oliver saw out a stalemate.

TIA Man of the Match: Emre Can

Referee: Michael Oliver

Man City: Caballero; Fernandinho, Stones, Otamendi, Clichy; Yaya (Sagna 65′); Sane (Fernando 83′), De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling; Aguero

Subs not used: Bravo, Kolarov, A. Garcia, Nolito, Iheanacho

Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Klavan, Milner; Can, Wijnaldum, Lallana; Mane, Coutinho (Origi 72′), Firmino (Lucas 89′)

Subs not used: Karius, Lovren, Moreno, Alexander-Arnold, Woodburn

Next match: Everton (H) – Premier League – April 1

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