Liverpool and Man City played out a ridiculous 2-2 draw at Anfield on Sunday evening, with Mohamed Salah scoring a goal of best-in-the-world quality.
Liverpool 2-2 Man City
Premier League (7), Anfield
October 3, 2021
Mane 59′ (assist – Salah)
Salah 76′ (assist – Milner)
De Bruyne 81′
After a fitting tribute to the late Roger Hunt, what is currently the biggest game in English football got underway at Anfield, with the home fans roaring Liverpool on from kickoff.
While Pep Guardiola couldn’t resist his self-important tactical tinkering as Jack Grealish took the centre-forward’s role, Jurgen Klopp deployed an unchanged side and setup from Porto.
The first moment of real quality came from Bernardo Silva, who nicked the ball off a sleeping Jordan Henderson in the midfield, before dancing past a series of challenges and teeing up Phil Foden for an effort well-saved by Alisson.
Henderson, who appears in need of a rest at a time when the personnel is not there to allow him one, was repeatedly culpable as City enjoyed plenty of space in the Liverpool half, which allowed Foden to exploit James Milner out wide.
That early bluster gave way to control for the away side, fuelled by the playmaking Ederson, and another timely intervention from Alisson late on kept things level heading into the break.
HT: Liverpool 0-0 Man City
Liverpool upped the ante for the second half, with a crisp pass from deep courtesy of Joel Matip allowed Diogo Jota to turn and fire at Ederson for the first shot on target.
Before the hour, the Reds had turned the game on its head, with their battling spirit leading to a swift break that saw Salah feed it through for Sadio Mane, who powered a brilliant finish beyond Ederson for 1-0.
Both managers rolled the dice as Raheem Sterling replaced a wasted Grealish and Roberto Firmino came on for the booked Jota, the Brazilian looking to make a similar impact to his two-goal cameo against Porto in midweek.
Just like that, though, City cut Liverpool open to find Foden in acres of space behind a struggling Milner, with the youngster firing into the bottom corner from a tight angle to level.
Then up stepped Salah, with a moment of genuine magic, twisting through a blockage of City defenders on the right flank, before firing past Ederson in a manner only the form player in the world could.
Kevin De Bruyne had his say soon after, however, with a brilliant strike from the edge of the box that again restored parity in a captivating second half.
A wonderful chance opened up for Fabinho at the other end, but with the Brazilian stalling on his finish, Rodri made a sublime block to deny Liverpool a late winner, with the scores shared at Anfield.
It was arguably a fair result given the shifting momentum throughout, and Liverpool head into the international break second in the Premier League – a point above City and one behind leaders Chelsea.
TIA Man of the Match: Mohamed Salah
Referee: Paul Tierney
Liverpool: Alisson; Milner (Gomez 78′), Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Jones; Salah, Mane, Jota (Firmino 68′)
Subs not used: Kelleher, Konate, Tsimikas, Williams, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino
Man City: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva; Foden, Grealish (Sterling 66′), Jesus
Subs not used: Steffen, Carson, Stones, Ake, Fernandinho, Palmer, Mahrez, Torres
Next match: Watford (A) – Premier League – Saturday, October 16, 12.30pm (BST)