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Man City edge tough Atletico opener ahead of Liverpool’s trip to the Etihad

While Liverpool played out a 3-1 victory at Benfica, Man City were forced to fight for their first-leg advantage in the Champions League, beating Atletico Madrid 1-0.

It is not often that the Champions League quarter-finals are painted as a sideshow, but ahead of Liverpool’s trip to the Etihad on Sunday, they certainly were.

Tuesday night saw both Liverpool and Man City in action in Europe, with the Reds heading to Lisbon to take on Benfica while Pep Guardiola’s side hosted Atletico.

While the Reds blew Benfica away early on before overcoming a second-half scare, City were unsurprisingly up against it as Diego Simeone set out a trademark two banks of five.

By half-time in Manchester, City had seen 72.3 percent of possession and fired six shots on goal to Atletico’s zero, but were left frustrated.

It took the introduction of Phil Foden in the 68th minute to inspire a turnaround, with the youngster teeing up Kevin De Bruyne within seconds of coming on to give City a 1-0 win.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 3, 2021: Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Despite their dominance, it was a tiring night for City, who were made to work for their first-leg lead five days before a must-win title clash.

But with neither Liverpool nor their rivals suffering a Champions League setback, there will be no shortage of confidence on either side when kickoff comes at 4.30pm on Sunday.

Liverpool are just one point behind City in the Premier League table, and a victory at the weekend could make them favourites for the title as the run-in begins.

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