Manchester City and Liverpool share the spoils in a thrilling Premier League clash

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The much-anticipated Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool kicked off at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, with both teams looking to close the gap on leaders Arsenal. The hosts were without their star signing Jack Grealish, who suffered a hamstring injury during the international break, while Liverpool welcomed back Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho from suspension.

City manager Pep Guardiola surprised many by starting Erling Haaland and Jeremy Doku, who joined the club in January, ahead of Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden. Haaland, who scored 10 goals in 12 games for Borussia Dortmund this season, was making his debut for the Citizens, while Doku, who impressed for Belgium in the World Cup qualifiers, was making his first Premier League start. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp opted for a familiar front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Diogo Jota, with Roberto Firmino on the bench.

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De Bruyne and Jota score in a lively first-half

The game started at a frantic pace, with both teams pressing high and creating chances. City took the lead in the fifth minute, when Kevin De Bruyne curled a stunning free-kick into the top corner from 25 yards out, leaving Alisson Becker with no chance. It was the Belgian’s fifth goal of the season, and his third in as many games against Liverpool.

Liverpool responded well and equalized in the 13th minute when Jota headed in a cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold at the near post. It was the Portuguese’s seventh goal of the season, and his fourth in his last three games. The visitors then had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 21st minute, when Salah was brought down by Aymeric Laporte in the box, but the Egyptian’s penalty was saved by Ederson Moraes.

City regained the lead in the 37th minute when Haaland showed his predatory instincts by tapping in a rebound from a Doku shot that hit the post. It was the Norwegian’s first goal for his new club, and he celebrated by pointing to the sky in tribute to his late father Alf-Inge, who played for City in the late 1990s. Liverpool almost equalized again in the 45th minute, when Mane hit the crossbar with a header from a James Milner cross.

Mane and Grealish score in a dramatic second half

The second half was even more entertaining than the first, with both teams going for the win. Liverpool leveled the score in the 46th minute when Mane slotted in a pass from Salah, who had dribbled past two defenders. It was the Senegalese’s sixth goal of the season, and his third in his last four games. City had a chance to restore their lead in the 52nd minute when De Bruyne played a through ball to Haaland, but the striker’s shot was blocked by Alisson.

City made it 3-2 in the 53rd minute, when Ilkay Gundogan scored with a low drive from the edge of the box, after a clever lay-off from Haaland. It was the German’s fourth goal of the season, and his second in his last three games. Liverpool almost made it 3-3 in the 58th minute, when Jota hit the post with a volley from a Mane cross.

City brought on Grealish in the 65th minute, hoping to add some creativity and flair to their attack. The England international, who had missed the last three games with a hamstring injury, made an immediate impact, scoring with a sublime chip over Alisson in the 74th minute, after a brilliant pass from De Bruyne. It was the former Aston Villa captain’s third goal for City, and his first since August.

Liverpool refused to give up, and pulled one back in the 79th minute, when Salah scored with a spectacular solo goal, beating four defenders and curling the ball into the top corner from 18 yards out. It was the Egyptian’s 10th goal of the season, and his fifth in his last four games. He also became the first player to score in five consecutive Premier League games against City.

The final 10 minutes were tense and thrilling, with both teams having chances to score. City had a goal disallowed in the 83rd minute when Haaland was ruled offside after finishing a cross from Grealish. Liverpool had a penalty appeal turned down in the 88th minute when Van Dijk claimed he was pushed by Laporte in the box. The referee, Michael Oliver, consulted the VAR but decided there was no foul.

The game ended 4-4, with both teams earning a point and receiving a standing ovation from the fans. City remained second in the table, one point behind Arsenal, who beat Tottenham 2-1 earlier in the day. Liverpool stayed third, two points behind City, and four points behind Arsenal. The title race was still wide open, with seven games to go.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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