Even Stevens at the Etihad as title race goes down to the wire

  Kevin De Bruyne celebrates after putting City in front on Sunday against Liverpool at the Etihad. The game ended 2-2. (Photo credit: Sky S...

 

Kevin De Bruyne celebrates after putting City in front on Sunday against Liverpool at the Etihad. The game ended 2-2. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)

The Premier League is the best in the world and we have enough evidence in that regard. The title conversation was taken to another level over the weekend as Manchester City and Liverpool played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Etihad.

Liverpool knew what to do, and so does Manchester City, and both got to business quite early in the game with Manchester City drawing the first blood through you-know-who; Kevin De Bruyne lashed home past Alisson Becker as early as the 5th minute.

It didn’t take long before Liverpool showed they didn’t come to the Etihad to roll around. A neat move ended at the foot of Diogo Jota and the Portuguese soon wheeled away in celebration for what was a deserved equalizer, and that was the right note to start a game that meant so much to everyone in the stands.

It was evenly contested for a while, then the Cityzens got on the ascendancy. Andy Robertson hauled down De Bruyne and was duly booked but there was nothing anyone could do to Gabriel Jesus’ goal later in the half; Phil Foden squared to Joao Cancelo, and the utility defender found the Brazilian striker in the Kops’ area and it was 2-1.

Fans had hardly settled down after the break when Mohammed Salah found his strike partner Sadio Mane in space, the African champion slotted past the on-rushing Ederson to level again and from then on, it became anyone’s game and the fans couldn’t ask for more.

Both sides took turns to attack with Virgil Van Dijk shutting out Raheem Sterling on an occasion before Aymeric Laporte returned the favors on Mane moments later. Bernardo Silva marauded the midfield but Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara wouldn’t let him breathe.

Both sides knew what they wanted but there was nothing to choose from at the end of 90 minutes. "It was hard. To be fair I think we played excellently," De Bruyne told Sky Sports. "The way we played was very good and we should score more. It is what it is. It was a great game."

Raheem Sterling thought he had given the hosts the lead just after the hour mark but replays showed he was marginally offside before receiving from the Belgian.

"I think we can describe it as a boxing fight, both arms down for a second and you get a massive knock," Jurgen Klopp told Sky Sports. "I liked a lot of things. I thought we were closer than ever.

One point separates the two as the league season hits the home stretch. Both meet again in the FA Cup next weekend before City plays Brighton in the league in midweek and Liverpool entertains Manchester United a day before that.

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Footballnus | Get the latest football news, highlights, videos, and transfer gossip: Even Stevens at the Etihad as title race goes down to the wire
Even Stevens at the Etihad as title race goes down to the wire
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