Liverpool - Manchester
City's record signing Riyad Mahrez blazed an 86th-minute penalty over
the bar to preserve Liverpool's unbeaten Premier League record as both
sides failed to lay down an early marker in the title race with a
disappointing 0-0 draw at Anfield.
City remain top of the table on
goal difference, but both teams are now locked with Chelsea, who were
3-0 winners earlier at Southampton, on 20 points from eight games.
the four enthralling encounters between the two last season when
Liverpool beat the English champions three times, a highly-anticipated
clash fell flat with neither side managing to register a shot on target
until after the hour mark.
City had the golden chance four minutes
from time when substitute Leroy Sane was upended by Virgil van Dijk and
referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot after waving away two
earlier strong appeals from the visitors for a penalty.
Sergio Aguero replaced on the hour mark, Mahrez, a 60-million ($79
million) signing from Leicester in July, took responsibility but fired
high over the bar to Liverpool's relief as City's wait for a first win
at Anfield since 2003 continued.
"We tried to win and we didn't
concede at Anfield which is quite special," said City manager Pep
Guardiola. "We had our chance and we tried to be ourselves."
about Mahrez, he said: "He had the courage and the balls to take the
penalty, in training he shoots perfect penalties but sometimes it
"The usual taker is Sergio Aguero but he wasn't there.
We played so well so if you want to analyse the result it was OK. Last
season we lost here, and this season we drew, maybe next season we will
After starting the season with seven straight victories
Liverpool have now failed to win in any of their past four matches as
the upcoming international break comes at the right time for Jurgen
Guardiola had lost on all three of his previous
visits to Anfield as City manager and the champions looked unnerved from
their recent experiences early on.
Ahead of the game, Klopp tried to play down Mohamed Salah's slump in form after an incredible 44-goal debut season at Anfield.
But the Egyptian again looked far from his best and snatched at the sort of chances he buried last season.
Salah had the first opening after just three minutes when he pulled his shot wide after jinking inside John Stones.
was as clear a chance as there was before half-time as both teams'
exertions during Champions League games in midweek seemed to take their
toll in a first 45 minutes lacking the intensity of their meetings from
Klopp made just two changes from a 1-0 defeat by Napoli
on Wednesday, with Dejan Lovren making a surprise return in central
defence and Joe Gomez moving to right-back at the expense of Trent
City quickly neutralised Liverpool's threat by
keeping possession for long periods without forcing Alisson Becker into a
save before the break.
The second half followed the same pattern as Liverpool's initial burst fizzled out and City took control.
was furious as another penalty shout was turned down when Van Dijk was
instead awarded a free-kick for a pull by Fernandinho as the Dutch
defender handled inside the area.
A rare incisive Liverpool
counter-attack found Salah again in a good position 21 minutes from
time, but he blazed high over the bar.
Mahrez tested Alisson with a
near-post shot that the Brazilian turned behind, but his real chance to
make himself a City hero came when the pace of Sane was too much for
the normally flawless Van Dijk and this time a penalty was given.
A message appeared to come from the City bench for Mahrez to take the spot-kick instead of Gabriel Jesus.
But that proved costly as the pressure got to Mahrez and City had to settle for a point.