Liverpool profit from Ederson ‘madness’ in City draw but Arsenal get last laugh | Football | Sport


Liverpool and Manchester City played out a thrilling 1-1 draw as the Premier League heavyweights went toe-to-toe once again in what could be the final meeting between Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp. John Stones gave the visitors the lead after meeting Kevin De Bruyne’s inventive corner at the near post. Then just seconds into the second half, Darwin Nunez intercepted Nathan Ake’s backpass but was chopped to the floor by goalkeeper Ederson as a penalty was awarded, promptly despatched by Alexis Mac Allister to ensure that the spoils were shared. Here, Express Sport takes a look at the game’s biggest talking points.

Controversial but brilliant City opener

Stones’ 23rd-minute opening goal prompted memories of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner against Barcelona to Divock Origi which caught the Spanish side off-guard, with Liverpool similarly slacking when the England defender ghosted in at the near post to tap home De Bruyne’s quick-thinking set-piece before the playmaker fumed at being substituted off.

However, there was some slight controversy when Sky Sports commentator Gary Neville noted that Ake was holding off Mac Allister, who had been marking the front post.

He compared it to Virgil van Dijk’s disallowed goal in the Carabao Cup final, but crucially Wataru Endo was penalised at Wembley because he was in an offside position, Ake could not make that same infringement from a corner.

Arsenal sigh of relief with perfect result

Arsenal will be the only team celebrating this result a draw ensured that Mikel Arteta’s side remain perched at the top of the table. Either Liverpool or City would have moved above the Gunners with a win, but now the north London outfit are in control of the title race.

Liverpool moved level but sit second as a result of their inferior goal difference, while Guardiola and City could not break their Anfield duck and take the ascendency in the process.

City have won at Anfield just once since 2003, a 2021 victory when no fans were present due to Covid restrictions, and in what could be Guardiola’s last classic battle with Klopp, he was unable to get a final blow on his opposite number.

Liverpool profit from Ederson ‘moment of madness’

Liverpool will not have believed their fortune just after half-time, when Nunez comfortably beat goalkeeper Ederson to a backpass on the corner of the penalty area and he was brought down by the stopper.

Mac Allister comfortably put the spot-kick away but Guardiola will have been furious at the man between his posts, having not been close to getting the ball and throwing away a one-goal lead at a pivotal moment in the match.

“In a moment of madness, Ake just leaves his backpass short and Ederson, who usually is so composed, is never getting there,” Neville explained on commentary. “He just wellies Nunez up into the air! I just usually would’ve expected Ederson to read that backpass is coming too short, to try and jockey Nunez into a bad angle, but he just commits to it and wipes him out.”

Ederson also injured himself in the process and minutes later had to be substituted off for City’s number two Stefan Ortega.

Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz frustrations growing

There were audible groans around Anfield when Nunez picked up his fifth offside inside 39 minutes, taking him joint-level as the player with the most in the Premier League this season.

Luis Diaz had put the ball in the back of the net early in the contest after Nunez had raced through and squared the ball to his team-mate, but the Uruguayan once again moved far too early when he should have looked across the line for what would have been a simple goal.

Nunez has come on leaps and bounds this season but it still feels that he has an even higher level to reach, cutting out unnecessary offsides will go some way to doing so.

Diaz, meanwhile, had numerous second-half chances to give his side the lead but fluffed his lines on three occasions. He was tucked in by Nunez but his first touch was left wanting, before substitute Mohamed Salah then played him through on goal for a golden opportunity that flew wide of the post.

All within a few minutes, Diaz found himself bearing down on goal once again but another poor control allowed Kyle Walker to get back and scupper another chance. Three big opportunities in such a huge game need to be taken but Diaz failed to provide the necessary quality when it was required.

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