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Liverpool hold Manchester City to a draw at the Etihad

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Manchester City played out a disappointing 1-1 draw with Liverpool in an English Premier League tie at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

In what was a bruising encounter between two aspirants for a top 4 berth come the end of the season, the Referee was the centre of attraction in a close first half that saw numerous penalty appeals but none being awarded.

 

City started the game on an attacking note with David Silva pulling the strings in midfield. Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane troubled the Liverpool defenders with their speed down the flanks and only some desparate, last-ditch defending prevented the hosts from scoring.

City almost took the lead in the 20th minute when Sane's cross was whisked away by the Liverpool defence. The loose ball fell to Silva whose shot sailed inches wide of the post.

The hosts came close once again five minutes before half-time when Silva latched on to a Kevin De Bruyne pass just inside the Liverpool penalty area and whipped in a low cross at the far post where Fernandinho blasted into the side netting with the goal at his mercy.

Liverpool ended the half as stronger of the two teams as City goalkeeper Willy Caballero had to produce excellent saves to keep out a curling shot by Firmino and a powerful attempt from Adam Lallana.

The hosts conceded a penalty early in the second half in the second half as Gael Clichy's ill-advised high foot gave Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino an excuse to go down. Former Man City veteran James Milner converted his seventh penalty of the season to open the scoring for Liverpool six minutes into the second half.

City found the equaliser 20 minutes from time when De Bruyne whipped in a low cross into the six-yard box from the right flank and Argentine star Sergio Aguero produced a clinical finish.

That set up 20 minutes of exciting, end to end action as both sets of players went all out in search of the winning goal. Both teams had chances to win the game with Firmino setting up Adam Lallana for a tap in, only for  the England international to make a poor connection with the goal completely at his mercy. Back up the other end, Aguero had more than one chance to seal maximum points for the hosts, but also fluffed his lines.

A combination of poor finishing, desperate defending and excellent goalkeeping prevented any change to the scoreline.

The draw means that Manchester City held onto third place in the standings with 57 points, a point ahead of Liverpool, while Chelsea leads the standings with 69 points, and looking imperious in their pursuit of the title.