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Liverpool vs Manchester City. Premier League.


Liverpool 1

  • A Mac Allister (50th minute pen)

Manchester City 1

  • J Stones (23rd minute)

Liverpool 1-1 Man City: Alexis Mac Allister cancels out John Stones opener as title rivals play out epic draw

Report and free match highlights as Liverpool and Man City play out an engrossing 1-1 draw at Anfield in Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola's final Premier League meeting; Alexis Mac Allister cancelled out John Stones' opener but Reds could not find a winner

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the 1-1 draw between Liverpool and Manchester City

Manchester City survived a second-half barrage from Liverpool to hold on for a 1-1 draw in a thrilling encounter at Anfield which leaves Arsenal top of the Premier League.

The final Premier League meeting between Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola lived up to its billing as the injury-hit hosts roared back from John Stones' clever first-half opener from a corner.

Alexis Mac Allister scored the leveller from the penalty spot early in the second period after Ederson had wiped out Darwin Nunez from Nathan Ake's poor backpass, injuring himself in the process.

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John Stones opened the scoring from a brilliant corner routine

Klopp's side, with Ibrahima Konate added to their absentee list and with Mohamed Salah only fit enough to feature as a substitute, had been second best in the first half but dominated the rest of the game, missing a series of chances, with Luis Diaz the main culprit.

A pulsating contest, which featured Kevin De Bruyne angrily remonstrating with Guardiola after being substituted, almost took another twist when City substitute Jeremy Doku struck a low shot against the inside of the post in the 89th minute.

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Alexis Mac Allister's penalty brought Liverpool level

The City winger then survived a VAR check for a penalty after a high-boot challenge on Mac Allister in stoppage time. "In all positions on the pitch, it is 100 per cent a foul and it's a yellow card," Klopp said to Sky Sports of the incident afterwards.

"They said he hit the ball but he can only do that because his foot is right there. But if the ball is not there, he kills him - the foot has nothing to do with it. It is as easy as that. For all football people on the planet, it's a penalty."

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Were Liverpool denied a last-gasp penalty when Jeremy Doku challenged Alexis Mac Allister in the penalty area at Anfield?

Sky Sports pundits Jamie Carragher and Roy Keane disagreed with the Reds boss. "He's lucky but I can see why he's not given it," said Carragher. "I don't think there's any force behind it, I think the officials got it right," added Keane.

Sky Sports News understands the reason VAR did not award Liverpool a penalty for the incident involving Doku and Mac Allister is because VAR said that Doku played the ball.

The debate will rumble on but, in the end, the two sides could not be separated, the draw leaving Arsenal top of the table ahead of second-placed Liverpool on goal difference, with City a point further back in third place.

Player ratings

Liverpool: Kelleher (7), Bradley (7), Quansah (7), Van Dijk (8), Gomez (7), Szoboszlai (6), Endo (7), Mac Allister (8), Elliott (7), Nunez (6), Diaz (6).

Subs: Salah (7), Robertson (7), Gakpo (6).

Man City: Ederson (5), Walker (7), Stones (7), Akanji (7), Ake (6), Rodri (7), Silva (7), De Bruyne (7), Alvarez (6), Foden (7), Haaland (6).

Subs: Doku (7), Kovacic (6), Ortega (7).

Player of the Match: Virgil van Dijk

How the epic encounter played out

Manchester City sought to dampen the feverish atmosphere early on, controlling possession and twice calling Kelleher into action through shots from Julian Alvarez and De Bruyne.

Team news

  • Mohamed Salah was only on the bench for Liverpool following his return from injury, while Jarell Quansah replaced the injured Ibrahima Konate.
  • Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden returned to the Man City starting line-up, with Ruben Dias and Jeremy Doku benched for Manuel Akanji and Julian Alvarez.

Liverpool held out, though, and soon started applying pressure at the other end, with Conor Bradley's wicked low cross flashing just beyond the onrushing Nunez at the back post.

It seemed the hosts were moving into the ascendency but it all changed with City's inspired corner routine for the opener as Ake blocked off Mac Allister at the near post and Stones got away from Nunez to turn in De Bruyne's low delivery.

John Stones celebrates his opener from a Kevin De Bruyne corner
Image: John Stones celebrates his opener from a Kevin De Bruyne corner

Liverpool tried to respond, with Dominik Szoboszlai heading wastefully over from Harvey Elliott's floated cross and Diaz firing a low shot narrowly wide, but Nunez summed up their frustration, straying offside on five separate occasions in the first half alone.

Meanwhile, at the other end, City continued to look the more threatening side, with De Bruyne shooting wide and Alvarez firing over the bar before a low cross by Kyle Walker flew just out of reach of De Bruyne following a rapid breakaway in first-half stoppage time.

A frantic game became even wilder after the break, with Liverpool winning their penalty after less than two minutes as Ederson came sprinting out of his goal and clattered Nunez as he threatened to latch onto Ake's carelessly underhit backpass.

Ederson commits a foul on Darwin Nunez that results in a penalty to Liverpool and an injury for the Man City goalkeeper
Image: Ederson fouled Darwin Nunez for Liverpool's penalty

It was shoddy play all-round from City and Ederson injured himself in the process, the goalkeeper having to make way for Stefan Ortega after being beaten by Mac Allister's well-struck penalty.

Liverpool were indebted to Kelleher for denying Foden soon after that, but from that point on the hosts peppered the City goal, the momentum of the game completely reversed from the first half.

Ederson leaves the pitch after suffering an injury
Image: Ederson leaves the pitch after suffering his injury

Diaz, a constant menace to City, could easily have had a hat-trick, his poor touch preventing him from going through on goal on one occasion before he clipped wide from a sensational Salah pass and then failed to get a shot off from Nunez's inviting cut-back.

Salah, Mac Allister and Nunez had chances too as Liverpool, roared on by the home crowd, laid siege to the City goal, with Ortega making a particularly smart save from the returning Egyptian.

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Kevin De Bruyne was unhappy after being substituted at Anfield

City's frustration was clear as De Bruyne, outstanding in the first half, reacted angrily to his substitution, continuing to hold a heated discussion with Guardiola even after taking his seat.

Liverpool finished the second half with 12 shots to City's three but the visitors almost nicked the three points when Doku's effort bounced back off the post.

Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister (right) celebrates with team-mates after scoring their equaliser
Image: Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister celebrates with team-mates

The Belgian then had a scare up at the other end in stoppage time when his high boot on Mac Allister prompted a VAR check, but he was cleared by the officials, allowing City to hold on for a draw in another thrilling chapter of an epic rivalry.

Klopp: It was 100 per cent a penalty

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was left frustrated that his side were denied a last-gasp penalty following Jeremy Doku's challenge on Alexis Mac Allister

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp to Sky Sports: "It was a really good football game. That was the best performance in the second half we've played against Man City.

"We have never dominated so much, we never had them there, we never made so many good decisions, never were so brave, it was unbelievable. Exceptional.

"I'm really happy with the whole performance. The first 10 minutes, maybe we needed a little bit, but after that, we were fully there. What a game, what an atmosphere, what an afternoon."

On the Doku penalty incident: "In all positions on the pitch, it is 100 per cent a foul and it's a yellow card. They said he hit the ball but he can only do that because his foot is right there. But if the ball is not there, he kills him - the foot has nothing to do with it.

"It is as easy as that. For all football people on the planet, it's a penalty. If you don't think it is one, then maybe you are not a football person."

Pep: De Bruyne reaction not a problem

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insisted there are no issues with Kevin de Bruyne after his angry reaction to being substituted

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola to Sky Sports: "We started really well but they are incredible team. We had our moments, they had theirs. The way they play it is not easy. We take that point.

"First half we had momentum, lots of chances first half. And after we gave away the penalty, we suffered. It was a good game for the spectators."

On De Bruyne being annoyed at being substituted: "That's good. Have a chance next game to prove it. We need a player who keeps the ball. Its not about pressing. [Mateo] Kovacic is really good at that. We were happy with Kevin. It's not a problem. We're fine."

On the atmosphere: "I know how difficult it is at Anfield. It is difficult at Etihad too, Liverpool have not won there in eight years. We prove, both sides, we are incredible competitors. I would prefer a win but they prove for many years the quality they have. It was good from everyone."

On Jurgen Klopp: "We wouldn't need a hug to show that [respect]. He defends his club, I defend mine. Our history speaks for itself. We still have 10 games to go, many things can happen."

Van Dijk: Bittersweet result

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Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk felt his side's 1-1 draw against Manchester City was 'bittersweet'

Liverpool captain Virgil Van Dijk to Sky Sports: "The second half was much better than the first 15 or 20 minutes of the first half, I think.

"Every time they could find the free man in the pocket and we should have closed the middle a bit better to make it a bit easier.

"But how we reacted was good. We had chances but we couldn't convert them into the winner.

"Overall, bittersweet. Based on the second half, you feel like you should have won it. But we also can't deny that with their quality, we can't deny that they could also [have] finished off.

"I can go on, but it's so close after the game. It's a bit bittersweet at the moment.

"To come away with a point is not a bad situation so we have to focus on next and be positive.

"And we have to enjoy the ride. If you look back at where we were 12 months ago, the consistency that was missing, and look where we are right now. That's something we can't take for granted."

The story of the match

Nunez's offsides, De Bruyne's assist - Opta stats

  • Liverpool's Darwin Nunez was flagged offside five times in this match; the joint-most by a player in a Premier League game this season.
  • For the second time in the last three seasons, Liverpool and Manchester City have drawn both of their meetings in a Premier League campaign (2021-22 and 2023-24).
  • Liverpool had 19 shots - their most in a Premier League meeting with City since February 2013. Twelve of those shots came in the second half, which was the most Man City have faced after half time in a league game since May 2021 against Brighton.
  • Kevin De Bruyne has been directly involved in 13 goals in 12 appearances for Manchester City in 2024 (two goals, 11 assists); the most of any Premier League player across all competitions this year.
  • Alexis Mac Allister has scored nine of his 10 penalties in the Premier League, including each of the last eight in a row. Meanwhile, Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson has only kept out one of the last 22 spot kicks he has faced in the competition.

What's next?

Liverpool are back at Anfield on Thursday for their second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie against Sparta Prague. Kick-off 8pm. The Reds then travel to Manchester United three days later on Sunday March 17 for their FA Cup quarter-final. Kick-off 3.30pm.

Manchester City host Newcastle in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday March 16, kick-off 5.30pm. Arsenal then visit the Etihad Stadium after the international break on Sunday March 31, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off 4.30pm.

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