London (EFE) – Kevin De Bruyne’s compass guided Manchester City against Liverpool, but he got stuck when deciding the duel with a missed penalty that left the tables on the scoreboard between the two title contenders (1-1 ).
The Belgian assisted Gabriel Jesús to make the tie in an electric game in which Liverpool had taken the lead with a penalty goal from Mohamed Salah.
The tie is a result that leaves Jürgen Klopp’s men much better before the international break, with City remaining eleventh, although with one game less.
Despite this context of celestial necessity, the one that came out the best for Etihad was Liverpool, with high pressure and a direct and vertical attack against City centrals -Rubén Dias and Aymeric Laporte- as soon as they stole the ball.
City were baffled by Klopp’s decision to put in the four attackers – Firmino, Salah, Mané and Jota – and quickly paid for it in a clumsy action by Kyle Walker. The side took Mané ahead and Craig Pawson, the referee of the match, signaled a penalty. Salah did not fail and Liverpool took the lead at the home of their greatest rival.
It seemed like a brutal and direct blow of authority to the jaw of Guardiola’s men, but City pulled on the pride of an old champion.
He began to pamper the ball and corner Liverpool in his field. Sterling missed Alisson out of selfishness, but the touch quickly became the avenue to see the Red gate, especially when the attacks were catalyzed by De Bruyne. The Belgian put the ball to Sterling on the previous play and was responsible for creating the tie.
He leaked a ball from the front to Gabriel Jesus that showed why Guardiola has to trust a ‘nine’. With a touch of firsts he got rid of Alexander-Arnold turning around and defined against Alisson putting the toe.
The goal further pushed City, which already had the game in hand. His best moment coincided with a lateral cross from De Bruyne that hit Joe Gomez’s hand. The referee did not see it, but the VAR did.
Responsibility for De Bruyne from eleven meters, but the Belgian’s shot skimmed the post, marking his first missed penalty since 2016.
The error left City touched, who returned to give control to Liverpool until the end of the first half, with a great opportunity in the boots of Alexander-Arnold, who did not hit Ederson, to leave with an advantage.
The inaccuracies in the last meters did not change after passing through the changing rooms and Gabriel Jesús had the 2-1 in his head with a shot to the center by Ferran Torres that crossed too much.
City were taking advantage of the slowness of the Liverpool center-backs and the loss of Van Dijk to do damage, but were not able to thread the goal needle.
After an electric first half, the second 45 minutes kept the emotion of being a great match, but they were further diluted by the three-quarters of the court and the fear of losing.
The result favored Liverpool much more and they sheltered to avoid surprise. City felt the effort in their legs and the 1-1 at the end satisfied both of them.
Neither Liverpool falls at the home of their greatest rival, nor does City give up a psychological defeat before the national team break.
Of course, the table is very against City, while Liverpool is third, with 17 points, one behind the leader, Leicester City. To look for Guardiola’s men, you have to go down to eleventh position, where they appear with 12 points, although with one game less.