Liverpool 0-0 Manchester City: Hits and Flops
There was no clear blue water between rivals Liverpool and Manchester City as they played out a dour goalless stalemate at the Anfield, though Riyadh Mahrez missed a penalty late on to squander a glorious chance to win it for his side. The Algerian blazed his shot well over the bar with only five minutes remaining on the clock.
The Reds have always enjoyed massive victories over the Skyblues at home, but their dwindling form in the recent weeks meant there were no happy returns this time. The visitors too were well below their best and uncharacteristically struggled in the final third.
This fixture produced a frankly preposterous 18 goals in 4 games the last term, including a pair of massive wins for either side. But given the sluggish and sedate game today, it isn't surprising that the amazing run of goal-fests came to an end.
Here are the hits and flops from the game:
#1 Flop: Liverpool and Manchester City
With very few positives to take away from a listless game, Liverpool and Manchester City equally share the blame for it. Unlike the meetings last season, the teams opted for a more cautious approach to the match this time as vigilance took precedence over vigour. In fact, so cautious that the first shot on target was registered in the 62nd minute of the game. Now that's unusual for teams that have been exercising two of the most vibrant brand of football in the league in the recent seasons.
Maybe perhaps the stakes were lower this time as it's only the eighth matchday of the campaign and both these sides are coming off the back of an unforgiving fixture list that has seen each of them play four games in a space of 18 days before today. And the exhaustion was clearly taking over as neither Liverpool nor City even attempted to change gears; not even in the final few minutes when it threatened to open up.
This was supposed to be the biggest clash of the weekend in Premier League, and the fact that it was scheduled last among the 10 fixtures further accentuated its billing. But sadly, there were no fireworks this time.