Liverpool and Manchester City played out a tactical draw in a rainy Manchester evening. Liverpool took the lead from the penalty spot as Kyle Walker brought down Sadio Mane in his own box. Mohamed Salah converted convincingly from the spot. Gabriel Jesus levelled for the home side with a well-taken goal.
Liverpool and Manchester City, both came into the game with impressive wins in Champions League fixtures on the weekend. City beat Greek giants Olympiacos 3-0 , whereas Liverpool put 5 past Atalanta.
New signing Diego Jota scored a hattrick in midweek, forcing Jurgen Klopp's hand as he started with his customary front 3 of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah alongside the Portuguese star. Explaining his lineup before the game, Klopp said:
I thought it makes sense, that's it. We had a couple of days to recover, a couple of days to train, couple of days to prepare and that's the line up we decided for. I wanted the quality on the pitch in different areas, stuff like this.
I always said, if you want to get something here you have to be really brave. That's an offensive line up but if everybody is doing the job then it's an even more defensively solid formation. Yeah, we will see.
Central defender Joel Matip was also back for the visiting side. Speaking of the 29-year-old, Klopp said:
Joel is now more than a week in training. He could have played in Atalanta already but we didn't want to take that [risk]. And thank God we didn't do it, because otherwise we have missed a really good performance of Rhys Williams. But now Joel is back and that was clear he would start then.
The game was important for both sides, but the impression before the game was the home side needed the points more. Roy Keane summed up the importance of the game in the studios of Sky Sports perfectly:
I think this is a huge game. When we look back at last season when Liverpool beat City at Anfield you always felt the title was over then. You look at how they've started, City have been kind of slow out the blocks although they have one or two games in hand. You think if Liverpool can win this game, even already, and I know it's early in the season, it's a long way back for Manchester City.