Liverpool came to the Etihad Sunday looking to leap frog Manchester City for third place in the Premier League standings. After a late Sergio Aguero goal cancelled out James Milner’s penalty, the Reds settled instead for a 1-1 draw at a rainy Etihad Stadium.
The point gives City 57 on the season. That’s 12 behind the leaders, Chelsea, two behind second-place Tottenham and one ahead of fourth-place Liverpool.
It was an end-to-end affair, with plenty of goal mouth action and more than one penalty shout on both ends with which referee Michael Oliver had to contend.
He called one, on Manchester City’s Gael Clichy’s clumsy challenge on Roberto Firmino in the 50th minute. And Milner, the former City man, converted the spot kick for the game’s opening tally a minute later.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL JAMES MILNER pic.twitter.com/Dk7g00jsGq
— Yohan (@Y8han_B) March 19, 2017
Liverpool kept the pressure on, forcing City keeper Willy Caballero into a couple of key saves. The hosts turned it around about in the 69th minute when a inch-perfect cross from Kevin De Bruyne found the feet of Aguero, who slotted it home for his 25th goal of the season.
Both teams had chances to win in the later stages. Adam Lallana squandered a golden chance in front of the City net in the 83rd minute.
That awkward moment when Roberto Firmino celebrated without looking and then turned to see Adam Lallana miss…pic.twitter.com/NyXUoNLHp2
— Pie Sports Booze 🔞 (@piesportsbooze) March 19, 2017
De Bruyne also had a shot glance off the right goal post after a goal mouth scramble.
City had a 58-42 percent edge in possession, but both teams had plenty of chances to nick a winner.
“We couldn’t defend their quality as good as necessary,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told TV reporters after the match. “But we could have won this game, because we forced their goalkeeper into a few outstanding saves. … They deserved their goal, of course. But we could have scored more.”
His counterpart, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, sounded pretty happy to earn a point.
“You cannot imagine. It is one of happiest days of my career as a manager. I am so proud,” he told the Mirror. “How we fought, how we run, the spirit we showed, it’s one of the happiest days of my life as a manager.”
Both teams will return to Premier League action after the international break on the weekend of April 1.