EPL gives Man City advantage even after 2-2 draw with Liverpool

MANCHESTER, England (AP) – So much intensity, such a good margin, but nothing is settled. However, the destination of the Premier League title remains in the hands of Manchester City.

Liverpool will have to rely on slipping champions to clinch the trophy.

For the second time this season, a 2-2 draw between major rivals England left City one point ahead at the top of the standings on Sunday.

But Liverpool coming in from behind twice – Sadio Mane’s equalizer 47 seconds sealed the point in the second half – does more than keep the title race pretty much alive. This convinced captain Jordan Henderson that Liverpool had the character and resilience to seize every moment in the remaining seven matches.

“You have to be prepared to suffer at times and stay on the front foot,” Henderson said. “It works at times and we got our goals, but other times we could have defended better.”

The pace of the first half showed why City were 14 points ahead in January, but also why the 2020 title winners are still in contention.

For all the moments of high quality there were also slippery and unfortunate moments that could have been more consequential.

Liverpool conceded the opener in the fifth minute when a free kick was quickly taken and Bernardo Silva set up Kevin de Bruyne, which resulted in the shot shifting direction through a deflection from Liverpool defender Joel Matip.

“You could describe it a little bit like a boxing fight,” said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. “Both hands come down for a second and you get a big knock.”

And then get up from the canvas.

In a breathless start, Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cutback was replaced by Diogo Jota to draw Liverpool level. Another target was almost gifted. City goalkeeper Ederson slipped as he tried to clear Kyle Walker’s back pass, but he recovered just in time to prevent the ball rolling into the net.

“They defend really well but it is possible to give them some struggle,” Klopp said. “Around our goals we did exactly that. I would have liked if they did it more often but obviously the intensity was insane.”

The surprise in the City lineup was that Gabriel Jesus started in the forward line. But the 15-match league goal drought ended in the 36th minute when he beat the offside trap to reach the end of Joo Cancello’s cross and lifted the ball over goalkeeper Alison Baker.

Whatever Klopp told his Liverpool players at halftime, it worked. From the restart, Alexander-Arnold played in Mohamed Salah and the pass was slipped for Mane to pick up a shot at City goalkeeper Ederson for a goal on his 30th birthday.

Pep Guardiola collapsed on his padded seat. When the City manager jumped from that seat 20 minutes later, the joy proved premature as a VAR offside call denied Raheem Sterling the winner. Riyad Mahrez was on-side when he went free in stoppage time but missed the target when he scooped the ball over Liverpool’s goal.

So no celebration for Guardiola, just a hug with Klopp after the final whistle. and mutual appreciation.

“Jurgen is the best,” Guardiola said. “We try to do this beautiful show.”

There is not much time to wait for the next installment. A place in the FA Cup final will be taken when they meet at Wembley on Saturday. The Premier League and Champions League remain big targets.

“I had a feeling we had left them alive, but it’s a pleasure to see Liverpool,” said Guardiola.

exile scrap

It is tight at the bottom, and Norwich continue the fight to avoid the drop after beating Burnley 2–0.

Goals from Pierre Lees-Melou and Teemu Pukki moved the team to last within seven points of survival, but 17th-placed Everton have a better goal difference. Burnley are four points behind Everton, while Watford are two more.

Brentford could be more certain not to engage in a relegation fight after beating West Ham 2-0. Brian Mbumo and Ivan Toni set each other on goals for the win, which saw Brentford move 12 points from the relegation zone with six games to go.

first goal

23-year-old Kieran Duesbury-Hall, a graduate of Leicester Academy, scored his first Premier League goal after assisting Ademola Lukman’s opener to seal a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace. Leicester relegated Palace to ninth place.

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