- No shots on target in first half
- Van Dijk concedes late penalty
- Mahrez misses it
Riyad Mahrez missed an 87th minute penalty kick as Man City and Liverpool played out a tense scoreless draw at Anfield on Sunday.
The draw leaves a three-way tie atop the Premier League table heading into the international break, with Man City, Chelsea, and Liverpool 1-2-3 on goal differential.
They’ll do it again on New Year’s Day at the Etihad Stadium.
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The energy was high from moment No. 1, and Kyle Walker spied an offside Riyad Mahrez. The breakaway was rightly denied by the offside flag.
Mohamed Salah dragged a fourth minute shot wide of the goal after working around John Stones.
Liverpool was the superior side for the first 20 minutes, though Sergio Aguero won a corner kick with a play that earned penalty shouts from the traveling fans.
An injury to James Milner introduced Naby Keita into the game at the half hour mark. Keita made his return following a nervy injury at midweek which saw him carted off the pitch at Napoli.
The half, to be honest, was about as disappointing as possible. Interesting in terms of tactical discussion, but not entertaining for the majority of play.
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3 – No Premier League match this season has had fewer shots in the first half than Liverpool v Manchester City (3 – level with Newcastle v Arsenal & Huddersfield v Cardiff). Sparing.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 7, 2018
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The second half certainly picked up in terms of entertainment. Liverpool couldn’t generate a quality shot from a clever cut back into the 18, and Man City pressed high at the other end but couldn’t produce a shot, either.
David Silva sent Mahrez down the left wing, but the Algerian’s tough-angled shot missed the far post to cue up the final 30 minutes.
Mahrez was gifted another chance moments later, but sent his shot right to Alisson Becker. Ederson then caught Salah’s effort toward the Man City goal.
Salah then made a sensational touch after a quick goal kick for Liverpool, but he blazed his shot way over the goal.
Man City had a 74th minute break thwarted by a gutsy Lovren tackle of substitute Gabriel Jesus. City regained possession and Mahrez earned a corner with a low shot at Alisson.
Jesus nutmegged Lovren in the box and then hit the deck thanks to a paw from the Liverpool back, but no foul was given by Roger East. The penalty did arrive when Van Dijk’s sliding challenge missed its mark, but Mahrez sent his effort into outer space.