Sporting Life · Columnist
Riyad Mahrez missed a late penalty as Manchester City and Liverpool drew 0-0 in their Premier League showdown at Anfield.
As opposed to the usual free-flowing attacking games that have become the norm between the two teams, Sunday’s game at Anfield was full of pace and quality but low on chances and goal scoring opportunities.
In a tense and tight battle City were presented with a golden opportunity four minutes from time when substitute Leroy Sane was brought down by defender Virgil van Dijk in the penalty area.
Gabriel Jesus wanted to take the spot-kick but Mahrez stepped up and blazed the ball high over the crossbar in what was the biggest, and last, chance of the game.
It resulted in the first goalless draw between these two at Anfield since 1986 – and also City’s first clean sheet at the ground since then – but Reds boss Jurgen Klopp will be celebrating Monday’s third anniversary at the club as the happier manager.
The point allowed City to regain top spot from Chelsea, who had briefly taken over after their win over Southampton earlier in the day, but their opponents dropped to third.
However, the top three are all on 20 points and separated by goal difference only.
It was billed as the biggest game of the season so far but it failed to live up to those expectations as, until the last 15 minutes, both sides appeared reluctant to commit to all-out attack for fear of what the consequences at the other end may be.
Liverpool v Man City Opta stats
- Liverpool extended their home unbeaten run against Manchester City to 18 games in all competitions (W12 D6), with their last such defeat coming in May 2003 (1-2).
- Pep Guardiola has won just one of his last eight managerial meetings with Jurgen Klopp in all competitions (D3 L4), and is winless in the most recent four (D1 L3).
- Liverpool’s return of 20 points is their joint-most after eight games of a Premier League campaign, having also done so in 1996-97 and 2008-09.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 14 home games against ‘top six’ opposition in the Premier League, winning six and drawing eight of these fixtures.
- With Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City all yet to suffer a league defeat this term, this is just the second time in Premier League history that as many as three teams have gone unbeaten in their opening eight games of a single season (also 2011-12, with Manchester City, Manchester United and Newcastle United).
- Manchester City had 51% possession at Anfield; their lowest in a Premier League game since Pep Guardiola took charge of the club.
- Liverpool have kept a clean sheet in each of their last nine Premier League games at Anfield; their joint-longest run in the competition (also nine games in February 2007).
- Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has played 10 matches in all competitions at Anfield in his career (eight with Man City, two with Atletico Madrid), failing to score in any of those games.
- Among players to have taken at least 10 penalties in the Premier League, only Juan Pablo Angel (50%, 5/10) has a lower success rate than Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez (58%, 7/12).