Man City survive Liverpool’s Anfield ‘tsunami’ with Arsenal the weekend’s winners in Premier League title race

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The winner of Liverpool vs Manchester City is Arsenal.

An enthralling contest at Anfield finished all square as the two sides played out a 1-1 draw with Alexis Mac Allister’s penalty cancelling out John Stones’ first-half opener.

Passions ran high in what was a classic at Anfield

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Passions ran high in what was a classic at AnfieldCredit: Getty

Jurgen Klopp was in a philosophical mood after the match, which could be the final chapter in a long line of superb battles between him and one of football’s other iconic managers in Pep Guardiola.

“It was a really good football game,” Klopp told Sky Sports.

“It was the best performance, in the second half, we’ve ever played against Man City.

“We’ve never dominated them that much. The game the boys played in the second half was absolutely special.

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“I am really happy with the whole performance. First ten minutes; we were off it, but after that, we were there.

“What a game. What an atmosphere. What an afternoon. The result is alright. It’s not what we wanted.”

Guardiola’s men started better with Stones putting them ahead midway through the second half when he bundled home a clever corner by Kevin De Bruyne from close range.

Liverpool were level five minutes into the second half with a penalty by Mac Allister after Darwin Nunez was clattered into by Ederson, who was sold short with a backpass by Nathan Ake.

City played very well in the first half and led through Stones' goal

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City played very well in the first half and led through Stones’ goalCredit: Getty
But Mac Allister levelled the game on 50 minutes, and City had to deal with a red tidal wave afterwards

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But Mac Allister levelled the game on 50 minutes, and City had to deal with a red tidal wave afterwardsCredit: Getty

The Reds could’ve won it with Luis Diaz missing some clear chances, while substitute goalkeeper Stefan Ortega denied Nunez from point-blank range and they were also denied a stoppage-time penalty when Mac Allister was kicked in the chest by Jeremy Doku.

City also could’ve won it with Phil Foden forcing Caoimhin Kelleher into a save, while Doku hit the post with a left-footed effort just before the 90.

Former Liverpool star Daniel Sturridge leaves the Sky Sports studio in stitches with joke about his blazer

However, Guardiola admits there was a period where his players massively struggled to keep a lid on Liverpool.

“We had chances and we had huge personality in the first half,” Guardiola said.

The clash was highly competitive but the spoils were shared

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The clash was highly competitive but the spoils were sharedCredit: Getty

“After it was difficult because Endo and Mac Allister, they have extra passes, they have quality to play.

“Before it was direct but then they had that without losing the directness in the transition but we had transition as well.

“At half time we talked and were saying that you want something to defend in that stadium…

“Then we gave away the penalty and in this stadium, 15 or 20 minutes you have to try as little as possible that it’s like a tsunami. It comes from everywhere.”

“After when Mateo [Kovacic] came in, we could make the extra passes,” Guardiola added.

“It’s not because we didn’t want it but Liverpool are really strong in pressing and counter-pressing and in this stadium it’s not easy.”

Klopp and Guardiola have met 30 times, with Guardiola winning 11 times, Klopp winning 12 and Sunday's clash the seventh draw between them

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Klopp and Guardiola have met 30 times, with Guardiola winning 11 times, Klopp winning 12 and Sunday’s clash the seventh draw between themCredit: Getty
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will have been happier than Klopp and Guardiola at full time

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will have been happier than Klopp and Guardiola at full timeCredit: Getty

If that’s the last time Klopp and Guardiola ever lock horns, then what a way to sign off.

The pair have enjoyed a number of high quality showdowns with Liverpool and City going toe to toe in multiple title races in recent years.

This one looks set to go to the wire with just a point separating City and Liverpool, however, they have company on this occasion.

Right now, Liverpool and City are fighting for second with the leadership of the Premier League table changing hands as Arsenal occupy top spot following the draw on Sunday and their win over Brentford on Saturday.

With FA Cup ties seeing a number of Premier League teams not having a game next weekend, including Arsenal, the Gunners will be top of the table for at least three weeks as the international break follows that.

Arsenal's late 2-1 win over Brentford and the draw between Liverpool and City means the Gunners are top of the tree by a point

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Arsenal’s late 2-1 win over Brentford and the draw between Liverpool and City means the Gunners are top of the tree by a pointCredit: AFP

But up next for Arsenal is the ultimate title credentials acid test as they go to City on Sunday March 31.

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