Guardiola was unaware of Mahrez's rotten run from the penalty spot

08 October, 2018, 12:57 | Author: Judy Cobb
  • Klopp hopes De Bruyne is fit to face Liverpool

Manchester City passed up the chance to go clear at the top of the table after missing a late penalty in the 0-0 draw with Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

As well as the spot-kick City were awarded, for a foul on Leroy Sane by Virgil van Dijk, the visitors had other strong penalty appeals turned down but Guardiola did not complain.

The Premier League clash finished goalless, meaning City, Liverpool and Chelsea are joint-top of the table going into the second worldwide break of the season.

And with Liverpool heading into the global break level with City and Chelsea on 20 points, Klopp took a positive stance.

Jesus was first to express an interest in stepping up from 12 yards, with Sergio Aguero on the bench after being replaced, but Mahrez got the nod and blazed high over the top.

After a blistering start from Liverpool, Pep Guardiola's side recovered and pressed the home side but they held on until the interval.

Goals are guaranteed, they said. Guardiola deployed the pace and height of John Stones and Aymeric Laporte at centre-back: last season, the less mobile and imposing Nicolas Otamendi played in both away games and was swamped by Liverpool's front three.

It is perhaps understandable they would struggle to deliver the stellar figures they produced last season and there is still plenty of time for them to punish opponents again, but against City they were nowhere near their best.

Fulham, who equalized through Andre Schurrle, have the worst defensive record in the Premier League and have now conceded 21 goals this season. They didn't have one shot on target.

It may not have been the free-flowing City that has carried it all before it - but it was a more nuanced tactical approach created to avoid the carnage of last season at Anfield and nearly resulted in a crucial victory.

Ross Barkley scored his first goal for the club since joining from Everton, with Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata also netting.

"If somebody would have told me after eight matchdays we would have had 20 points, I would say with pretty much any fixture list I'd have said "yes", he added. We know how complicated it is playing in this stadium and how unsafe they are.

Southampton manager Mark Hughes said he believed they paid Chelsea "too much respect" and pointed to a first-half miss by Danny Ings, who blasted over from a couple of meters, as a game-changer.

"But we deserve this bit of luck with this performance".

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.

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