In what can only be described as a thriller with breathless end-to-end action for nearly 90 minutes, Liverpool drew 1-1 with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
The Reds began in a cagey first phase, adjusting to City’s press and lacking in precision with their passing in some inhospitable weather.
Soon enough, tackles started flying in everywhere with neither side opposed to leaving some marks. From there, the contest simply escalated.
In addition to the quality of two excellent sides matching strength for strength, as well as weakness for weakness, there was not shortage of controversy. Referee Michael Oliver missed multiple penalty calls, despite eventually giving one to Liverpool early in the second half.
Heading into the half, Liverpool had a right to feel aggrieved as Oliver missed Nicolas Otamendi tangling legs with Sadie Mane and then minutes later, Yaya Toure rugby tackling Gini Wijnaldum. He even missed one against Liverpool, when James Milner swept Raheem Sterling’s leg from behind on the goal line. While Oliver has awarded more pens than any referee this season, he and his team missed more in this torrid affair.
Regardless, the fact that the scoreline ended 1-1 was nearly miraculous as each side missed gilt-edged chances to gather all three points.
While it was imperative that Liverpool not lose, a victory would have helped them leap over City, whose game in hand, could prove problematic, not to mention Manchester Untied quietly making their own climb with games yet to spare.
Here are four findings from the match.