After a game which served anything but what was expected, the Premier League’s matchweek eight ended with an unlikely three-way tie atop the table. In an afternoon of toil, Liverpool drew 0-0 with Manchester City at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp and the Reds can take some credit for inspiring a rare recalculation by Pep Guardiola. His Manchester City machine played with a compactness and conservative nature rarely seen since the Spaniard took charge. Klopp iss often considered as Guardiola’s kryptonite, but both sides seemed to do little than counteract the other.
What started out as a match that promised the kind of phenomenal pace and quality witnessed when Liverpool played Chelsea last weekend, ground to a tactically tight battle giving neither team much room. As the Reds bright start and high press failed to cut through a deep City defence, chances for either side proved a premium.
The second half mirrored the first, as City opted for patience at the expense of penetration and Liverpool continued to exert more control rather than chaotic counter-attacks. The hope of any drama ebbed away.
Then fatigue found Virgil van Dijk in a late tackle against Leroy Sane. Referee Martin Atkinson showed no doubt in pointing to the spot and it looked like the visitors would snatch a late winner. Yet, Guardiola’s choice of kick-taker, Riyad Mahrez, failed to finish, blasting the ball into orbit and ensuring the stalemate stood. Now both sides share 20 points with Chelsea as the three are separated by goal difference at the top of the league.
Here are four findings from the match: