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Football Reporting

Bundesliga

Man City’s Gabriel Jesus gets 7/10 in as up and down form continues vs. Liverpool


Manchester City were held to a point on Sunday night after a fascinating 1-1 draw against reigning champions Liverpool.

A clear penalty allowed Mohamed Salah to open the scoring from the spot but the visitors’ lead didn’t last long, as Gabriel Jesus pulled his side back into the game with a neat finish.

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Kevin De Bruyne then had the chance to complete the comeback with a penalty of his own, but this time, it wasn’t meant to be as he dragged it wide.

Positives

When City were able to calm down and manage the tempo whilst being in possession, they had a whole lot more success. They started to really control the narrative and they were able, at times, to limit Liverpool and force them into a one-dimensional state of mind.

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That sort of approach created a real unity within the team, allowing for both creative freedom and plenty of preparation time for whenever the Reds came forward.

Negatives

The hosts were often overrun in midfield and whenever Liverpool got into a rhythm with their passing, the pace of the game stretched City quite noticeably.

They also struggled to piece together all too many moves on the counter despite knowing how vulnerable the champions are at the back, and even though they had their fair share of opportunities to score, their usual killer instinct wasn’t quite where it needed to be.

Manager rating out of 10

7 — Pep Guardiola stuck to his guns in many ways with his starting line-up, from a fresh centre-back partnership to dropping Mahrez to putting out a midfield pairing that was the definition of risky. Still, after they went behind he didn’t panic, and after making some tactical adjustments, City were able to maturely fight their way back into the game under the Spaniard’s animated leadership – although he did seem to settle for the draw.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Ederson, 7 — Ederson couldn’t do much about Salah’s penalty, and outside of that, City’s number one showed bravery in coming off his line and made two good stops in the 44th and 49th minute.

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DF Kyle Walker, 5 — Showed really poor concentration in giving away a first half penalty and generally struggled with Mane as well as his communication in the back four.

DF Ruben Dias, 7 — The youngster was composed, confident and regularly stood the likes of Salah & Mane up – showcasing patience and instincts far beyond his years.

DF Aymeric Laporte, 8 — Soaked up any and all pressure when it came, regularly organised the defence and provided cover for Dias as and when was needed.

DF Joao Cancelo, 8 — Helped to neutralise Klopp’s men with his energy and determination in both halves of the pitch, and on several occasions, he was the calmest man in the stadium with strong challenges and surging runs.

MF Rodri, 5 — Was often late to react to the ball and even when he wasn’t involved in a passage of play, his questionable positioning left a lot to be desired.

MF Kevin De Bruyne, 7 — Assisted in driving City into the final third time after time and even got an assist, but unfortunately, the Belgian’s missed penalty will ultimately define his performance.

MF Ilkay Gundogan, 5 — Just couldn’t win back the ball or even control it for long spells, with his lack of confidence allowing Liverpool to box him in and force the German backwards.

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FW Ferran Torres, 5 — Worked hard and never gave up on a through ball but just wasn’t up to the level he needed to be before being subbed off.

FW Raheem Sterling, 5 — Lacked his usual flair and should’ve laid the ball off to Jesus when a golden opportunity presented itself in the 25th minute.

FW Gabriel Jesus, 7 — Produced the best moment of the night at the Etihad by turning and finishing in style to equalise but, in the 55th minute, he headed wide and should have done better.

Substitutes

AMF Bernardo Silva, 6 — Really struggled to get going and was left looking isolated after being marked out of the game.



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