A modern-day rivalry continued at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon when Manchester City and Liverpool clashed for what seemed the umpteenth time under their respective managers.
In fact, Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp have faced each other more than any other manager in their careers, with this latest episode being the fourth such Premier League meeting with both sides beginning the day sitting first and second.
Expected to be another closely fought game. The hosts seemed to be cruising after Eling Haaland, who else, gave them a record-breaking lead. However, with the Reds getting better as this season is going along, Trent Alexander-Arnold levelled proceedings late on as both teams ultimately shared the spoils.
As the dust starts to settle here are our player ratings:
Ederson – 6 – Tested from open-play and set-pieces which he looked on course to passing before Alexander-Arnold had something to say.
Nathan Aké – 6 – Did brilliantly in the build-up to City’s opener. Glided past two Liverpool players before sliding a pass through to Haaland who finished as expected.
Rúben Dias – 5.5 – Was unlucky not to double City’s lead after tapping in from close range after Alisson seemingly bungled a catch from Alvarez’s corner.
Kyle Walker – 5 – Would usually be operating in Liverpool’s half this was a more laid-back outing as City were predominantly attacking down the opposite flank.
Manuel Akanji – 5.5 – Once again filling in for John Stones and though Akanji is adept at bringing the ball forward he lacks his teammates’ dynamism.
Rodri – 7 – Pulled the strings in Liverpool’s midfield with this performance further enhancing growing thoughts of him being City’s most valuable player (even with Kevin De Bruyne around).
Jérémy Doku – 7 – Started ever so brightly down City’s left flank. “Liverpool’s right-side have just had a warning about how difficult today is going to be,” exclaimed Gary Neville on Sky Sports commentary. Doku never let up as he was a constant thorn in Alexander-Arnold’s side but was missing that final ball.
Bernardo Silva – 6.5 – Another majestic outing for the Portuguese wizard. A notable highlight came in the 42nd minute when Silva spun on the edge of his own box subsequently beginning a City counter-attack.
Julián Álvarez – 5 – Played on the periphery and could have easily found himself entering Chris Kavanagh’s after deliberately halting a Liverpool counter.
Phil Foden – 6 – A performance that deserved something more. Foden had two bites; the first was a tame effort, second forced Alisson into a decent save.
Erling Haaland – 7 – One chance is all he needs. His deadlock-breaking goal — and first against Liverpool — was number 50 in the Premier League meaning the Norwegian marksman reached a half-century faster than anyone in competition history (48 appearances – 17 games faster than Andrew Cole the previous record holder).
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Alisson Becker – 5 – Had an early scare when Foden intercepted his pass but the England international didn’t seize the opportunity and fired a tame effort straight at him. His shaky footwork was ultimately punished when Haaland put the hosts in front.
Kostas Tsimikas – 5 – Understandably played on the backfoot though Robertson’s understudy found himself in City’s half a few times but lacked inventiveness to cause Guardiola’s men any trouble.
Virgil van Dijk – 5.5 – Back to his former best. The colossal Dutch centre-back orchestrated Liverpool from deep and never really looked to be in any trouble.
Joël Matip – 5 – A mixed outing for the Bochum-born defender. Matip was at times unsure who to mark or cover but there was a moment of ingenuity when he broke through the lines which could have led to a Liverpool goal.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7.5 – Playing in a now familiar hybrid role Alexander-Arnold knew he was in for a tough afternoon up against Doku but had the last laugh when netting Liverpool’s equaliser. It capped off a solid game. “Arnold-Alexander has played some splendid passes today and scored a great goal. Defensively, he has had a really good tussle with Doku,” Neville commented when announcing him as player of the match.
Curtis Jones – 4 – Played a dangerous ball to Alisson midway in the first half but nothing came of it much to his relief.
Alexis Mac Allister – 5 – Usually here, there and everywhere but Liverpool’s combative Argentine midfielder was uncharacteristically subdued.
Dominik Szoboszlai – 5.5 – Didn’t need a second invitation to join Liverpool’s attack. Szoboszlai was proactive in the box-to-box role he was assigned.
Diogo Jota – 4.5 – There were glimpses of him in the game but Jota never had that one clear-cut chance and would come off seemingly carrying an injury.
Darwin Núñez – 5 – Could have easily put the visitors ahead but his first touch let him down. There’s no question he’s significantly improved from last season but there are still lingering doubts regarding the Uruguayan striker.
Mohamed Salah – 7 – No one can question Salah’s efforts and the Egyptian forward looked more than anyone in red capable of scoring or creating a goal which he did when teeing up Alexander-Arnold for Liverpool’s leveller.
Ryan Gravenberch (for Jones 55) – 5 – Added some more forward runs from midfield.
Luis Diaz (for Jota 55) – 5 – Immediately on the front foot and it looked for a second he would be getting his name on the scoresheet.
Cody Gakpo (for Szoboszlai 73) – X – Rating text
Harvey Elliott (for Núñez 85) – N/A – A late sub.
Wataru Endo (for Mac Allister 85) – N/A – A late sub.