MX23RW : Monday, February 18 05:08:36

Result: Riyad Mahrez misses late penalty as Manchester City draw at Liverpool

Riyad Mahrez misses a late penalty as Liverpool and Manchester City draw 0-0 at Anfield in the Premier League.

Manchester City missed the chance to move clear at the top of the Premier League table as Riyad Mahrez missed a late penalty in this evening's goalless draw against Liverpool.

A mistimed Virgil van Dijk challenge on substitute Leroy Sane presented the Citizens with a chance to snatch all three points in the final five minutes, only for Mahrez to blaze the ball over the crossbar.

City just about edged things over the 90 minutes in a contest that did not live up to the pre-match expectations, with the game only really coming to life in its final quarter.

A point apiece means that champions City and title challengers Liverpool join Chelsea on 20 points at the top of the table heading into the two-week international break.

Riyad Mahrez steps up to take a late penalty in Manchester City's away draw at Liverpool in the Premier League on October 7, 2018© Reuters

Home boss Jurgen Klopp handed Dejan Lovren his first league start of the season in place of Trent Alexander-Arnold, meaning a defensive reshuffle that saw Joe Gomez shift across, while Jordan Henderson took over from Naby Keita.

City, meanwhile, showed four changes from their most recent outing, including a first start in a month for Benjamin Mendy and a surprise recall for Riyad Mahrez in place of Sane.

The Reds, boasting a formidable home record that had seen them brush aside all comers to visit here this season without conceding, started the match on top.

Mohamed Salah's dragged shot from a promising position five minutes in offered hope of an end-to-end match, but the first half did not quite pan out that way.

Instead, the two meanest defences in the division would come out on top in an opening 45 minutes that did not see a single shot on target.

Man City grew into the game and ended the first half slightly on top, but they were unable to turn possession into chances.

The Citizens' best moment came a quarter of the way into the match when Sergio Aguero was caught from behind by Lovren in the box, but referee Martin Atkinson decided against pointing to the spot on this occasion.

Liverpool, not helped by the loss of midfielder James Milner to a hamstring injury, continued to look flat well past the hour mark.

City probed away to no real avail, with Mahrez shooting wide when getting the better of Andrew Robertson, before testing Alisson Becker on his weaker right foot.

Virgil van Dijk fouls Leroy Sane in Liverpool's goalless Premier League draw with Manchester City on October 7, 2018© Reuters

Salah, who had scored or assisted five goals in his last three outings against City, then got a weak shot on target up the other end and blasted into the stands in the space of three minutes.

Klopp turned to Daniel Sturridge in place of Roberto Firmino for the final quarter of the game, while Gabriel Jesus took over from Aguero, whose goalless run at Anfield now spans 10 matches.

Sturridge's only real opportunity to make an impact came shortly after his arrival, nodding Gomez's cross into the hands of Ederson.

City, aiming to become the first side in more than 830 minutes to breach the Reds' defence at Anfield in the Premier League, saw another half-chance come and go for Mahrez - the Algerian's shot not having enough conviction to beat Alisson down low.

There would be an even bigger opportunity for Mahrez late on after substitute Sane was felled by Van Dijk, only for his penalty to end in the stand behind Alisson's goal from the game's final - and best - chance.

MANCHESTER CITY (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Mendy; Fernandinho, Silva, Bernardo; Mahrez, Aguero (Jesus 66'), Sterling (Sane 76')

LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Alisson; Gomez, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Milner (Keita 29'), Henderson; Mane, Salah, Firmino (Sturridge 72')

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James Milner celebrates scoring the second during the Champions League group game between Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain on September 18, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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