Media hail “instant classic” at the Etihad as Liverpool “keep the dream alive” – Liverpool FC

The watching media were left in awe of a Premier League classic between Liverpool and Man City, with the title race still very much alive.

The Reds drew 2-2 at the Etihad on Sunday afternoon, being outplayed for chunks of proceedings and twice having to come from behind.

Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane scored Liverpool’s goals on the day, canceling out efforts from Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus, respectively.

It means City remain one point clear at the top of the table with seven matches remaining, with destiny still in their hands.

Here’s a look at how the media reacted to the game.

It was impossible not to focus on the quality on show…

Goal’s Jonathan Smith described it as another “classic” between the pair:

“What a way to stay exactly where they were at kick-off – 90 minutes of breathless, brilliant football that is already an instant classic.

“A match between the best two teams in England – for many the best in the world – and they delivered like they always do.

“A clash where the tensions will have been felt around the planet, let alone in the electric atmosphere of the Etihad Stadium.

“In the stands, they lived every second of it, just as they did in the dugouts.”

Former England striker Gary Lineker lauded the brilliance of both sides:

Paul Gorst of the Liverpool Echo was similarly enamored:

“Was there any way it was ever going to live up to the enormous hype? In fairness, this absorbing, captivating 2-2 draw gave it a fair old go.

“Talked up to within an inch of its life this week, Liverpool’s trip to Manchester City was billed as the biggest Premier League contest in years.

“In an era where hyperbole is king, it was still an accurate description as these two titans prepared to collide at the Etihad.”

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher claimed the match outlined why this is English football’s greatest rivalry:

Meanwhile, the Guardian‘s David Hytner focused on some big moments that proved pivotal to the result:

“There was a pulsating drama, Liverpool digging deep to find a pair of equalisers, the second from Sadio Mané at the beginning of the second half getting them something to keep the dream of the four trophies alive. Diogo Jota had scored their first one.

“City, who had led through the outstanding Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus, made their move at the very end. On as a substitute, Riyad Mahrez had just bent a free-kick against the outside of the post.

“Now, deep into stoppage time, he was played in by De Bruyne. With Alisson off his line, he jinked inside to set up the chipped finish only to pitch it too high. Liverpool could exhale. At least until the two teams meet again in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday.

“The rivalry between the clubs has been relatively short, igniting in 2017-18 – the season in which Liverpool knocked City out of the Champions League – but it has been killed with a rare ferocity; each driving the other to new heights. Against the backdrop of the Guardiola/Jurgen Klopp love-in, there was a strong case to say that these teams are now the best in Europe. The desire to be the very best framed every moment, every duel.”

The title race was assessed, as the FA Cup semi-final looms…

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 10, 2022: Manchester City's manager Josep 'Pep' Guardiola (R) embraces Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium.  (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Mirror‘s Josh O’Brien Rightly claimed it is still advantage City:

“So ruthlessly efficient, Guardiola has created a machine that even Liverpool struggled to handle.

“Having started the game at break-neck speed and getting their reward with De Bruyne’s strike – not even Jota’s equaliser could thwart the momentum of a home side who now look nailed on to retain their Premier League crown.

“It was a similar story in terms of Jesus’s second being canceled out by Mane.

“Liverpool made them work for their point at times, but City look every inch the league winners they take a step closer to a stunning fourth title in five seasons.”

Smith looked ahead of next Saturday’s clash at Wembley:

“Guardiola and Klopp embraced enthusiastically at full-time, and the football world finally could draw breath.

“A game that was so good that it would probably be worth doing all over again next week.

“As luck would have it, these two meet at Wembley in an FA Cup semi-final on Saturday. Another classic awaits!”

This Is Anfield’s Matt Ladson remained in bullish spirits regarding Liverpool’s chances:

“If it wasn’t out of reach when we were temporarily 14 points behind, it’s certainly not now.

“We all saw the stat about the one-point difference since 2018, and this game once again proved to show how good these two sides are and how they simply cannot be separated. The debate over which team or manager is better is almost as exhausting as watching these contests – but actually utterly pointless.

“We do it all again next Saturday, this time at Wembley when a winner must be decided. Will the victor there get the momentum in the title race, or instead be like a bruised boxer wanting to win the next bout?

“Until then, perhaps Atletico can exhaust City a little more.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 10, 2022: Liverpool's Sadio Mané scores the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium.  (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Finally, the Mail‘s Martin Samuel believes Liverpool and City could now both easily win every remaining fixture:

“Liverpool will probably have been happier, given they could have been four points adrift and Manchester City were the better side.

“Yet there was something in the handshake at the final whistle between Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, something about their smiles of appreciation, that suggested neither party was greatly displeased to share two points.

“The title will now be resolved elsewhere. Perhaps on the road, perhaps with points dropped at home. The bright side for Manchester City is that, win all their games, and there is literally nothing Liverpool can do.

“That was how it was resolved the last time it was this close; and either club is capable of going on such a run.”

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