Sergio Aguero’s 69th-minute goal rescued a point for Manchester City in a 1-1 draw against Liverpool on Sunday in a gripping Premier League game between two teams battling for Champions League qualification.
The Argentina striker turned home Kevin De Bruyne’s pinpoint cross as City fought back from conceding a penalty converted by former player James Milner in the 51st minute.
With Chelsea seemingly running away with the title, the objective for City and Liverpool is to finish in the top four and this result kept the teams in the last two Champions League qualifying places.
Liverpool kept up its excellent record against its rivals in the top six this season, which has seen Juergen Klopp’s team win five and draw five from 10 games.
Fourth-placed Liverpool is four points ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United, having played two games more.
A penalty was always likely in this game – played on a slick surface after pre-match rain – because of the last-ditch defending on show from both teams.
In the first half, there was Nicolas Otamendi’s pull on Sadio Mane as the Liverpool forward ran clean on goal. There was Milner’s clip on the ankle of Raheem Sterling as the City winger looked set to apply a tap-in finish, with Ragnar Klavan appearing to tug back Aguero in the same move.
All three were 50-50 calls but Gael Clichy’s foul on Roberto Firmino was clear, with the left back having previously lost his man by slipping over. Milner, who had been jeered by sections of the home crowd in the first half, sent Willy Caballero the wrong way from the spot for his seventh successful penalty of the season.
For all City’s neat play in midfield, Liverpool created the best chances and Caballero produced a particularly athletic save to deny Firmino soon after Milner’s goal.
City’s equalizer was slickly executed, with De Bruyne delivering a teasing low cross from the right that Aguero tucked home from just outside the six-yard box.
In an end-to-end final 20 minutes, De Bruyne struck a shot against the post, Adam Lallana kicked fresh air from close range with the goal at his mercy and Sterling missed a one-on-one chance.
Possibly the best opportunity fell to Aguero in injury time, but he volleyed over from close range.