Liverpool 0-0 Man City: Why were there no fireworks at Anfield?

Pep Guardiola exchanges pleasantries with Jurgen Klopp during their Bundesliga days

Pep Guardiola exchanges pleasantries with Jurgen Klopp during their Bundesliga days

City, probably, is a little closer retaining the Premier League title for the first time, but the small step it took could have been a significant one had Riyad Mahrez not missed an 86th-minute penalty and so wasted the opportunity to give his side its first win at Anfield since 2003.

"He had the courage and the balls to hit the penalty", Guardiola said.

"If somebody would have told me after eight matchdays you have 20 points, I would say with that fixture list: 'I'll buy it, let's start with the ninth matchday, '" Klopp said.

Instead Riyad Mahrez stepped up to take the spot kick - awarded after Virgil van Dijk brought down Leroy Sane - and blazed his effort high over the bar. Having played their Champions League game later in the week, and further distance away, than their opponents there was concerns they couldn't keep up their usual intensity.

The change of position seemed to have a destabilising effect on the 21-year-old, who diverted Lovren's header back to Sergio Aguero in the penalty area.

Liverpool's boss was happy with the way his team played after a gruelling run of games which saw them play PSG, Chelsea twice, Napoli and Man City in the space of just over two weeks.

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Southampton manager Mark Hughes said he believed they paid Chelsea "too much respect" and pointed to a first-half miss by Danny Ings, who blasted over from a couple of meters, as a game-changer. They didn't have one shot on target.

So far this season they have played 24 games in all competitions and scored nine. Don't lose the ball in the wrong moment, otherwise you have big problems. "It happens, so we had to move on", the England defender said.

After a frantic opening phase when they struggled to get out of their own half, City were careful in possession without being over-committed, determined not to fall into the traps Klopp and Liverpool had set for them, and which they fell into, at Anfield last season.

Van Dijk had no complaints over referee Martin Atkinson's decision to point to the spot, accepting he caught substitute Sane in the box. Maybe we need two penalties to score one goal.

"As it is it's great progress from last season, we competed against them, they're a top team. We had our chance".

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