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Press verdict on City v Liverpool

Entertaining, high-tempo, frantic, thrilling… There are plenty of positive adjectives to describe Man City’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool in Monday morning’s headlines.

An absorbing affair, packed with action and incident, ensured media outlets of the footballing world have plenty to discuss in the aftermath.

Without further ado, let’s dive in…

The Telegraph’s Jason Burt reflected: “Bonkers. Utterly and gloriously bonkers.

“And that was just the two manic managers on the touchline.

“Little wonder Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp collapsed into each other’s arms at the final whistle. This was as relentless, dramatic, astonishing and compelling as it comes. And somehow it ended just 1-1.

“Right result. Wrong scoreline. Four-four would have been a better reflection of what unfolded.

“It was an encounter of such breathless, topsy-turvy commitment – full of thrills and spills. It was certainly not boring.

“Neither team felt like they could afford to lose but both, to their credit, simply went for it and tried to win.

“The quality of the defending, the exceptional John Stones apart, was questionable, but when teams attack with such endeavour there is sometimes a price to pay.

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“If only, as Guardiola lamented, and Klopp could have concurred, they had taken their chances.”

The Guardian’s Daniel Taylor echoed: “By the end, it was difficult to recall the last time a 1-1 draw had provided so much incident and drama.

“Between them, Manchester City and Liverpool kept up a long narrative of breathless, energetic football. A two-goal thriller that had just about everything: controversy, penalties, nonpenalties, near-unremitting attacking and, from Adam Lallana, a miss that might wake him in a cold sweat. Everything, in fact, apart from a winner.

“Perhaps it was fair that the game finished as a draw. Both sides had given everything. They could both reflect on chances to win, and they could both have lost. It was a tremendous battle, full of everything that is good about the Premier League, featuring two sides playing with a shared sense of adventure.

“To dwell too much on the various penalty appeals would perhaps be unfair when the game was such a rich spectacle, not only because of the speed and skill of the players but also the spirit in which both teams faced one another down.”

Wrote Phil McNulty for BBC Sport: “A hugely entertaining game was littered with talking points, astonishing misses and a sense of injustice for both sides as they felt they were on the receiving end of debatable decisions from referee Michael Oliver.

“The scoreline only scratches at the surface of a game that was enthralling from start to finish, illustrating the strengths and weaknesses of both sides, who possess verve in attack but frailty in defence.

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“City and Liverpool both created and missed the sort of chances that could have turned one point into three and made life a little easier in the closing stages of the season.”

Agreed the Express’ Gideon Brooks: “There was a ‘spider camera’ for the first time at the Etihad Stadium and it captured a mid-air view of a cracker with the pace being helped by a saturated surface.

“The end-to-end effort and commitment came as no surprise because the stats show these two teams have run the furthest distances this season – Liverpool have racked up 117.3km per game, while Manchester City are not far behind on the hard yards at 114.8km.

“But the big shock, considering the amount of chances created, was that there were only two goals.

“The result wasn’t one that either Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp wanted but such was the end-to-end nature of breathless fixture it was difficult to separate them.”

Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail scribed: “Manchester City and Liverpool were brilliant to watch here and this was a brilliant game. But their watchability comes not just from their exciting attacking play but also from their flaws and unpredictability.

“Maybe that all sounds a little unfair after such a terrific game. Whatever we may think about Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, both managers are admirably committed to aggressive, front-foot football.

“Both managers will have gone home on Sunday knowing that they could have won but were also rather fortunate not to lose.”

The Metro’s Simon Rice stated: “It might not have been the goal fest many predicted but Man City v Liverpool didn’t disappoint.

“The game was littered with chances, frenetic play, moments of brilliance and controversial incidents before it ultimately ended up all square at 1-1 through goals from James Milner and Sergio Aguero.”

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