Manchester City and Liverpool settle for a point apiece

Manchester City's Manager, Pep Guardiola

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Manchester City and Liverpool had to settle for a point apiece as they battled out a thrilling draw at Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City and Liverpool had to settle for a point apiece as they battled out a thrilling draw at Etihad Stadium.

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.

James Milner put Liverpool ahead against his former club with a penalty six minutes after the break, after Gael Clichy was penalised for a raised boot on Roberto Firmino.

Sergio Aguero scored against Liverpool for the fifth successive Premier League game at Etihad Stadium from Kevin de Bruyne's perfect cross after 69 minutes - before both sides wasted glorious opportunities to secure a vital win in the race for top-four places.

Aguero was particularly culpable, stumbling at the vital moment after his superb approach play had fashioned a clear chance eight yards out. After he fluffed his shot, De Bruyne hit the loose ball against the post.

Adam Lallana produced a candidate for miss of the season when he somehow failed to tap Firmino's pass into an empty net before, in stoppage time, Aguero volleyed over the sort of chance he normally takes with comfort.

The game of missed opportunities

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.

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.

City's Raheem Sterling could not find the final touch to David Silva's cross in the first half, with Fernandinho missing a presentable finish standing behind him.

The second half was when the real gifts were passed up.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp threatened to rip his cap off in a mixture of shock and disgust when Lallana, the ball presented on a plate by Firmino for what should have been a formality, somehow contrived to fail with his connection and the ball rolled apologetically away.

Sterling then lobbed Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet but the ball drifted wide - with City's real opportunity coming deep into stoppage time when Aguero sent a volley off target at the far post from another superb De Bruyne delivery.

Both sides had to settle for a draw - but both know it could have been so much more.

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