European Leagues

Man City end Liverpool’s unbeaten run to close gap

Manchester City inflicted Liverpool’s first Premier League defeat of the season to close the gap to four points with a 2-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday night.

Sane fired into the bottom corner 18 minutes from time after Roberto Firmino had pulled the visitors level.

Sergio Aguero scored a superb opener from a narrow angle in an incident-packed first half.

Sadio Mane had earlier struck a post with John Stones clearing off the line.

The defender’s initial clearance rebounded off goalkeeper Ederson and was agonisingly close to ending up in the hosts’ net before Stones hooked it away.

Liverpool also felt City captain Vincent Kompany was lucky to escape with a yellow card for a challenge on Mohamed Salah.

The win sees City move into second place, two points above Tottenham.

A run of nine straight league wins had given Liverpool a commanding lead at the top of the table as they edged towards a first top flight title since 1989/90, particularly after City suffered back-to-back shock defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester to begin the festive season.

With no more league meetings between the sides to come, Liverpool’s destiny is still in their own hands, but they will now have the pressure of having a City side that romped to the title with a record 100 points last season on their tails.

Jurgen Klopp had predicted a “thunderstorm” of a start from the champions to match the Champions League quarterfinal second leg between the sides last season when City roared into an early lead before Liverpool fought back to win 2-1 on the night and 5-1 on aggregate.

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