Pep Guardiola’s Gabriel Jesus bet pays off, Diogo Jota steps up when Mo Salah won’t, and more

MANCHESTER, England — Manchester City and Liverpool performed out an exhilarating 2-2 draw on Sunday in a Premier League top-of-the-table conflict.

The likelihood for one aspect to get a agency upper-hand on the desk got here and went, however it provided loads of speaking factors nonetheless. Here are three ideas on the sport.

1. The Premier League title race stays a toss-up

Manchester City and Liverpool performed out a pulsating draw on the Etihad Stadium, and we’re nonetheless no nearer to understanding who will raise the Premier League title this season.

City twice took the lead by means of Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus however had been had been pegged again first by Diogo Jota after which Sadio Mane to make sure the 2 groups stay separated by only a level on the prime of the desk with seven video games to go.

Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp — whose groups additionally drew 2-2 at Anfield in October — must do it another time within the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley in six days’ time and will but meet within the Champions League ultimate in Paris on the finish of May.

The consequence means each groups are nonetheless vying for their very own piece of historical past; Man City making an attempt to copy Manchester United‘s treble in 1999 and Liverpool trying to turn into the primary English membership to win the quadruple of Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

Man City and Liverpool must be separated ultimately in terms of handing out the trophies however for now they continue to be locked collectively after one other fierce and entertaining encounter.

2. Pep Guardiola springs a shock and it pays off

Klopp in all probability wasn’t anticipating Guardiola at hand Gabriel Jesus his first Premier League begin since Jan. 1, however that is what he did and you may’t argue with the end result. Jesus had already created a incredible early likelihood for Raheem Sterling when he pounced on Joao Cancelo’s cross from the left to place City 2-1 up simply earlier than halftime together with his first league aim since September.

Despite being the one recognised striker within the City squad, Guardiola has had success taking part in him on the precise wing prior to now. It was in that place that he performed a key position within the 2-1 win over Real Madrid within the Bernabeu within the 2019-20 Champions League knockout rounds and he had two assists within the 5-0 win over Norwich on the Etihad Stadium in August when he was the perfect participant on the pitch.

The Brazilian has solely scored seven targets all season however the majority have been large ones. He scored in opposition to Arsenal in August and the one aim within the 1-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in September. In November, he got here off the bench to attain the winner in opposition to Paris Saint-Germain on the Etihad Stadium and he can now add Liverpool to his checklist.

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3. Liverpool will cope if Mo Salah leaves

There isn’t any doubting what Mohamed Salah offers to Liverpool however they’re removed from a one-man crew. If Salah would not signal a brand new deal at Anfield and leaves as a free agent in the summertime of 2023, Jurgen Klopp’s aspect are greater than able to absorbing his absence and his efficiency on the Etihad on Sunday is proof.

Salah was on the perimeters of the motion for a lot of the sport whereas others within the entrance three, Jota and Mane, acquired the targets. Liverpool have recruited properly to herald Jota and Luis Diaz to make sure there is not an over-reliance on Salah and it means, ought to the Egypt worldwide depart, they’re ready-made replacements to fill the void.

It can be a blow to lose a participant who’s once more on the right track to attain 30 targets in all competitions once more this season however it is not the nightmare state of affairs some are predicting. Yes, he is vital — he confirmed his class with the move for Mane’s aim — however he is solely scored as soon as for the reason that finish of February and Liverpool nonetheless stay within the hunt for 4 trophies.

The excellent news for Liverpool and the board is that Salah shouldn’t be ready to make out-of-this-world calls for over his contract.

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