Liverpool, City in Anfield stalemate, Hazard lifts Chelsea


Liverpool and City played like two teams unwilling to give ground in the title race and also in the psychological battle in the season ahead.

Substitute Leroy Sane was taken out by Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk in the box, but Mahrez blazed his spot-kick way over the bar.

Unlike the four enthralling encounters between the two last season when Liverpool beat the English champions three times, a highly-anticipated clash fell flat with neither side managing to register a shot on target until after the hour mark. While he can be quite efficient from free kicks, it seems like the next time, somebody else should take the penalty kicks.

Liverpool have drawn most of the plaudits for their start to the campaign but go into the game on a three-match winless run, with defeat and then a draw against Chelsea in cup and league before Wednesday's 1-0 Champions League loss in Naples.

"If you play so quick they are much better than us".

Liverpool's front three hasn't yet found the form of February and March yet this season with the wide players, Mohammed Salah in particular, diminished by the more defensive approach being adopted by the full-backs.

Guardiola did not want his side to be undone by the bloodying red attacking blurs that have come to define and decide these fixtures and admitted he meant to oversee a match of attrition rather than attacking splendour. Having won six games in a row, so it looks like they are in a good shape. "In that situation they are much better than us".

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'I watched it because I wanted to get the rebound but I was very happy that it didn't go in. We had our chances in the last minutes to win the game but we miss it.

The Brazilian had been keen but Guardiola sent a message on to the field via Benjamin Mendy telling him to defer to Mahrez.

Belgium playmaker Hazard scored the first and set up the third for substitute Alvaro Morata, while inbetween Ross Barkley claimed his first Chelsea goal.

The Dutch defender told Sky Sports: "It was not smart to dive in there - it was a penalty and I said that to the referee afterwards". They are incredibly good and incredibly quick, but we controlled the game well - we just didn't create.

"You can not defend them over 95 minutes at 100 per cent, they will have their moments, but I thought we defended them brilliant - apart from the penalty and one or two situations where we needed Alisson with a really good save". He touched Sane more. That was really important to see it agains, to adjust a few things.

Last season, the three forwards played 150 games in all competitions scoring a remarkable 91 goals, with Salah getting 44, Firmino 27 and Mane 20.