Aguero leveller keeps Liverpool at bay
(AFP) Sergio Aguero netted a 69th-minute equalizer in a gripping 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday to prevent Manchester City losing ground in the battle for a top-four Premier League finish.
Liverpool looked poised to leapfrog City into third place after James Milner silenced the boos from fans of his former club to give the visitors the lead with a penalty early in the second half.
But Aguero's strike kept City a point above their rivals, who have played a game more, and provided a moment of solace after their mid-week Champions League elimination at Monaco's hands.
"After the Champions League, the last few days at training people were so, so, sad. People don't talk too much," Guardiola told Sky Sports.
"We arrive here against Liverpool, who have no Europe all season and one week to prepare. The spirit, how we played, it is one of my happiest days as a manager."
Guardiola had come in for criticism after City's 3-1 loss at Stade Louis II, but his side will approach back-to-back trips to Arsenal and Chelsea on the back of a seven-game unbeaten run in the league.
While Jurgen Klopp failed to become the first manager to do a league double over Guardiola, his Liverpool team are now unbeaten in 10 games against their fellow top-six sides this season.
"To get a point at Manchester City for each team in the world is absolutely OK," said the Liverpool manager.
A rain-slicked pitch and two attack-minded teams made for a furious first half at the Etihad Stadium, characterized by City possession and Liverpool counter-attacks.
Twice, Aguero felt he had been unfairly impeded as he tried to get on the end of them, first by Joel Matip and then Ragnar Klavan.
The latter incident, in the 43rd minute, also saw Sterling taken out by a despairing Milner as the pair stretched for David Silva's low cross, with Fernandinho sliding the ball wide at the back post.
City's clearest opening of the half saw Silva thrash the ball inches wide of the left-hand post after Mignolet had jutted out his left foot to fend off a drive from Sane.
But the best chances of the first period were all Liverpool's.
An under-hit John Stones back-pass let in Sadio Mane, only for an authoritative sortie by goalkeeper Willy Caballero, allied to a subtle tug from Nicolas Otamendi, to save the day.
Philippe Coutinho bent a shot just over, Matip headed wide at a free-kick and Caballero showed agility to claw away a Roberto Firmino curler and touch over a thumping Adam Lallana volley.
After Mane had seen a shot blocked by Stones, Liverpool went ahead in the sixth minute of the second half.
Gael Clichy was penalized for a high, untidy challenge on Firmino as the Brazilian chested down Emre Can's flighted pass and Milner swept the penalty into the bottom-left corner.
Firmino looked poised to double the visitors' lead from Coutinho's measured through ball, but Caballero stood up well to save.
Eight minutes later it was all square as Kevin De Bruyne's brilliantly measured cross from the right was unerringly dispatched by Aguero.
Aguero looked set to put City ahead in the 76th minute, but after a neat one-two with Sane he stumbled, De Bruyne scuffing the loose ball against the post.
An increasingly end-to-end contest then spat out a glorious chance for Lallana, but from Firmino's knock-down and with Mignolet's goal at his mercy, he missed his kick.
- China to provide 90 water bowsers worth Rs 1b 2435
- Wag the Dog 2397
- A brief look at FARC’s origins in Colombia 2354
- ‘Panama Papers’ bags Pulitzer 2376
- SAITM will cooperate with Govt 2408
- dead man was near fashion mall 2416
- Japanese MPs back Lanka’s development 2393
- CB Bond earnings whitewashed – JVP 2389
- Talks to extend Lanka’s Continental Shelf 2401
- Ex-DIG and son re-remanded 2407
- Government can be sent home 2955
- GMOA flogging SAITM for Mahinda– Rajitha 2412
- Ranil invites Japan to invest in S. Asia 2361
- Somali Pirates’ Captives Back Home 2377
- Customs in Rs 8 M bust 2382
- Redefining Rape 2680
- The march of folly Our mad Cabinet system 2013
- First adventures in Europe 2111
- Inspiration for writers 2100
- Sri Lanka’s sustainable development dream 2686
- Sinhala and Tamil New Year with Easter 2290
- Filipino Oconer wins overall title 2025
- Unsporty conduct by Joes 2078
- Bertie Wijesinghe, pre-Test era Sri Lankan cricketer, dies aged 96 2033
- CEAT revs up for 2017 2062
- Palace shock Arsenal 2016
- Argentina fire coach Bauza 2026
- BCCI postpones SGM to 18 April 1995
- Murray returns from injury 2010
- New mum Azarenka to return to WTA 1971
- Galle win by 188 runs 1975
- Keeping Cool 2021
- Do the right thing and do it now! 2035
- Ravi Jayewardene Pious son of a political giant 2618
- In the heart of the old country 2441
- Sarath Weerasekera’s Geneva adventure 2279
- No moral right to play with public funds 2229
- No need for fine if route permits are issued in fair, just manner 2170
- UDA incurs Rs 330M Loss 2068
- DOUSING A MEGA SHIP FIRE 1877
- Health authorities in denial? 2383
- Minorities’ frustration a powder keg – VIDURA 2367
- Administrative powers a must for the Plantation Tamils –Radhakrishnan 1634
- Rajapaksa sought advice from McGuinness– Indika Perera 2799
- I will lead SLFP to victory in future elections – President 2158
- Hang the ‘traitors’– RTD. REAR ADMIRAL WEERASEKARA 2614
- We oppose Nationalism and Federalism – Samarasinghe 3218
- SilkAir launches direct flights to Colombo 2097
- Rupee falls on thin volumes 2047
- SriLankan, Japan Airlines add new routes 2031
- Colombo Port box volume up 5.6-pct in Jan 2042
- Private sector to transform into main domestic growth engine 2041
- Oil eases from 5-week top, rising US production weighs 2012
- Tight fiscal and monetary policies constrain SL’s growth 2041
- Shell admits dealing with money launderer 2019
- Toshiba may sell chip business to Foxconn for $27bn 2023
- Asian shares pressured by geopolitical risks; Nikkei down 0.25% 2004
- SLIM launches Certificate in Digital Marketing 2020
- Microsoft Hosts Second ‘Device Day’ in Sri Lanka 2015
- Emirates named Best Airline in the World 1982
- Turkish Airlines and social media assist Somalia 2017
- Brain cell therapy ‘promising’ for Parkinson’s disease 2012
- Trump pushed into bombing Syria 2075
- Thailand discovers Power of Women Travellers 2052
- Economics of gambling 1981
- Trans National Aural Identity 3602
- Queen Anula The Shadow of Cleopatra 3689
- Poetry and its possibilities Part 2 3677
- The Enigma of Labyrinths 3752
- From Couture to Kutir 3670
- Hybrid Sources 5049
- Offering Riddles & Enigmas 5086
- Poetry and its possibilities 5213
- With a festive bang! 1264
- Easter Fun 1262
- Arrogance and crowing is the way of the doomed 1302
- Avurudu on the streets 1313
- Tick control 1351
- Sunny Sunday on the beach 1272
- It’s time to save the world 1301
- From viewer to YouTuber! 1349
- Expert skincare and makeup 1349
- Avurudu at Induruwa 1331
- Exo 1358
- Remembering our fallen heroes 2438