Manchester City forced to share spoils after costly Mahrez missed penalty

Pep Guardiola refused to criticise Mahrez, however, telling Sky Sports after the draw: '[Riyad] had the courage and the balls to take the penalty, in training he shoots flawless penalties but sometimes it happens.

Mahrez wasted the best chance to break the deadlock when he sent his spot kick sailing way over the crossbar after Virgil van Dijk had brought down Leroy Sane in the 85th minute.

City had the flawless opportunity to end their awful run at Anfield but Mahrez, not particularly reliable from the spot, blazed his effort high into the stand.

Sergio Aguero had offered just 16 touches when he was substituted, 10 less than City goalkeeper Ederson had managed by the 65-minute mark.

It certainly promises to be a fascinating encounter at the top of the Premier League table as Liverpool take on Manchester City at Anfield.

Eden Hazard was the inspiration as Chelsea, also undefeated this season, cruised to a 3-0 victory at Southampton.

With Aguero off the pitch the responsibility was handed to Mahrez - after Jesus was seemingly told to stand down - but with Alisson going the right away he blazed over, making it three failures in his last six. Tottenham as well", Guardiola said, adding, "but for us, for Manchester City, we want to defend our title, and they are contenders.

"It's very tough, probably the toughest away game of the season in the Premier League", the Germany global told ESPN FC. Van Dijk is a top central defender.

Another City forward, Raheem Sterling, should be involved at Anfield despite Guardiola having left him out of one of the two trips to Liverpool last season. "He was on the pitch when the first penalty was not given", the City manager said.

The Reds manager said: "I am fine".

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.

"I'm playing good football because we are playing good football". Until roughly this time past year the criticism of him was always that his finishing didn't match up to his excellence in other areas, and he seems to have reverted to that impression of him: 29 shots on the league this season have yielded only three goals. "Last season we lost here, and this season we drew, maybe next season we will win".

  • Kyle Peterson