Jurgen Klopp's reaction to the 'boxing fight' against Manchester City
Sadio Mane's second half goal keeps the title race on a knife-edge
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp declared he was satisfied after his side came from behind twice to claim a draw in a thrilling 2-2 draw with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
City retained their slender lead at the Premier League summit as their crunch clash with title rivals Liverpool ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw.
Kevin De Bruyne fired the champions into a fifth-minute lead at the Etihad Stadium but Diogo Jota levelled eight minutes later for the second-placed Reds.
Gabriel Jesus restored City’s advantage before the break but Sadio Mane marked his 30th birthday with a second equaliser for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Raheem Sterling thought he had put City ahead for a third time against his former club but VAR ruled against him in a tight offside decision and substitute Riyad Mahrez hit the post late on.
The result ended Liverpool’s 10-match winning league run and left City a point clear with just seven games of the season remaining.
"I think we can describe it as a boxing fight, both arms down for a second and you get a massive knock. I liked a lot of things. I thought we were closer than ever," stated Klopp.
"The second half start was much better. City really tried obviously things like balls in behind. It makes sense when you have these smart runs. In moments when we tried to breath a little bit another one comes. It was a great game and the result, we have to live with and can live with.
"We had to suffer, they had to suffer. We had momentum, they had momentum. It was two heavyweights facing each other; take your arms down and you get a massive knock in the middle of your face. It was a good game."
"We could do better but in a lot of moments we did really well. The intensity of the game is crazy. It was good fun, I liked it."
Klopp was not content with his side's first half performance and he suggested he got the response he demanded after a half-time dressing down.
"I was convinced we could win this game, but they were much more direct than us today," he added. "They had a more direct idea than us and we wanted to let them run when in possession.
"Defensively we were sometimes in a rush, they put us under pressure and we can defend these situations better.
"The second half was really intense, they needed breaks as well, but their counter attacks are not bad. Their decision making is really good and they always pick the right player.
"I think it is a completely fine and deserved draw. We wanted to make sure they see my boys are exceptional as well.
"Seven games to go for both teams and we will not stop chasing now that's for sure. Let's make sure we are ready for Benfica, for this team at Wembley (in the FA Cup semi-final) and then we will see who will have the better finish."
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson suggested the point was satisfactory for his side, even though City still have the destiny of the Premier League title in their hands.
"It was an intense game which we knew it would be," said Henderson. "We knew it would be tough but we wanted to give it everything and get the win. We couldn't do that but we didn't lose. It's not the end of the world, we are still in the race, so positives and negatives.
"I think we started OK but we were a little hectic at times. Of course we knew we would come under pressure early on, they are a fantastic team. I felt we settled down a bit and caused them problems. It's pleasing how we twice came from behind. We want to do better of course.
"You have to keep going, you have to be prepared to suffer. You have to stay positive, stay on the front foot and not give them time. It worked at times, at others we can defend better."
RIP | Tributes paid to Catherine Henry online after man arrested over Dundalk murder
F-Éir-WELL | Forecaster Evelyn Cusack retires today after 42 years at Met Éireann
CONVICTED | Dublin man (43) shouted ‘burn n***** burn’ while playing Guns N’ Roses loudly
Robbing Hood | Men rob cash in transit worker after threatening him with fake gun in Dublin
LATEST | Two men charged with dangerous driving following garda car chase in Dublin
INVESTIGATION | Five men charged over killing of Irish peacekeeper Private Sean Rooney in Lebanon
serious incident | Man (60s) airlifted to hospital with ‘serious injuries’ following crash in Cork
big beef | ‘I’ll beat the f*** out of you’ – Jake Paul calls out UFC star Conor McGregor
'DREAM ROLE' | Irish actor Brian Gilligan lands role of Scar in The Lion King musical
disclosure | Irish UFO expert believes orbs discussed in NASA meeting are a ‘global defence network’