How Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah matched up in Man City-Liverpool clash

The top-of-the-table clash between Premier League rivals Manchester and Liverpool ended 2-2 after an entertaining encounter at the Etihad Stadium.

It was heralded as a decisive game in the title race and the result ensured that the advantage remained with City, who maintained their one-point lead with seven games remaining.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the performances of City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp talks to Mohamed Salah on the touchline.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp talks to Mohamed Salah on the touchline (Martin Rickett/PA)

DeBruyne: An early pass released Gabriel Jesus down the right, leading to City’s first chance after five minutes. He was the controlling influence for most of the first half, but was calmer after the break until an incisive pass allowed Raheem Sterling to score, only for the England man to be denied by VAR.

salat: He had a small but not decisive role in setting up Liverpool’s first goal. The first real opportunity to run towards the defense came midway through the first half, but his decision to hit the ball past Aymeric Laporte and run was the wrong one. He brilliantly chose Sadio Mané for Liverpool’s second equalizing goal and also played in Jota who almost scored the third.

goal threat

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DeBruyne: His goal in the fifth minute, although deflected, did not give goalkeeper Alisson Becker a chance, as it went off the post. He hits the side of the net with a spin shot midway through the first half.

salat: He didn’t shoot in anger until a shot deflected wide in the second half when shooting from the right and, to top it off, he didn’t even receive a corner.

individual contribution

Mohamed Salah fights for the ball with Joao Cancelo

Mohamed Salah fights for the ball with Joao Cancelo (Jon Super/AP)

DeBruyne: It united City’s performance, particularly in the first half. He received a caution from Andy Robertson after easily moving to left back on the touchline. The early goal set the tone for a pulsating game.

salat: He came back much higher than expected to cover Joao Cancelo’s runs, but offered little in the first half and seemed lacking in confidence to take on players. He provided the assist for Liverpool’s second equalizer and continued to work tirelessly up and down the pitch, but that impacted his threat in the final third.


Kevin De Bruyne is brought down by Virgil van Dijk

Kevin De Bruyne is brought down by Virgil van Dijk (Martin Ricket/PA)

De Bruyne had a much better overall performance, with an early goal and significant influence in the direction of the game in the opening 45 minutes. He found it more difficult after the break as Liverpool improved and the direction of the game changed, but he still posed an occasional passing threat from him. After a relatively anonymous first half, Salah came to life immediately after the break when he had his best 20-minute moment, but the sheer volume of his workload in defensive areas left him exhausted long before the end.

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