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The story of 2018‑19 Premier League season it will be incomplete without the classic display of skill from the Pep grilled squared and the Klopp tired less match. That first heavyweight contest between the two sides who are widely assumed to have the outstanding players – the challengers versus the champions, according to the television blurb – is fit for a place in only the small print.
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was a relieved man after giving away a late penalty that Riyad Mahrez missed in a goalless draw with title rivals Manchester City on Sunday.
City, the reigning Premier League champions, were given a gilt-edged chance to leave Anfield with a win for the first time since 2003 when Van Dijk brought down Leroy Sane inside the box five minutes from time.
If nothing else, Mahrez at least showed the nerve to seize the ball when Virgil van Dijk’s maladroit challenge on Leroy Sané, one of City’s substitutes, gave Pep Guardiola’s team an 85th-minute penalty and the chance to win a strangely subdued match. By that stage Sergio Agüero, City’s usual penalty-taker, had been substituted. His replacement, Gabriel Jesus, wanted the glory but Mahrez was given the responsibility and City will regret the missed opportunity. Mahrez’s penalty was struck wildly, skyrocketed over the crossbar and still rising as it flew into the crowd.
“Riyad Mahrez was taking them really well in training all week, but it happens and we have to move on.” (AFP)
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