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Mane keeps Reds’ title hopes alive after Liverpool’s draw at Manchester City

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Sadio Mane kept Liverpool in the 2021/2022 English Premier League (EPL) title hunt with a priceless second-half equaliser in a gripping 2-2 draw with leaders Manchester City on Sunday.

Jürgen Klopp’s side sat 14 points behind Manchester City in January, but a 10-game winning run cut the gap to just one point.

It helped to set up what many billed as a title decider at the Etihad Stadium.

Diogo Jota cancelled out Kevin De Bruyne’s opener in an enthralling start, and Mane followed suit swiftly after the interval following Gabriel Jesus’ 36th-minute strike.

Neither side could find a winner, with Raheem Sterling seeing a goal disallowed, as Pep Guardiola’s side kept their slender lead intact with seven games left to play.

Sterling squandered a glorious chance after five minutes as he was denied by the onrushing Alisson following a square Jesus pass, but Manchester City were ahead just seconds later.

De Bruyne profited from a quick Bernardo Silva free-kick before arrowing a left-footed effort home, the ball going in off the right post following a fortuitous deflection off Joel Matip.

Liverpool responded within eight minutes, with Andy Robertson finding Trent Alexander-Arnold, who played the ball back from the far post for Jota to squeeze a low strike under Ederson.

De Bruyne whipped narrowly wide in search of his second before Jesus latched onto a Joao Cancelo cross and coolly finished via the underside of the crossbar.

Mane levelled up within a minute of the second half getting underway, racing onto Mohamed Salah’s throughball to slot powerfully past Ederson, who thwarted Jota’s prodded effort shortly after.

Sterling thought he had nudged the hosts ahead again, but a video check showed the forward was offside when De Bruyne passed the ball.

Salah curled just off target at the other end.

Substitute Riyad Mahrez provided a late scare for the visitors as he clipped the post with a free-kick, before he then chipped over after a sublime De Bruyne pass.

But there would be no decisive goal.

Results and standings in English Premier League:

Friday:

Newcastle United 1 Wolverhampton 0

Saturday:

Everton 1 Manchester United 0
Arsenal 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 2
Southampton 0 Chelsea 6
Watford 0 Leeds United 3
Aston Villa 0 Tottenham Hotspur 4

Sunday:

Brentford 2 West Ham United 0
Leicester City 2 Crystal Palace 1
Norwich City 2 Burnley 0
Manchester City 2 Liverpool 2

P W D L F A Pts
1 Manchester City 31 23 5 3 72 20 74
2 Liverpool 31 22 7 2 79 22 73
3 Chelsea 30 18 8 4 64 23 62
4 Tottenham Hotspur 31 18 3 10 56 37 57
5 Arsenal 30 17 3 10 45 36 54
6 West Ham United 32 15 6 11 51 42 51
7 Manchester United 31 14 9 8 49 42 51
8 Wolverhampton 32 15 4 13 33 28 49
9 Leicester City 29 11 7 11 45 48 40
10 Crystal Palace 31 8 13 10 43 40 37
11 Brighton 31 8 13 10 28 37 37
12 Aston Villa 31 11 3 17 42 46 36
13 Brentford 32 10 6 16 39 48 36
14 Southampton 31 8 12 11 37 52 36
15 Newcastle United 31 8 10 13 34 54 34
16 Leeds United 32 8 9 15 38 68 33
17 Everton 30 8 4 18 33 52 28
18 Burnley 30 4 12 14 25 44 24
19 Watford 31 6 4 21 29 60 22
20 Norwich City 31 5 6 20 20 63 21

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Olawale Alabi

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