Here, Sportsmail columnists Martin Keown, Jamie Redknapp, Chris Sutton and Mark Clattengurg give their take on the big game.
Kevin De Bruyne opens the scoring in Manchester City’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool
KEOWN: How this rivalry between Manchester City and Liverpool compares to our old one between Arsenal and Manchester United has been a heated debate in recent days.
There are many similarities but what is glaring is the special respect that Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp hold for each other. Our rivalry wasn’t the healthiest, but this one is. You could see it when Virgil van Dijk took down Kevin De Bruyne to prevent him from racing towards the goal in the second half. De Bruyne just stood up and punched Van Dijk as if to say: “Fair play, I would have done the same.”
That respect between the two sets of players comes from the managers. These are the models. If Guardiola and Klopp were at each other’s throats, it would spill out onto the pitch. As he sometimes did with Arsène Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson, especially at the start. But we don’t see that from Guardiola and Klopp.
SUTTON: The full-time hug between these two said it all. I don’t think you would find former Arsenal and United managers and players doing that. Maybe a chokehold, but definitely not a hug.
Jurgen Klopp puts his arm around Pep Guardiola in Premier League showdown
KEOWN: The rivalry between Arsenal and United was such that we didn’t like them and they didn’t like us. We went and disrupted the party United were throwing in the Premier League – and we certainly did, which they didn’t like – but City and Liverpool grew together.
It’s such a treat for us as fans to watch this total football back and forth. Both teams went there with a plan to play their own game at the Etihad Stadium and enjoy the duel, and that’s what we witnessed for a thrilling 90 minutes.
REDKNAPP: From goalkeepers to scorers, these two teams were exceptional, and I have to say that Anthony Taylor’s refereeing was also excellent. He let the game sink.
CLATTENBURG: Stop the press – we’ve got kudos for a referee! I totally agree, Jamie. OK, you could maybe say a tackle or two could have been yellow cards, but the refereeing helped make this game what it was. There was nothing controversial to note.
I’ve seen some complaints that the free-kick in the build-up to City’s opener wasn’t taken where the foul occurred – that it was around five yards behind. It’s just complaining for the sake of complaining. It was pretty close and City didn’t push it any further than where the infraction happened.
REDKNAPP: Both sides stuck to their philosophies. Liverpool’s high line should come with a government health warning – I bet there were more than a few fans on Merseyside who were nervous to see all that space behind their back four.
Liverpool are so good at playing this way, but when you face attackers as quick and relentless as City, it can be a killer. Raheem Sterling thought he had the winner but his shoulder was right behind.
Klopp will probably tell us that this is an example of his system working perfectly – the defense held their line and Sterling was gone. But my word, it can be nervous to watch.
City and Liverpool players shake hands after the referee’s full-time whistle
KEOWN: It’s their philosophy and, 9 times out of 10, the opponent is taken offside when they try to get behind. But Gabriel Jesus’ run was perfectly timed for his goal. He ran from a wide and deep position to meet Joao Cancelo’s brilliant ball and was played by Trent Alexander-Arnold. The assistance was of quality, just like the finish of Jesus.
REDKNAPP: As great as City are, you can still miss this killer in the box. Jesus gives them that.
SUTTON: Liverpool gave their all. They left everything on the pitch and Klopp said he was proud of his players for their efforts. Twice they fell behind against a big team that had the home advantage, and twice they fought back.
REDKNAPP: I want to talk about the full-backs. We have seen the good and the bad of them. The good – how they are machines designed to add to attacks, like this assist from Cancelo for Jesus.
The bad – how they can get caught up in the space they leave behind, like when Sadio Mane slipped past Kyle Walker to score. It’s risk versus reward. They are all fabulous full-backs, some of the best the Premier League has ever seen.
Cancelo is arguably the best of the group in terms of technical ability. But we saw how City and Liverpool tried to exploit those full-backs. Defensively, they may leave something to be desired, but who are we to complain? That’s what made this game so exciting.
KEOWN: Mane’s equalizer saw Walker too high off the start. Mane took a step ahead and, for all his pace, Walker couldn’t catch him. That’s what happens when there’s so much quality on display – one mistake and you’re punished.
SUTTON: If Guardiola’s last words to his troops were ‘guys, stay tight from the start’, then they went unheard. Walker will be disappointed with how he handled this situation, but it was a magnificent assist from Mohamed Salah.
REDKNAPP: If you asked me to pick my favorite player who graced this pitch yesterday, of all the talents featured, it would be Kevin De Bruyne. He’s a phenom who has so many different strengths in his game, but that’s how he’s able to get away from chasing players.
It devours the ground. Steven Gerrard had the same pace – the extra yard that only a few midfielders possess. Riyad Mahrez might have won at the very end for City, and he probably should have.
But it’s no surprise that it was De Bruyne who created this chance. He is the only player in the country who can do this run and this pass.
SUTTON: Neither side should be satisfied with a point. They are winners and when they don’t win they should be angry with themselves.
The Premier League title race will continue, but for City the Champions League is the only one. This is what they want above all else. It’s what they have to earn if they want to be considered the best of the best. Who knows, these two teams could meet again on May 28. Wouldn’t that be a treat?
REDKNAPP: Totally. I find this title race impossible to call. I have a feeling that Liverpool against Tottenham on May 7 will be meaningful. Can Klopp’s crew navigate this one? Maybe it’s the game that’s a big problem for them. But what a rivalry it is.
Some people say City pass the ball too much. Others love it at home. Some people say Liverpool’s high energy is a thing of beauty. Others think they don’t play enough football. It’s like the age-old debate about who you prefer between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Whatever your opinion of City and Liverpool and their styles, I think we can all agree that it’s amazing to see these winners strutting around.