Man City fullback Walker: I'd rather mark Salah than Aguero

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne looks dejected as Liverpool celebrate Sadio Mane scoring his side's third goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final First Leg match

The respect shown to Jürgen Klopp's charges by the current champions, in particular, was spotlighted on a Sunday that wasn't so much super, but stifling.

He is always up there scoring the most goals in the Premier League.

Come on you, Reds!

"But we played City today".

City was also denied a penalty claim in the 20th minute when Sergio Aguero appeared to be fouled by Dejan Lovren but, that incident apart, there was little to get the crowd excited in the first half.

Manchester City hasn't beaten Liverpool at Anfield in their last 17 meetings in all competitions, dating to May 2003.

"At [moving] up and down quickly, maybe - no, not maybe, I am pretty sure - they are the best team in the world at these transitions, defensively to offensively, because it is built for that". Liverpool have started so well, they have the same points us, but we were expecting that all along. We didn't create much but that is normal because they are so strong. We were close, more than ever to winning here, but it is better than last season.

Mahrez wasted the best chance to break the deadlock when he sent his spot kick sailing way over the crossbar after Virgil van Dijk had brought down Leroy Sane in the 85th minute. Front three Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are all fit and should play.

"When he is a player for a long time with us, sooner or later he will go many, many times to Anfield".

His satisfaction in City's defensive showing was echoed by John Stones.

"I would say we were 90 percent spot on ... but it has come after a tough period", manager Juergen Klopp said. "We want to have battles with them, 100 per cent".

The previously unstoppable Liverpool registered just two efforts on target, with City mustering the same.

They are now genuinely title contenders - albeit with a lot of improvement still to ensure - and are treated as such.

The Reds and the Citizens will face off Sunday at Anfield in pivotal Round 8 game.

"Their attacking threat is brilliant and we stopped that".

At the other end of the pitch, Liverpool have been vitally imperious.

Van Dijk said: 'It was not smart to dive in there, it was a penalty. It was great game to play, unlucky that we didn't score, unlucky that we didn't concede as well'. To respond is really important, but to respond is really hard when the next opponent is Manchester City because there is no time for any wrong thoughts or whatever. For Salah it was the first one so we will see in seven or eight years'.

"We lost the first two matches against Manchester City and Chelsea", he said.

So did City and Liverpool park the bus?

A win on Sunday would be massive for Liverpool both in terms of going back to the top of the Premier League as well as building confidence to carry through the worldwide break and into the next run of fixtures.

So while this was not a game for the ages, it was one that captured how tense this season could shape up to be.

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