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Does draw at Anfield leave Man City as the clear title favourites?

Manchester City were unfortunate to only come away with a point from Anfield after being held to a 2-2 draw by Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.

Manchester City were unfortunate to only come away with a point from Anfield after being held to a 2-2 draw by Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.

The defending champions lived up to their billing as pre-season favourites to retain the Premier League trophy after dominating for much of the game against a very talented Liverpool side. Bookmakers have reacted to the result by installing City as the 5/6 favourites to win the title this campaign with tipping Pep Guardiola’s men to secure back-to-back titles.

City were on top from the outset at Anfield and had numerous chances to open the scoring during a very one-sided opening forty-five minutes. Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden were controlling the game and Liverpool were extremely fortunate to make it to half-time at 0-0.

The visitors continued to push after the break but it was Liverpool who broke the deadlock when Sadio Mane hit City on the break to fire home in the 59th minute. The goal came just minutes after James Milner should have been sent off for a second booking, so City were rightly furious.

Manchester City levelled up 10 minutes later when Foden finished off a fine move before a moment of magic from Mohamed Salah put Liverpool back in the lead. City managed to draw level at 2-2 with 9 minutes remaining after De Bruyne lashed home from the edge of the area to earn a point for the Citizens.

It was the least they deserved with many pundits feeling the champions should have left Merseyside with all three points and the performance has only strengthened the belief that City are the team to beat this season. They were the pre-season favourites and remain odds-on with the bookies despite currently sitting third in the table.

Many felt Man City may regret not buying a striker in the summer after missing out on Harry Kane but they’ve already scored 14 goals in their 7 league games so far so they still have plenty of firepower in the squad. However, there is no doubt a world class hitman like Kane would have made them even stronger and the fact they didn’t splash out on a new frontman has probably given their rivals a chance of wrestling the title away from the Etihad Stadium. Had City got Kane, they may have ran away with it.

As it stands, there appears to be a four-horse race with Chelsea currently leading the way. Liverpool are one point behind in second with Man City a further point adrift in third – level on points with Man Utd. However, an important factor we can’t overlook is the fact Man City are just two points off the lead despite playing away to Tottenham, Chelsea, Leicester City and Liverpool in their opening seven games while they’ve also hosted Arsenal.

So they’ve already faced five of the biggest clubs – four away – and that could end up being a key factor over the coming months as the league begins to take shape. Guardiola’s men now have a very favourable run of fixtures and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them sitting clear at the top by Christmas.

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