Manchester City and Liverpool had to settle for a point each in their battle for Champions League qualification after a thrilling 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium.

Former City player James Milner put Liverpool ahead in a ferocious, end-to-end Premier League contest with a 51st-minute penalty but Sergio Aguero’s 25th goal of the season earned City a share of the spoils.

Both sides had numerous chances to score a winner with City, responding well after their Champions League loss in Monaco, going closest when Kevin De Bruyne hit the post.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola: “We lived a tough two days after being out of the Champions League, our mood and what happened in Monaco. We were sad and that is why I am so, so happy, it’s one of the days I am proud the most being coach and being coach of those guys. More than ever I want to help the club, if I am able and if they want to stay with me, to put in the next years to be there with the next step forward.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: “There is one outstanding side this year and they will be champions probably, that’s then well deserved, and all the rest fights with all they have for the Champions League. We are one of these sides and that’s good. If we do it, that’s a success, and if we don’t we will be disappointed but we will not stop working or believing in this project.”

Tweet of the match

Star man – David Silva

David Silva and Sergio Aguero celebrate the latter's goal.
David Silva, left, produced a fine display. (Martin Rickett/PA)

The Spaniard has been at City such a long time that his influence can be overlooked but he was at his classy best here. So cool on the ball and with a superb eye for a threaded pass, Silva was at the heart of City’s best moments and it was just a shame for him that Fernandinho and Aguero’s finishing did not match his set-up play.

Moment of the match

Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring the equaliser
Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring the equaliser (Martin Rickett/PA)

After probing and pushing, City finally broke through in the 69th minute with an incisive move. Fernandinho, restored to his favoured midfield role, played a key role with a fine pass before Kevin De Bruyne drilled a cross into the box that was met with a sweep of Aguero’s right boot.

View from the bench

Jurgen Klopp, left, and  Pep Guardiola share  a joke
Jurgen Klopp, left, and Pep Guardiola share a joke (Martin Rickett/PA)

After the disappointment of Wednesday’s Champions League exit, the key thing for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City was not to lose this game. A point keeps them just ahead of Liverpool with a game in hand but, after finishing much the stronger team and seeing De Bruyne hit a post, City will feel they probably should have won. They certainly looked much better with Bacary Sagna at right-back and Fernandinho restored to midfield, although Yaya Toure justified his starting spot. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool again looked much better against one of the big boys and will surely be satisfied with a point despite going ahead.

Player ratings

Manchester City: Willy Caballero: 7, Fernandinho: 6, John Stones: 6, Nicolas Otamendi: 6, Gael Clichy: 6, Yaya Toure: 7, Kevin De Bruyne: 7, Leroy Sane: 6, David Silva: 8, Raheem Sterling: 7, Sergio Aguero: 7. Subs: Bacary Sagna (for Toure, 65): 6, Fernando (for Sane, 83): 5.

Liverpool: Simon Mignolet: 6, Nathaniel Clyne: 6, Ragnar Klavan: 6, Joel Matip: 7, James Milner: 7, Emre Can: 6, Georginio Wijnaldum: 7, Adam Lallana: 6, Philippe Coutinho: 5, Sadio Mane: 6, Roberto Firmino: 7. Subs: Divock Origi (for Coutinho, 73): 5, Lucas Leiva (for Firmino, 89): 5.

Who’s up next?

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (right) and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (left) argue on the touchline
Pep Guardiola, right, takes his team to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal next (Mike Egerton/Empics)

Arsenal v Manchester City (Premier League, April 2)

Liverpool v Everton (Premier League, April 1)