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Nicol: Liverpool needed to buy an up-and-coming attacker

MANCHESTER, England -- Manchester City were denied another late goal against Tottenham by the VAR as Pep Guardiola's side were held to a 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium. Gabriel Jesus thought he had scored a stoppage time winner but saw the goal chalked off after the video assistant spotted Aymeric Laporte's handball in the build-up.

It was a similar story in the Champions League tie between the two teams last season when Raheem Sterling's late clincher was also ruled out by the television ref. It was Sterling who put City ahead this time with a back post header that beat Hugo Lloris. Erik Lamela equalised before Sergio Aguero's clever finish put the hosts 2-1 up at half-time.

Substitute Lucas Moura scored a second Tottenham equaliser from Lamela's corner just after half time before the late drama denied City a winner and ended their run of 15 consecutive Premier League wins.

Kevin De Bruyne only made 11 Premier League starts last season and City were still able to hold off a Liverpool team who racked up more than 90 points. But if anyone needed proof that Guardiola's team are better with the Belgian in it, he delivered it here. You won't see a better cross that the one he planted on Sterling's head for the first goal. His assist for Aguero was also pinpoint -- whipping the ball into the near post from the right. He should have had a hat-trick of assists before half-time and the only thing missing after his drilled pass into the penalty area just before half time was Ilkay Gundogan's finish.

Guardiola will be disappointed with Tottenham's goals, both of which came out of nothing. Lamela found himself in acres of space on the edge of the area to make it 1-1 and the second equaliser after half time came from a corner that should have been cleared. City defended well for the majority of the game but two lapses cost two goals and two points.

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Pep Guardiola, 6 -- There aren't many many managers who would make four changes after a 5-0 away win but Guardiola isn't most managers. Back came Gundogan, Aguero, Bernando Silva and Nicolas Otamendi while Jones Stones, a starter against West Ham, was left in the stands. It looked odd to replace Aguero with the score at 2-2 but the decision to throw on Jesus almost paid off when the Brazilian found the net in injury time only for the goal to be ruled out.

GK Ederson, 6 -- Hit one sublime pass the length of the pitch to Oleksandr Zinchenko. Might feel he could have done better with Lamela's goal.

DF Kyle Walker, 6 -- One burst past Davinson Sanchez created an early chance for Sterling. Out-jumped by Moura for Tottenham's second goal.

DF Oleksandr Zinchenko, 7 -- Didn't do much wrong at left-back. Covered a lot of ground and was left struggling with cramp by the end of the 90 minutes.

DF Aymeric Laporte, 6 -- Good on the ball but should have got out quicker to Lamela when the Argentinian equalised for Spurs from the edge of the box.

DF Nicolas Otamendi, 7 -- Left on the bench last week and didn't waste his chance against Tottenham. Helped keep Harry Kane quiet and the Spurs striker barely had a kick.

MF Rodri, 7 -- Careful and composed in front of the back four. Saw a stinging effort saved by Lloris before being sacrificed for David Silva as City chased a winner.

MF Ilkay Gundogan, 6 -- Brought back in at the expense of David Silva. Should have made it 3-1 before half-time when De Bruyne cut the ball back across the box.

MF Kevin De Bruyne, 8 -- Two beautiful crosses from the right created two goals in the first half. City's best player and looked dangerous anywhere near Tottenham's penalty area.

FW Bernando Silva, 7 -- Back in the team after his surprise omission against West Ham. Deserves a lot of credit for creating spaces on the right for De Bruyne to set up both of City's first half goals.

FW Raheem Sterling, 7 -- After scoring a hat-trick against West Ham, his stooping header at the back post put City a goal up.

FW Sergio Aguero, 7 -- The Argentinian had not scored in his previous seven league games against Tottenham but he ended the run with a clever near post finish from De Bruyne's cross.

FW Gabriel Jesus, 7 (for Sergio Aguero, 65) -- Looked bright before seeing VAR take away his would-be winning strike. 

MF David Silva (for Rodri, 78) -- N/A

FW Riyad Mahrez (for Bernando Silva, 80) -- N/A

MANCHESTER, England -- Tottenham Hotspur twice came from behind to snatch a point from under the noses of Premier League champions Manchester City in a 2-2 draw at the Etihad on Saturday. The away side created minimal chances (three total shots), but equalising goals from Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura ensured Mauricio Pochettino's side took one point back to North London, with Gabriel Jesus' late goal being ruled out by VAR for a handball in the lead up by Aymeric Laporte.

Pochettino would have been pleased with his side's ability to respond so quickly to going a goal down at Etihad Stadium. When City score one, it can quickly become two or three, but Spurs prevented the champions from running away with it by equalising shortly after going behind. Chances were few and far between for the visitors, but they were ruthlessly clinical in both halves. They also had to hold on for the game's final half-hour, and did so admirably.

Tottenham simply couldn't cope with Kevin De Bruyne, but they didn't make life difficult enough for him. Both of City's first-half goals came through the Belgian having too much time and space on the ball to play those killer passes he's so well known for. Paired with Raheem Sterling having the freedom to run at Kyle Walker-Peters down the left, it was a recipe for disaster. Going forward, Spurs didn't play to their strengths as Harry Kane, the team's prolific danger man, just didn't see enough of the ball. Spurs might have snatched a third goal had they shown more impetus to win the game late on.

7 -- The substitution of Lucas for Harry Winks in the 56th minute proved to be a masterstroke straight away, with the Brazilian equalising within seconds to make it 2-2. The Spurs boss will certainly be satisfied with a point away at Manchester City.

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GK Hugo Lloris, 6 -- Occasionally caught dilly-dallying under the press of De Bruyne, but could do little to prevent City's goals. Showed good reflexes to save a deflected shot from Oleksandr Zinchenko.

DF Kyle Walker-Peters, 5 -- Struggled to handle the pace of Sterling down the left wing, leading to City's opener.

DF Davison Sanchez, 6 -- Regularly headed crosses clear, but couldn't keep up with Kyle Walker on the right flank.

DF Toby Alderweireld, 6 -- Didn't make any notable errors, and cleared the danger whenever it came his way.

DF Danny Rose, 5 -- Caught out of position when ex-teammate Walker bombed forward, and didn't read De Bruyne's run for 2-1.

Erik Lamela was a the standout performer for Tottenham in their 2-2 draw at Manchester City. 

MF Moussa Sissoko, 5 -- Led Spurs' surging counter-attacks down the right, but offered little in terms of chance creation. Occasionally shrugged off the ball too easily by Walker.

MF Harry Winks, 5 -- Ala Rose, Winks failed to pick up on De Bruyne's run that led to City's second. Replaced by Lucas in the 56th minute.

MF Tanguy Ndombele, 6 -- Picked out Lamela for the first equaliser in an otherwise unremarkable performance from the big-money Frenchman.

FW Erik Lamela, 8 -- Scored Tottenham's equaliser and showed his defensive capabilities, tracking back to support Walker-Peters against Sterling, and to dispossess Sergio Aguero. Also picked out Lucas for 2-2.

FW Christian Eriksen, 5 -- Should have closed down De Bruyne's cross to Raheem Sterling for City's opener. Didn't look dangerous going forward.

FW Harry Kane, 6 -- Went missing in the first half and didn't offer much in the second period either, albeit with little service. Made runs in behind but wasn't picked out.

FW Lucas Moura, 7 -- Came on for Winks in the second half and made an instant impact, scoring from Lamela's corner. Showed a good appetite to drive play forward and try to make things happen.

MF Giovani Lo Celso, N/R -- Came on for his countryman Lamela in the 85th minute.

MF Oliver Skipp, N/R -- Came on for Eriksen in injury time.

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