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Tensions boil over in sideline stoush as Nunez goes at Guardiola after Liverpool snatch draw with City as Arsenal go top

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26th November, 2023
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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had to physically restrain striker Darwin Nunez after the Uruguyan engaged in a sideline stoush with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola after their heated 1-1 draw.

The Reds clinched a draw at Manchester City in the battle of the English Premier League’s top two at start of play, thanks to an 80th-minute equaliser from Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Immediately after the game, the Uruguayan striker and Guardiola were involved in a heated exchange and Klopp needed to play the role of peacemaker to remove his player from the situation.

Guardiola was asked to explain what happened in the incident in a post-match interview and he offered a terse “Nothing” before answering no further questions.

Klopp downplayed the incident: “That’s the story of the world, huh? A person who doesn’t understand a word trying to calm down two people,” he told talkSPORT. “It’s fine, it’s just emotions, nothing else. Because love them both, I was probably the perfect person to do that.

“But nothing spectacular. Emotions.”

Erling Haaland had given defending champions City a first-half lead at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, becoming the quickest player to score 50 goals in the league.

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But Liverpool capitalised when the Norwegian failed to add a second from close range in the 79th. 

Liverpool immediately went on the attack and Alexander-Arnold swept a shot past City goalkeeper Ederson.

“For us I think we passed a test today, I am not sure if it was ‘the’ test,” Klopp said. “Last year with a team that played long together we got completely under the wheels here (losing 4-1) and had no real chance. Today we had a chance.”

Haaland had opened the scoring with a low effort from the edge of the box. Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson misjudged a clearance that was intercepted by Nathan Ake, who played in Haaland.

From there, the forward turned and fired into the bottom corner, despite Alisson getting a hand to his shot.

The landmark goal came in 48 games and broke the record held by former Manchester United and Newcastle striker Andy Cole, who reached 50  in 65 games.

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“We are hungry and upset in the locker room, but it was an incredibly great game,” said Guardiola. “We were not going to win or lose the Premier League today, we just had to be ourselves.”

City’s draw enabled Arsenal to move above them at the top of the table after Kai Havertz scored a late winner to beat Brentford 1-0.

This season’s surprise package, Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham, could go level on points with second-placed City if they beat Aston Villa on Sunday. Villa have the chance to move level with third-place Liverpool and a point behind Guardiola’s team.

For 89 minutes Arsenal did not look like beating their London neighbours, bar a Leandro Trossard effort ruled out for a tight offside in the first half.

But substitute Havertz came off the bench and found space at the far post to head in Bukayo Saka’s cross.

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“When you have an opportunity to take a bite out of everybody you have to do it,” Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said. “I love winning and we are top of the table and this is where we have to want to be.”

Newcastle United climbed to sixth place by brushing aside Chelsea 4-1.

The sides were level at halftime after Raheem Sterling’s free kick cancelled out Alexander Isak’s opener for the Magpies.

But Newcastle were rampant in the second half as Jamaal Lascelles, Joelinton and Anthony Gordon all scored and Chelsea captain Reece James was sent off for a second yellow card.

Ten-man Brighton won 3-2 at Nottingham Forest despite falling behind to Anthony Elanga’s early goal and having skipper Lewis Dunk sent off.

A goal from Evan Ferguson and two from Joao Pedro put them 3-1 up before Morgan Gibbs-White scored from a penalty. Dunk was sent off for his protests.

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Luton Town won their first home game since promotion as they beat Crystal Palace 2-1, Jacob Brown scoring the winner.

Bournemouth were comfortable 3-1 winners at Sheffield United, Marcus Tavernier scoring twice.

Bottom side Burnley have lost all seven home EPL games following a 2-1 defeat by West Ham.

with AAP

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