Tactical draw at Etihad leaves Liverpool top of the Premier League

Manchester City and Arsenal ended in a goalless draw in the big derby of the 30th round of the English Premier League. At the Etihad, both teams played very strongly in defense and rarely allowed any danger in front of either goalkeeper.

The beginning was more active for the Citizens, with Kevin De Bruyne crossing dangerously in the penalty area, but Ben White cleared. Arsenal hit back with a shot from former champions' player Gabriel Jesus, who tried his luck again midway through the first half. Mikel Arteta's players stood firm and organized in both midfield and defence, making it difficult for the Sky Blues to find a goal in David Raya's net.

After the break, home manager Pep Guardiola decided to increase the attacking power by bringing on Jack Grealish and Jeremy Doku on the wings. The two immediately moved City's play, with the Belgian particularly active on the right flank of the attack. However, the visitors held off his forays, also dealing with a couple of mistakes by Bukayo Saka deep in their own half. The Englishman was replaced later with injury concerns. On the other side, Stefan Ortega saved a shot by Leandro Trosard, which did not portend danger for the German goalkeeper. Erling Haaland, who otherwise had a quiet afternoon and was guarded superbly by the Gunners' centre-back pair of Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba, failed to shoot the ball from Josko Guardiol's header in one of the hosts' few good chances of the game.

In the end, the two title contenders drew, which is in favour of the third title contender, Liverpool, who earlier in the day got a difficult comeback win against Brighton. The Merseysiders remain top of the standings ahead of the intermediate round in Premiership with an asset of 67 points - two more than second-placed Arsenal and three more than champions Manchester City.

Guardiola and Co host Aston Villa on Wednesday, while Arsenal welcome newcomers Luton to the Emirates on the same day. /BGNES