Man City narrowly avoided the most embarrassing of own goals vs. Liverpool (Video)

Manchester City and Liverpool are the two best teams in the English Premier League. They’re the top two contenders for the Premier League title. So, naturally, the biggest early moment of their massive clash in Manchester on Thursday was very nearly the most calamitous moment of the Premier League season.

Moments after Liverpool winger Sadio Mane struck the post at the end of a typically artistic and incisive attack, City defender John Stones rushed to clear. Simultaneously, City keeper Ederson rushed back to claim the rebound. The result was mere millimeters away from disaster.

Literally millimeters. The whole ball has to cross the line to be considered a goal. A small sliver of it did not. How small? 0.44 inches, according to the Premier League:

Manchester City was this close to a calamitous own goal against Liverpool. (NBC Sports Live Extra)
Manchester City was this close to a calamitous own goal against Liverpool. (NBC Sports Live Extra)

In real time, the ball looked to be over the line. Even the shadow of the ball on some replays agreed:

And earlier this decade, it very well might have been ruled a goal. But in 2013, the Premier League instituted goal-line technology – the same mechanism as tennis’ Hawk-Eye system.

So referee Anthony Taylor merely had to look at a wristwatch-like device, which immediately told him Stones had saved himself from embarrassment. As bad as the initial mishap was, Stones’ clearance was equally, if not more, remarkable.

So City was nearly 1-0 down in a game it almost has to win. Instead, it remained level. Later, in the 40th minute, Sergio Aguero put the defending champions 1-0 ahead.

That’s where things stand at halftime. A City victory would slash Liverpool’s lead at the top of the league to four points.

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