By AmericanKopite, 03-02-2013, 18:56:56
Manchester City are still in the hunt for the title and were looking to edge closer to their rivals Man United with a win over the visiting Liverpool side who were looking for redemption after their 2 goal lead turned into a 2-2 draw at the Emirates stadium over the weekend. City goalkepper Joe Hart has yet to concede a goal in 2013 and Liverpool were victorious the last time they were at the Etihad. Referee Anthony Taylor was in charge of this afternoon fixture.
|David Silva started straight away in the first minute with a shot at Reina that was tipped over the crossbar for an unsuccessful corner.
Pressure seemed to show on the Liverpool defence in the seventh minute when a poorly timed backpass lead to a corner for the home side but Liverpool regained composure and saw the corner fly over the crossbar and go for a goal kick.
Liverpool finally got something going in the 13th minute when Daniel Sturridge was given an excellent lob by Glen Johnson that saw Sturridge with possession 12 yards from goal, but a well timed tackle from Argentine defender Pablo Zabaleta thwarted the attack.
Liverpool had a sure goal on the cards when Daniel Sturridge put in a speedy ground cross to Luis Suarez who was on the edge of the box, but the ball came awkwardly off his foot and went more sideways than it did toward the face of goal. But the shots and crosses rained down for the rest of the 20th minute and Liverpool had turned the attacking tables on the home side.
But Man City were not to be outdone by the struggling visitors and Edin Dzeko made that statement in the 23rd minute. A low cross from James Milner found the Bosnian’s right foot and in stride from the penalty spot Edin Dzeko was able to score the first goal of the match and send the home fans into a frenzy.
Controversy struck in the 27th minute when Edin Dzeko appeared to be fouled and stayed down for some time. The fans were displeased as no foul was called and play resumed with Dzeko on the floor. In that time it was Daniel Sturridge who furiously fired a low shot into the bottom right corner of the goal and leveled the match at 1 goal apiece.
The temperatures rose when the first booking of the match was given to Liverpool’s U21 international Jordan Henderson for his tackle on James Milner.
Shock and relief rang around the Etihad when a backpass from Pablo Zabaleta nearly crossed the line behind an unprepared Joe Hart and would’ve gone in but for the saving grace that the ball was just outside the post. That was the last action of the half and the whistle blew to end the first 45 minutes at 1-1.
And with a bang the second half started with two shots to put the Liverpool defence on edge, but the match remained level after City came out showing their aggressive intentions.
Liverpool were hard on the attack and the frustration of not scoring set in during the 53rd minute when Daniel Sturridge took a very delayed dive in front of goal that fooled no one. Sturridge earned the second booking of the match.
The 56th minute was the time for the first substitution of the match when Manchester City sent Aleksandar Kolarov on for Matija Nastasic.
More cards were handed out, and this time it goes to one of the most experienced footballers on the pitch. Jamie Carragher made a hard tackle on striker Sergio Aguero and although he got all of the ball, referee Anthony Taylor deemed that the challenge from behind was worthy of a yellow card.
The match went back and forth with Liverpool playing the counter and City playing the high pressure attack until a brief respite when the fourth yellow card of the match was handed out in the 71st minute to Manchester City’s Javi Garcia for clipping Suarez’ heels and tripping him up in space.
Liverpool made their first change on the night when Brendan Rodgers sent Martin Skrtel on for the recently recovered Jose Enrique.
More action just minutes later. Another legendary strike from a legendary name when Steven Gerrard unleashed a curling shot from 30 yards out and directly in front of goal. Certainly one for the history books and one to turn the headlines crazy. Liverpool lead 2-1 with 15 minutes left.
City responded with great determination in their next attack when Sergio Aguero baited Pepe Reina to the very edge of the box and beyond where Aguero turned and fired a outrageously angled lob that landed just inside the post where there was no keeper for miles. Safe to say that Reina’s egregious error of judgement was the reason for the 2-2 score with 10 minutes left.
Second City substitution of the night when Gareth Barry was replaced by France international Samir Nasri in the 88th minute in the hopes of snatching a late winner.
91 minutes into the match was time for the final substitution of the evening when Welsh midfielder Joe Allen was brought on for Daniel Sturridge.
It came down to the wire once again in Manchester when a 92nd minute corner was conceded by The Reds, but to no avail and the passionate frustration of Roberto Mancini.
One last try. One last corner and it went to Liverpool after the 95th minute and there was a great header, but it was parried by the safe hands of Joe Hart and that was it. The finale whistle blew shortly before the end of the 96th minute and honours were even at the Etihad. 2 points certainly lost for both teams.
Manchester City have the week to rest and are back to work Saturday at noon when they make the trip down South to play Southampton and try to close the gap on the title race.
Liverpool have seven days of rest before the fans fill Anfield on Monday to see their side try to claim a necessary three points against West Brom in their hunt for a top four spot.