Reds Impressive In Draw With Champs

4 Feb

Reds Impressive In Draw With Champs

 

Liverpool and Manchester City drew in an exciting match at the Etihad with Liverpool showing giant signs of improvement under the leadership of Brendan Rodgers. Liverpool put on an impressive display with Sturridge and Gerrard scoring spectacular goals for the Reds, but goals from Dzeko and Aguero meant a share of the points in an entertaining game.

 

The Teams

 

Brendan Rodgers made only the one change to the side that drew at the Emirates in midweek, with Jose Enrique replacing Andre Wisdom. Enrique came into the left back position with Glen Johnson returning to his more familiar role at right back. Jamie Carragher kept his place in the team in the centre of defence after his man of the match performance at Arsenal. Suarez partnered Sturridge up front in a 4-4-2 formation with Henderson playing in unfamiliar role down the left side of midfield.

 

The Match

 

David Silva tested Reina in the first minute with long range volley as City looked to close the gap at the top of the league table on Manchester United. But Liverpool settled into the match quickly and established their passing game.

 

Sturridge almost scored but for a vital intervention from Zabaleta after the striker had slipped past Hart from a Johnson cross.

 

Then Sturridge used his pace to break down the left flank before cutting the ball back to Suarez but the Uruguayan skewed his shot wide.

 

A minute later Lescott smashed his clearance against Sturridge which fell kindly for Suarez but the striker dragged his shot wide of the far post.

 

Then against the run of play City took the lead when after a good move down the left Milner fired in a low cross which Dzeko stabbed home from 6 yards out.

 

It was cruel on Liverpool who had been the better side, but they responded from this setback and continued to attack the Champions, and 6 minutes later they drew level under controversial circumstances when Sturridge fired in from 25 yards while Dzeko was still on the floor after a challenge from Agger in the lead up to the goal.

 

The goal was no more than Liverpool deserved and they continued to attack but failed to add to their tally, although Zabaleta and Hart got into a terrible mix up just before half-time but the ball trickled just past the post with Hart scrambling back for the ball.

 

Milner almost caught out Reina with a dangerous cross-cum-shot in the first minute of the second half. Then Suarez fired a free-kick from a dangerous position but it was deflected behind for a corner as Liverpool looked to keep their momentum going.

 

Then a Downing cross found Suarez at the back post and his volleyed cross was almost turned in by Carragher but Lescott did enough to avert the danger.

 

Moments later Liverpool looked for a penalty when Sturridge went to ground while going past Lescott but the striker was shown a yellow card for simulation.

 

Liverpool continued to dominate proceedings creating many chances but City still carried a threat and Carragher had to be alert with a last-ditch tackle as Silva raced into the Liverpool penalty box.

 

Just after the hour Suarez curled a low shot just wide of the far post after being found by Downing. Then Agger and Lucas combined to stop Aguero as he drove into a dangerous position. Barry then headed over from a Milner cross as the game became end to end.

 

Then in the 73rd minute Steven Gerrard smashed a 30 yard rocket past the despairing Joe Hart after chesting down a Clichy clearance. The visiting support went wild in celebration as Gerrard raced over to celebrate with them.

 

Liverpool’s celebrations were short lived as Aguero scored from a tight angle with Reina caught out of position after racing from his goal.

 

Both teams looked for a winner now with 10 minutes to play as Suarez jinked his way into the box before Gerrard fired an effort towards goal only to see it brilliantly blocked.

 

Then at the other end substitute Maicon headed over from a corner before racing into the Liverpool box where substitute Skrtel made an important intervention.

 

Nobody could find a winner in an exciting encounter but it was an impressive display from the Anfield side.

 

Summary

 

Rodgers selected an experienced side for the visit to City and he was proved right. Liverpool’s best performance of the season with long spells of dominant possession against a very good City side. Lost a goal against the run of play but didn’t let their heads drop and continued to play their passing game. A great strike from Sturridge and he was very impressive the whole game, holding the ball up well, and looked dangerous whenever he received the ball. Gerrard was immense dominated midfield and it’s been a while since we’ve seen one of his trademark goals, but worth the wait. Jordan Henderson has improved so much in recent games and his energy combined with his new found confidence is proving to be a big asset to Liverpool. It was disappointing to lose the lead after Gerrard’s superb strike with a mistake from Reina, but it was still a superb finish by Aguero.  So many great individual performances highlighted by Sturridge’s striking display and Carragher’s whole hearted performance in defence. Liverpool deserved to win the match but so many positives to take away from the Etihad and Liverpool are certainly an improving team.

 

 

 

 

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