Man City 3-0 Liverpool – Etihad Hammering

By Jonathan Carroll

Liverpool entered todays game looking to close the gap on league leaders Manchester City to eight points. The timid and blunt attacking performance will discount Liverpool from winning the league this season as well as give their fellow fourth place competitors hope.

At a rain-soaked Etihad stadium in Manchester, Liverpool manager went with an unchanged back four, a midfield of Stewart Downing, Dirk Kuyt, Jay Spearing, Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson and playing as the lone striker was Andy Carroll. The 4-5-1 formation created early promise in the shape of a golden opportunity for Stewart Downing in a one-on-one versus Joe Hart with the latter coming up trumps with a good save. On eleven minutes Sergio Aguero hit a low dipping shot from twenty yards out that deceived Pepe Reina in-goal and shot in under the keepers body. With City in the ascendency Yaya Toure doubled their lead with a fine header from a David Silva corner. Liverpool would go on to have the vast majority of possession in the game but would create little.

Support was slow to reach Andy Carroll who battled against four defenders all evening long. Not that his team mates found his feet too often, must preferring to hoof it forward-looking for the target man to nod down to nearby midfielders. Stewart Downing once more failed to impress, soft in the tackle, timid on the ball and lacking the desire to take defenders on, a lot of work is needed if this summer recruit is to start paying back some of that transfer fee. Charlie Adam seemed pedestrian compared to David Silva and Yaya Toure while Jay Spearing added some much-needed bite and Jordan Henderson seemed accomplished on the ball for such a young talent.

On seventy-three minutes Gareth Barry committed a second foul in quick succession on Daniel Agger and referee Jones had no hesitation in sending off the one time Liverpool transfer target. Two minutes later the referee once more had no hesitation this time in awarding a penalty to Man City as Yaya Toure was barely touched as he competed with Martin Skrtel entering the eighteen yard box. James Milner dispatched the penalty and it was game over from that point on.

Chances fell to Maxi Rodriguez and Steven Gerrard late on but this performance was a prime example of how Liverpool lack that cutting edge, the edge needed to take chances when they do fall to you. A quality team plays well and wins. Manchester City done exactly that tonight and can certainly play better. Liverpool need to address the best way forward for the team in relation to their primary striker now that Luis Suarez is out for eight games. Does Kenny Dalglish keeping working on adjusting to Andy Carroll or go for a more fluid strike force of Kuyt and Craig Bellamy for example who has been nothing short of lethal every time he has played for the red men this season.

Liverpool are in a strong position to mount a challenge for fourth position but the lack of a clinical striker in front of goal will worry Dalglish and company.

Manchester City

  • 25 Hart
  • 02 Richards
  • 04 Kompany
  • 22 Clichy
  • 28 K Toure
  • 07 Milner
  • 18 Barry (red card)
  • 21 Silva (Lescott 76)
  • 42 Y Toure
  • 10 Dzeko
  • 16 Aguero (Johnson 71)


  • 30 Pantilimon,
  • 05 Zabaleta,
  • 06 Lescott,
  • 13 Kolarov,
  • 15 Savic,
  • 11 Johnson,
  • 34 De Jong


  • 25 Reina
  • 02 Johnson (yellow card)
  • 03 Jose Enrique
  • 05 Agger
  • 37 Skrtel
  • 14 Henderson
  • 19 Downing
  • 20 Spearing (Maxi 76)
  • 26 Adam (Gerrard 57)
  • 09 Carroll
  • 18 Kuyt (Bellamy 57)


  • 32 Doni,
  • 23 Carragher,
  • 34 Kelly,
  • 08 Gerrard,
  • 11 Maxi,
  • 33 Shelvey,
  • 39 Bellamy

Referee: Jones

Attendance: 47,131

Liverpool’s next game is against Oldham Athletic at Anfield in the FA Cup on Friday, January 6th. A Carling Cup encounter with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium will take place on January 11th followed by a Premier League game at home to Stoke on January 14th.

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About Jonathan Carroll

I’m a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Born and bred in Ireland I played Gaelic football and soccer while growing up and attended the prestigious Colaiste Ide in Dublin to prepare for a soccer scholarship to the USA. I played soccer at Thomas University in Georgia and was made team captain in my junior and senior years. I was honored to become an All-American in those same years. I graduated in 2007 and coached high school and collegiate level soccer programs incorporating year round strength and conditioning techniques with great success. I moved to Boston in 2011 and went on to work at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning. I am currently the head strength and conditioning coach for the Boston Wolfe Tones Gaelic football team. Qualifications: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA) USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach FMS Certified United States Soccer Federation “D” License Football Association of Ireland Certified

3 thoughts on “Man City 3-0 Liverpool – Etihad Hammering

  1. Suarez absence should have given Carroll the chance to step up to the plate. He suffers from poor service but great players create their own chances. I’m afraid he is a dud and should be moved on even at a crushing financial hit


  2. Pingback: There’s Only One Andy Carroll | The Red Letter

  3. Pingback: Liverpool hosts Potters, hopes to catch Blues, Gunners | The Red Letter

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