Man City 0-1 Liverpool – Kenny’s Italian Masterclass

By Jonathan Carroll

Kenny Dalglish brought his squad to the Etihad Stadium Wednesday evening looking to take a positive result back to Anfield for the Carling Cup semi-final second leg. A Steven Gerrard penalty was the difference in a battling performance by the reds and it is indeed ironic that Dalglish would employ such Italian like tactics in such an important game. Both teams were without important players and Liverpool looked to employ a 4-5-1 with Andy Carroll being the lone striker.

Liverpool started off the brighter of the two teams creating three chances in the opening twenty minutes that should have been converted. Carroll had the clearest sight of goal after he was sent through by Stewart Downing. The big striker had to contend with Stevan Savic tangling with him and only managed to shoot straight at Joe Harts legs. Steven Gerrard had a fine right footed curling effort superbly tipped round the post by Hart, who was indeed the busier of the two keepers in the first half. Stewart Downing’s volley straight from a Gerrard corner was cleverly touched by Agger only to once again find Joe Hart alive to the danger.

On thirteen minutes Daniel Agger was upended by Stevan Savic in the penalty area following a corner. Referee Lee Mason had no hesitation in awarding a penalty and Steven Gerrard duly dispatched.

Admittedly this wasn’t a masterclass but the second half saw a much more Italianesque defensive Liverpool team sit deep in their 4-5-1 formation and look to hit on the counter. Those counter attacks never originated. Pepe Reina will feel like he played two games tonight such was the constant barrage of City possession and danger around his goalmouth. Chances were few and far between for the redmen in the second half and the only venture of note towards the traveling Kop was when Jordan Henderson galloped downfield and looked to square it to either Bellamy or Carroll, instead both players opted to halt their runs sensing a pull back which never came.

The early loss of defensive midfielder Jay Spearing allowed City to push players forward. Charlie Adam was so comprehensively over worked in midfield that Dalglish threw on Jamie Carragher to help his midfield see out the last eleven minutes. City created some half chances late on with Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri at the heart of things but failed to create anything more clear-cut than Micah Richards’ header from Nasri’s corner which was straight at the Liverpool keeper.

Some games are not about the performance but the result and this was a prime example. Liverpool take a one goal lead to Anfield for the second leg and on front of a packed Anfield it should make for an enthralling match. Maybe next time Roberto Mancini will be more bothered with his own players rather than talking about the opposition in the build up to a big game.

In light of recent developments surrounding Liverpool FC and the Luis Suarez and Tom Adeyemi incidents, the traveling Kop once again put a different spin on things singing, “We’re not racist, we just hate Mancs”. Liverpool’s next game is at home to Stoke City on Saturday, January 14th.

Full time: Manchester City 0 – 1 Liverpool

Man City

  • 25 Hart
  • 02 Richards
  • 06 Lescott
  • 15 Savic
  • 22 Clichy
  • 07 Milner
  • 11 Johnson (Dzeko 66)
  • 18 Barry
  • 34 De Jong (Kolarov 72)
  • 16 Aguero
  • 45 Balotelli (Nasri 39, yellow card)

Substitutes

  • 30 Pantilimon,
  • 05 Zabaleta,
  • 13 Kolarov,
  • 24 Onuoha,
  • 19 Nasri,
  • 20 Hargreaves,
  • 10 Dzeko

Liverpool

  • 25 Reina – 8
  • 02 Johnson – 7
  • 05 Agger – 9
  • 34 Kelly – 6
  • 37 Skrtel – 8
  • 08 Gerrard – 7
  • 14 Henderson – 7
  • 19 Downing – 5 (Jose Enrique 59) – 6
  • 20 Spearing (Adam 23) – 5
  • 09 Carroll – 5
  • 39 Bellamy – 6 (Carragher 79, yellow card)

Substitutes

  • 32 Doni,
  • 03 Jose Enrique
  • 16 Coates,
  • 23 Carragher,
  • 26 Adam,
  • 33 Shelvey,
  • 18 Kuyt
*Players must be on the field of play for a minimum of thrity minutes for player ratings.

Referee: Lee Mason

Attendance: 36,017

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One thought on “Man City 0-1 Liverpool – Kenny’s Italian Masterclass

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

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