Liverpool vs. Manchester City  2 - 2


Premier League: Liverpool 2 Manchester City 2

26 August 2012 19:36

A howler from Martin Skrtel gifted Manchester City a 2-2 draw at Liverpool, denying Brendan Rodgers a win in his first home game in charge.

The defender had given his side the lead 11 minutes before half-time before Yaya Toure equalised just past the hour mark.

A superb Luis Suarez free-kick three minutes later looked to have earned the Reds three points until Skrtel's woeful backpass in the 80th minute allowed Carlos Tevez to score his 100th goal in English top-flight football.

Debutant Raheem Sterling, 17, was lively from the start and almost gave Liverpool an early lead as he crossed from the left for Fabio Borini, but the Italian could only prod his volleyed effort narrowly wide of Joe Hart’s left-hand post.

The hosts' bright start was marred as Lucas limped off with just five minutes on the clock, with an injury believed to have been sustained during the pre-match warm-up.

City came close to levelling when Tevez was played in behind Skrtel by a clever pass from Samir Nasri, and he skipped away from Pepe Reina before cutting the ball back from a tight angle only to see it bounce agonisingly across the goal line and off the far post, allowing Martin Kelly to clear.

But Liverpool were soon ahead after Steven Gerrard's fierce cross from the right was blocked just over the bar by Vincent Kompany, much to the relief of Hart.

From the ensuing corner, however, Skrtel powered a thunderous header past England's number one to send the home fans into raptures, and the score stayed at 1-0 at the break.

Rodgers' side carved out the first meaningful chance of the second half when Borini capitalised on a sloppy pass from Aleksandar Kolarov and found Suarez in the box, but the Uruguayan could only scuff his effort wide under pressure from Kompany.

Mancini moved to alter the flow of play on the hour mark as Nasri was replaced by former Evertonian Jack Rodwell.

Moments later, the disappointing Balotelli was withdrawn for Edin Dzeko, as City looked for a way past a resolute home defence – and with 63 minutes on the clock, they found it in fortuitous style.

Tevez did well to find space on the right hand side of the area. He clipped the ball towards the far post where Reina came and failed to claim it, before the ball bounced off the leg of Kelly to allow Yaya Toure a simple finish.

Liverpool would have felt hard done by to surrender their lead in such a sloppy manner, but moments later they regained their advantage in sumptuous style.

Gerrard won a free-kick 25 yards from goal, and Suarez stepped up to bend a stunning shot round the wall and into the bottom corner, beyond the despairing dive of Hart.

Mancini’s men pressed for an equaliser once more and brought David Silva on for the final fifteen minutes, but it was Liverpool who looked the more likely to score as they continued to boss possession and cause the visitors problems down the flanks.

The champions had been frustrated for long periods by a resolute Liverpool defence, but with 10 minutes to go and with his side in total control, Skrtel handed City a way back into the match.

The Slovakian played a terrible backpass without looking straight to Tevez, who rounded Reina and slotted home his 100th goal in English football to silence the home crowd.

Substitute Andy Carroll came close to giving Liverpool the lead once more after Suarez looped the ball back across goal following a corner, but Rodwell was well placed to nod the ball off the line.

The match ended in hectic style as both sides went all-out for three points, but despite late efforts from Glen Johnson and Tevez, neither team had enough to edge what was a terrific game of football.


Suarez: I followed Tevez to England

25 August 2012 09:33

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has revealed he decided to move to the English Premier League after seeing the success Carlos Tevez had.

The Uruguayan forward plied his trade for Dutch outfit Groningen and later Eredivisie rivals Ajax, while Tevez broke onto the Premier League scene with West Ham United before joining Manchester United and then City.

Suarez said he felt he could replicate the Argentine's performances because of their similar stature.

He told The Sun: "I watched Tevez when I was playing in Netherlands and I could see he was doing really well.

"His success was one of the things which motivated me to come here.

"I thought that if Tevez could do really well, then I could do too as I have a similar physical stature."

Another quality the two South American strikers share is their on-field tenacity, but while it has made Suarez the player he is today, it has also unfortunately placed him at the centre of plenty of unsavoury incidents.

"I play football in a different way. I love it and put 100 percent into it but I recognise sometimes this leads to unusual behaviour," Suarez said.

"I've worked hard to get where I am today and the 90 minutes on the pitch are so important to me. That's why I fight so hard."

Throughout the off-season, Suarez was continually linked with a move away from Anfield, with Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus touted as possible destinations.

But the 25-year-old insists at no point did he ever consider leaving Merseyside.

"There were clubs that wanted to sign me but my priority was always to stay and sign for Liverpool," Suarez said.

"The club has trust in me because of the work I do on the pitch and what happened in the past is over.

"I'm interested only in the Liverpool and Uruguay supporters.

"Other fans, of course, are fanatical about their own teams and it's not as if they're going to support an opposition player anyway so I'm not interested in the reception they give me."


Mancini tips tough trip to Liverpool

24 August 2012 13:51

Roberto Mancini is expecting a tough test for Manchester City when they travel to face Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday.

The Italian boss knows the size of the task ahead, while insisting that difficult games are becoming routine for his side at the beginning of a new campaign.

Last year City beat Tottenham 5-1 away in the third game of the season however Mancini does not believe a similar result will be seen.

"Two years ago the second game was Liverpool. It's always tough game for us. Liverpool will be a very strong game," he said.

"The game against Tottenham I think can happen once every 10 years. I don't know. We will try but it's enough to win 1-0."

Carlos Tevez has enjoyed a fine start to the season, netting in the Community Shield and City's Premier League opener against Southampton and Mancini has hailed the Argentine's pre-season preparations as vital to his good form.

"For Carlos it's the first time in four, five years that he did a pre-season," Mancini said.

"It's normal that if you work hard in pre-season you can be in good form, like him."

The Italian also hailed his side's versatility after experimenting with a three-man defence in pre-season while switching back to a four-man backline against Southampton.

Mancini also reserved praise for Jack Rodwell after his arrival from Everton.

"I think that we can play with different shapes," he said.

"Against Southampton, we played like last year with Jack for Gareth or for Nigel. I wanted to see Jack for the first time with us. It was a good performance.

"It wasn't easy for him being the first game because he didn't know his team-mates very well. But I think he did very well."

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25