These are my exact thoughts on the game, put onto paper, or in this case a webpage.
The Carling cup – the least important of all the trophies that the league has to offer.
Two teams 14 points away from each other in terms of their league positions with Liverpool coming at this with a vengeance of the 3 – 0 defeat handed to them by Manchester City, a few weeks ago.
City, on the other hand, with an intention to bounce back from the shock loss to Manchester United at the FA cup, a few days ago. Mind I said shock.
Liverpool played away games to get to this stage of the cup while keeping in mind that, it has been difficult for teams to defeat Manchester City at the Etihad.
Had to see how the Blues would cope up without the likes of Vincent Kompany, David Silva and with the Toure brothers for this game.
Craig Bellamy is starting. Would hate to play against him, just because he is too tenacious. He is a pest and I like that. He gets a little annoying with his verbal outbursts during the game but if you take that away from him, you take that away from the player we know him for.
All eyes on the underperforming Andy Carroll, after latest rumors of him moving back to Newcastle for a cut price.
Steven Gerrard and Carroll play together for the first time; so after all it could be the night of redemption for the tall forward.
Savic in center midfield? Could have played Micah Richards in the center and Zabaleta on the right hand side. We will have to wait and see
The 96 minutes of what can I say.
Rather damp and wet atmosphere at the Etihad and so was most of the 96 minutes spent by these clubs on the pitch.
The first 15 minutes of the game had all of the entertaining action but from thereon, it just fizzled out.
Great stop by Joe Hart in the 4th minute from a shot from Carroll as he did well to turn around Savic, taking a touch too many. Kind of chance you would expect a 35 Million signing to tuck away.
Six minutes later Gerrard tests the resolve of the City keeper with a beautiful strike but the England number one does well to get down conceding a corner.
Stewart Downing’s volley from the corner saved again by Hart. Looked like Hart would have to put in a very good shift for this game and so did he, at least for those 15 minutes.
The succeeding round of play saw a penalty given after Savic goes high with his foot on Daniel Agger in the box.
Who steps up? Gerrard of course. Puts the ball past Joe Hart with the ease and technique that he has done so in many a times.
Liverpool had been threatening right from the start.
Nervous opening from Savic and Liverpool intend to take full advantage of that.
Not much in it, 50 – 50 in terms of possession except for the first 15 minutes of the game where Liverpool was in charge.
Right before the half, due to City’s lack of attacking ambition, Mancini brings in Samir Nasri in a hope that he could add that creative spark.
In the dying minutes of the first half, Micah Richards, as he always does, out paces Glen Johnson with a terrific burst on the right hand side, ending up providing a good ball to Milner which was shot well wide of the goal. Not so like Milner.
Half Time thoughts
Glen Johnson v/s Micah Richards – Both England probable’s for the right back position but If I had to pick one based on this game, it would be Richards.
No offense to Savic but City has missed the reassuring service of Kompany in the defense.
Martin Kelly loses his composure and concentration in the 55th minute passing a lose ball back to Reina which was stolen by Kun. Unfortunately, there was nothing to it as Reina came up strong. What a let off for Liverpool.
Three minutes later Richards comes in flying for a corner taken by Nasri but Reina held on very strong.
Reina was merely a spectator for most of the game.
Looked like Dalglish was happy with the score line as he strengthened his defensive reinforcements by replacing Downing with Jose Enrique. Looked even more desperate when he brought in Carragher instead of Bellamy. Never watched a game where five actual defenders in the line up.
Liverpool being the strongest defensive team in the league showed their worth, as it was impenetrable being well disciplined and well organized.
A round of play that is questionable is Glen Johnson’s two-footed tackle on Lescott. One day a player does it, it’s a red card and the next day, it does not even produce a yellow. Brings up the issue of consistency among the league officials. The very reason for a in tunnel argument between Gerrard and City manager Mancini.
I think in the end, both teams would be happy with the result, Mancini a little less. The offensive creativity of both the teams were lacking with players seemingly looking non-existing at times on the pitch. The ingenuity and persistence of Suarez in the attacking end for Liverpool was definitely missing.
And for City, without Toure, without Kompany, without Silva, it is not the same. Period.
One up for the Kop and everything to play for at Anfield.