Not Such A Surprise, More Of A (FORM)ality.

Liverpool walked away from Anfield this afternoon collecting just 1 point from their clash with Manchester City. The fixture was never going to be a walk in the park but the 3 points were definitely attainable.
However as i spoke of in my match preview and just as many fans had predicted, the outcome was a score draw. After City's collection of one-pointers and our own recent shaky form it was quite easy to predict the final result.

It was clear that goals were not going to be a problem in this game for Liverpool but maintaining a lead successfully would be.

Liverpool began the game positively and had a lot of good possession. With a pretty strong team considering the circumstances and a good start to the first half, even this early it was easy to become optimistic.

Things took a turn for the worst though when Agger was involved in a clash eventually seeing him stretchered off. Agger made contact with the head of Kolo Toure and the injury was immediately noticed after a wound instantly opened up and began bleeding.It wasn't until Agger was helped to the ground by Kuyt, Babel and the doc that the seriousness of the incident was revealed.

Agger suffered mild concussion and was believed to have received 5 stitches to the wound. He is expected to make a full recovery.

So with Agger now off, the defence had lost a little bit of flare and solidarity, Kygriakos was brought on to replace the Dane and would feature for the rest of the 90minutes.

Shortly after this incident Liverpool find themselves in the build up of another scenario which ultimately results in Benitez having to make his second substitution before the clock read 20minutes. Babel and Gerrard find themselves confused as they both clatter into each other during a Babel run into the area, Gerrard appeared to have took the brunt of it but it was Babel who remained on the ground, after highlighting that the problem was with his ankle he limped off the pitch but was set to come back on.

Now don't get me wrong, i know nothing about injuries and how it may feel if you are trying to "run off" an ankle problem but to me if your decision is to hobble off the pitch and then decide that you are OK to carry on, you put in more of an effort than 6 minutes.

Gerrard had to resort to picking Babel up off the ground after he sat down again, Gerrard insisting that he just needed to get moving and run it off, because as we all know if this was Gerrard, Carragher, Masch even Torres the chances are they would play as long as possible or at least look a bit more motivated to keep going.

Maybe i am being a bit harsh on Ryan Babel but for somebody who runs his mouth to the international media saying he wants to move to Ajax because Rafa doesn't start him... He needs to seriously buck his ideas up. No wonder Rafa doesn't give you the opportunity, for a starters you are very inconsistent and constantly frustrating, secondly your attitude is atrocious and you have no real strive or passion when you are in the starting 11. Nothing proved this more than today's "reaction" to from what my eyes could see was a "knock".

If you want to sod off to Ajax in an attempt to boost your international career then be my guest because i am seriously getting to the end of my tether sunshine. You aren't some sort of football royalty and you represent nothing that is Liverpool FC.

We digress.

So with Babel now off a freshly horse placenta injected Yossi Benayoun was brought into the game. After Riera and himself suffered similar injuries in the Birmingham game a new procedure involving the injection of horse placenta into the hamstring was given to both of the Liverpool wing men, this pioneering medical practice appears to have worked.

The first half although it had started lively and arguably in Liverpool's favour did fizzle out, with the two Liverpool substitutions and the decreasing pace of the game, there was not much action to report. The highlights being the excellent save from Shay Given when a Skrtel header was sent goal bound and when Reina had to make a quick decision after Barry caused problems with his cross - shot?

Liverpool needed a goal second half and they knew this. At almost the first real opportunity Gerrard whips in a free kick and Skrtel manages to get a foot in front of Adebayor sending the ball into the back of the net and giving him his first goal for the club.

So job one was done. We had scored. This was not going to be the problem though as the following 20 minutes would prove.

After the Lyon game and the Birmingham City fixture before the international break, you can't help but feel doubtful when it comes to holding on to those 3 points. And today was no different.

Man City popped up with Adebayor and equalised proceedings after Liverpool again conceded from a set piece. Is it the zonal marking? Or is it the defence? A question that persists to arise. I for one cannot turn my back on a system that works so well for other clubs and has been proven at our own club in seasons gone by. The system is not to blame, it is simply the sloppiness of the defence so far this season.

Barely 5 minutes later and the worst had happened, Man City create a super goal finished by Ireland adding to his current goal tally for City. Offside or not offside? Again you could argue that Liverpool are suffering from a lack of lady luck. Can we really keep sitting back and relying on excuses though? We had taken the lead at home and lost it, we have no-one to blame but ourselves.

Phenomenally, not even a minute later Benayoun had brought Liverpool back level at the other end of the pitch. It was nice to see that the City defence could be just as vulnerable as our own after Benayoun was allowed to easily slip through into space and slide the ball home.

The remainder of the second half was a means to push for a late winner but as seems the law of our season so far, it just wasn't to be. The best opportunity arose when Lucas was presented with a free header in the dying seconds of the game. Unfortunately he didn't do as well as he perhaps should have but this did not take anything away from his excellent performance.

With a crucial, crucial Champion's League game on Tuesday, it makes you wonder whether we can actually do our bit of the deal never mind bask in the hope that Fiorentina do not win.

On the other hand, you can never write Liverpool off, the game on Tuesday will be tense but the fat lady definitely hasn't sung yet.

Everton next in the league and again we will be looking to begin the season turn around. After looking at today's game it is clear that as a whole, we didn't actually play too bad. Silly defensive errors and missed chances appear to be the problem, if we can just resolve this and maintain a fit squad we can quite easily begin the turn around.

All i know is we must begin the push to secure that top 4 finish soon and what better way than getting one over on the old blue noses?

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