Skrtel Slip Up Lets City Steal Draw
Brendan Rodgers proved that he had faith in his youngsters as he started Martin Kelly and Raheem Sterling. Sterling at 17 had massive pressure on his shoulders but most Liverpool fans like myself knew he would rise to the occasion.
Liverpool's start to the game wasn't an ideal one after Lucas Leiva pulled up just 4 minutes in. Apparently he picked up the problem in the warm up but they thought he may be ok to play. I think it was definitely best to take him off though, there's no point risking a bad injury after the amount of time he's been out. Jonjo Shelvey took his place.
Liverpool quickly adapted to the change in their line up and Shelvey was impressive replacing the big boots of Lucas. Alongside him in midfield was Joe Allen who was easily controlling possession for the Reds.
Liverpool's first real chance saw Raheem Sterling fully involved after a lovely ball through to Fabio Borini nearly saw the Italian turn the ball past Joe Hart but his effort went wide.
The Reds were bossing this first half and City's attack barely got chance to bother Pepe Reina. From the two up front though it was certainly Mario Balotelli putting in the most effort, Carlos Tevez was very quiet for the first 45 minutes.
Just after the half hour mark Liverpool got themselves on the score sheet. A lovely corner from Steven Gerrard allowed Martin Skrtel to encroach and with a bullet header he smashed Liverpool 1-0 up. Skrtel shouldn't have been allowed to get into the position he did but it was still a superb header.
With our efforts from the first half rewarded things were looking good, this performance was ten times better than the one against West Brom and the risk of starting Sterling instead of Downing I think fully paid off.
Sterling was an absolute star, to play like that against the champions at such a young age is just brilliant. Nothing phased him, most youngsters would at least feel a bit nervous taking on the big frame of Kolo Toure but not Raheem.
Just before the hour mark City brought on ex Evertonian Jack Rodwell, you can imagine the reception he got from the Anfield crowd. He replaced Nasri and was a talking point for all the wrong reasons very quickly. Dzeko also entered the fray replacing Balotelli.
Before Rodwell got his chance to help out Liverpool, Liverpool were doing some favours for City. A Tevez cross was dealt with poorly by Martin Kelly who attempted to control the ball but unfortunately played it straight into the path of Yaya Toure who made sure his strike put City level.
It was a silly mistake but there was still worse to come for Liverpool. The plus side at this point though was that the Reds had never given up on finding another goal so the task remained the same and the pace was still very high.
Less than 5 minutes after City equalised, Luis Suarez found himself with a wonderful chance to put Liverpool back in front. A handball for Jack Rodwell left Liverpool with a decent free kick. Suarez and Gerrard were over the ball but it was the Uruguayan who was taking this one. His shot swept round the wall and tucked inside the post, it was a class goal! Hart tried his best to reach it but couldn't quite get there and some were saying his wall wasn't set up as good as it could have been, I think we have to agree though that in the end it was just the skillful foot of Suarez that bagged Liverpool that one.
Back in front and still looking very solid, Liverpool were deservedly ahead. By now though, as a Liverpool fan you should know that luck doesn't seem to tumble our way very often and we're often partial to a lapse in concentration.
Just before 80 minutes Liverpool had possession in defence, Martin Skrtel was on the ball but bizarrely, when it appeared he didn't even need to, he went for a long pass back to Reina without as much as a glance to check if the coast was clear. As soon as the ball had left his feet he spotted Carlos Tevez. Reina tried his best and quickly came out of goal, Coates also tried to get back in time for a block but there was nothing we could do, the mistake had been made and Man City capitalised.
Andy Carroll entered play late on as Liverpool tried to find a winner but it wasn't to be. The Reds deserved a win but a silly mistake took that away from us. Before kick off though, most fans would have taken a result because really anything seemed like a bonus, there were plenty of positives from this game too and it sets us up nicely for the next match in the league against Arsenal.