Reds Unlucky To Walk Away With Nothing From City
Liverpool could have, should have and nearly did come away from the Etihad on Thursday night with a result after an emphatic performance against title favourites Manchester City. The Reds did not shy away and caused plenty of problems for the home side but missed chances and mistakes let Brendan's side down and they were extremely unfortunate to walk away as losers.
With Flanagan injured Brendan Rodgers decided to field Aly Cissokho in his place. Suarez once again was up front as captain with the likes of Coutinho and Sterling in support.
The first major moment of the game was a terrible, terrible decision from the lines man. A lovely ball through to Raheem Sterling from Luis Suarez sent the youngster on his way, one on one with Joe Hart. A late flag from the linesman though indicated that he'd been called offside, it was only until we all saw the replay that the mistake and the gravity of it became evident. Raheem was at least two yards on side, it was just a shocking decision and Liverpool saw a perfectly acceptable goal disallowed.
I hate dwelling on decisions but this one seriously affected us. Thankfully Liverpool didn't get too disheartened by the call and just a few minutes later some lovely build up play had Raheem Sterling on route to goal once again. A Jordan Henderson pass to Luis Suarez was then neatly flicked on by the Uruguayan to Sterling who took the ball past Joe Hart and then allowed his teammate Phillipe Coutinho to convert the goal from an angle and send Liverpool into the lead!
I must admit I went bloody mental for the goal and I was sitting in a rammed pub in Wolverhampton with not too many Liverpool fans but it was a sign of how important this game was. My jumping around was emulated by the travelling Kop and Reds everywhere began to start thinking "we could bloody win this!".
Perhaps it was too early in the game to be feeling that way but Liverpool really were playing well considering they were missing Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge too I thought the Reds were doing brilliantly but it was obvious that City being so powerful and pacey on the break would also find a goal. It was just annoying that we would concede their equaliser via a set piece.
At 32 minutes City found themselves with a corner, whipped in by David Silva the ball found its way to Vincent Kompany who's header eventually found its way into the back of the net despite the best efforts of Joe Allen on the line.
Vincent Kompany to be fair to him had been ragged all game by Martin Skrtel and he'd continue to get ragged also, for me the only reason the referee didn't give Kompany anything is because he never complains and just gets on with it. I don't like hardly any players from other teams but I really respect Kompany and in fairness felt he somehow deserved that goal even if Liverpool didn't deserve to concede in that manner.
The game was now level but once again Liverpool looked confident and continued to apply pressure on City who were struggling to create chances directly, only on the break.
The next goal of the game really was heartbreaking for Liverpool, it came at a terrible time just before the whistle and what made it worse was the goalkeeping. A break for City saw Negredo attempt a chip, as the ball was travelling it looked as though Mignolet had it covered, as it reached his hands, it still looked like he had it covered but as if by magic Mignolet's mit appeared to turn to jelly and a strong hand turned weak as the ball trickled over him and into the back of the net.
I like Mignolet, I really do but I have no idea what he was doing there, he'd done the hard part all he needed to do was keep the strong hand or even catch it instead of trying too hard. I don't know, it just seemed as though it should have been simple. Everybody was gutted, including Mignolet but at least there was still another 45 minutes to correct the problem.
The second half saw Liverpool continue in a similar fashion to the first, it really was a great game for the Reds who should be proud in spite of defeat. Not many teams can create so many chances and hold their own against Manchester City on their own turf and if it wasn't for some silly mistakes and missed chances Liverpool could have quite easily walked away winners.
The second half saw Luis Suarez kept pretty quiet but he was still creating chances for the likes of Raheem Sterling who sent an attempt flying over the goal late on. Earlier missed opportunities from Sterling, Coutinho and Henderson all began to take their toll as the game pushed to 90 minutes and Liverpool began to slowly run out of ideas.
The Reds never gave up but it was too late to come back. Some defensive mishaps from Sakho in the second half also left Liverpool fans feeling very annoyed and rightly so, the Reds may not have managed to come back but they were always right in the game, a silly goal conceded would have buried the game for City in my opinion and so Liverpool did well to keep them out despite some lacklustre defending at times.
Another moment to note in the goalless second half was the booking of Luis Suarez, he basically saw yellow because of his reputation because his foot never touched Hart and Hart wasn't bothered either, they both shook hands and it should have been left at that really.
As for the penalty shouts I still feel we had something from the Lescott ruckus but as for the shirt pulling there is no way we deserved that after the way Skrtel has been behaving not only throughout the game but the season as a whole, one day he's going to get caught out and for me he needs to pack it in. I'm all for a bit of physicality in the box but ragging shirts constantly is a sign of a nervous defender in my opinion and there's no need for him to be nervous, he's a good defender but if he doesn't stop he's going to have some very frustrated fans to answer to.
Overall it's a weird feeling after this match, I actually feel positive about the loss. If we're being realistic any result at the Etihad would have been a bonus and Liverpool showed great tenacity and fight on Thursday evening, there is no way any City fan felt nothing but relief after that 90 minutes and for me we simply push that game aside and prepare for Chelsea because if we play like that, we'll bloody batter them!
I asked you for your thoughts on the game as always and here are a few of the tweets I received...