Liverpool came back from 2-0 down at half time to secure a memorable victory to keep them joint top and fires a warning that the Istanbul spirit is alive and well with Liverpool’s new contingent.
If Dirk Kuyt had scored the easy chance in the first few minutes this game could have taken on an entirely different complexion, and team selection again raised eyebrows when Mascherano replaced Keane in the only change from the PSV stroll on Wednesday.
It was Stephen Ireland who got the games first goal after Arbeloa took his eye off the ball. As the minutes ticked towards half time, and Liverpool’s chances were limited, the reds gave away a free kick just outside the box.
Javier Garrido curled the free kick straight in to the top corner, leaving Liverpool looking glum and City running riot.
But we all know about Liverpool and second half performances.
Torres sidefooted home a cross from Arbeloa to give the reds a fighting chance. City’s Zabaleta was shown a straight red for a ridiculous challenge on Xabi Alonso. Alonso has been on the receiving end of three red card challenges now this season.
Shortly after the reds scored yet again from a corner this season. Gerrard’s cross finding Torres head perfectly. And Torres should have sealed a hat-trick – just like he should have against Everton – but he managed to miss when it was easier to score.
As the minutes ticked down Skrtel appeared to suffer a serious leg injury when he buckled when chasing a ball back to Reina. The player was given strong painkillers on the pitch before being stretchered off.
The reds had used all their substitutes and were also down to ten men as the 6 minutes of injury time commenced. But the reds didn’t need the full amount as Dirk Kuyt fired the winner home. His first Premiership goal in 27 games could not have arrived at a more apt time.
A fantastic finish and the reds stay level with Chelsea at the top of the table.
Liverpool: Reina, Aurelio, Carragher, Skrtel, Arbeloa, Riera, Alonso, Mascherano, Kuyt, Gerrard (captain), Torres.
Subs – Benayoun, Agger, Babel, Dossena, Leiva, Cavalieri, Keane
Manchester City: Hart, Garrido, Dunne (captain), Richards, Zabaleta, Blumer, Ireland, Kompany, Wright-Phillips.
Subs – Schmeichel, Fernandes, Hamann, Evans, Ben-Haim, Petrov, Sturridge
Referee: Phil Walton