Liverpool 1-1 Manchester City

Premier League
Sunday 22 February 2009 - 3:00 pm
1Man City
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El Zhar'
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Liverpool stuttered to a draw when they hosted Man City at Anfield, which sees the reds with even less room for error in this seasons title challenge.

With Gerrard and Alonso unable to play, Liverpool were left short of inspiration and craft in the midfield. And even though the reds started off well with possession, the lack of  lethal creativity was all too evident. And this left the fans, manager and players alike all frustrated by the final whistle.

It was former red Craig Bellamy shortly after the break who was to open the scoring for his present club, from a deflection in off Arbeloa.  But with Liverpool once again given the task of catch up this season, they began to play as though it was essential to win. Dirk Kuyt was on hand to level it for the reds with a cross from Yossi Benayoun.

Liverpool continued to look for the winner and the game opened up. But with Shay Given denying Yossi Benayoun with a great instinctive save and Fernando Torres trying his best to set up and get on the end of moves, Liverpool were set to drop two very important points at home again.

If Liverpool have any chance of sustaining a title challenge to the end after this game, it’s vital that key players stay fit and available to play.

Rafa Benitez:

“It was a bad result because we could have done better with the chances we had in the first half.

“We controlled the game but you have to score first. We conceded a deflected goal and that changed the game because they have pace and ability – things were more open so they were dangerous on the counter attack.

“After we scored the goal we had chances and could have won the game.”

Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Dossena (Aurelio 76), Benayoun, Mascherano (Babel 83), Lucas, Riera (El Zhar 63), Torres, Kuyt.
Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Ngog, Spearing.

Booked: El Zhar.

Goals: Kuyt 78.

Man City: Given, Richards, Dunne, Onuoha, Bridge, Zabaleta, De Jong, Kompany, Ireland, Bellamy, Robinho (Caicedo 88).
Subs Not Used: Hart, Garrido, Vassell, Evans, Elano, Weiss.

Booked: Dunne, Kompany.

Goals: Arbeloa 51 og.

Att: 44,259

Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

4 comments on
Liverpool 1-1 Manchester City

  1. Another poor performance by the boys again confirming that without Gerrard we tend to struggle.No other team in the Premiership depends on one man more then we do that’s despite having spent millions in the transfer market mostly on dross!.Against City we only came alive after they scored…

    However we must remember that when compared to the likes of Man Utd and Chelsea we spend next to nothing,the Mancs have far greater financial muscle then we do and regulary sign a £20 million player where as we’re always penny-pinching.Until this attitude changes where we always settle for second best i don’t see us challenging the creme de le creme or winning the Premiership.

    Should have signed Simao but settled for Pennant then Keane had to do as we couldn’t afford Barry,even Ronaldo could have been our’s but for all the pondering that goes on by Parry.It’s gonna kill me to see the Mancs equalling our proud record infact i may just leave the country to get away from it!!

    We must sort out the manager’s position as well as the ownership of the club for these things have been dragging on for far too long.The new stadium needs to be built as soon as possible that will bring in much needed revenue but all this will take a few years minimum.

  2. This is Rafa’s 5th season in the job at Anfield. In those 5 seasons he has finished 5th, 3rd, 4th, 4th and is now 2nd. Compare this to Alex Ferguson’s first 5 seasons at utd where he finished 11th, 2nd, 11th, 13th and 6th.

    Secondly consider this.

    In 1990-91 a full strength Utd team would have looked a little like this

    Leighton 38%
    Irwin 27%
    Bruce 42%
    Pallister 100%
    Phelan 39%
    Sharpe 20%
    Ince 43%
    Hughes 90%
    McClair 45%

    Average 49 %

    the players with percentages next to them represent players signed by Ferguson in those first 5 seasons. The figures represent the percentage of the record transfer fee of the time that each player cost. The record fee at this time was around £2m. For example, Pallister cost utd £2.2m which was a transfer record, hence he has 100% next to his name.

    Contrast this to what we would consider Liverpool’s strongest lineup of today, possibly with exception of Agger who is injured

    Reina 21%
    Arbeloa 9%
    Aurelio 0%
    Skrtel 20%
    Riera 27%
    Kuyt 30%
    Alonso 36%
    Mascherano 62%
    Torres 88%

    Average 33%

    So On average, of his strongest lineup at the end of his firts 5 seasons in charge, the average amount Ferguson spent on a player was 49% of the record transfer of the day. Whereas Rafa has only spent on average rouhgly 33% of the present record transfer fee per player.

    The point here is that Ferguson spent more and achieved less in his first 5 years at Utd than Rafa has at Liverpool and before people start saying I’ve missed out players like Babel, Agger, Benayoun et al from the analysis, I’ve equally missed out players like Neil Webb, Danny Wallace and Les Sealey too. Of those ‘fringe players’ Babel is our most costly at 38% of the record fee. In addition, some may say i forgot to mention Robbie Keane. Well he came in at around 67% of the record fee. Less than superflop Neil Webb at a whopping 75% of the record fee and slightly more than Danny Wallace at 60% of the record fee. By the way, another ‘flop’ Jim Leighton, was relitively more expensive than Pepe Reina who is of course one of the worlds best keepers.

    In those first 5 years Ferguson won roughly 40% of his league matches whereas Rafa has managed 55%. This makes Rafa almost as good as Bob Paisley and Ferguson on par with Souness.

    Finally, in those first five years, Utd never managed to finish higher than Liverpool, who were the team to beat in those days. Utd’s rise to the top of English football coincided with the implosion of many of the games bigger teams. When Utd won their first title in 1992-93, the teams that had been successful in the preceding 7 years (in terms of winning leagues) all started to begin spells in the doldrums such as Liverpool, Everton, Arsenal and Leeds. For example Leeds won the league in 1991-92, but finished 17th the following season. That 1991-92 season was the first time in which Liverpool finished out of the top 2 since 1980-81 when we finished 5th, over 10 seasons before! Utd never knocked anyone of their perch. There simply was nobody on a perch when they started to win Premier league titles.

  3. No time to throw in the towel El Tel. Plenty of football to go and a big clash at Old Trafford. I agree 8 draws in 13 games is abysmal. If those 8 draws had even been 4 wins and 4 defeats we would be within 3 points of United.

  4. So then, Thats it for yet another season. Might aswell give the Premiership cup to the s–m after that load of c–p. Got to concentrate on the Champions leaguemore than every now in order to get something out of the season. We played like we are “Great pretenders” and nothing more. We have only looked convincing against the “So called” top 4 and mediocre against the lesser teams. Just hope we can get some pride back against that lot in march. El Tel

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