Liverpool had 2 further additions to the treatment table in the first 20 minutes of this game – Agger stretchered off, before Babel hobbled off to upset Liverpool’s game plan.
The reds dominated the first half but failed to provide significant trouble to Shay Given apart from a 5th minute header from Martin Skrtel that was acrobatically tipped wide of the post.
Steven Gerrard returning for his first full game for a number of weeks was key to Liverpool’s first half domination – Man City had to wait till the 35th minute for their first attempt on the Liverpool goal.
Liverpool got the goal they had deserved for their efforts early in to the second half when Skrtel scored his first goal for the reds. A free kick from Gerrard came short in to the box and Skrtel edged in front of Adebayor to poke home the ball.
However, the reds are clearly lacking confidence these days and after dominating the game, the goal seemed to signify an attempt to try and cling on and Man City were given far too much space and opportunity. Gerrard had an anonymous second half which didn’t help the reds cause.
Eventually the goal came for City – ironically this time Adebayor getting the better of Skrtel, who failed to attack the ball from a corner – giving Adebayor a free header.
Within minutes it had got much worse when Stephen Ireland fired City ahead with 14 minutes left.
Immediately from kick off the reds were level again. An N’gog shot deflected across goal and Yossi Benayoun was on hand to put the ball back in to the net.
Another grandstand finish was set up but the game ended up as a draw – probably a fair reflection of the game overall.
Post Match Comments
“When we have all our players coming back I am confident we will start winning games.”If we can improve and play at our level, we will finish in the top four.”
“We had a shocking day with injuries.
“Glen was not happy with his calf and he had been limping a bit in training.
“Then we lose Agger and Babel. We had one problem after another. We had to use players who have not been training with the squad, but we still managed to score first.
“We felt we could hang on, then they scored twice and we had to show great character to hit back at them to get the equaliser.
“We then had a couple of great chances at the end and could have won the game.
“You cannot be happy with a home draw, but to lose three players is very difficult.
“And of course we had three players on the bench who have been for treatment in Belgrade and had not been training with the team.
“It is not easy to manage, but the reaction of the players was fantastic. You cannot ask for more from players in such a position.”
Shots: 10 (4 on target) [Man City – 9 (3 on target)] Corners: 7 [City – 3]
Liverpool: Reina, Skrtel, Insua, Carragher, Agger (Kyrgiakos 11), Babel (Benayoun 18, Aurelio 85), Leiva, Mascherano, Gerrard, Kuyt, Ngog
Unused subs: Cavalieri, Aquilani, Riera, El Zhar
Goals: Skrtel 50, Benayoun 77
Booked: Carragher, Leiva
Man City: Given, Bridge, Zabaleta, Lescott, Toure (Onuoha 46), Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Barry (Tevez 61), De Jong, Adebayor, Bellamy
Unused subs: Taylor, Kompany, Johnson, Weiss, Santa Cruz
Goals: Adebayor 69, Ireland 76
Ref: Phil Dowd
Our Man of the Match
Outshining the rest of the side, our man of the match goes to Javier Mascherano