Liverpool’s defensive errors prove costly as reds beaten 3-1 at Man City

Premier League
Monday 25 August 2014 - 8:00 pm
City of Manchester Stadium
Man City3
1Liverpool
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Liverpool's poor string of results at the Etihad continued as the current Premier League champions grabbed a 3-1 victory over last seasons runners-up.

The reds handed Alberto Moreno his Liverpool debut at left back, with Lazar Markovic featuring in the matchday squad for the first time.  Joe Allen came in to replace Lucas Leiva - who is heavily linked with a departure to join former boss Rafa Benitez at Napoli.

Rickie Lambert's arrival, for the second consecutive game, resulted in a quick Liverpool goal

Mario Balotelli was in the crowd to watch his new team and it was a shame he wasn't in the starting line-up.

Although Liverpool dominated for most of the first half - few clear cut chances were being created.  Despite the hard-work of Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge was largely anonymous.

For the second week running Sturridge only showed his ability once Rickie Lambert was sent on - the two England players combining to salvage a late goal for the reds.

Moreno had an impressive opening - but failed to clear a ball just before half time that Jovetic pounced on to score.  It would be harsh to blame Moreno solely.  Lovren and Gerrard both led to the ball being bounced around the box after failing to deal with runners at the edge of the area.  The shot went through Simon Mignolet's legs.

It was a blow to the reds who had looked the better side until that point.

Second half and Man City applied the pressure - Jovetic sealed his second and could have had a hat-trick moments later.

Dzeko was replaced by Sergio Aguero and with his first involvement in the game ensured all three points for the men from the Etihad.

Lazar Markovic was sent on for his debut and showed some nice touches - early days for him. Emre Can also had a run out. His main involvement was a rather spectacular dive - something a little unexpected from a German footballer (hopefully someone will have a word in his ear).

Rickie Lambert was sent on with 12 minutes left and his pressure forced Zabaleta to score an own goal.  Lambert could have grabbed Liverpool's second but he elected to pass to Sturridge when he should have taken the shot himself.  Who knows how the final 10 minutes would have played out if that had gone in?

Liverpool travel to Spurs next weekend.

Balotelli is likely to start - it will be a toss-up between Coutinho and Sturridge who faces a spell on the bench - but it will be Liverpool's defence and keeper who will be most severely tested by the men from White Hart Lane.

All eyes will be on Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel and Alberto Moreno who appeared to pick up knocks late on in the game.

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