Ireland Stuns The Kop
Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City: Saturday 21 November 2009.
Lando78 sent us Saturdays match report.
The first half began with a nervy Liverpool side tentatively trying to catch City cold. Steven Gerrard was the orchestrated and only City's defensive resolve kept them at bay.
After some early pressure a great header by Skrtel was somehow clawed out by Given to deny the Slovakian his first Liverpool goal.
A series of injuries then followed with two Liverpool players being substituted within ten minutes of each other. Firstly, Daniel Agger left the field for stitches and soon after the Ryan Babel hobbled off after a clash with Gerrard.
The next attack came about due to the injuries and the Liverpool defence at sixes and sevens. Emergency right back Mascherano didn't respond quick enough and Barry found himself in acres of space only to square the ball unnecessarily.
Next, Gerrard had a half chance after the ball deflected back to him in the area, but he could only put his half-volley wide of the right upright.
In a largely flat half, the only other chance came to Shaun Wright Phillips after a sweeping City counterattack but the diminutive winger could only fire his shot wildly wide.
All in all, it was a lack lustre first half with a low in confidence Liverpool trying to breakdown a very defensive and organised City.
If the first half was an example of how not to entertain a crowd, the second half showed exactly why the Premier League is the most entertaining in the world.
After some early skirmishes it was Liverpool to draw first blood after a needless foul by Zabaleta on the left hand side. Steven Gerrard took a vicious in swinger that was met by the dangerous Skrtel under little or no pressure from the disappointing Adebayor.
With the insults still fresh on Blue tongues, the Togolese striker rammed them back down their throats and Skrtel`s with a similar goal to the Slovakian. Manu lost Skrtel momentarily to powerfully head past a stranded Pepe Reina.
The defensive stance that Liverpool had adopted after the goal was to come back to haunt them as it handed City sustained periods of pressure and more importantly time to play the ball about.
arlos Tevez, dropped to the bench by Hughes, replaced the injured and jaded Barry and set about the Liverpool back line with pace and purpose.
Within minutes Stephen Ireland stunned the Kop when he finished off a fine move started by Tevez cutting in from the left flank and slipping the ball to SWP who turned the big Greek Kuriakos and gave the ball to Ireland who finished coolly passed Reina.to put the visitors ahead.
Te lead wouldn't last but a minute however as Benayoun pounced after David Ngog's shot was deflected by the alert Israeli as Zabaleta was too slow to react.
Liverpool survived a period of pressure by City before the away side saw out a nervy last ten to claim a well deserved point.