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Liverpool 2 - Manchester City 2

Anfield

Saturday 21st November 2009, 12.45pm

Attendance: 44,164

Draw Specialists City Hold Liverpool

Liverpool and Manchester City went head-to-head in a bid to sort the men from the boys and determine which would be the side to snatch the much coveted fourth position.

The home side opened the scoring just five minutes after the restart after a goaless first-half, Martin Skrtyl toe-poking a Gerrard free-kick past Given at the near post.

City levelled through Adebayor before taking the lead themselves through a supurb move finished by Stephen Ireland.

Mark Hughes' side was celebrating for barely a minute before Yossi Benayoun put the Reds on level terms and earned Benitez another week of breathing space.

A point-a-piece will be of little reward for either side who desperately needed all three.

Liverpool stormed out of the blocks as they looked to establish themselves back in the top four against their closest premier league rivals.

In the fourth minute Liverpool won a free-kick courtesy of Dirk Kuyt going to ground very easily under a Gareth Barry challenge, Gerrard whipped it in and Skrtel`s subsequent header was spectacularly saved by City`s aggrieved Irish international keeper, Shay Given.

Agger was taken off due to a clash of heads during the set-piece as the visitors back four stood firm. City were now seeing more of the ball as the substitution disrupted Livepool`s flow.

The home side was becoming increasingly sloppy, giving the ball away far too easily, Wright -Phillips also guilty of the same offence for City on occasion.

In the 11th minute Barry somehow found himself in acres of space as he got in behind the Merseysiders back four, leaving his marker for dead. The England internationals soft header was beaten away by Jose Reina, shaky times for Liverpool`s makeshift defense.

Just two minutes later, Rafa Benitez was looking a worried man after Ryan Babel needed medical attention after clashing with team-mate Steven Gerrard.

Although the Dutchman played on, Benitez was forced to make his second substitution of the night after only 18 mins, the recently injured Benayoun his replacement.

Liverpool continued to press but City`s shape was resolute and there was no way through for the home side. Mark Hughes will have been happy that his side had weathered the early storm and were now looking to get a goal on the break.

In the 36th minute, a nice flowing move saw City`s best chance of the half. Stephen Ireland dummied the in swinging cross but Wright-Phillips` shot was sliced wide, a poor effort from the diminutive winger.

Half-time: Liverpool 0 Manchester City 0

More to follow...

Full-time: Liverpool 2 Manchester City 2

Goals: Skrtyl 50' Benayoun 77' (Liverpool) Adebayor 69' Ireland 76' (Manchester City)

Referee: Phil Dowd




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The journalist

Writer: Lincolnsmariner Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday November 21 2009

Time: 3:14PM

Your Comments

For me our approach to this one was completely wrong. Liverpool look a side short on confidence and belief yet our one up front formation with little movement or urgecny invited them on to us. I thought that tactic had been left to last season. Tevez changed the game. Liverpool are terrified of him. In the end 2 points dropped as the woeful defending continues. Liverpool look a poor side.
Johnny Baguette
Things weren't so bad today as they have been of late and the 2nd half performance was a vast improvement on the 1st half and probably the best that we have played for some time. However we took an eternity to get going again as it seems like we need a bit of a half time bollocking to get started - Perhaps Hughesy should consider giving one out for the sake of it before we start the match as we almost know what will happen during the 1st half by now. I think that we also need a bit more backbone to hang on to the 3 points when we get our heads in front. Surely 3 points against Hull City next week..........please!
Kevinho
I was almost right as my prediction in the VL match preview was 3-2 to the Reds. I think a draw was about the right result in the end even though I'm disappointed after we took the lead that we couldn't hold onto it again, however I'm happy that we managed to again fightback to at least get a point.
Chubby Alonso
Hughes's City weren't ambitious enough today. City deserved the draw but could have won against a struggling Liverpool side. Great to see Stevie Ireland score again. SWP was a real problem for them -- but it appears that playing Adebayor up on his own won't work in the way Hughes hopes. He got one from a set-piece -- but otherwise he was the Invisible Man. Tevez maybe should not have started this game, but Hughes could have brought him on earlier. His introduction changed the game. De Jong was the best Blue for me... He was imperious and without him we would probably have lost. Some of his tackling was excellent, but what impressed me was he always seemed to be in the thick of it. A fearless performance by the Dutchman.
sindbad
for the first half I thought you were bottom four not top four!
merlin
What about during the 2nd half Merlin?
Kevinho
Merlin is right it was a tale of two halves and everything changed when Tevez came on. He gave us pace and a bit of creativity that was missing up till that point. Dissappointing not to hold on for the win but at least we haven't lost any ground on the top 4.
bluesnozza
 

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