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Liverpool 3 - Manchester City 0

Anfield

11 April 2011/ 8.05pm

Attendance: 47,087

Liverpool Demolish Sorry City

Tonight`s game was an extremely important one facing a resurgent Liverpool who only a few months ago were languishing in the relegation zone. Bolstered by the arrivals of Lois Suarez and Andy Carroll, Liverpool find themselves in 6th place on 45 points before start of play today. Kenny Dalglish`s team have scored in their last 13 league outings and have lost just one of their last 11 home games.

On the flip side, our beloved Blues have only managed to achieve 2 points out of a possible 15 away from home in 2011, although we have not lost in our last four meetings with Liverpool. We have kept more clean sheets (14) than any other side in the Premier League. So looking at the statistics really doesn`t help predict what happened tonight.

Dalglish`s line up consisted of Reina in goal and a back four of debutant 18 year old Flanagan, Carragher, Skrtel and Aurelio. In midfield he played Lucas, Spearing, Kuyt and Meireles with Carroll and Suarez up front.

The game was preceded by a minutes silence to commemorate the Hillsborough Disaster which was perfectly respected and finished with huge applause. As soon as Mark Halsey blew his whistle to signal the start of the game, City set out with Milner left and Johnson right playing a four-four-two.

Liverpool`s first shot was blasted over from the edge of the penalty box by Kuyt after neat work by Suarez after five minutes. This was followed by a brilliant through ball by Carroll playing in Suarez who shot well and on target only to be denied by a brilliant save by Hart pushing it on to the post. Liverpool started to click in midfield with some neat passing and were starting to create chances and force City into their own half!

On twelve minutes Liverpool began a sustained attack. The ball was only cleared to Carroll who found himself free after Tevez was dispossessed in midfield. With one look up he let fly from the edge of the box beating Hart down to his right.

This goal was followed by disaster as Tevez pulled up and instantly handed his armband to Kompany and limped off holding his right hamstring. On fifteen minutes, two minutes after conceding the first goal, our first substitute Mario Balotelli came on to join the fray.

City couldn`t seem to find their timing, passes were going astray and the defence seemed to be constantly under pressure as they gave the ball away time and time again. Liverpool were first to every fifty fifty ball and City didn`t have a shot in anger until Balotelli headed over from a deep Johnson cross on twenty one minutes.

Mancini to his credit changed his system going four three three but things didn`t seem to change and Liverpool seemed to clearly dominated. As the half wore on, City slowly started to assert themselves and moved more and more into the Liverpool half. But with a swift break and sustained attack Kuyt finished as a loose ball fell to him inside the box and he beat Hart again to his right.

Liverpool struck again on thirty five minutes as Moreiles played a long ball forward to the majestic Carroll who out-jumped Kolarov and put his second goal past the despairing Hart. This game was becoming a nightmare for Mancini with the talismanic Tevez out, possibly for the season and City down by three before half time. City were desperately missing De Jong and Silva in a midfield and were too often caught in possession or passing to the opposition.

The first half ended with Liverpool on top of City winning every second ball and Mancini must have been left ruing the changes he had made.

The second half began with no changes; surely we couldn`t play as badly in the second half as the Blue mettle was tested to its limits, to come from three goals down. Whilst the effort was increasing as the half went on, with City`s players not being caught in possession or out of position as much, the Blue shirts were still coming under increasing pressure.

Ten minutes into the second half Mancini played his trump card with the twinkle toed David Silva stripping off ready to try and improve City`s fortune. Milner looked unhappy and shook his head in disgust as he came off for Silva but in truth he was a shadow of the player that hummed in the engine room for England.

The rest of the second half was much of the same although City sporadically attacked they spent more time defending and whilst the defending was better, the Premier League`s second tightest defence looked creaky.

De Jong came on for the bemused Balotelli on eighty three minutes but the game was over by then. Liverpool played with more desire and looked far fitter and stronger than City but the fault clearly lies with Mancini making three changes to a winning side changing the system to boot. With Tevez a doubt for the Semi-Final it really couldn`t have been a worse night for the Blue half of Manchester.

Star Player

Suarez was instrumental in every attack Liverpool had and although Carroll scored two Suarez nicks it for his overall role in the Liverpool victory.

Player Ratings


Hart - 6

Couldn't be faulted with any of the goals but his distribution was lacking

Boyata - 5

Caught out of position too often going forward.

Kompany - 6

Troubled by the pace and movement of Suarez but offered little help defensively by the midfield.

Lescott - 5

Couldn't get near Carroll for either goal.

Kolarov - 4

Gave the ball away way too much, was weak in the tackle and caught out of position...shame Zabaleta wasn't match fit.

Johnson - 6

Couldn't cross for our tall centre half from the right hand side. Should have been moved to the left to attack the rookie right back and supply crosses with his stronger foot.

Milner - 5

Ineffective on the left and only slightly more so when he was moved inside. Clearly not happy when substituted.

Barry - 6

Looked short of pace as the Liverpool midfield buzzed around him. Was the best defensive midfielder but still gave the ball away.

Toure - 5

Lumbered in midfield caught between playing a defensive and an offensive role and really didn't add much to either.

Dzeko - 5

Playing an unfamiliar role with his back to goal, his first touch was poor and he was supplied with little or no ammunition from the wings.

Tevez - 6

Industrious from the off but substituted with suspected hamstring damage on fifteen minutes and may miss the semi final.

Balotelli - 5

Kept unusually calm but found himself facing two or three players every time he had the ball. Also like Dzeko offered little ammunition.

Silva - 6

Came on for Milner to try and create something for City but found himself out-numbered and off the pace. Showed glimpses of what he can do.

De Jong - Came on too late to mark

Came on with seven minutes to go. Didn't really have a chance to have an affect on the game.

Manager Rating

Mancini tinkered with a team after professing that the players were much happier playing once a week. The plan backfired and City were humiliated in the first half.

Opponent Rating

Dalglish was brave playing an untried eighteen year old at right back. His team worked hard for him winning every fifty fifty and Carroll and Suarez seem to have a great understanding.




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The journalist

Writer: Redmond6 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday April 11 2011

Time: 10:13PM

Your Comments

There's no defence for that performance after last week's, Mancini should have known Liverpool would give a cup final-esque performance as they did against United (who they beat 3-0 a few weeks ago too) and Chelsea, yet he rested two players we look half a team without (Silva and De Jong). Add Tevez's injury and the night couldn't have been worse. All that said, as long as Silva and De Jong do play on Saturday we have a better chance of showing up, as long as one of Mario or Dzeko show up. BTW, I wouldn't even rate Kolarov a 4 - that performance was indescribably bad, he is *the* flop of the season for us without doubt now. Playing him against United will be suicide. Have to play Zaba on the left.
StuMCFC
Totally agree Stu. Kolarov needs to be shipped out asap. Also think a 6 for Barry is generous. Dzeko...I mean, wtf? How hard is it to control a ball every so often. It was terrible stuff from City. I think this game was more important than Saturday's is because at least we could treat Saturday's game like a cup final but to put out this team against what turned out to be a truly resurgent Liverpool team (I really thought we had the beating of them with a full strength team) was suicidal. I also think Hart could have done better for the first two goals. Ah...to be a City fan. Love it.
rojo2010
Kolarov is the only player who seems to have actually got worse the more he's played. Not sure he'll be around much after the summer. Mancini went out tonight with one eye on the cup and it surely didn't work. With Tevez off we lost a lot of our impetus up top, Milner showed himmself to be incredibly rusty, and without Silva we don't have much guile. DeJong showed how important he is to our defence and ability to hang onto the ball, and Dzeko looks as though he could do with some one-on one coaching with Mancini over the summer. Bad day at the office. let's hope we pick it up substantially for the rags.
fifthcolumnblue
The loss of Tevez and we caved in.
Johnny Baguette
Do you think it was that simple JB? I just didn't get the feeling from that team from the get go and think the result may well have been the same with Tevez. I bawked at that team when I saw it...
rojo2010
I know what you mean mate but at least he chases lost causes. Once that went it was game over. That said, he had him playing very deep. What crap tactics.
Johnny Baguette
Sorry lads but I'm starting to think Dezko is Crouch's long lost brother 32 million brrr I think not. Hope you get Tevez back soon you don't deserve that.
spurdon
No excuse. Mancini was running out of excuse, that is why he apologized perhaps just to save his own job. But I think the owners should be brave now. The best thing for them to do: sack Mancini immediately, use David Platt/Brian Kidd as caretaker be4 finding a new manager in the summer. With Mancini, and now without Tevez, you won't win the FA Cup Semi. It would be a "miracle" if this team beat Man Utd with Mancini as the manager. But like I said, likely it won't happen. You won't get top 4 spot with Mancini as well. Mancini NEVER won against any top 7 team this season except against Chelsea at home, and it was won thanks to Tevez, not Mancini. It looks harsh on Mancini but no more excuse. If the owners are really serious about saving the season, Mancini should be sacked immediately.
windleaf
There is a rumour linking Tevez to Inter. I even suspect Tevez wanting to leave Man City because he has "foreseen" all this is going to happen to Man City: Man City will never win a thing with Mancini's tactics - negative and inexperience tactics. Tevez looks like want to leave because some stupid executives in office got the wrong manager for the club. Out of respect to the club, the manager, the team and the fans, Tevez won't say it openly. But I feel that most Man City fans sense this as well. If Mancini get sacked, with a good enough manager coming in, even without top 4 spot, Tevez will definitely stay. Mancini stays, Tevez will go, simple as that. But the big question is: Is Mancini really good enough for Man City to stay for seasons to come?
windleaf
@spurdon If anyone crossed it to Dzeko he might actually score. He's had about two crosses on to his head in his entire stay here. He seems able to hold up the ball well, but Balotelli didn't link up at all with him. Johnson's crossing was poor and never left the ground, sometimes he really justifies why he was so often used as a super-sub, which we get slated by the media for.
StuMCFC
As for Mancini, if we sack him who do we go for? 95% of managers out there would offer no guarantee of doing better. We might play prettier football but leak goals at the same time, equaling the same standing. If Mourinho becomes available that is a different story, but we can't just poach Mourinho from the world's biggest football club, he has to firstly want to leave Madrid and secondly come to is. Spalletti is an interesting option I hadn't thought of before, another Italian but with an attacking mindset. A success at Roma and now Zenit but yet again it would be a risk. Only Mourinho would seem to guarantee definite improvement.
StuMCFC
I know most Man City fans tried to blame MOST players for not playing well or not good enough. But I think it may be a little bit harsh. For instance almost every fans blame Kolarov for his sluggish display. But even Mourinho once said Kolarov was the player that he wanted but just couldn't compete with Man City. This instance alone shows that the individual players shouldn't be the problem (because Mourinho wanted Kolarov). The problems are - why the players didn't perform as expected? Why the defending looked so snail-paced and easily getting panic? Why the whole team looked so slow in reaction? Why the players couldn't anticipate and intercept the passes, but could only chase shadow instead? Why Yaya and Barry looked like they were jogging at midfield? Why the defenders couldn't clear the ball fast and convincingly enough? Why there were so many hesitation when the players passed the ball? So many why. We have seen these so many "why" ever since Mancini became the manager. After nearly 1 and a half season for him, there is still no proper solution to all these problems. As a manager he is the one that should know the problems and solve it. Mancini should be sacked immediately.
windleaf
Sacking him immediately wouldn't be a good idea, IMO. There's no one we can get in for the few remaining games of the season so we'd be left with caretaker Brian Kidd who failed terribly as a proper manager. We have to stick by Mancini and see how he does for the remainder of the season. Our club is unpredictable so we could just as easily finish 3rd and win the FA Cup as finish 5th and win nothing (in which case Mancini would be out quicker than you can blink).
StuMCFC
The problems with the team won't be solved immediately, as long as Mancini is still the manager. Because it is very obvious he has failed. Change of manager/caretaker means immediate change of tactics. Without changes, the problems would still be there. When the problems are still there, it would be like an "open book" for some managers like Fergie, Redknapp, Moyes to exploit. That is why I hope to see immediate changes. But like you said, it is hard to change now. Those managers are smart enough to beat your occasional ineffective and predictable manager - Mancini. Top 4 and FA Cup? We can only pray for miracle.
windleaf
I seen Milner shaking his head when coming off and agree he wasn't playing all that well, but to take him off when the likes of Balotelli was wandering about as if he were window shopping is probably the reason. This team had no direction whatsoever. I would like to know how many times our defence tried to clear the ball only for it to either go straight to a liverpool player or bounce of their bodies in some way. I got up at 3 am to watch the game. It's called an awake nightmare!!! Get busy Mancini you don't have to tell us you made a mistake, we seen it for ourselves and by the way, ONE mistake??? Goodness knows where you came up with that figure mate... Go away and do some thinking and start earning the vast amount of money you are getting paid.
Oziman
Milner, Barry and Dzeko are NOT the enemy. Anyone watching can see these guys (who we all know are expensive but limited players) give 100% for the cause. Balotelli, Yaya and Kolarov were carried throughout the game and often seem to lack the guts required to compete with the pace of Prem games.
Spooks
Agree with most of your ratings Bluerichy.
Spooks
Windleaf - how can you say Mancini has failed when the season isn't over yet? We are still in a decent position to achieve our targets of CL qualification and winning a cup. The fat lady hasn't sung yet.
Bluedub
I think Mancini got it wrong and took his eye off the ball here...it was important to get a result as we now have to beat Spurs at Spurs to make sure of a top four place (admittedly we have a better goal difference). Let's reserve judgement on Mancini until the end of the season. After all Fergy turned out to be one of the best Managers ever having been saved from the sack by a Mark Robins goal in the semis of the FA cup (sound familiar!!). He was big enough to admit his mistake so let's see how the team respond on Saturday....I hope we can shove that banner up some red butts come May!
bluerichy
Richy, the game against Spurs is at home mate,btw very well written report as usual.
Bluedub
Windleaf you talk a lot of *****e in fairness. Who cares if Mourinho wanted to buy Kolarov. I mean, where are you coming from with that statement? Kolarov has been terrible for the majority of the games he has played this season; he can't defend to save his life and is just as bad going forward. The players have to stand up here and say, you know what, yeah we were atrocious and we take the blame. We get paid [insert exorbitant amount of money here] per week and we should be doing better. Yaya needs a rocket up his hole, Dzeko is just not at the races yet, Barry should be ashamed of that performance and Kompany & Lescott were nowhere near their best. Balotelli went missing again and Milner looked off the pace because he hasn't got a proper run of games yet. You think Mancini should be sacked? I think Mancini was naive last night, but not at fault for the loss. We're still in fourth and have an FA Cup to play for. Anyone calling for Mancini's head with 6 games to go is an idiot.
rojo2010
 

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