A late strike by Kuyt denies City their second away win of the season, but City still travel home with a creditable point.
Liverpool started the match on the front foot. Richards did well to defend an inviting cross from Kuyt, but only five minutes later the off-form defender was needed treatment after Dossena caught him, but it wasn`t serious and he carried on without a problem.
The dangerous Torres wasted a good chance early on when he scuffed a volley yards wide after a good combination between Carragher and Benayoun. City defended very well in the early stages of the half and kept the hosts away from Given`s goal. Dossena`s cross that evaded everyone was the closest Liverpool came to finding their way past a very solid looking Cit defence.
Halfway through the first half and City`s defending began to look frantic. Firstly Bridge`s deflection from Mascherano`s cross took the ball close to Torres however Richards was able to clear but it took seconds before another cross entered the box but after a stint of pinball, City managed to clear their lines.
In a spell of Liverpool dominance, City looked destined to defend all game but on the half hour Stephen Ireland failed to take a golden opportunity. Ireland started the move as he swung a long ball across the pitch to Robinho who delayed before finding Ireland in acres of space but he drove the ball straight at Reina and then put the rebound wide.
Dossena and Riera both had Given scrambling in the next period of Liverpool pressure but neither shot failed to beat Given. Micah Richards then needed more treatment on the 39th minute after a challenge with Skrtel, but as Richards came to his feet, he was greeted with boo`s from the Liverpool fans, who believed he made a meal of it.
Benayoun managed to spoon the ball over the bar towards the end of the half but both sides went in at the break wondering how they had not scored.
Halftime: Liverpool 0 Manchester 0.
No changes at halftime but whatever Mark Hughes said at halftime obviously worked as City came out the better. Kompany volleyed a shot at Reina before City broke the deadlock. Robinho played the ball to Kompany who found Craig Bellamy and fired the ball towards goal. A wicked deflection took it beyond Reina`s reach and into the net. Own goal or Bellamy`s? what ever the conclusion, City where ahead and looking good.
Chances still came and went for Liverpool though when Kuyt headed over from a corner, but City took full initiative of counter attacking football, as Ireland went close up the other end.
Another corner from Liverpool found City breaking again. Richards broke and crossed the ball from the wing, which Ireland connected with and placed the ball past Reina. However the flag was up and City still only had a one goal advantage.
Nothing is ever simple for City and on the 78th minute disaster struck. Benayoun`s cross from the left was miskicked by Torres but it still found Kuyt who simply tapped the ball home.
Liverpool began the spell of dominance that persisted throughout the first half, but Given was keeping the scores lever, when he denied Kuyt`s long range shot and Benayoun`s shot from outside the area.
City still had chances though and Onuoha who scored in midweek had a shot straight at Reina, and then Robinho kept the ball too long in the box when Ireland and Bellamy were ready to poke it home. Torres then managed to pull the last chance in normal time wide, as three minutes of added time were announced.
Skrtel`s awful strike was all City had to defend in injury time and as the final whistle blew, City could salute a good day on the pitch. 10th place in the league isn`t all that bad is it?
Fulltime: Liverpool 1 Manchester City 1
GIVEN 10 world class saves kept us in it
Richards — Best game for us in ages. Some timely and excellent tackles and blocks. Put under a lot of pressure late in the game but let no-one down — 8
ONUOHA: 8 – Developing into a fine centre half and appears to read the game better than Richards. Needs to practice his shooting…
DUNNE: 7 – Stable performance today, the recent rest should stand him in good stead for the remainding of the season. Still makes rash and uneccesary challenges at times though
Bridge 8 Best game yet for City really good defending and linking down that left hand side.
De Jong — My Man of the Match, worked well with Kompany and Zabaleta, some great tackles… Looked at home in the Anfield pressure-cooker — 10
Kompany — Never lets the team down but today nearly got two yellows which could have been disastrous — 7
ZABALETA 7 never went hiding and was always looking to help out in both defence and attack.
IRELAND: 9 (Can i give 11 or not?) – Still playing below his confidence levels at the start of the season, but was still MOTM in my opinion. Stevie Ireland is our Stevie Gerrard; excellent going backwards and forwards, strong in the tackle, fantastic workrate, good vision and excellent touch. Should have more confidence in himself in goalscoring situations. Add that, and he’ll take over the mantle as the best midfielder in the PL in a few years time.
Bellamy 7 ran every where up left right linked well with midfield, once they got their game going.
– Buzz lightyear
ROBINHO 9 i would give robbie MOTM even though i gave given a 10,reason being he tracked back,tackled and looked dangerous all 2nd half and liverpool was wary of him at all times,he had a smile back on his face and linked up with ireland,bellamy and kept the ball better than of late in away games.
Caicedo — brought on late but actually looked very confident on the ball. He really looked up for the game and maybe he should have been on earlier — 7
Hughes — I was very worried before this game, especially after Copenhagen. Brought a strong performance out of the team — 8
kennyclementstache – I dont quite know if Mark Hughes is still fit to wear the suit, but you cant complain over today’s performance.
Referee Dowd, 8 not over fussy let the game flow, no major errors.
– Buzz Lightyear