Manchester City 0
Well there you have it, a rip roaring beast of a game that proves just why the Premiership is the most exciting league in the world! I await the video release and the extended and repeated highlights!
Not a game that underlined the quality of either side, a dog’s arse of a contest in fact. However, we live to fight on and hopefully make our mark on another occasion.
I didn’t go to the game so had to settle, once more unfortunately, for the pompous, self important, nonsense of Five Lives Alan Green. Surely this nasty, self opinionated, little man has exceeded his remit as Radio commentator to the point where it is becoming an embarrassingly, shameful excise in blatant self promotion/cynicism? His constant moaning and groaning at quality of the action, as if every game is supposed to be Brazil v Italy in 1970, as opposed to actually helping us truly appreciate what is going on, has surely run its course? Here is my club and my only opportunity I have to follow how they are doing in a “live” situation yet I was seriously contemplating switching off such was Green’s miserable, irritatingly negative drivel, he just spoils it. Alan, you have a job most of us would kill of yet, for whatever reason, you abuse it, if it’s that bad, please, please, resign, give us all a rest and let someone else, with a genuine enthusiasm for what they are doing, take over.
Anyway, back to more important things, the game. Rafa made four changes Babel started, whilst Maxi, Lucas and Insua were bought back for Aquilani, Riera, Aurelio and Ngog. However perhaps the most significant addition, if not for today but for later on in this campaign, was the return of Torres and Benayoun, who both started on the bench?
Now comes the difficult bit, to describe the game! When I say that we had two shots on target all through the game and were still the most attacking team you will understand just what we are talking about. Perhaps nerves got the better of everyone, there were certainly enough fouls to suggest this, as we all knew what was at stake. I guess the onus was on City, as the home side, to take the game to us however their failure to do so was matched by our reluctance or inability to take advantage.
We had our moments but they were few and far between. Gerrard on the right wing displayed great play to create space and get a cross in, Maxi knocked it back towards Kuyt but there were too many blue shirts around for him to do anything. Srktel, for the second time in two games, had a decent chance to head home from a corner. The centre back, late on in the game then made a vital challenge on Adebayor, who was clean through, thankfully the City man then missed a decent header from a corner. However it was not to be and although we had plenty of possession, all too often caution, reluctance and a desire not to give nothing away, as opposed to taking a chance and going for it, held sway.
So where do we stand now? Despite this game being promoted as a “do or die” affair it is as you where. Both sides have gained on Villa and Spurs recently and they pulled us back yesterday with their wins. It is interesting that we’ve now played all our rivals for fourth spot twice Spurs lost and then won, Villa lost and then won, City two draws, results that are symptomatic of the closeness of the race?
However perhaps the most significant thing yesterday was not at Villa Park or at Wigan, where Spurs won, but in the seventy fifth minute of this game which saw the return to action of one Fernando Torres. While he has been away our defence has undergone rehab and admirably held things at bay, one goal conceded in just over ten hours, now he is back perhaps we can think about building on that solid foundation and finally, for the first time this season, although its too late for some, making our mark?
Man City: Given, Bridge, Zabaleta, Lescott, Kompany, Ireland (Ibrahim 75), Wright-Phillips (Bellamy 68), A Johnson, Barry, De Jong, Adebayor, Substitutes: Taylor, Richards, Sylvinho, Toure, Santa Cruz, Bellamy, Ibrahim
Liverpool: Reina, Agger, Insua, Carragher, Skrtel, Gerrard, Maxi (Benayoun 63), Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt (Aquilani 86), Babel (Torres 75) Substitutes: Cavalieri, Aurelio, Kelly, Aquilani, Riera, Benayoun, Torres