Carroll 13, 35, Kuyt 34
Manchester City 0
Well all that money and look at it! It’s easy to splash the cash however, that is only the start of it, for all Manchester City’s wealth it matters not one jot if you don’t channel it into results. The bank accounts may be different but last night was a rich one for Liverpool while City lived off scraps.
It’s also ironic that our most expensive player should choose a match against one of the Premiership’s richest clubs to properly announce his arrival at his new club. It’s been coming, Andy Carroll’s appearances have increased in length as have the impressiveness of his performances. A goal for England last week was a good sign for Reds fans and now last night’s brace. Not only that but hopefully we saw a sign of things to come with Carroll and Suarez linking up well and causing all sorts of problems for the hapless City defence.
Kenny’s line up reflected our injury problems. Aurelio and John Flanagan, making his debut were drafted in for the injured Johnson and Agger. Carragher and Skrtel filled in the centre while in the middle Steven Gerrard’s absence was Jay Spearing’s gain.
We began positively. The first effort fell to Dirk Kuyt, a skied effort after a decent chest down from Carroll. Nonetheless we looked lively pressing City and having plenty of possession in their half. Suarez went close with a one on one with Hart after Carroll had guided the ball into his path.. This time Hart managed to flick it onto the post however, he was not so lucky with the next Liverpool chance.
Carroll latched no to Meireles speculative effort which rebounded into his path off Kompany. The shot was a wonderful smite and befitting of a £35m record signings opening goal for his new club. It was low and hard with enough swerve on it to deceive Hart. OK he just leathered it!
Perhaps all this early pressure this was the only way we could stop City from examining our defence? As it turned out we needn’t have worried? Tevez limped off and it was a barren half with City only managing a few speculative efforts one from Balotelli and the other from Dzeko. Us? We went from strength to strength as we continued to press, it was only a matter of time before City were breached again.
Our second was a microcosm of the constant pressure we had subjected City to – Meireles to Suarez, shot blocked, Kuyt’s cross knocked back by Carroll, City clear. Aurelio shoots shot blocked, falls to Kuyt unmarked who passes it into the net. The next, only a minute later, was more straight forward with Carroll jumping with Kolarov to get on the end of Meireles’ cross. Did it touch Carroll’s head? Who cares three nil at half time and a demonstration of why we forked out so much for him. Half time and game over?
The second half understandably saw us in a more relaxed frame of mind and it took some time to fashion another effort. This time Suarez, after 60 plus minutes, firing wide after good work from Meireles. Then Suarez and Kuyt combined well only for the Dutchman to flash his shot across the face of the goal. Meireles produced a good save from Hart then Reina was finally awoken from his slumbers with long range shot to rival Carroll’s first half effort from Yaya Toure however, City had no answers and practically nothing to offer
It would probably have been a night to praise to John Flanagan for a clean sheet on his debut however, it is difficult to look beyond Carroll and he nearly finished things off by heading onto the roof of the net after Suarez’s cross. Dalglish gave him the honour of taking an ovation by taking him off early, it was deserved as was the reception the crowd gave the whole team minutes later.
Finally now that Carroll is off the mark I think it’s time for Torres to do the same tomorrow night – no Reds fan would complain about that!
Liverpool: Reina, Flanagan, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Kuyt, Lucas, Spearing, Meireles, Suarez, Carroll (Ngog 90). Subs: Gulacsi, Cole, Maxi, Wilson, Ngog, Shelvey, Robinson.
Man City: Hart, Boyata, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Barry, Toure Yaya, Milner (Sliva 52), Tevez (Baloelli 16, De Jong 83), Adam Johnson, Dzeko. Subs: Taylor, Zabaleta, Wright-Phillips, Silva, De Jong, Balotelli, McGivern.