Man City Vs Liverpool – as it happened!
Mon, 04 Feb 2013 4:15a.m.
By Greg Robertson
Hello and welcome to the English Premier League and Etihad Stadium where we have Liverpool visiting, and trying to build on their recent draw against Arsenal and go one better against second placed Manchester City.
With FA Cup matches done for the meantime, the focus shifts back to the Premier League and you can be sure that this one will be tight – well, at least both camps think so.
We bring you live streaming written commentary, video highlights and all the action of the English Premier League 2012-13 season.
LIVE COMMENTARY… Man City 2 v 2 Liverpool
FULLTIME: It's all square. All VIDEO UP.
90+3 min: City finishing strongly. Win a corner. It's harmless.
90 min: Sturridge with a screamer, low and hard and Hart gets down and pads it away with class. Almost a toe-poke that but it was flying. Five added minutes. VIDEO UP SOON. Joe Allen on for Sturridge.
89 min: Nasri on in place of Barry for City. Kolarov with a couple of corners dealt with by Reina and the Liverpool defence.
85 min: Both teams pushing hard for the winner, but the final pass not sticking. Reina shown looking pretty sorry for himself in the sticks.
79 min: Reina has a blow out and Aguero nails it from an absolute acute angle. GOAL CITY! Reina should have stayed in his sticks, instead he left his net wide open. Aguero smashed it and picked the spot beautifully. VIDEO UP.
74 min: CRACKING GOAL! Gerrard with an absolutely beauty. Some give and go down the left-hand side of the City defence, ball swung in, falling to Gerrard and he nails the shot first time. Stunner. VIDEO UP. Skrtel on for Enrique.
60 min: Liverpool swing onto attack and suddenly the City midfield has gone missing. City's turn. Milner with two telling balls into the middle but just can't quite find sky blue shirt.
65 min: It's Aguero... Aguero... he's away.... and falls flat on his back under a hint of pressure. He'd shown great strength prior to that/
64 min: Downing with a delightful cross field pass with the outside of the boot and Suarez controls then fires it across the face of the goal in fluid motion. VIDEO UP.
61 min: Downing breaks and he shows a clean pair of heals. It's end-to-end stuff right now. The Etihad crowd getting more than their money's worth. Tevez warming up...
59 min: The change has been a positive as Kolarov, Dzeko and Silva combine well to cut a path through the Liverpool defence. The final Silva touch was missing though.
52 min: Downing delivers a lovely curling ball back post, Suarez volleys into the crowded box and Lescott gets his body in the way. Liverpool with the ascendency so far this half. Suarez and Sturridge again combine brilliantly, Suarez sliding a ball directly through the guts and Sturridge dives. He's booked. There was a touch but there was also a delayed dive. Good refereeing. Liverpool on the rampage. Mancini is livid and he makes a change bringing on Kolarov for Nastasic.
50 min: Great interplay down the left flank, little back heel, then Suarez cuts it back for Gerrard whose shot finds one of the many City defenders in the box.
48 min: We're back underway for the second spell... Suarez with a free kick from some distance, Gerrard there too... hits the wall and out for a corner. That wall was never back the full distance.
HALFTIME: City 0 - 0 Liverpool
46 min: Back underway, City go searching early and earn themselves an early corner, Milner to take and it's headed over the bar by a cluster of City players.
45 min: Zabaleta nearly puts it into his own net. Liverpool were playing with it outside the area when a deflection took it to the fullback. Zabaleta didn't bother to look and wrong-footed Hart, the ball dribbling inches past the post. VIDEO UP. 3 minutes of added time
42 min: Things have got a little bit messy with the equaliser putting a few nerves into both defences. City playing possession, trying to draw the Liverpool backs out and are set to pounce.
37 min: A nice early ball sets Suarez away and if not for a late touch from Nastasic would have been one-on-one against Hart.
36 min: Henderson booked for a late challenge on Milner... and from behind.
33 min: Sturridge again causing trouble and fires Suarez away who wins a corner with some nifty footwork. Venomous mood inside the ground that's for sure.
30 min: Dzeko down in a heap... Liverpool plays on, GOAL! Etihad furious. Ball played around on the edge of the City box, back to Sturridge and he smashed it low and hard into the bottom corner of the net. Ripper. VIDEO UP.
24 min: Dzeko scores for City! First real chance for City and there's some delightful interplay down the left, Milner's put through and his ball is inch-perfect, finding Dzeko who only has to touch it home to an empty net. VIDEO UP SOON.
20 min: Sturridge beats everyone for pace, getting around the City defence, fires it back on the angle but Suarez's first time effort squirts sideways off his right boot. Danger isn't gone, as Sturridge wins it again and combines with Suarez Ohhhh just wide of Hart's right-hand upright. VIDEO UP.
17 min: Downing with the corner and Agger climbs up like a salmon, heads towards the goal but it's wide.
14 min:Johnson with an up and under into the box and Sturridge puts pressure on Hart and gets round him (Hart was hesitant) but his next touch is wide. VIDEO UP. Gerrard wins the visitor's a corner.
10 min: Just a wee bit messy right now. Sturridge a little interested in a back pass but Hart was quick from his line to welly it clear. City with the better of time on the ball... Downing changes that and it's Enrique who delivers the ball overlapping from left fullback but there's no one in the box for Liverpool.
7 min: Clichy finds Silva and a Liverpool foot sends it out for a corner. Milner takes it short, Garcia receives, back to Milner who delivers and it's headed well wide.
5 min: Aguero making a nuisance of himself, getting involved and a wall pass nearly sends him clear in the Liverpool penalty area. No time to settle things down it seems as it's fire and tongs from the start.
1 min: Great start from City. Ball falls to Silva on the edge and his scoop shot takes some saving by Reina in the Liverpool goal. Tipped over. VIDEO UP.
Right teams on the pitch and it's Liverpool to kick off at Etihad.
Well if you're not excited about this one then.... errr, I'm not sure what will excite you. Liverpool looked great for a while against Arsenal and if they can replicate that and extend it over 90 then we are in for a mighty arm wrestle.
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Lescott, Nastasic, Clichy, Milner, Javi Garcia, Barry, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Maicon, Nasri, Sinclair, Kolarov, Rodwell, Tevez.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Agger, Carragher, Jose Enrique, Lucas, Gerrard, Downing, Henderson, Suarez, Sturridge. Subs: Jones, Allen, Borini, Sterling, Shelvey, Skrtel, Wisdom.
Kick off on the hour… wherever you are in the world.
Manchester City (from): Hart, Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Nastasic, Lescott, Rekik, Clichy, Kolarov, Garcia, Rodwell, Barry, Milner, Nasri, Sinclair, Silva, Tevez, Dzeko, Aguero, Lopes.
Liverpool (from): Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Enrique, Gerrard, Lucas, Henderson, Downing, Suarez, Sturridge, Jones, Wisdom, Skrtel, Allen, Shelvey, Sterling, Borini, Coates, Suso.
Manchester City’s manager Roberto Mancini has come out talking and it’s straight to the point as his side prepares to face Liverpool in the EPL.
"Liverpool are always a strong team. It will be a dangerous game,” says Mancini.
Combine that with Liverpool’s assistant manager Colin Pascoe’s, “They’re the champions. They will be difficult to beat,” and you quickly build a picture of a tight tussle.
And Mancini will be hoping the decision to offload Mario Balotelli doesn't backfire with Manchester City's striking options now curtailed.
Selling the troublesome Balotelli to AC Milan leaves Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko as the only experienced strikers in the squad after no replacement was signed before the January transfer window closed.
"Now we have three strikers. We have only Premier League and FA Cup, I think that could be enough," Mancini said Friday. "It was difficult to take another good player."
But their failure to find the net in a 0-0 draw at Queens Park Rangers allowed Manchester United to move seven points ahead of City in the Premier League title race.
By the time City hosts Liverpool on Sunday the champions could be 10 points behind if Manchester United wins at Fulham.
Against Liverpool, City will be without captain Vincent Kompany, with the defender facing another three weeks out after limping out of last weekend's FA Cup win over Stoke with a calf strain.
City has gone 555 minutes in all competitions without conceding a goal, despite centre back Kolo Toure also being away at the African Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast.
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez will be hoping to finally breach Joe Hart's goal after scoring nine times in the last nine games.
Despite scoring after only five minutes at Arsenal on Wednesday, Liverpool threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 and stay seventh in the standings, seven points behind the four Champions League places.
"Sometimes we play well, as good as being in the top four of the Premier League," Suarez told the Daily Mail. "Then other times we don't play anywhere near as well ... we have to become stronger in our minds."
On the Liverpool team front, new signing Philippe Coutinho will not be in the squad. The 20-year-old Brazilian has briefly returned to Milan after the switch from Inter and will not return until next week. Left-back Jose Enrique could start having made his comeback from a hamstring injury in the midweek draw at Arsenal.
No Kompany for City, but the champions are hopeful Matija Nastasic (knee), who could only make the bench at QPR in midweek, will be fit to start, otherwise midfielder Javi Garcia may again have to deputise.
Right-back Maicon (knee) is back in training and could soon be available while fellow defender Micah Richards (knee) hopes to return this month. Midfielder Yaya Toure and defender Kolo Toure are still on international duty.
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