Liverpool 3-2 Man City – Fortune Favors the Brave

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By Jonathan Carroll

Sundays win over Manchester City could prove to be crucial in deciding where the title ends up. It was a game that had everything. A rampaging Liverpool team that ripped City apart for the first twenty five minutes. A comeback from the visitors that rocked the home team and truly tested their spirit and character and an amazing winner from a little Brazilian magician. It was an appropriate way to honor the ninety-six lives lost at Hillsborough. A tragedy that will be twenty-five years old on Tuesday April 15th.

In preparing for Sundays game, Brendan Rodgers stressed that his side would approach it the same way they have approached all their games this season. True enough, the reds were first out of the blocks. The ever impressive Raheem Sterling coolly finished after being threaded through by Luis Suarez. Anfield erupted and the celebrations that followed were a reflection of just what this league title could mean for Liverpool the club and the city. Martin Skrtel soon doubled the home teams advantage with a clever glancing header leaving Joe Hart flapping at thin air. Liverpool were on top for most of the first half. City did test the waters with Fernandinho’s half volley that was superbly dealt with by Simon Mignolet and Sterling also had to clear off the line from a Vincent Company header as City threatened before the half.


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With so much invested in their first half performance Liverpool looked to sit off City a little more in the second half. This ploy worked against the home team as David Silva and substitute James Milner influenced the game to drag City back to 2-2. Liverpool looked shell shocked. Daniel Sturridge limped off with a hamstring injury and Sergio Aguero almost set up Silva for a third goal. The reds eventually composed themselves as Suarez and Sterling worked off each other up front and out of nothing a Company mis-kick allowed Philippe Coutinho to curl home a fantastic effort from the top of the box.


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Coutinho was impressive all game long and deservedly scored a stunner that looked easy in execution, however it was anything but in real time. Man City had a late claim for a Martin Skrtel hand ball. A decision that referee Mark Clattenburg seemed to get right as players tustled for the ball in the air. Jordan Henderson saw red late on as he lunged for the ball after a bad touch. Uncharacteristic for the midfielder and his presence will be missed in the next three games. On the final whistle the Kop let out a roar that was a collective breath of relief around Anfield and its 43,000 Liverpool supporters. Steven Gerrard gathered his team together and gave a rally cry that now the focus switches to Norwich. An astute move by the captain. Refusing to get too caught up in the victory they had just achieved, Gerrard knows its one game at a time.


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The mass media are quick to point out that the title determining game could and most likely will be at Anfield when Chelsea visit in two weeks time. It is quite possible. However, only if Liverpool beat lowly Norwich. A team scrapping for their lives, capable of anything out of desperation. There are no easy games left and Brendan Rodgers will drill this home all week long to his squad. Four steps left to the title. Each one as crucial as the next.


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Liverpool passed a huge test of character on Sunday. Rodgers had his team play attacking football, the same they have been playing all season. It is a pattern of play that should be too much for Norwich next weekend. The true test will come against Chelsea. Jose Mourinho will have his team sit deep, deny Liverpool space and ask them to do more to break down his side. This season has seen Liverpool play without Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge for long periods. They must now continue to play the way they know how and make sure that games do not come down to the wire like they did on Sunday against City. Such a luxury would be nice but chances are there is four nail biters left for Liverpool supporters everywhere.


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22 Mignolet – 6
02 Johnson – 6
38 Flanagan – 6
08 Gerrard – 7
37 Skrtel – 7
17 Sakho – 7
10 Coutinho – 8 (Moses – 89′ )
31 Sterling – 9 (Lucas – 95′ )
15 Sturridge – 5 (Allen – 66′ )
07 Suarez – 5 (Booked)
14 Henderson – 7 (Dismissed)


01 Jones
04 Kolo Touré
05 Agger
09 Iago Aspas
12 Moses
21 Lucas
24 Allen


Manchester City
01 Hart – 7
05 Zabaleta – 6 (Booked)
22 Clichy – 5
42 Yaya Touré – 5 (Javi García – 19′ Booked )
04 Kompany – 6
26 Demichelis – 7
15 Jesús Navas – 4 (Milner – 50′ )
25 Fernandinho – 6 (Booked)
10 Dzeko – 5 (Agüero – 68′ )
21 Silva – 8
08 Nasri – 7


06 Lescott
07 Milner
09 Negredo
13 Kolarov
14 Javi García
16 Agüero
30 Pantilimon

Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Attendance: 44,601


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