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West Ham United
26 August 2012
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 44942
M. Škrtel 34'
L. Suárez 66'
Y. Touré 63'
C. Tévez 80'
What a match that was! Liverpool showed glimpses of the passing style we have grown accustomed to by Brendan Rodgers' sides and deservedly took the lead twice but two awful mistakes at the back ultimately cost them two points. Plenty of positives for Liverpool going forward but questions still to be answered in defence.
FULL TIME: Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City
90' + 4'
Yellow CardLuis Suárez
90' + 3'
Silva's corner is headed out and falls kindly for Tevez who attempts a Hollywood style volley, but he gets it horribly wrong. Joe Allen then tries his luck for Liverpool but his effort is also well off target. What a game this has been.
90' + 2'
Chances at both ends on the counter-attack, Suarez cross field ball is cut out before Tevez over hits a through ball for Yaya Toure in the Liverpool box. Both sides desperately searching for the winner, two minutes to go!
Four minutes to be added on here at Anfield, it's all a bit frantic now!
Off the line! The ball ping-pongs about in the box from a corner before Suarez lifts a cross to the back post and Carroll heads back across Joe Hart. Fortunately for City though, Zabaleta is on hand to head off the goal line.
Soon as I say that Man City threaten to score. Kolorav slides a ball across the box and Dzeko should score but somehow he manages to lift his shot well over the bar. Liverpool go back up the other end with Sterling who wins a corner off Kompany.
Liverpool now piling on the pressure as they try to take the lead for the third time in this match.
Steven Gerrard sets up Shelvey for the a long drive and the substitute's shot only missed by a yard or so. Meanwhile an almighty roar welcomes Andy Carroll on to the pitch as he replaces Borini.
GOAL! Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City: From hero to zero goes Martin Skrtel. A blind pass back to his keeper only finds the grateful Tevez who rounds Reina to bag his 100th English league goal. Absolute shocker from the man who gave Liverpool the lead. Twice they have thrown away an advantage.
Dzeko spins off Yaya Toure's pass inside the box and City are in business if he big man plays anything along the face of the goal, the Bosnian doesn't get his head up and fires well over.
Liverpool are hunting down Man City when the visitor's are in possession and it's working, Mancini's side have no rhythm in their passing and the boss has decided it's time for David Silva to enter the fray.
Big shout for a penalty! Kolarov seems to impede Johnson after he picks up Borini's knockdown and breaks into the box. Andre Marriner is right behind the action and lets play continue.
The Reds are in again, this time Borini breaks into the box but his cross towards Suarez is cut out by Kompany. Anfield is rocking again, but Man City are not out of this just yet, they've won their last 3 games by the score 3-2...
GOAL!!! Liverpool 2-1 Manchester City! Instant reply from the Reds! Gerrard and Suarez stand over the free-kick about 25 yards from goal and with most expecting the skipper to strike, Suarez expertly bends the ball into the bottom right hand corner leaving Hart scrambling across his goal. Great goal, Liverpool lead!
GOAL! Liverpool 1-1 Manchester City: Tevez does really well to get a cross in under strong pressure and the combination of Reina and then Kelly fail to deal with it and Yaya Toure is on hand to slot home from two yards out. Game on!
Gerrard combines with Sterling down the right but his touch is too strong and he ends up running into the away support. Meanwhile Balotelli comes off as Dzeko takes to the field.
Tevez slips in Milner on the overlap and Man City are in on goal but the offside flag goes up.
It's Samir Nasri who is makes way for Rodwell, to be fair to the Frenchman he has been one of City's better ball players today. Edin Dzeko is also getting ready as Man City are on the front foot.
What a mess! Zabaleta tries to clear from the back but the ball hits Balotelli in the rear and Liverpool are in. Unfortunately for Suarez his cross is played into the wrong area with Gerrard and Sterling in the box.
A change for Manchester City is coming up as Jack Rodwell, formerly of Everton of course, is being given his instructions pitch side.
Problem for Liverpool. Jonjo Shelvey, who himself replaced Lucas early in the first half, is struggling with an injury and might be forced off.
What a chance! Borini catches out Zabaleta in possession and Liverpool are in business, 2 v 2 closing down on goal, Borini plays it across to Suarez but the Uruguayan scuffs his finish under pressure. Big chance wasted.
Sterling hard done by as he does well to stay on his feet against a challenge from Yaya Toure and then concedes a free-kick. Bright start to the second half by the home side.
Teams are out for the second half and Manchester City will get us back underway.
The Reds lead at the break and deservedly so. They have been the better side with quick and incisive passing in the oppositions half. City meanwhile have been off colour, they seem to be missing the guile of the likes of David Silva and Sergio Aguero in the final third.
HALF TIME: Liverpool 1-0 Manchester City
45' + 1'
Sterling brings down Balotelli with the added time already up. Kolorav is over the ball but his free-kick hits the wall and then Nasri's follow up is blocked.
It's been Liverpool's half, they've played some great stuff in this first 45 minutes with Sterling and Allen catching the eye. One minute to be added on.
Johnson intervenes as Tevez moves down the field with the ball and looks for Milner on the right, the resulting corner is taken by Kolarov but he fails to clear the front post.
Joe Allen plays a fine reverse pass into Suarez in a bit of space, who turns and attempts to whip his shot into the far corner, doesn't miss by much.
Liverpool haven't taken their foot off the gas despite taking the lead, they're are still right at Man City's throat and are going in for the kill, hoping to double their lead while they're on top.
BOOM! GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Man City: Towering header for Martin Skrtel! The Slovakian meets Gerrard's corner and absolutely rockets the ball past Hart with a sweet, sweet header. Anfield has erupted into song, one nil Liverpool!
Oooh! Kompany has his heart in his mouth after almost turning Steve Gerrard's cross into his own net.
Balotelli squares up against Skrtel inside the box and turns one way and then the other before wastefully lashing his shot into the stands, good chance for Man City that.
This is a great spell from the home side, they have got all the momentum. Shelvey sells a dummy and then picks out Suarez on the edge of the area, but his goal bound effort is blocked.
Johnson goes in a tad heavy on Milner and comes away with the ball but Manchester City are given a free-kick deep in their own half. Liverpool win it straight back and continue to attack the Kop, eventually Borini's shot is blocked and he waves his arms to ignite the crowd, raucous atmosphere.
Nasri over hits the free-kick and Reina lets it go for a goal-kick.
Coates takes too long making a clearance and Balotelli is on his heels to nick the ball away, Coates then obliges to bring him down, free-kick to Man City.
Anfield begins to roar as Sterling and Suarez combine well down the right-hand side but a strong challenge from Toure halts Suarez's progress.
Replays show Roberto Mancini wasn't best pleased by the failure of his players to follow up Tevez's effort moments ago either.
Kolo Toure finds himself in a pocket of space and elects for the piledriver, but his shot is well blocked by Skrtel.
Wow! Carlos Tevez goes round Pepe Reina and from the byline his shot rolls right along the goal line and hits the post with time seemingly stood still. The Argentine is a bit annoyed that none of his team-mates followed that in.
Chance! Inches from the opening goal! Sterling does brilliantly to make space for a cross and then delivers an inviting ball into the area for Borini, who himself did well to get in front of the defender, unfortunately the Italian pokes his finish wide of the near post.
Promising move for Liverpool breaks down as Suarez over cooks his pass into Borini.
Shouts for handball against Kolarov as Borini tries to play Sterling in inside the box. Andre Marriner not having any of it, right decision.
Free-kick in a decent position for City after Skrtel gets too close to Balotelli. Kolorav takes the set-piece from about 30 yards out, straight into Reina's hands.
Great tempo to this match early on, neither side is hanging around in possession.
Awful news as far as Liverpool are concerned, Lucas Leiva has been forced to come off with an injury inside 5 minutes. Poor fella, his replacement is Jonjo Shelvey.
Glen Johnson drives in field towards the Man City box, the ball rolls out to Steven Gerrard who stretches to hit his shot and ends up dragging it well wide.
Early chance for City as Milner digs out a cross from the right for Balotelli but Skrtel does well to intervene.
Liverpool take the kick-off and we are underway!
Players are in the tunnel and the teams will be led out by Steven Gerrard and Vincent Kompany. Something tells me we are in for a rip-roaring Premier League classic, lets hope I'm right!
Excitement building at Anfield as kick-off is only a matter of minutes away now. This is the first proper heavyweight contest this season and the result could have strong implications for either side. A win for Liverpool and Rodgers' Anfield revolution will get a kick-start, three points for the defending champions sends a strong message out to the other title hopefuls.
Meanwhile it's five changes and a change of system for Roberto Mancini's Manchester City. The Italian opts for the 5-3-2 setup which he experimented with during much of pre-season. Balotelli steps up to replace the injured Aguero up top while Zabaleta and Kolo Toure come into the centre-back positions alongside Kompany.
Sterling was the outstanding player in Liverpool's midweek game against Hearts in the Europa League, he will be deployed in a front three for the Reds, alongside Fabio Borini and Luis Suarez.
So the big news coming out of Anfield is that Brendan Rodgers has handed 17-year-old Raheem Sterling his Premier League debut against the defending champions!
Manchester City starting XI (5-3-2): Hart; Milner, Kolo, Kompany (C), Zabaleta, Kolarov; De Jong, Yaya, Nasri; Balotelli, Tevez. Subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Savic, Silva, Rodwell, Razak, Dzeko.
Liverpool starting XI (4-3-3): Reina; Kelly, Coates, Skrtel, Johnson; Lucas, Allen, Gerrard; Sterling, Borini, Suarez. Subs: Jones, Enrique, Carroll, Henderson, Carragher, Shelvey, Downing.
Hello ladies and gents! Welcome to Goal.com's play-by-play coverage of Liverpool vs Manchester City at Anfield. I'm Husmukh Kerai and I'll be guiding you through all the action live!
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