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Played
January 11, 2012 7:45 PM GMT
Etihad Stadium — Manchester
Referee:‬ L. Mason‎
Attendance:‬ 36017‎
 
 
Steven Gerrard 13′ (PG)
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Manchester City 0-1 Liverpool

The Reds will take a narrow lead into the second leg at Anfield in two weeks thanks to a Steven Gerrard penalty in the 13th minute and a strong defensive display

By Greg Stobart at Etihad Stadium

  • Joe Hart
    173
    44
    3.50

    Joe Hart

    Made a string of superb saves in the first 15 minutes, the pick of which came from a deflected Downing volley. Dived the right way for Gerrard's penalty but couldn't quite get to the ball. Had little to do in the second half but his saves may have kept City in the tie.

  • Micah Richards
    116
    51
    3.50

    Micah Richards

    Quite a sight when he bulldozes forward, injecting power and pace into City attacks. Brilliant athleticism but still makes the odd clumsy error.

  • Joleon Lescott
    36
    78
    3.00

    Joleon Lescott

    Appeared far less confident alongside Savic in the early stages as Liverpool took advantage of sloppy City defending. Improved as the game went on and was strong in the air against Carroll.

  • Stefan Savic
    94
    183
    2.00

    Stefan Savic Flop of the Match

    If the Montenegrin is going to play like this in Vincent Kompany's absence through suspension, City may have an even bigger problem that they thought. All over the place positionally and conceded the penalty with an ugly, high challenge on Agger.

  • Gael Clichy
    54
    72
    3.00

    Gael Clichy

    Solid defensively, both at left-back and right-back, but offered little going forward as City searched for an equaliser.

  • James Milner
    40
    84
    3.00

    James Milner

    Always happy to demand the ball and start City attacks - but lacked a killer pass in the final third.

  • Gareth Barry
    26
    89
    3.00

    Gareth Barry

    Happy to stay on the halfway line and try to start City attacks. Needed to show more drive and seemed to be worried about making strong tackles after his red card a week earlier.

  • Nigel De Jong
    33
    88
    2.50

    Nigel De Jong

    The Dutchman hassled and harried but was ponderous on the ball. His role became superfluous as Liverpool sat deep in the second half and he was replaced by Kolarov in the 72nd minute.

  • Adam Johnson
    25
    119
    2.00

    Adam Johnson

    A poor display from the England international. He didn't seem to know what his role was and made the wrong decision almost every time he picked up possession. Replaced by Dzeko in the 66th minute.

  • Sergio Agüero
    76
    94
    3.00

    Sergio Agüero

    A tough afternoon for the Argentine but his workrate never dropped as he continued to make runs for his midfielders. Best sight on goal came when he picked up a loose pass and rounded Reina - but blasted his shot over the crossbar from a tight angle.

  • Mario Balotelli
    45
    123
    2.50

    Mario Balotelli

    The combustible Italian looked like he would rather be anywhere else and was incredibly frustrated from the first minute. He was either going to get substituted or sent off - and it was the former as he was replaced by Nasri in the 39th minute after picking up an ankle injury

Substitutions

  • Aleksandar Kolarov
    29
    97
    2.50

    Aleksandar Kolarov

    Played the final 18 minutes as a replacement for Johnson but was woeful. Almost every touch was a cross or shot that ended up in the back of the stand.

  • Samir Nasri
    97
    92
    3.50

    Samir Nasri

    Replaced Balotelli in the 39th minute and looked the player most likely to break down Liverpool's stubborn defence. Forced Reina into action with one effort from the edge of the box and showed some impressive vision.

  • Edin Dzeko
    70
    77
    3.00

    Edin Dzeko

    Came on for Johnson in the 66th minute. Fired shots at goal from distance but didn't have the guile to open up Liverpool's defence.

  • Pepe Reina
    259
    16
    3.50

    Pepe Reina

    Responded to his howler against the same opponents a week earlier with a far better performance. Solid saves as City took potshots at goal, including one excellent stop to keep out a Richards header. Tried to command his area and made a couple of good punches.

  • Martin Kelly
    187
    53
    3.00

    Martin Kelly

    Handed a rare start and, on the whole, performed well. Good understanding with the rest of the defence but nearly punished for a loose pass in the second half that Aguero intercepted.

  • Martin Skrtel
    340
    22
    4.00

    Martin Skrtel

    A very strong display from the Slovakian, leading by example at the heart of the visitors defence. Dominant in the air and showed excellent pace and awareness, especially to snuff out balls played in the channel for Aguero.

  • Daniel Agger
    539
    37
    4.00

    Daniel Agger Top of the Match

    The Dane would have expected a more difficult evening up against City's stellar strikeforce. Superb reading of the game and composed on the ball. Won the penalty after nicking the ball ahead of Savic.

  • Glen Johnson
    246
    28
    3.50

    Glen Johnson

    The England international was selected at left-back and produced a solid defensive performance, forcing Adam Johnson inside into a crowded midfield. Looked slightly uncomfortable playing centrally for the final half-an-hour but did a decent job. Was fortunate not to be punished for a nasty challenge on Lescott in the final minute.

  • Stewart Downing
    157
    56
    3.00

    Stewart Downing

    Offered an outlet as he hugged the left touchline in the first half and was heavily involved in the early stages, which included a well struck volley that Hart somehow kept out after a slight deflection. Replaced by Jose Enrique in the 59th minute as Liverpool went to five at the back.

  • Jay Spearing
    172
    35
    3.00

    Jay Spearing

    Started the game well in front of the back four before being forced off with a hamstring injury in the 53rd minute. Replaced by Adam.

  • Jordan Henderson
    198
    43
    3.00

    Jordan Henderson

    A busy, energetic performance in central midfield. Seems to be growing in confidence by the game and showed some neat touches. Will only continue to improve playing alongside Gerrard.

  • Steven Gerrard
    432
    36
    4.00

    Steven Gerrard

    Liverpool's captain was in inspirational form and scored the Reds' goal with an excellent drilled penalty in the 13th minute. Provided energy and vision in central midfield and was always a goal threat, forcing Hart into action with a lovely curling effort from 25 yards.

  • Craig Bellamy
    214
    22
    3.00

    Craig Bellamy

    The Welshman's pace was always a threat for the visitors - although he didn't quite find the space he wanted up against Clichy. Looked tired in the second half before being replaced by Carragher 11 minutes from time.

  • Andy Carroll
    162
    179
    2.50

    Andy Carroll

    You can't say he didn't try. The £35m signing has been linked with a return to Newcastle but showed he's prepared to fight for his Liverpool career. Unfortunately, he didn't have the quality to hold the ball up and relieve pressure, with the ball appearing to bounce off just about every part of his body during the 90 minutes. Glancing header in the first half went just wide.

Substitutions

  • José Enrique
    190
    17
    3.00

    José Enrique

    Replaced Downing in the 59th minute and did his job as Liverpool defended deep and kept a clean sheet.

  • Jamie Carragher
    150
    29
    0.00

    Jamie Carragher

    Played the final 11 minutes in a hybrid defence-midfield role. Won a couple of strong headers.

  • Charlie Adam
    144
    47
    3.00

    Charlie Adam

    Replaced Spearing midway through the first half. Appeared slightly off the pace with some of his tackling and showed few signs of his passing ability.

Results
 
Match News
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Negredo Negredo
Striker
Manchester City
6 0
Edin Dzeko Edin Dzeko
Striker
Manchester City
6 0
Lee Tomlin Lee Tomlin
Striker
Middlesbrough
5 2
Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
Striker
Man Utd.
4 1
Saido Berahino Saido Berahino
Striker
West Brom
4 1