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February 3, 2013
• Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Referee: A. Taylor
• Attendance: 47301
E. Džeko 23'
S. Agüero 78'
D. Sturridge 29'
S. Gerrard 73'
Daniel Sturridge returned to the Etihad in fine form and equalised for Liverpool in controversial circumstances as Edin Dzeko, who opened the scoring, lay injured on the field during the build-up. A Steven Gerrard special gave the visitors a deserved lead but a combination of rash goalkeeping and superb instinctive finishing from Aguero got the champions back on terms. A draw doesn't really do much for either sides but Liverpool will be bouyed by their impressive display.
What a superb game to cap off a dramatic weekend of Premier League action. Liverpool will be gutted after two superb performances away from home this week only sees them collect two points. The Reds arguably produced their most impressive display of the season, outplaying the champions in large parts of the game.
FULL-TIME: Manchester City 2-2 Liverpool
90' + 5'
Seconds remaining now and Liverpool still have the ball, Suarez earns a corner...
90' + 5'
Into the last minute of stoppage time and Liverpool are probing in the Manchester City half...
90' + 3'
WHAT A CHANCE! Maicon plays a one-two with Aguero and finds himself unmarked inside the box with Dzeko primed for a tap in, but the Brazilian right-back's low cross is cut out by Martin Skrtel!
90' + 2'
Daniel Sturridge comes off for Joe Allen an recieves a standing ovation from the travelling support. Man of the match in my opinion, thoroughly deserved.
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
A massive five minutes to be added on!
WHAT A SAVE! Daniel Sturridge recieves the ball at the edge of the box and punts the ball on target forcing Joe Hart into a superb low save! The resulting corner is headed clear by Lescott.
Aguero dances through a crowd of Liverpool defenders and earns his side another corner. Kolorav's delivery fails to clear the first man in his first attempt, his second attempt is punched out by Reina before the Spaniard claims the ball as it's pumped back in.
Nasri comes on for Barry as Mancini is forced to go all out for the three points.
Now Manchester City fans crank up the noise as their side earn a corner. Milner swings it in and Maicon agressively hurls himself at the ball but heads over. Great desire shown by the substitute there.
Glen Johnson has a go from distance but his shot on the half-volley sails harmlessly over the Joe Hart's crossbar.
Breathless stuff here at the Etihad, where the next goal comes from is anybody's guess. Liverpool, though, have had the better of the play over the match and will agrieved not to be ahead.
Yellow Card Steven Gerrard
Gerrard has another chance to power home a magical goal as the ball is cleared to the edge of the area from Downing's cross. The Reds' skipper couldn't quite find the target through a sea of City shirts.
Assist Gareth Barry
Goal Sergio Agüero
GOAL! What on earth happened there?! The ball is played down the inside right channel for Aguero to run on to, Reina spots the pass and goes to close down the striker, but the Aguero is one step ahead and steps past the Spaniard before looping the ball into the net from the most ridiculous of angles!
Almost another for the visitors! Gerrard swings in a free kick from the left flank and Martin Skrtel is inches away from providing the telling touch inside the box.
Goal Steven Gerrard
GOAL! STEVEN GERRARD! I don't even have to describe this one! The Liverpool captain chests the ball down about 30 yards from goal and we all know what happens next. It sits up nicely for a fantastic strike by the Englishman on the volley leaving Joe Hart well beaten. Power and precison, what a goal.
Yellow Card Javi García
Super tracking back from James Milner! Steven Gerrard lifts a pass over the City defence for Daniel Sturridge and the Liverpool man would have had a clear strike at goal had it not been for the industry of the City winger. Great stuff all around.
Brendan Rodgers applauds on the touchline as Liverpool, again, construct an impressive attack, but this time fail to find a shot at the end of it as Lucas' cross is cut out.
David Silva recieves the ball in the hole behind the strikers, turns and sees Aguero going one way and Dzeko the other. The Spaniard elects to play in Aguero, but Jose Enrique reads his intentions and intervenes.
CHANCE! Aguero goes off on an exhilarating run beating a couple of Liverpool players before making his way into the box, but just when he looked to be cranking his foot back for a shot, the Argentine lost his footing and the chance went to waste.
Great play from Liverpool; the passing and movement will please Brendan Rodgers but Luis Suarez's finish from a decent angle inside the box certainly won't. Another missed chance for the Uruguayan, who has had a bad time in front of goal today.
If things stay as they are, City will be a massive nine points behind league leaders Manchester United at full-time, they need the three points here!
Milner spots Dzeko in a pocket of space in the box and swings in an accurate cross but the Manchester City striker can't sort out his feet and fluffs his shot.
Kolorav and Dzeko share passes before the striker feeds in David Silva, who takes a touch into the box before Carragher comes across to concede the corner. Great tempo to the match now.
The noise is beginning to build here at the Etihad now as Manchester City finally come to grips with the second half.
Yellow Card Jamie Carragher
Jamie Carragher clatters through the back of Sergio Aguero and holds his breath before the referee eventually brandishes a yellow card. Kolorav takes the free kick but Liverpool clear with ease.
Liverpool have upped the ante since the break and Mancini is going bananas on the touchline as he sees Manchester City dropping deeper and deeper into their own half.
Yellow Card Daniel Sturridge
SIMULATION KLAXON! Daniel Sturridge is in the book for taking a dive after a challenge from Lescott in the box. Poor decision from Sturridge to go down there, clearly spotted by the referee.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are on the attack here in Manchester, Stewart Downing floats a cross to the back post where Luis Suarez turns the ball back across the face of the goal. Jamie Carragher, of all people, is Liverpool's furthest player but under pressure from Lescott, fails to turn the ball in from close range.
BREAKING NEWS: Ivory Coast have been knocked out of the African Cup of Nations, meaning that brothers Kolo and Yaya Toure are on the first plane back to the Eastlands.
Quick start from City has James Milner whips an inviting ball into the Liverpool box but none of his team-mates gamble for a chance at the back post.
The teams are out for the second half and Manchester City get us back underway!
All square at the break but Liverpool have been the better side. City took the lead, after a fine move, through Edin Dzeko. It was the Bosnian heavily involved again as Liverpool equalised. Dzeko lay injured on the ground as Liverpool continued attacking through a chorus of boos. The Reds, with every right to, didn't put the ball out and eventually drew level after Sturridge capped a great first half display with a powerful low shot past Hart.
HALF-TIME: Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool
Two minutes to be added on at the end of the half.
NERVY MOMENT! What is going on?! Pablo Zabaleta blindly turns the ball back to Joe Hart, who had already come rushing out to collect it. The ball rolls past the keeper but his manages to stop it crossing the line in the nick of time!
Great chance for Liverpool to launch a counterattack but Gerrard fizzes his pass, intended for Sturridge, out for a throw.
It's fair to say that Liverpool have been the better team so far and had it not been for one lapse in concentration, they could have found themselves ahead at half-time.
CHANCE! It's Sturridge again, he recieves the ball and drifts to the right flank opening up a pocket of space for Suarez to move into. The Englishman finds the Uruguayan with his pass but Suarez's first touch lets him down and the chance comes to nothing.
Yellow Card Jordan Henderson
Sturridge is proving to be a real thorn in Manchester City's side at the moment. His first touch has been exemplary and is providing a real outlet for the Reds.
Sturridge, incidently, refused to celebrate against his old club after lashing the ball into the net. Nevertheless, there is a venomous atmosphere inside the ground now.
Yellow Card Edin Dzeko
Assist Steven Gerrard
Goal Daniel Sturridge
GOAL! CONTROVERSY! My word, this is going to get ugly! Daniel Sturridge lashes a brilliant strike into the bottom corner to get Liverpool back on terms but the Etihad has broken into a chorus of boos as Edin Dzeko lay injured on the ground during the build-up. Referee Anthony Taylor made it clear that play should go on because it wasn't a head injury to the Bosnian. Pick the bones out of that one!
That goal will hurt the Reds as it comes against the run of play. The visitors should have taken the lead but wasted a handful of decent chances and now face a tough task getting back into this one.
Assist James Milner
Goal Edin Dzeko
GOAL! Manchester City have the lead! It's a fantastic move from the champions; David Silva turns past two players before reversing the ball to James Milner, who crosses low for Edin Dzeko to simply tap into the net. One-nil City!
ANOTHER CHANCE! Suarez again wastes a golden opportunity to score! Lescott loses the ball in his own half allowing the Liverpool man in on goal but he could only send his low shot wide of Hart's far post.
CHANCE! Daniel Sturridge does brilliantly to fashion a chance for Suarez by racing down the left flank before cutting it back, but the Uruguayan miscues his effort wildly.
David Silva dinks a ball over the top for Dzeko, who does well to stay onside but the referee blows for a free kick and replays show the Bosnian used his hand to control, good spot from Anthony Taylor.
The corner is swung in towards Steven Gerrard who dangles an awkward leg at the ball and City scramble the ball away, decent chance that.
First moment of magic from Suarez! The Uruguayan bamboozles Clichy and Lescott with some fancy footwork but Nastasic comes across to clear for a corner.
Clichy combines with Silva on the left-hand side and floats in a cross which James Milner is ready to meet, but the ball is hit slightly too high and the midfielder is unable to get over the header.
CHANCE! Daniel Sturridge nearly opens the scoring as a hesitant Joe Hart comes out but is beaten by the Liverpool striker's first touch, City, though, recover and block the 23-year-old's shot from a tight angle. Best chance of the game.
After a rather open start the game has fallen a bit flat with niether side showing any urgency in getting the ball forward.
Decent spell of possession for the visitors now but there is no real penetration in their play. Gerrard has so far been unable to get himself on the ball with Suarez and Sturridge in space.
Cheap corner conceded by Liverpool. Agger needlessly nudges David Silva's wayward pass back to Reina but City fail to capitalise. Milner whips in the short corner for Javi Garcia but the Spaniard heads over the bar.
Good turn of pace from Aguero; the Manchester City striker plays a neat one two with strike partner Edin Dzeko but Glen Johnson intervenes and impedes the Argentine's shot.
Liverpool, slightly taken by surprise early on, have now settled on the ball a little. Daniel Sturridge lets the ball run through his legs from Luis Suarez to latch on to but the referee awards a foul and halts the Reds' momentum.
Early chance for the hosts! David Silva collects the ball at the edge of the area, takes one touch to flick it up and volleys at goal with his second, forcing Reina into a fine save! Quick start from City
Liverpool take the kick-off and we are underway at the Etihad!
The teams are emerging from the tunnel and we are moments away from the big kick-off!
Mario Nastasic and Joleon Lescott will have the unenviable task of keeping Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge quiet this afternoon. The fledgling relationship between the two Liverpool strikers has shown promising signs in the last month. Should provide us with some intriguing action!
Life goes on without Mario Balotelli today in Manchester, but in all honesty, the Premier League champions will miss their captain Vincent Kompany more. While the Italian may be missed in the dressing room, the Belgian will be sorely missed where it matters today, on the pitch.
Roberto Mancini makes two changes from the goalless draw at QPR with Edin Dzeko and Matija Nastasic coming in for Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri, while, Brendan Rodgers makes one change from the draw at the Emirates with Jose Enrique returning to the starting line-up in place of Andre Wisdom.
Liverpool starting XI: Reina; Johnson, Enrique, Agger, Carragher; Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson, Downing; Suarez, Sturridge. Subs: Jones, Wisdom, Skrtel, Allen, Shelvey, Sterling, Borini.
Manchester City starting XI: Hart; Zabaleta, Nastasic, Lescott, Clichy; Milner, Garcia, Barry, Silva; Dzeko, Aguero. Subs: Pantilimon, Rodwell, Kolarov, Sinclair, Nasri, Tevez, Maicon.
We have a massive game on our hands here, both teams desperately need all three points for their own different reasons. Manchester City saw their arch rivals stretch their lead at the top of the league to 10 points with a win at Fulham yesterday, so Mancini will be well aware that only a win keeps them in touching distance. Liverpool, meanwhile, dropped two points from 2-0 up at the Emirates midweek, a victory at the Etihad today could re-galvanize their push for a Champions League spot.
Good afternoon ladies and gents! Welcome to Goal.com's play-by-play coverage of Manchester City v Liverpool from the Etihad Stadium LIVE!
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