Sunday, 22 February 2009

Liverpool 1 - 1 City

  • Perhaps our best away performance in the league this season. Or maybe the Sunderland win was better. But after the surrenders at Portsmouth, Stoke, West Brom, Bolton, Middlesbrough and Wigan this was a real delight. Any game drawn after being ahead with fifteen minutes left is disappointing; but in terms of the balance of play we can't complain too much with 1-1.
  • The first half wasn't great. Liverpool dominated possession and kept on flashing the ball across the box. Dunne and Onuoha dealt with some of them, others were left alone and could have been turned in. It looked like a Liverpool goal was inevitable. The half's best chance, though, fell to City - as Robinho put Stephen Ireland through but he shot straight at Reina.
  • But from half time until Kuyt's equaliser was, given opposition and location, our best passage of play this season. The midfield four - from left to right Zabaleta, de Jong, Kompany and Ireland were all magnificent, hard working and disciplined, while also capable of real quality when required. Would this have been possible against Gerrard and Alonso? Probably not. But against Lucas and Benayoun (Mascherano can't do it all himself) we were genuinely dominant. With all our possession we should have been more than one goal ahead, particularly given how successfully the Dunne-Onuoha-de Jong spine was shutting down Liverpool.
  • After Kuyt's equaliser I feared a repeat of the home fixture. Liverpool threw everything at us, but Dunne, Given and Onuoha held them off. Benítez cannot seriously argue with a point. We may have just ended the title race, but it's a good result and a performance the club should be proud of. In sparks and glimpses, the toughness Hughes (and his January signings) pledged to bring is coming into view.
  • Would we have got more or fewer points today with Elano on the pitch?


tommytheblue said...

elano may well have been usefull towards the end. But understandibly Hughes was risk averse. He was happy with the point, despite liverpool being their for the taking.

Stevie spacial awarenss ignored, his tackling was top notch today. But De jong and Kompany kept us in check and ran the midifeld especially in the second half.

good result in the end.

Trevbrierley said...

One point well won. Could it have been better with better use of subs - more time for Caicedo may have worked wonders.