Liverpool's Very Own Maestro Ignites The Team Once Again
Liverpool as we all know have, had a pretty torrid seven days. Seven days, which began when we lost to Oldham in the FA Cup. A defeat that if the truth be known would not had happened if Brendan had selected the right team for the game. It did and it appeared that he had learnt his lesson on Wednesday when the team sent out to play Arsenal at the Emirates was made up baring one of senior players.
That team did what Liverpool tend to do having managed to ensure that we were two goals to the good they lost concentration and Arsenal recovered enough to score two goals of their own, thus ensuring that Liverpool lost two badly needed points.
The match today was against last year's Premiership champions; Manchester City who at the start of play had learnt that local rivals Manchester United were 10 points clear at the top of the league. Now this should have been the spark that lit the fire, but what they had not reckoned on was the determination of Liverpool.
A determination that apart from a very early scare where Pepe had to dip a shot from David Silva over the bar, saw Liverpool take the game by the scruff of its neck.
The recovery from this was swift and although for a short time both Liverpool and Manchester City seemed unable to take total control of the game, it was Liverpool that finally broke away and began to play like a Liverpool team of old. What we were watching was a joy to behold and it was more by luck than judgement that Manchester City managed to score first and it was David Silva who set it in motion.
He picked up a ball and having found space sent it through to James Milner, who in turn sent it flying in front of the goal for Edin Dzeko to pick up and place in the back of the net.
Before that the partnership of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge was evidence once again. Having raced down the left side of the pitch he passed a wonderful ball to Luis who miss cued his kick and the ball went wide. They also both individually caused havoc. Daniel had picked up a ball that Glen Johnson had sent towards the goal mouth with his right rather than his left foot and a few seconds of hesitation ensured that Zabeleta had plenty of time to block the shot. Luis also sent a further shot wide after making a good move down the right had side of the pitch.
Liverpool who were brimming with confidence were not going to let any of this bother them and with referee Anthony Taylor allowing play to continue after Daniel Agger had brought down Dzeko. It was of course a legitimate challenge and with Dzeko lying on the ground feigning injury Liverpool moved the ball forward. Daniel Sturridge who has already repaid the £12 million that is believed to have cost, picked up the ball and sent a fantatic volley into the back of the net.
Manchester City and their supporters were furious by this time and claimed that the ball should have been played out, which of course it should not. The old adage 'you play to the whistle' was in control here and as Stevie G confirmed afterwards, referee Anthony Taylor told them to play on.
It was of course a beautiful goal but there was more to come and when it did, it would prove to the world that the old Stevie G was definitely back.
Liverpool were in the ascendency for the rest of the first half and came out for the second half determined to try and score the goal that would take them into the lead. It came on the seventy third minute who picked up a clearance from Gael Clichy and sent one of his trademark Volleys into the back of the net. I guess at this point in time you had to feel sorry for Joe Hart, because there is no way that he would have saved that.
There was also a chance seven minutes later when Daniel Sturridge who had damaged his thigh whilst scoring the first goal, headed a free kick that Stevie had sent towards the goalmouth and saw it go just wide of the goalpost.
The match was now into its final fifteen minutes and as always happens, mistakes begin to happen, and unfortunately it was Liverpool who yet again made the mistake that opened up the game once again. Martin Skrtel had come on in place of the tiring Jose Enrique and an immediate lack of concentration caused himself and Pepe to get into a muddle. A muddle that ensured Pepe for some reason moved away from his goal, leaving it wide open for a fantastic shot from Aguero to find the back of the net.
With both teams now determined to ensure that they got the winning goal, the football was fantastic but it was Liverpool who on the 90th minute came closest when Daniel Sturridge sent a low strike towards the goal only to see Joe Hart save the day.
The game finished in a draw and to be honest although it would have been fantastic for Liverpool to have held on to their lead, it was a fair result. Both teams played their hearts out and even Jamie sent two balls towards the goal - how lovely it would have been had he scored.
Now I don't know what Colin Pascoe has been teaching them in training this week, but it certainly appears to have worked. That was the best performance by Liverpool in a long while and as I said above, it was fantastic to watch, so much so, that the green shoots of recovery have reared their heads once again.