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Man City 2-1 Liverpool
17.03 – Hello, and welcome to our second liveblog of the day, as third place Liverpool take on Man City in fourth.
17.10 – The team news is in…
MAN CITY: Hart, Zabaleta, Lescott, Kompany, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Nasri, Silva, Negredo, Navas.
LIVERPOOL: Mignolet, Cissokho, Skrtel, Sakho, Johnson, Lucas, Allen, Henderson, Sterling, Coutinho, Suarez.
17.16 – Speaking to BT Sport, Brendan Rodgers says Man City are showing Liverpool “a great deal of respect” by not playing two up front this evening.
Liverpool fans will hope those words don’t come back to haunt him.
17.27 – A reminder of his class if any were needed…
17.28 – So, a quick poll before we begin. Who will win today?
17.30 – We’re underway…
17.33 – City attack early on down the right flank, but Navas’ cross is confidently gathered by Mignolet.
Positive start from City.
17.36 – Navas has just clipped the outside of the post with a well-executed header after Kolarov’s dangerous cross.
City are looking dangerous down the flanks early on.
17.37 – A look at the teams’ head-to-head record.
(PA Graphics/PA Graphics/Press Association Images)
17.40 – Don’t worry Paddy, you can still read our liveblog!
17.41 – City continue to put Liverpool under pressure, with Kompany heading just wide from a corner.
Navas, in particular, is posing problems down the right.
17.44 – Suarez has had his first half chance of the day.
The Uruguayan beats Joleon Lescott to a header, but his attempt goes just wide.
17.48 – Important last-ditch tackle from Kolarov on Sterling.
Suarez intelligently plays the youngster through on goal, but he can’t get his shot away thanks to the defender’s intervention.
Shortly thereafter, Suarez’s uncharacteristically tame free kick is comfortably saved by Hart.
17.50 – Controversial! For the second time in the last few minutes, Suarez plays a defence-splitting pass to put Sterling through.
The English winger is adjudged offside, but replays show that he was well on.
Poor decision from the linesman.
17.54 – GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL!
17.58 – Man City 0-1 Liverpool: Raheem Sterling latches on to Luis Suarez’s flick on. He takes it round the keeper before the better positioned Philippe Coutinho converts into the empty net (25 mins).
Liverpool get the goal that their recent dominance has merited.
18.00 – Man City are coming back into this game well.
Yaya Toure has wasted a good chance, while they win a free kick in a dangerous area only to waste it, as the subsequent attempted strike is blocked down.
18.00 – GOAL FOR MAN CITY!
18.03 – Man City 1-1 Liverpool: Vincent Kompany heads in from a corner to get his side back in the game (30 mins).
What a start to this match! Long may this frantic pace to the match continue.
18.06 – City have responded very positively to going behind, but their backline still looks extremely vulnerable.
On a few occasions, Liverpool have threaded through balls that have left them deeply exposed by the pace of the visitors’ attackers and their consistent ability to beat the hosts’ offside trap.
18.12 – Almost a wonderful Liverpool goal.
Great interplay by Suarez and Sterling around the City area, before Coutinho’s subsequent shot is well saved by Hart.
18.14 – Goal-saving tackle from Skrtel to deny Negredo a shot, after he is played through by Fernandinho.
This game could be another 6-3 if it keeps going in this manner.
18.15 – GOAL FOR MAN CITY!
18.19 – Man City 2-1 Liverpool: It’s wonderful build-up play, with Navas playing an inch-perfect pass to Negredo (45 mins).
The Spaniard’s attempted chip is relatively weak, but Mignolet somehow manages to palm the ball into the net.
18.21 – HALF-TIME: MAN CITY 2-1 LIVERPOOL
18.23 – Well that was an exciting half of football to say the least.
Both sides have played wonderful football at times, though their defending has often left much to be desired.
Man City lead 2-1, but there will surely be more goals in the second half, given how open both sides invariably look.
18.32 – The second half has begun…
18.34 – Liverpool could do with this guy today…
(Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images)
18.36 – Here’s a look at that Negredo goal…
YouTube credit: Gündem İzle
18.38 – Some hesitant City defending allows first Henderson, and then Suarez, to go close.
The former is eventually (and correctly) adjudged offside from the latter’s shot-cum-pass.
18.41 – Here’s the game’s other two goals.
YouTube credit: Gündem İzle
YouTube credit: Gündem İzle
18.46 – Great defending by Zabaleta to shoulder Coutinho off the ball in a dangerous position.
There haven’t been many chances in this second half, but both teams continue to look dangerous when they break.
18.49 – Zabaleta made an unexpected return to the City side today and he’s been fantastic both in defence and attack.
He makes another good run and cross down the right — an area where City have perpetually exploited Liverpool, with Navas also prominent today.
18.52 – Victor Moses looks set to come on and Liverpool could do with an injection of life.
The visitors have definitely been second best since the break, and haven’t responded especially well to going behind.
18.54 – Erm…
18.55 – Moses replaces the Liverpool goalscorer Coutinho, who like Liverpool in general, has been far less influential since the break.
Just over 20 minutes remaining…
18.59 – Great ball in from Henderson.
Lescott cuts the ball out, but it falls to Johnson, who takes too heavy a touch.
Shorty thereafter, a clever Henderson flick from a Hart cross is well saved by Hart.
Milner is now replacing Nasri, perhaps to combat this late Liverpool pressure.
19.03 – Great ball in from Suarez to Sterling, who blazes the ball over with the goal at his mercy.
It’s a really poor finish from the youngster.
19.04 – Mignolet reacts to conceding the second goal.
(Lynne Cameron/EMPICS Sport)
19.10 – Inevitably, the pace has lessened in this second half.
However, it’s remained an intriguing, absorbing game throughout.
19.12 – Suarez curls an ambitious free kick just over.
The Uruguayan has not been as prominent as usual today, but has shown some very good touches in the build-up play.
His opportunities in front of goal, however, have been limited.
19.14 – Great driving run by Yaya Toure, but no one can get on the end of his dangerous cross.
Meanwhile, Javi Garcia has come on for David Silva, as City look to shut up shop.
19.18 – Yaya Toure has just flashed a shot narrowly wide.
Down the other end, Lescott is constantly tugging Suarez from a corner, but the referee ignores it, despite the Uruguayan’s theatrical attempts to convince him to give a penalty.
19.19 – Michael Owen names Fernandinho as the Man of the Match.
It’s hard to argue with that decision — the Brazilian has looked very solid.
19.21 – FULL-TIME: MAN CITY 2-1 LIVERPOOL
19.23 – It’s all over. City get the victory that they probably just about deserved.
Mignolet won’t want to watch a replay of the second goal, but Liverpool probably didn’t do enough to get anything out of the game in the second half anyway.
The result leaves City second and Liverpool — who could have gone top with a win — in fourth.
19.32 – It’s unlikely Man City have had a tougher league game at home this season.
19.33 – Right, that’s all from me.
Thanks for reading and commenting, and enjoy the rest of the Christmas/New Year holidays.