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Live text commentary – Liverpool v Manchester City

by Josh Powell | August 26, 2012

What better way to spend your Sunday afternoon than with a mouth-watering clash between Liverpool and the Champions Manchester City!

City were involved in a thrilling opening match with newly promoted Southampton coming from 2-1 down to win 3-2 in a thrilling encounter. Liverpool on the other hand, buoyed by the arrival of Brendan Rodgers and his renewed optimism were brought crashing down to earth after being thumped 3-0 by West Brom.

The Merseyside club will be looking for a positive response but it doesn’t get much harder than against City.

Latest score: Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City FT   

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5.56pm: So there you have it. A belting game in which Liverpool twice led and twice handed City an equaliser. Skrtel put the Reds in front with a booming header in a first half that Liverpool had the better of. But just after the hour mark Reina made a complete mess of coming for a Tevez cross and Yaya Toure knocked in the leveller. Three minutes later Suarez gave Liverpool the lead back with a stunning free-kick after a dubious handball decision against Rodwell. But Liverpool once again threw it away, this time Skrtel was the villan, putting a hopeless back-pass on a plate for Carlos Tevez.

5.53pm: Full-time. It ends 2-2 and City will be relieved with that. A cracking game played at an electric tempo but Liverpool have thrown that away in all honesty.

5.52pm: Suarez wants a free-kick but gets booked instead for being a gobby little man.

5.51pm: No. Tevez belts a volley from the edge of the box hopelessly wide.

5.50pm: City have a corner. They couldn’t could they?

5.49pm: Glen Johnson drives one from distance but it’s easy for Hart. A couple of minutes to go.

5.48pm: Four minutes of added time to go.

5.47pm: Only a couple of minutes left at Anfield. Could still go either way here. Niall Quinn has named Joe Allen MOTM which is probably a good call. He’s pulled the strings in the middle of the park today.

5.45pm: City lucky to survive. The ball pings around in the box and Suarez hangs the ball up for Carroll to meet at the back stick but Kolarov heads it away from a yard in front of the goal line.

5.44pm: Sterling whips in a dangerous ball and now Liverpool have a corner.

5.43pm: Oh would you believe it. Dzeko could have won it there. A driving run by Tevez who tees up Kolarov but Dzeko puts the cross over the bar. Decent chance that for City.

5.43pm: Here’s the Tevez equaliser. A massive clanger from Skrtel.

5.41pm: Borini is making way for Andy Carroll. Great roar from the Kop for the big man. Liverpool are 9/2 to win, City are 7/2.

5.40pm: Shelvey drives a left-foot shot narrowly over. Both teams going for the win here, neither settling for the draw.

5.39pm: It’s a nightmare for Paddy as well! Tevez is now the last goal scorer so the Money-Back Special will still click if it ends like this! Crazy scenes in Power Tower.

5.37pm: GOAL! Nightmare for Skrtel. From hero to villan. Plays a back-pass blind and it goes straight to Tevez. The Argentinian rounds Reina and strokes it home to make it 2-2. Liverpool have thrown away the lead twice now.

5.36pm: Borini goes straight through Yaya Toure but the referee misses it! Toure is back up on his feet though. City have ten minutes to get something from this game.

5.35pm: Don’t forget if it stays like this Paddy’s massive Money-Back Special will click as Suarez scored last so there’ll be a massive pay-out to punters! I was wondering why he’s panicking like a mad fella in the corner of the office. 

5.34pm: Silva is 11/1 to score next.

5.33pm: Milner makes way for David Silva as Mancini looks for a way back into the game.

5.32pm: City haven’t responded at all to that goal and Liverpool look more likely to score again.

5.31pm: There’s a little bit of afters between Kompany and Suarez so the ref calls them over and has a quick word. Suarez to be fair is chasing down everything and that epitomises how Liverpool have played today.

5.30pm: Liverpool are 1/3 now to hold on and win, with the draw at 11/4. City are 12/1 to winsurely it can’t be another 3-2 for City can it?

5.28pm: And here’s that stunning goal from Suarez.

5.27pm: Here’s the Yaya Toure equaliser.

5.26pm: Electric pace to this game and Liverpool are looking to add to their lead. Jose Enrique came on just before that goal for Kelly by the way.

5.25pm: The free-kick is class there’s no doubt about that but the decision looked a touch harsh on Jack Rodwell as the ball bounced of his knee on to his hand. We were only level for 181 seconds.

5.23pm: GOAL! Rodwell is penalised for a handball and from 25 yards Suarez curls in a delightful free-kick. Liverpool lead again!

5.22pm: Liverpool are now 3/1 to win, City are 21/10 and the draw is evens

5.20pm: GOAL! Sloppy from Liverpool. Tevez takes it past Sterling and whips in a cross that Reina makes a complete mess off. The ball bounces of Kelly and falls for Yaya Toure who cannot miss. 1-1 and Rodgers will be livid with that.

5.19pm: Now Dzeko is on for Mancini’s side. Balotelli comes off and doesn’t acknowledge the gaffer. Not a great day for the Italian.

5.18pm: Tevez slips a great reverse pass through to Milner but he’s rightly flagged offside. That was better from City. 

5.16pm: City’s passing in this half has been dire. They just keep giving it back to Liverpool. Rodwell is on for Nasri and Yaya Toure looks to move into a more advanced role.

5.15pm: City are changing it up here with a little over half an hour to go. Rodwell is stripped off and ready as Mancini looks to take control in the middle of the park.

5.13pm: Balotelli looks like he’s only a couple of minutes away from losing it. He’s 13/2 to score next though if he can channel that frustration into something positive.

5.12pm: Blimey Joe Allen. From the ridiculous to the sublime. He picks up the ball 35 yards away from his own goal and whips a barmy back pass to Reina. It’s a hollywood ball that almost puts his keeper in trouble but Liverpool survive.

5.11pm: Now Allen sells Shelvey short and the Liverpool man is down. On comes the physio.

5.10pm: Nightmare! Allen gives the ball away so that ruins his accuracy stats. What a plonker.

5.08pm: Here’s that cracking analysis from G.Nev at half-time.

5.07pm: Suarez with a decent chance but he scuffs his shot well wide. Not his day I’m afraid so far.

5.05pm: Every time Sterling is on the ball the anticipation rises. The 17-year-old is pacey, exciting and isn’t scared to take on the City defence. The Kop love it.

5.03pm: Lucas has a ton of ice on that injured thigh. Reports are that he did it in the warm up but Rodgers took the risk to start him anyway.  

5.03pm: City get us underway in the second half.

5.02pm: Next goal scorer? Suarez is 13/2, Gerrard is 10/1 and Sterling is 11/1. For City Balotelli and Tevez are both 13/2 and Yaya Toure is 10/1.

5.01pm: Liverpool are 8/13 to win, City are 5/1 and the draw is 5/2. City or the draw on the double chance is a tasty looking 5/4. Tevez and Balotelli will always be a danger up top.

5.00pm: Right lets get some odds…

4.57pm: Reports that City are being screwed by the ref are so far unconfirmed.

4.56pm: STAT: Joe Allen has a 100% pass success rate in the first half from 24 passes. Accurate.

4.55pm: G. Nev chatting plenty of sense on the telly despite having a pretty bobbins haircut.

4.50pm: Here’s the goal from Skrtel. An absolutely belting header.

4.49pm: Liverpool lost Lucas in the opening few minutes but adjusted well. City shaded the opening 20 minutes and Tevez hit a post from an acute angle but since then it’s been all Liverpool. Skrtel’s header is the difference between the two teams and the atmosphere around Anfield is electric.

4.47pm: Kolarov puts it into the wall and the whistle goes. Liverpool go into the break 1-0 up and good for their lead.

4.46pm: Last action of the first half is a City free-kick in a dangerous position.

4.45pm: Almost half-time and Liverpool will be very happy indeed. Mancini is going to have an important break with his team at half-time. It’s hard to see how he can change things at the moment.

4.42pm: Nuri Sahin looks on from the stand. He’s got a job on his hands trying to get into the team on this display.

4.40pm: Suarez wins a free-kick but is still very unhappy. He picks up the ball from Allen in a bit of space but places a shot well wide.

4.39pm: City breathing hard. Liverpool aren’t letting them have any time at all. It’s 9/1 to be 2-0 at the break. Five minutes plus injury time to go.

4.38pm: The Champions are under big pressure here. Sterling has been fantastic in this opening half, giving City are torrid time on that left-hand side.

4.37pm: Liverpool are 4/6 to win now with City out to 9/2. The draw is 5/2.

4.36pm: Liverpool are buzzing here. The Kop is in full voice and the Reds are pressing everything. 10 minutes till half-time.

4.34pm: GOAL!! From the corner Skrtel absolutely thumps a header past Joe Hart. A blinding header. Bravery, desire and power. Brilliant play from the centre-back.

4.32pm: Oh blimey! Gerrard whips it in right down the corridor of uncertainty and Kompany sticks out a leg. The ball whistles over the bar taking some paint on the way. That could have gone anywhere.

4.30pm: Suarez is having no joy today. He thinks he should have won a free-kick but the referee is having none of it. City counter but Balotelli blazes over when he had better options.

4.29pm: It’s all Liverpool here. Their best spell of the game by far. They are 13/10 to score the first goal.

4.28pm: The Kop is firing! Borini swivels and sees his shot blocked in front of the Anfield faithful before encouraging them to get on their feet. They respond big time.

4.27pm: Mancini’s reaction to the City chance earlier is brilliant. He goes mental at Balotelli who casually shrugs him off.

4.25pm: Great work by Balotelli. He mugs Coates of the ball on the edge of the box and then wins a free-kick in a very dangerous area. Nasri whips it in, Reina has a healthy flap at it and misses it but City can’t capitalise.

4.22pm: Sterling looks dangerous every time he gets on the ball. When Liverpool start moving the ball in the middle of the park they look very good.

4.21pm: There is a policeman in the Liverpool dugout and it appears he’s having a barney with Lucas. Very strange.

4.20pm: Tevez looks livid. Both Balotelli and Kolarov stood a few yards away and watched that ball. If either of them had been alert enough to follow it in City would be ahead.

4.18pm: How’s that not gone in?! Madness! Tevez chases a lost cause down and leaves Reina in no mans land. But from an impossible angle he flicks the ball across goal, it wobbles across the line hits the post and trickles to a Liverpool defender.

4.17pm: Best chance of the game! Stunning play by the young Sterling and he puts in a wicked cross that has City struggling. Borini gets to the near post put volleys the ball narrowly wide. Great chance for the home side.

4.15pm: Suarez has a little jinky run but eventually goes down a dead-end and the chance is gone. He’s looking very frustrated the little fella.

4.14pm: Coates has had a strong opening in his personal battle with Balotelli. The Italian hasn’t had a sniff.

4.12pm: Liverpool are trying to get the ball wide when they have the ball. Unfortunately they haven’t had the ball that much so far. City have definitely edged the opening 12 minutes but there has been no clear-cut chances.

4.10pm: Half-hearted appeals for handball against Kolarov but it clearly hit him in the belly. The ref was unmoved.

4.09pm: You wouldn’t believe City are the away team here. They are getting an incredible number of blue shirts forward at every opportunity.

4.07pm: Brendan Rodgers is furiously scribbling down notes on the touchline. Probably a reminder that James Bond is on at 10.15pm tonight. Great film.

4.06pm: City’s last three competitive games have ended 3-2 (QPR, Chelsea and Southampton) It is 25/1 for them to win by that scoreline today.

4.04pm: Lucas looks gutted as he makes his way off replaced by Jonjo Shelvey. Big blow for Liverpool.

4.03pm: Early problems for Lucas who appears to have a thigh problem. He’s not going to be able to continue.

4.01pm: Liverpool pressing very high up the pitch not giving City a moment on the ball. A good pace to this game early on.

4.00pm: Liverpool get us underway and Gerrard has a sight of goal after only 30 seconds, dragging his shot wide.

3.59pm: City setting up with three at the back, using Milner and Kolarov as wing-backs. A very attacking set up from Mancini away from home.

3.58pm: You’ll Never Walk Alone rings out around Anfield. The sun is shining in Merseyside and we’re almost set to go.

3.56pm: Skrtel looking very focused in the tunnel. He’s one man I certainly wouldn’t like to bump into on a dark night.

3.54pm: Red nets are back at Anfield! Is this a good sign for Liverpool? They need some kind of result today to get off the foot of the table!

3.53pm: Around five minutes to go and for me I think City will win 1-0 today which is 15/2 with Paddy. I’m feeling brave and I’m going to have 50 cent on a scorecast with Yaya Toure to score first and City to win 1-0 which pays 60/1. If that one comes in the drinks are on me in Coppers.

3.49pm: Don’t forget that Paddy has gone a bit bananas as well and if Tevez or Suarez score last he’s refunding the usual markets! You can check out all the details here.

3.46pm: Who do you fancy to get the goals? Tevez is 6/1 to net first with Mad Mario at 13/2. Luis Suarez is also at 13/2 and hot-shot Sterling is a tasty 11/1. Yaya Toure at 10/1 is massively appealing for me.

3.44pm: City are the 6/4 favourites with Paddy for this one with Liverpool at 15/8. The draw is 9/4 but to be honest I fancy City to just about do the business here.

3.41pm: So Balotelli is straight in to Mancini’s side with Aguero injured and interestingly Silva and Rodwell drop to the bench.

Brendan Rodgers has put his cajones on the line giving teenager Raheem Sterling his full Premiership debut in place of Stewart Downing. Coates also comes in for the suspended Agger and Charlie Adam is nowhere to be seen!

Team news:

Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Skrtel, Coates, Johnson, Lucas, Allen, Borini, Gerrard, Sterling, Suarez. Subs: Jones, Jose Enrique, Carroll, Henderson, Downing, Carragher, Shelvey.

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Toure, Kolarov, Toure, De Jong, Milner, Tevez, Nasri, Balotelli. Subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Dzeko, Savic, Rodwell, Silva, Razak.

3.35pm: My Sunday roast has gone down a treat and what better way to spend the afternoon than with this cracking clash between two of the League’s biggest clubs! Team news on the way!

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