Skrtel from hero to zero as City force Reds draw

Martin Skrtel, scorer of Liverpool's opening goal, gifted Premier League champions Manchester City their second equaliser, and a point, in an absorbing 2-2 draw at Anfield on Sunday.

The Liverpool defender had performed superbly until the 80th minute when, under pressure from Edin Dzeko, he inexplicably played the ball back directly to Carlos Tevez, who rounded Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina and slotted in his 100th goal in English football to share the points.

But the consolation for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, still searching for his first league victory since taking charge of the Reds, was that this was a much improved display following last week's 3-1 loss to West Bromwich Albion.

Skrtel opened the scoring with a powerful and unstoppable header from a perfectly-delivered right-wing Steven Gerrard corner in the 34th minute, a goal which was thoroughly deserved given the enterprising manner in which Rodgers's team had undertaken their daunting meeting with the champions.

Yaya Toure pulled City level in the 63rd minute but it took the home team just three more to regain the lead through a magnificently-struck Luis Suarez free-kick after Jack Rodwell had been harshly judged to have handled as he blocked a Gerrard shot.

It was a dangerous position, some 22 yards from goal, and Suarez, who had looked low on confidence to that point, needed no second invitation to curl a superb strike around the City wall and beyond England goalkeeper Joe Hart into the bottom right-hand corner.

Anfield had an air of the big occasion about it for Rodgers's home league bow, not least of all because the manager handed a full debut to teenage winger Raheem Stering, an almost cult figure with the Liverpool faithful.

It was easy to see why, in the 18th minute, when the 17-year-old planted the perfect left-wing cross onto the toe of Fabio Borini who volleyed wide from four yards.

The miss might have proved costly as City launched a counter-attack with Tevez taking James Milner's through pass and succeeding in rounding Reina.

The Argentine forward was forced wide but then saw his cross-shot almost put in by Martin Kelly whose attempted headed clearance struck the post and was gathered by a grateful Reina.

It was a fast-paced opening with Liverpool's game plan upset after just four minutes when Lucas limped off with pulled leg muscle to be replaced by Jonjo Shelvey.

But as Liverpool gained momentum, City were forced onto the back foot and into conceding the opening goal.

In the second half Mario Balotelli, performing admirable but unfamiliar defensive duties, inadvertently played his team into trouble when the ball deflected off him into the path of Suarez but the Liverpool forward crossed into an empty area.

City manager Roberto Mancini threw on Rodwell and Dzeko in an attempt to breathe life into s fading performance and the tactic paid instant dividends with Yaya Toure's equaliser.

Tevez broke down the right and his cross was dealt with unconvincingly by Reina, a half-hearted punch which rebounded off Martin Kelly and into the path of the alert Toure who converted from six yards.

City only remained level for three minutes before conceding a second goal although Skrtel's moment of indecision helped make things all square again.

Thereafter, Skrtel tried to make amends with an 18-yard shot which cleared the City bar while Dzeko twice came close as City attempted to win a league game by a 3-2 scoreline for the fourth consecutive match.

Liverpool substitute striker Andy Carroll might have secured the three points in the other direction in the closing minutes, however, as he rose to meet a Suarez cross and saw his header cleared off the line by Vincent Kompany.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Troops overrun BIFF bomb-making facility in Mamasapano
    Troops overrun BIFF bomb-making facility in Mamasapano

    Government troops captured Sunday a bomb and weapons factory of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced yesterday. Col. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesman, said the captured bomb and weapons factory is located inside an area controlled by radical Muslim cleric Ustadz Mohammad Ali Tambako at Barangay Dasikil in Mamasapano. …

  • No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors
    No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors

    Instead of filing an opposition, ombudsman prosecutors filed a manifestation yesterday expressing belief that there is no urgent need for Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. to visit his son at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center. “Based on the clinical abstract issued by the Asian Hospital on patient (Cavite) Vice-governor (Jolo) Revilla, which was submitted by accused Revilla in support of his Urgent Motion, Vice-governor Revilla is in stable condition and has stable vital signs, as of March 1, …

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say
    How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say

    CAIRO (AP) — Three British schoolgirls believed to have gone to Syria to become "jihadi" brides. Three young men charged in New York with plotting to join the Islamic State group and carry out attacks on American soil. A masked, knife-wielding militant from London who is the face of terror in videos showing Western hostages beheaded. …

  • Recruitment firm accused of worldwide scam
    Recruitment firm accused of worldwide scam

    Filipinos aspiring to work overseas should avoid dealing with a recruitment agency that has duped jobseekers worldwide, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said yesterday. The National Bureau of Investigation has padlocked Global Visas Inc., which is based in Cebu. Baldoz said the agency’s parent company, ICS Global Visas Inc. based in the United Kingdom, has reportedly collapsed and left thousands of applicants without jobs.  “Global Visas was in the limelight this week, following its reported …

  • Lawmakers split on tax exemption for Pacquiao
    Lawmakers split on tax exemption for Pacquiao

    Colleagues of boxing champion Manny Pacquiao at the House of Representatives backed yesterday a proposal to exempt his earnings from his May 2 fight with American Floyd Mayweather from income tax. Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares has urged Pacquiao to promptly pay taxes on his May 2 earnings, which are projected to reach at least $120 million (more than P5.2 billion). …

  • Woman with slain Putin critic says she didn't see his killer
    Woman with slain Putin critic says she didn't see his killer

    MOSCOW (AP) — The 23-year-old Ukrainian model who was with slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov tearfully recounted Monday their last dinner in a chic Red Square restaurant and their walk onto a nearby bridge — but said she did not see the gunman who pulled the trigger. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options