MCFC versus Liverpool match report - Manchester City FC

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Sheikh Mansour
Season2010/11
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    City  3

    Barry (13mins), Tevez (51mins 67mins pen),

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  • 23 August 2010 21:55
  • Posted by Chris Bailey

What a dainty dish to set before a Sheikh.

The Blues owner Sheikh Mansour made his first visit to the club he bought almost two years ago and on this eye-catching evidence he will regard it money very well spent.

Two games into the season and the Blues are already three points up on last season’s return from the corresponding fixtures.

That bodes well but more importantly this win over Liverpool means that despite one of the hardest starts possible, Roberto Mancini’s men have kept up with the early pacesetters and are still to concede a goal.

And the composed and elegant manner of the victory will have impressed all those watching across the globe.

All football eyes were on sodden CoMs as two of the top four contenders stood toe to toe.

It was the third such Titanic clash of the embryo campaign following the Blues’ visit to Tottenham and Liverpool’s own horn-locking with Arsenal on the opening day.

Those two games ended in stalemate and there were many who expected this to go the same way.

After all, five of the last seven meetings had ended with the spoils shared and there were high class performers all over the pitch for this one.

The stats pointed to something other than a goal fest too as only 16 goals had been scored in the previous 11 league matches between the sides and that included a 2-2 and a 3-2! How wrong the soothsayers were.

Mancini, without the injured Mario Balotelli, handed a debut to James Milner and promoted Adam Johnson in place of David Silva. After sitting out the Europa League tie in Romania, Micah Richards returned at right back.  

For Liverpool there was no Javier Mascherano - the subject of transfer gossip – but Fernando Torres was deemed fit enough to start.

City had the better of the opening exchanges and came closest when the ever-dangerous Adam Johnson – Skrtel went into the book early for a bad foul on the winger - fired just inches wide from 25-yards. Pepe Reina took no chances diving full length as the ball sped into the advertising hoardings.

There was no real surprise when the home side took the lead with a goal of stunning beauty

...Chris Bailey

Yaya Toure had a boot in the move, so too did Nigel de Jong but the pass that undid Roy Hodgson’s side was delivered by Adam Johnson, taken on by James Milner and finished with aplomb by Gareth Barry.

It was a goal that would have done little to improve the mood at Villa Park but ought to have had Fabio Capello purring and led to those who reckon City are somehow to blame for England’s dropping standards to choke on their words.

The rest of the half promised much but delivered no further goals despite a peppering of Reina’s penalty area.

Milner, Tevez and Johnson all tried their luck from long range with no success but the half belonged to Barry who turned in a midfield master class.

He read the game superbly cutting angles, making tackles and barely putting a stud out of place. Simply brilliant

Chris Bailey

But he wasn’t alone. Johnson was at times unplayable while Vincent Kompany and the rest of the back four were both quick and ruthless in their work.

So too was Tevez, or at least he appeared to be, in the 52nd minute when he pirouetted on to Micah Richards’ knockdown from a Milner corner and nutmegged Reina from three yards for number two. Replays showed that the goal might belong to Richards. We will leave them to argue and the dubious goals’ panel to deliberate what isn't in doubt is that this was biggest home win for City over Liverpool since 1936.

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Match details

Monday 23 August 2010, 8:00PM

City of Manchester Stadium Att:47,087
Barclays Premier League

Referee:
Phil Dowd (Staffs)

Teams

Manchester City:

Hart, Richards, Toure Kolo, Kompany, Lescott; Toure Yaya (Zabaleta 85mins), DeJong, Milner, Barry, A Johnson, Tevez (Jo 85mins)

Unused subs:
Given, Wright-Phillips, Silva, Adebayor, Vieira

Bookings:
Richards (58mins)

Liverpool:

Reina, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Carragher, Jonvanovic (Pacheco 85mins), Lucas, Gerrard, Kuyt, Torres (Babel 78mins), Ngog

Unused subs:
Cavalieri, Aurelio, Kyrgiakos, Rodriguez, Poulsen

Bookings:
Skrtel (4mins)

All times are taken from a live feed and are approximate at time of publishing.

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