City v Liverpool: Match report - Manchester City FC

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Season2014/15
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  • Manchester City

    City 3

    Jovetic 41mins & 55mins, Aguero 70mins

  • Liverpool

    Liverpool 1

    Zabaleta (og) 83mins

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  • 25 August 2014 21:58
  • Posted by @dclayton_mcfc

A Stevan Jovetic-inspired City opened their home campaign in style with a polished 3-1 win over Liverpool.

The champions are now in joint second in the Premier League after maintaining their 100% start to the campaign, though the victory was anything but a stroll in the park with the visitors perhaps unlucky to lose by the margin they did on the night.

Two goals from the in-form Jovetic and another from Sergio Aguero opened up an unassailable lead that knocked the stuffing out of the Merseysiders who will need to raise the bar if they are to top last season’s exploits.

It’s all about taking your chances in crucial games like this and in that respect, City were a class apart

...City 3 Liverpool 1...

The only change from last week’s 2-0 win at Newcastle United was at right-back where Pablo Zabaleta was recalled meaning Gael Clichy switched back to the left and Aleks Kolarov dropped to the bench.

The Liverpool players were greeted by chants of ‘championi’ by the City fans as they walked out in front of the sell-out crowd - a painful reminder of  just how close they came to winning the title themselves last May.

Steven Gerrard was ribbed mercilessly by the home support over his unfortunate role in the stars eventually aligning the title in City’s favour, but the former England skipper was probably expecting nothing less.

And there was no Mario Balotelli for the visitors on this occasion with the former City favourite joining the Reds too late to make an emotional Etihad Stadium debut

...City 3 Liverpool 1...

So the scene was set for two teams expected to once again challenge for the Premier League crown with an early chance to lay down a proverbial marker – and what better to greet the Bank Holiday August fixture than leaden grey skies and heavy rain? ‘Twas ever thus…

The first 15 minutes were largely uneventful save for the odd burst of pace from Raheem Sterling causing concern and a decent 20-yard effort from Yaya Toure and as the half wore on, the visitors looked the more likely to break the deadlock with the champions a little lacklustre going forward.

Then, finally, the breakthrough that hadn’t really been coming. A clever chip into the box by Zabaleta found David Silva who did enough  to see the ball fall invitingly for Jovetic who was quicker to react than Moreno and the Montenegrin swept home from six yards out with four minutes of the half remaining.

The goal was further evidence that City don’t always need to be at their best to take command of a game, but there would be a need to shift up a gear after the break if the hosts were see off an enterprising Liverpool side

...City 3 Liverpool 1...

If proof was needed that there could be no complacency from City, Daniel Sturridge’s effort on 49 minutes – disallowed for offside - was an early reminder the visitors are a potent outfit capable of breaching even the meanest of defences with a few incisive passes.

That said, so can City and six minutes later the Etihad Stadium was again rocking after a delightful piece of skill by Jovetic fed Samir Nasri who drove into the box before picking out Jovetic who finished with a left-foot shot into the roof of the net.

The Montenegro striker is continuing his excellent pre-season form and again, just as he did at Yankee Stadium in the International Champions Cup, he had two goals to his name against Brendan Rodgers’ side who already must be sick of the sight of him!

But it was get even better as City wrapped up the points on 70 minutes with an extraordinary 60 seconds of play. The industrious Edin Dzeko left the pitch to a standing ovation with what looked like a knock on his thigh and was replaced by Aguero – within 15 seconds  the Argentinian was wheeling away in celebration after he rolled Jesus Navas’ excellent pass wide of an out-of-position Mignolet and into the net within 23 seconds of appearing on the pitch!

It was an odd score-line in many ways because even the staunchest City fan would admit that Liverpool were not three goals worse on the night, but the champions’ finishing from the opportunities created had been top drawer and a clear warning to the rest of the Premier League that Pellegrini’s men are determined to keep their crown.

Substitute Rickie Lambert forced a late consolation goal via Zabaleta on 83 minutes - despite a valiant effort from Joe Hart - but it was too little, too late from a team who know they will need to find the form they showed last season if they are to keep pace with City and the other early pacesetters.

As for the champions, it was business as usual and with Jovetic superb and the hard-working Fernando adding extra dimension to the team, City are already back in the groove again.

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Match details

Monday 25 August 2014, 8:00PM

Etihad Stadium Att:45,471
Barclays Premier League

Referee:
Michael Oliver

Teams

Manchester City:

Hart, Zabaleta, Clichy, Demichelis, Kompany, Fernando, Yaya Toure, Nasri, Silva (Navas 64), Dzeko (Aguero 69), Jovetic (Fernandinho 79)

Unused subs:
Caballero, Kolarov, Sagna, Milner

Bookings:
Yaya Toure

Liverpool:

Mignolet, Johnson, Moreno, Loveren, Skrtel, Henderson, Gerrard, Allen (Can75), Coutinho (Markovic 60), Sterling (Lambert 79), Sturridge

Unused subs:
Jones, K Toure, Sakho, Manquillo

Bookings:
Can

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

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