Monday, December 31, 2007

Manchester City 0-0 Liverpool

Liverpool fire blanks as Benitez's title push over?

Liverpool failed to take a much needed step towards to the Premier League top two today, drawing one of their two games in hand away to Manchester City. In a game that Liverpool generally edged more than dominated, they just couldn't convert any of several good chances to take all the points.

Torres in particular had an off day, missing one glorious chance set up for him after great interplay between Aurelio and Kewell. In general Torres just wasn't at the races today, scuffing chances and passes throughout. That said man of the match Richard Dunne, and Micah Richards were colossal in defence for City.

Liverpool started the game slowly in a cagey first half, but began to get into it after the half hour mark. Fabio Aurelio led the charge, with two excellent long range strikes that Hart had to tip over. Before that the only effort of note had been a Harry Kewell effort that Hart struggled to gather.

The second half saw Liverpool push more and more for a winner, so much so that City were hanging on desperately by the games end. Torres twice and Benayoun missed great chances to put Liverpool, in what surely would have been a winning lead. Late on there was an amazing piece of defending by Dunne, when he cleared off his line after Hart had only parried Kuyts header.

All in all it was a good point for City but two vital points dropped for Liverpool. Benitez has won the title from the back of the field before but you can't see this Liverpool team doing it to take the Premier League. In reality it was not the points dropped here today that is halting Liverpool's Premier League title challenge, its the two points from nine gained from their rivals that is their undoing. With those gained at home, it's hard to see that being improved on in trips to Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford and the Emirates.

For Manchester City, they can be satisfied at a good performance against one of the Premier League top sides. There tremendous progression under Sven-Goran Eriksson continues.


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