Carlos Tevez celebrates his goal against a poor and hapless Liverpool team last night.
Manchester City scared the living life out of Liverpool by crusing passed them in an easy 3-0 win, while Manchester United also dropped points against a rejuvinated Fulham side managed by Mark Hughes in an entertaining 2-2 draw yesterday. Newcastle United managed their first win, meaning that they can now officially shave their moustaches! They were the thrid team to score SIX in this record-breaking weekend.
MANCHESTER CITY 3-0 LIVERPOOL
It was Manchester City’s go to turn on the style last night. But in all honesty, they didn’t need style. This easy, convincing win for the team that £millions was spent on by Sheikh Mansour didn’t even break sweat as they strolled past a poor and shambolic Liverpool team. With one of their star players, JAVIER MASCHERANO set to leave before the transfer window closes in a week, the Merseysider’s problems on the pitch looked even worse. Unable to secure a victory over a weakened Arsenal team at HOME last weak, Liverpool were simply outclassed by a team who has surely overtaken them in the quest for a Champions League place next season – repeating last seasons feat. Yet the irony here lies in the fact that Manchester City’s players, old and new, are yet to gel together and pose a real threat. But the fact that they’re so convincingly walking past one of the ‘supposed’ rivals for the fourth spot indicates 3 things:
A) Roberto Mancini has surprised many by his tactics, being able to rest the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, Patrick Vieira AND Shaun Wright-Phillips on the bench. He also gave debuts to James Milner and used the out of form Joleaon Lescott – who all had more of an effect on the game than any of Liverpool’s seasoned-professionals, who’ve known each other for longer than a week.
B) Liverpool’s chances of a Top 4 finish are as dim as last years, if not worse. By getting rid of their best player from last year – Yossi Benayoun and most probably Mascherano, Liverpool again proved this season so far that, away from home definitely, they are NO MATCH to all 6 of their ‘rivals’ who finished above them last year. Even an ungelled Man City side. Dropping poins at HOME to those 6 that finished above them is also an issue.
C) With Tottenham Hotspurs managing to draw against Man City last week in a game that they should’ve won, they are surely a bigger threat to the Top 4 that they managed to finish in last year, as opposed to Liverpool. The Merseysiders proved last year that they could beat Manchester United at home, and then manage to LOSE to Fulham, Wigan and most embarrasingly of all, Portsmouth. Basically, they fell to the sides bigger than them (Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs, Aston Villa) and the ones who finished below them. After further WEAKENING their squad from last year, only a miracle will help them to survive that fate this year, surely. DIRK KUYT has also been linked with a move away that he is correctly “seriously considering”.
From the very start of this match, City looked brighter, sharper and more positive. After a period of sustained pressure, the inevitable breakthrough came after only 12 minutes for the home side. The influential debutant, JAMES MILNER exchanged passes with the fantastic Adam Johnson before teeing up his old Villa teammate GARETH BARRY for an easy finish past Reina. Liverpool’s shocking defence was concentrating more on calling an offiside against Milner, and left Barry completely unmarked for probably the easiest goal of his career.
The first half died out with less chances and more Man City posession. That was very quickly turned into another goal in the Second period. Milner’s corner was met fantastically by MICAH RICHARDS who out-jumped Daniel Agger, throwing him to the floor. CARLOS TEVEZ was left absolutely unmarked infront of Reina to get the slightest of touches with the despairing handball of Glen Johnson, and the attention of the goalie and Gerrard unable to do anything. It was as if a small blue fish beat five supposed Red Sharks to a worm and got away with it. Diabolical defending by the away side.
Liverpool’s brief threat came when STEVEN GERRARD hit a post, with Torres being denied the rebound by a fantastic block from, surely, the best goalkeeper in the Premier League currently? Joe Hart was immense again, even having so little to do in the game.
Torres would use great skill to have his sides second and last real effort on the game, shooting narrowly wide. That was after A.Johnson was fouled by the shaken Martin Skrtel, who gave away a penalty. Up stepped Tevez to bury the penalty and also the nail into the Liverbird’s coffin for the night. Disgruntled Liverpool fans who were delusional just yesterday were brought back to earth with a bang after realising what along and tough season they have ahead.
Man City meanwhile, will probably continue to gel this way and will again assert their pressures on the top 5 after the amounts of money they spent.
Man-Of-The-Match: ADAM JOHNSON
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