Kampfakta Liverpool-Manchester City (1-0) februar 2006

Liverpool v Manchester City Match facts

Sunday February 26 2006 12:15

    Score line  
Final score Liverpool 1 – 0 (HT 1 – 0) Manchester City
  1. Kewell 40
  1. Barton 30
  2. Samaras 90
Sent off    
  1. Barton 52
  Liverpool’s Percentage Manchester City’s Percentage
Corners 12 85% 2 15%
Goal attempts 20 76% 6 24%
On target 12 80% 3 20%
Fouls 4 20% 16 80%
Offside 2 66% 1 34%
  • Jose Manuel Reina,
  • Sami Hyypia,
  • Steve Finnan,
  • Daniel Agger,
  • Jan Kromkamp,
  • Steven Gerrard,
  • John Arne Riise,
  • Harry Kewell (Djimi Traore, 85),
  • Xabi Alonso (Dietmar Hamann, 31),
  • Fernando Morientes,
  • Peter Crouch (Javier Sanz Luis Garcia, 75)
Manchester City
  • David James,
  • Danny Mills,
  • Richard Dunne,
  • Sylvain Distin,
  • Albert Riera (Lee Croft, 78),
  • Joey Barton,
  • Trevor Sinclair (Stephen Ireland, 67),
  • Kiki Musampa,
  • Stephen Jordan,
  • Georgios Samaras,
  • Antoine Sibierski (Bradley Wright-Phillips, 46)
Referee Gallagher, D
Venue Anfield
Attendance 44,121

Premier League

Liverpool 1
  • Kewell 40
Manchester City 0  
  • Dominic Fifield at Anfield
  • The Guardian,
  • Monday February 27, 2006

A grumbling sense of dissatisfaction pursued the locals departing this arena. Narrow victories such as this do little to appease supporters craving a more emphatic margin of success, with the lingering frustration having now spread to those wincing in the dug-out. “I’m disappointed and not happy with the final score,” muttered Rafael Benítez in the aftermath. That is as close as the Spaniard comes to castigating his side.

The manager will have taken some satisfaction in the result. Never before have Liverpool squeezed as many as their current 54 points from the first 27 games of a Premiership season, providing further evidence of continued progress even if Chelsea remain a blue speck on the horizon. Yet the Kop is clamouring for a side to be spanked rather than having to endure this nail-biting fare. The reality is that the European champions have not scored twice here since Boxing Day.

There were times yesterday when that inability to prise a second goal threatened to jeopardise Liverpool’s pursuit of second. The afternoon’s principal anxiety had been reserved for the sight of Steven Gerrard hobbling off after Richard Dunne checked his charge on goal late on – “I got a kick on the top of my foot but I should be OK,” said the midfielder, much to the watching Sven-Goran Eriksson’s relief with the friendly against Uruguay in mind – though panic gripped the home side rather more just as Manchester City were adapting to life a player short.

Joey Barton, a Liverpool supporter whose enthusiasm bordered on the reckless, had crunched his studs into Daniel Agger as the half-hour approached to earn a yellow card but, with no lesson learned, then buried his boot in Sami Hyypia’s right shin seven minutes into the second half. Another flash of yellow prompted red. The challenges may have been mis- timed rather than malicious but they were still severe; Eriksson could hardly have been impressed. “Joey’s got to be a bit cuter and cleverer in the way he tackles,” offered Stuart Pearce. That much is clear given that Barton already has nine yellow cards this season and was one away from an automatic suspension – although that tally remains unaffected following this red. Yet his departure appeared to inspire previously becalmed team-mates.

Some 11 times this season Liverpool have found themselves confronted by depleted opponents, though it has proved no guarantee that they will prosper. Against Birmingham last month they had been pegged back late against 10 men and, in a four- minute period near the hour-mark here, the visitors had their hosts quaking. Bradley Wright-Phillips was thwarted at the near post by José Reina’s save, with the goalkeeper doing wonderfully well then to spring and tip aside Trevor Sinclair’s sliced shot from outside the area.

The best opportunity fell to Georgios Samaras seconds later, Kiki Musampa’s beautifully weighted pass embarrassing Agger only for the Greek, having wriggled clear of John Arne Riise, to loop his shot wide with Reina exposed. No visiting player has scored at Anfield in 14 matches, though Liverpool’s profligacy keeps leaving the Kop on edge. “There was a nervousness there and we’ve put ourselves under pressure,” said Benítez. “When you are not scoring, you cannot afford to give the opposition one or two chances. We needed that second goal to finish the game.”

For 40 minutes this spluttering contest had not threatened a goal at all – and then City imploded. Hyypia’s header towards the halfway line was innocuous enough only for Gerrard to collect, spin and send Harry Kewell skipping free into the opposing half with the visitors caught horribly narrow. Danny Mills, playing his first game since November, was most culpable and his gasping charge to stifle the Australian proved fruitless, Kewell skimming his low shot across David James and into the corner as the former England full-back slid in to tackle.

“I sensed they were nervous that they hadn’t made the breakthrough but, when you’re chasing the game against Liverpool, you’re going to be vulnerable,” said Pearce, whose side duly creaked. Peter Crouch might have plundered a hat-trick, though luck has not been with the England forward this season. His header from Gerrard’s corner in first-half stoppage-time was nodded from the line by Mills, while his clever flick-on to Kewell’s centre dribbled marginally wide of the far post.

Unperturbed, Crouch dropped behind Sylvain Distin and squeezed out space from Dunne to turn and volley, only for James to touch on to the bar. The forward’s substitution 14 minutes from time was greeted with jeers, the final whistle welcomed with relief rather than gusto. “Gerrard is not serious,” added Benítez, referring to the captain’s bruised foot. At some stage Liverpool’s inability to transform dominance into goals will be.

Man of the match Steven Gerrard

The Liverpool captain was one of the few players on show to demonstrate any urgency, his thrust through the centre and clipped pass setting up Kewell for the game’s decisive moment.

Best moment Glorious crossfield ball early in the second half that sent Jan Kromkamp free down the right as Liverpool threatened a second goal.


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