Manchester City 2 Liverpool 2 Match Report, Analysis, Scorers: City's Draw Puts United In Driver's Seat
Daniel Sturridge celebrates Chelsea's Champions League triumph, but the forward played little in the climax to the season, prompting speculation of a move away this summer. (Photo: Reuters)
Hosts Manchester City were under pressure to perform against Liverpool during their Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Boss Roberto Mancini had a task at hand. He had to cut the 10-point lead from Premier league leaders Manchester United, but his team floundered and could only manage to salvage a 2-2 draw against a reinforced Liverpool side.
Both teams started the game on an attacking note. City striker David Silva's attempt at the goal was cleared by Liverpool stopper Pepe Reina in the early exchanges. Soon Liverpool's January signing Daniel Sturridge took a shot at the goal and it was cleared off the line by opposition defender Pablo Zabaleta.
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However, it was City's Edin Dzeko, who drew first blood in the 23rd minute scoring off a cross from James Milner.
The lead was shot-lived as Liverpool drew level six, a minute later with Sturridge firing from just outside the penalty area. The ball zipped past goalkeeper Joe Hart and landed into the net.
The attacking technique adopted by both teams continued in the second half as well, but this time it was Liverpool, who went up on the hosts.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard gathered the ball around 25 yards in the 74th minute and soon hit it past Hart for their second goal.
Gerrard could have increased the lead minutes later, but Sturridge's cross went wide.
Soon City jumped back on their feet and equalized when their Argentina international Sergio Aguero squeezed the ball past Reina in the 78th minute.
Post the 2-2 margin, both teams upped their ante but it failed to get the desired result as the match ended in a draw.
City continue to remain on the second stop on the Premier League table while seventh at 36 points, five behind Arsenal.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini (quoted by Premier League): "I think we can recover nine points. There are still 13 games until the end. Two years ago Chelsea were nine points behind and when they went to play at Old Trafford two games from the end [of the season] they were only two points behind. Two games and the championship is reopened. I don't think this is finished but probably now we have to win all the games but if not then 11 or 12 games."
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers (quoted by Premier League): "It was an outstanding performance at a notoriously difficult place for teams to even score a goal. I don't think they've conceded here [in 2013]. What was important for me was to see the confidence of the players, the desire, the quality and the efficiency of their game. I don't think anyone would deny that we probably deserved to win that game."
Manchester City (Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero) 2-2 Liverpool (Daniel Sturridge, Steven Gerrard)