Manchester City vs Liverpool: Live Report

Andrew Newby
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Daniel Sturridge about to score for Liverpool against Manchester City at The Etihad stadium on February 3, 2013

Daniel Sturridge about to score for Liverpool against Manchester City at The Etihad stadium. This Live Report is wrapping up after Liverpool won a well-deserved point at the Etihad with a 2-2 draw against Manchester City, whose hopes of retaining their title are fading fast

1815 GMT: This Live Report is wrapping up after Liverpool won a well-deserved point at the Etihad with a 2-2 draw against Manchester City, whose hopes of retaining their title are fading fast.

Edin Dzeko put Man City ahead but Daniel Sturridge notched a superb equaliser against his old club to make the teams all square at half-time. Stephen Gerrard gave Liverpool the lead with 20 minutes remaining only for Sergio Aguero to score from a very narrow angle a couple of minutes later.

1805 GMT: Mancini says Sturridge's goal was unfair because he scored while Dzeko was lying on the ground out of action, though the referee had waved play on.

However, Mancini denies that the setback against Liverpool ends City's chances of retaining the title. "I think we can recover nine points," he tells Sky TV.

1755 GMT: Manchester City once again fail to live up to their promise and as a result fail to beat Liverpool, leaving Roberto Mancini's team nine points behind leaders Manchester City with a mountain to climb if they want to retain the title.

Liverpool, on the other hand, looked very much like a team on the rise and a sparkling performance by Daniel Sturridge not only raised hopes for the Reds' future prospects but hinted at a promising future with England.

FULL-TIME: Manchester City 2 Liverpool 2

94 mins: It's not over yet! Now Agger breaks away for Liverpool. Then Suarez is dispossessed just before he can take a killer shot.

92 mins: Skrtel sticks a leg out desperately to intercept after Maicon puts Aguero through again.

90 mins: Allen comes on for Liverpool to give Sturridge a well earned rest.

90 mins: Five minutes of extra time.

89 mins: Sturridge tries to sneak one through. Joe Hart jerks into action to block the shot.

88 mins: Danger for Liverpool as Reina needs two goes to clear a Kolorov corner kick.

87 mins: Samir Nasri comes on for Man City's Gareth Barry. Can he make set up a winner in just a few minutes?

85 mins: A crowd of 47,301 people are in the ground watching this thrilling match, says the Tannoy.

83 mins: Play accelerates to a breathtaking pace. At one moment Gerrard is on the ball again in front of the Man City goal, the next Aguero is making another dash.

78 mins: GOAL! Manchester City 2 Liverpool 2

What a brilliant goal! Aguero is almost at the goal line on the right with no defenders near. Pepe Reina squares up to him only for Aguero to chip the ball past him and into the net at a very narrow angle. Superb skill to bring the host club back into the game.

77 mins: Liverpool nearly increase their lead as Gerrard aims a free kick up to Sturridge, who narrowly fails to reach it.

75 mins; Man City bring on Maicon for Silva

73 mins: GOAL! Manchester City 1 Liverpool 2

Gerrard tries another long shot after a poor Man City clearance. This time he blasts it harder and it rockets into the top corner of Joe Hart's net to give Liverpool the lead.

68 mins: Milner is having a great game for Man City with repeated runs on the wing. Unfortunately, except for Dzeko with his early goal, the players Milner crosses to are lacking in their final touch.

67 mins: A glorious attack by Liverpool as Glen Johnson clears the ball upfield to Sturridge who launches a move involving four Red players before Downing eventually shoots narrowly wide.

64 mins: More good news: Aguero is clearly OK. He sprints up the right and heads goalwards, though he finally slips over as he tries to get past Liverpool's Agger.

61 mins: Aguero is receiving treatment. The good news is that Tevez is warming up. Mancini could well have been planning to bring on the Argentinian soon anyway.

60 mins: Man City are looking more determined. And they need to, as many would say they have half an hour left to keep alive a chance of retaining the Premier League title. If they fail to win, a nine or ten point deficit on Manchester United after today's match would leave Mancini's team with a mountain to climb

56 mins: Now Liverpool's Carragher is booked too, for an excessively physical tackle on Aguero.

55 mins: Man City bring on Kolorov for Nastasic.

53 mins: Sturridge blots his copybook with an obvious dive as Joleon Lescott runs near him. Referee Taylor issues a yellow card to the Liverpool goal scorer, who holds a hand up in admission of the offence.

52 mins: Gerrard lofts a corner kick into a good scoring position. Joe Hart gets there first and intercepts.

50 mins: Gerrard attempts a stolen goal from 15 yards out but his quickfire shot lacks power.

49 mins: Suarez blasts a direct free kick straight at the Man City wall. It fails to penetrate.

46 mins: Milner taps over another pass like the one that set up Dzeko's goal. This time it boings on a Liverpool defender and bounces away.

1702 GMT: Sturridge runs back on with the other Liverpool players, dispelling any injury fears surrounding the young England player.

1700 GMT: Sturridge didn't celebrate his goal at all. Much discussion about why this was, though the most likely is that he didn't want to gloat over success against his former club.

1647 GMT: HALF-TIME: Manchester City 1 Liverpool 1

The teams go in on level terms after a controversial goal by Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge while Dzeko is out of action matches Dzeko's strike for the home club against the run of play. Sturridge's goal is the first conceded by Manchester City in 2013.

44 mins: Zabaleta very nearly concedes an own goal. Hart can't get to it but heaves a sigh of relief as Zabaleta's back pass rolls over the line just outside the net.

43 mins: A fine interception by Glen Johnson sets up another Liverpool attack.

42 mins: Apart from the lapse that allowed Dzeko to score, Liverpool's defence has looked solid. Currently they have seven players lined up across the pitch - no way through for Man City.

40 mins: Joe Hart boots a might ball high into midfield only for City to lose it amid fresh disorganisation.

39 mins: Sturridge is clutching his left thigh. Looks like he has picked up at least a minor injury.

34 mins: Sturridge is limping slightly but still running around, so maybe it's just a bruise. Dzeko certainly doesn't look injured, despite his protestations of being hard done by.

33 mins: Liverpool press again, winning a corner. Sturridge takes it though Suarez can't trap his ball. Can Liverpool take the lead by half-time?

29 mins: Controversy after referee Taylor ignores Dzeko lying on the ground after a foul and lets play go on. Boos resound around the ground but Daniel Sturridge takes advantage of the 'power play' situation to fire in a superbly taken goal for Liverpool, the first conceded by Manchester City in 2013.

29 mins: GOAL! Manchester City 1 Liverpool 1

26 mins: So far this match is the opposite of textbook football. The visitors Liverpool have dominated play but home side Man City score from a breakaway.

23 mins: Completely against the run of play, Milner puts Dzeko through and he blasts the ball past Liverpool's Pepe Reina.

23 mins: GOAL! Manchester City 1 Liverpool 0

22 mins: Apparently Man City have never gone seven games without conceding a goal and it doesn't look like they will achieve that statistic today.

19 mins: What a waste! Sturridge on the left outpaces the City defence and lobs a cross to Suarez who tries a one-touch shot but slices it wildly away from Hart's goal.

15 mins: Now Suarez goes close for the Reds with a solo effort that Clichy darts in to block.

13 mins: Oops. Daniel Sturridge breaks away for Liverpool and beats Joe Hart. Thankfully for Man City, stand-in skipper Zabaleta is on the goal-line to end Sturridge's goal ambitions.

11 mins: Man City are having the lion's share of possession but raggedness in midfield is preventing a breakthrough. I'd say they are missing captain Vincent Kompany, who is out for up to three weeks with a calf injury

7 mins: Edin Dzeko is preferred to Carlos Tevez in the Man City starting line up. Fair enough so long as Tevez is ready and willing to come on as a sub if required, unlike last season when his alleged refusal to warm up led to a months-long feud with Mancini.

3 mins: Rodgers expressed his concern with his young squad following their embarrassing FA Cup exit to Oldham last weekend but will hoping for a more mature showing today

1 min: David Silva goes for a early strike and Pepe Reina has to stretch high to tip it over for a corner.

1600 GMT: Liverpool kick off

1559 GMT: Liverpool assistant manager Colin Pascoe believes the forward pairing of Suarez and Daniel Sturridge is improving all the time.

"In training and from the matches you can see them looking for each other to link up," he said. "Good players will always find half a yard with their partner and it has been great so far. "Good players will gel together and Daniel and Luis are good players.

1557 GMT: City have yet to concede a goal in 2013 and have kept seven straight cleansheets in all competitions but Mancini feels they also have to start scoring more if they are to close the gap on United.

If they fail to win today, their prospects of retaining the title look very slim indeed.

1553 GMT: Liverpool took a while to find their shape after Rodgers took over at the start of the season but their have found their form recently despite continuing controversies, notably an admission of diving by Luis Suarez.

1552 GMT: The referee is Anthony Taylor

1548 GMT: Both managers express wariness about their opponents. Mancini says: "They are a really good team, they have good players and they are playing well."

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers insists his players will go for victory. "We set out in every game looking to win," he says.

1546 GMT: Liverpool stalwart Stephen Gerrard says their main aim will be to restrict Manchester City's strikers, adding: "We know we have the players to cause them problems on the counter attack."

1539 GMT: Teams: Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Enrique, Agger, Carragher, Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson, Downing, Suarez, Sturridge. Subs: Jones, Wisdom, Skrtel, Allen, Shelvey, Sterling, Borini.

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta (C), Nastasic, Lescott, Clichy, Milner, Garcia, Barry, Silva, Dzeko, Aguero. Subs: Pantilimon, Rodwell, Kolarov, Sinclair, Nasri, Tevez, Maicon.

Welcome to AFP's Live Report on the Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium as titleholders Manchester City bid to narrow the 10-point shortfall on leaders Manchester United and visitors Liverpool strive to reduce their own 10 point gap separating the Merseyside club from the Champions League places.

The points handicap has widened for both clubs this weekend after Manchester United beat Fulham yesterday and Tottenham Hotspur reinforced their grip on fourth place with a victory over West Bromwich Albion this afternoon.

Mario Balotelli's departure for AC Milan this week will mean fewer off-the-pitch headlines for Manchester City players but some analysts think his exit leaves manager Roberto Mancini with inadequate strike options.