I’m currently running on less than four hours of sleep, and this, of course, comes with the territory of forgoing sleep to catch your favorite football team.
Liverpool took on Manchester City at about midnight, Manila time. Prior to kick-off, a minute’s silence was observed for Luca Jones, the son of Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones who passed away due to leukemia at age 5, and Gary Speed, the Wales manager and former EPL player who reportedly took his own life (so much sadness for both deaths).
The match began rather evenly sided, with City drawing first blood—a goal by Vincent Kompany off a brilliantly taken corner kick by David Silva. Liverpool equalized less than two minutes later, with an own goal by Joleon Lescott deflecting a shot by Charlie Adam.
The match was quite high on the entertainment value, which could be topped only by Mario Balotelli, who entered in the second half, replacing a rather ineffective Samir Nasri. Of course, Balotelli (and his hair, good grief) got himself sent off with two yellow cards (the second off a totally idiotic challenge on Martin Skrtel)—and this proved to change the momentum of the game, with Liverpool turning up a notch in attacks. We clearly deserved the three points, but a monster game by Joe Hart was pretty decisive in securing the draw.
To the Reds’ credit, Lucas Leiva had a fantastic game, so did Daniel Agger and Charlie Adam. Dirk Kuyt was not having a good night, while Stewart Downing needs to do better when it comes to finishing, and lord knows where Jordan Henderson’s head was that night. That said, it still was a bright spot in terms of Liverpool’s performance, with the statistics on shots reading 18-7 by full time.
I’d remember it for the frantic, heart attack-inducing moments though (Silva left alone and Pepe moving out of his line? Thank god for three defenders immediately in front of goal!). Trust me, it’s hard to go back to sleep after such game.
Leaving a parting shot of the most poignant moment of the coverage. That and because I’m not going to post the back of Balotelli’s head in this entry.