An hour before Liverpool’s first home game of the season against Manchester City, I started feeling the nerves. The visitors seemed to be the better team on paper (apart from being the current league champions), so I thought to myself that I’d be happy with a draw.
Yet, Liverpool came out firing in the first half, containing Manchester City’s attackers for the most part. We finally see how Brendan Rodgers’ take on “pass and move” should work well. Youngster Raheem Sterling impressed with his quickness and composure (a huge ask for a 17-year-old, defending Milner and attacking Yaya Touré), linking up well with Luis Suarez in front.
The first half was capped by a header from Martin Skrtel off a corner kick—now that is sheer football orgasm. Meanwhile, Joe Allen was impressive—100% pass completion rate, anyone? You can’t make that up.
The effort that Liverpool showed in the first half continued well into the second, and Luis Suarez was able to score the second goal on a free kick, with the ball curling past a wall of Manchester City field players and goalkeeper Joe Hart. Suarez doesn’t get much love from anyone else apart from The Kop, but the guy has been a workhorse, attacking and tracking back on defense and trying to win the ball in the midfield.
Still, that did not come without a few points for improvement. Yaya Touré struck Manchester City’s first goal following the failure to clear out the area in front of Liverpool’s goal, while a huge, huge, huge defensive lapse from Martin Skrtel allowed Carlos Tevez to score one-on-one against Pepe Reina.
With how Liverpool played, we surely didn’t deserve just a draw, but our errors proved to be too costly. Also, there were too many dangerous back passes, which Manchester City could have easily capitalized on, if they were in their A-game.
That said, I remain optimistic with what Brendan Rodger could do for this team, and with Nuri Sahin onboard for a one-year loan deal, we just might be able to make it to top-flight European football once again. Come on, you mighty Reds!
Also, Nuri Sahin has a fabulous first interview as a Liverpool player. In here, he talks about witnessing the Miracle of Istanbul firsthand and just how much Xabi Alonso loves Liverpool.