Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Five Favourite Wins Against - Manchester City at Anfield

Continuing the series where I look back at my five favourite wins for over their Liverpool’s next opponents.  This weekend Liverpool play against Manchester City at Anfield in a potential title-decider.  Here are my five favourite wins from past encounters.

1st May 1978
LIVERPOOL   (1)   4   (Dalglish 24, 55, 80, Neal pen 53)

LIVERPOOL: Clemence; Neal, Thompson, Hansen, Hughes; Case, McDermott, Souness, R.Kennedy; Fairclough, Dalglish

MAN CITY: Corrigan; Clements, Booth, Watson, Donachie; Bell, Owen, Hartford, Power; Channon, Kidd

Liverpool’s attempt to win the league for a third successive season had come to an end when Nottingham Forest were confirmed Champions on 22nd April.  Since then, though, they had won three straight matches without conceding a goal and were looking forward to a second successive European Cup Final appearance.  Manchester City were also doing well in the League, sitting in 5th with just one defeat in their last 10 matches.  This was the penultimate match for both sides in this season and this was Liverpool’s 3rd game in 6 days.

This was Kenny Dalglish’s first season at Liverpool after his £440,000 move from Celtic to replace Kevin Keegan at Anfield.  When Dalglish opened the scoring it was his 18th in the league that season, more than Keegan ever managed.  His goal still separated the two sides at the break but within 10 minutes of the re-start, Liverpool had stretched their lead beyond the visitors.

Liverpool were awarded a penalty soon after half-time, which Phil Neal tucked away with his usual confidence.  Two minutes later, Dalglish added his second and Liverpool’s third.  Then with 10 minutes to go, Dalglish completed his hat-trick.  4-0 to Liverpool and Dalglish had hit the 20 league goals mark.  Nine days later he scored his 31st of the season when he got the only goal to beat Bruges in the European Cup Final as Liverpool successfully defended their title.

Although Liverpool finished second in the league, Forest’s shock League title was enough to galvanise the club and Liverpool broke a host of records the season after.  Manchester City finished 5th in the table having been 2nd the season before.

27th December 1982
LIVERPOOL   (3)   5   (Dalglish 18, 24, 86, Neal 22, Rush 64)
MAN CITY   (1)   2   (Cross 41, Caton 90)

LIVERPOOL: Grobbelaar; Neal, Lawrenson, Hansen, A.Kennedy; Lee, Souness, Whelan (Fairclough); Rush, Hodgson, Dalglish

MAN CITY: Corrigan; Ranson, Bond, Caton, McDonald; Bodak, Hartford, Power; Reeves, Cross, Tueart

Bob Paisley’s final Christmas as Liverpool manager and his side were again top of the table.  They’d lost just once in the last 10 games and had won 4-2 at Villa just before Christmas.  Manchester City were in 9th with just 1 win in their last 6 including being held at home by bottom club, Brighton.

This was the season when the partnership of Ian Rush and Kenny Dalglish really started to come to the fore.  The pair had scored 20 between them already by the time they welcomed City the day after Boxing Day.

City managed to keep the home side at bay for almost 20 minutes but then Dalglish broke the deadlock.  This then opened up the floodgates as Liverpool scored 3 goals in just 6 minutes.  Phil Neal got the 2nd goal, and unusually it came from open play.  Within 2 minutes Dalglish had doubled his tally for the day and it was 3-0 before City knew it.

Just before the break David Cross, who’d won an FA Cup winners medal in 1980 with West Ham, got a goal back for the visitors but it was no more than a consolation.  In the second half, City managed to repel the home side for the first 20 minutes but then Ian Rush extended the lead with his 14th of the season.  4-1 to Liverpool and they were cruising at this point.  Dalglish then completed his hat-trick with 4 minutes to go.  He’d scored a hat-trick in the corresponding fixture four years previously and he was back to be the scourge of City again.

City centre-back, Tommy Caton, scored right on the final whistle but it flattered the visitors as Liverpool ran out comfortable 5-2 winners.  They maintained their 5pt lead at the top and went onto win the title by 11pts.  They also won the League Cup for a third successive year.  For Manchester City 1983 was a disaster.  They started the year in 9th and by mid-May they were relegated, winning just 4 matches in the second half of the season, and suffering a further 0-4 loss to Liverpool in the return fixture.

28th October 1995
LIVERPOOL   (2)   6   (Rush 3, 64, Redknapp 5, Fowler 47, 60, Ruddock 53)
MAN CITY   (0)   0

LIVERPOOL: James; McAteer, Wright, Scales (M.Kennedy), Babb, Harkness; Redknapp, Barnes (Ruddock); McManaman, Rush, Fowler

MAN CITY: Immel; Edghill, Curle, Symons, Brightwell (Creaney); Summerbee, Lomas, Flitcroft, Kinkladze (Brown); Quinn, Rosler

Roy Evans’ Liverpool side had just put out Manchester City in the League Cup, three days before they met in the League.  They beat Alan Ball’s side, 4-0 with three goals in the final 15 minutes.  Liverpool were unbeaten in their last 5 league games with 1 defeat in their last 8.  In contrast, City were in awful form.  A recent goalless draw at home to Leeds United had ended a run of 8 straight defeats.  They had yet to register a win all season.

Just three minutes into the game Ian Rush opened his account for the season after Jason McAteer’s shot was blocked by Eike Immel in the City goal, only for Rush to turn it in.  Then two minutes later, Liverpool had a free-kick about 20 yards out.  Jamie Redknapp took it and a deflection left the keeper rooted to the spot.  City were stunned and it was all they could muster to deny the home side any further goals in the half.

Shortly after the break, though, Liverpool extended their lead when some good play from Scales and McManaman released Mark Wright down the right win and he found Robbie Fowler just outside the area.  Fowler then beat two players before sliding a low shot past Immel.  Six minutes later Ruddock, who’d come on for the injured John Barnes, headed in Redknapp’s corner and it was 4-0.  City were still reeling when Fowler grabbed his second on the hour.  McAteer’s cross found him and his classy turn beat the defence to allow him to slip the ball home from close range.  Four minutes later it was 6-0.  Immel saved a shot from Redknapp but the ball bounced to Rush who scored, despite mis-hitting his shot.  It had been a fraught 20 minutes since the break and Liverpool had scored 4 goals, but Immel continued to frustrate them by denying any further goals.  The defeat left City rock bottom of the table, although they picked up their first win of the season in their next match, against Bolton.  But City’s poor start was not enough to keep them in the Premier League when a final day draw at home to Liverpool saw them return to the second tier of English football.

Liverpool finished 3rd in the table behind Manchester United and Newcastle United and were also losing finalists in the FA Cup.

9th September 2000
LIVERPOOL   (1)   3   (Owen 11, Hamann 56, 82)
MAN CITY   (0)   2   (Weah 67, Horlock pen 81)

LIVERPOOL: Westerveld; Babbel, Song, Henchoz, Traore; Gerrard (Ziege), Carragher,Hamann, Barmby; Heskey, Owen (Meijer)

MAN CITY: Weaver; Haaland, Prior, Howey, Ritchie; Horlock, Wiekens, Whitley, Kennedy (Weah); Wanchope, Dickov

Both teams came into this game with 2 wins each from their opening four games of the season.  But City had been shipping goals and Liverpool were full of confidence after Michael Owen’s hat-trick had beaten Villa in the week.

After the disappointment of Euro 2000, players like Michael Owen seemed determined to start the season with a bang and he’d hit 5 goals already this season.  11 minutes into the game and he got his 6th.  Heskey played him in from just inside the City half and as Weaver came out to narrow the angle, Owen deftly curled the ball round him with the outside of his right foot.  Owen had now scored 6 goals in 3 games in a week and was bang in form. 

City troubled the home defence a few times but the general play wasn’t pretty.  Just before half-time Heskey was fouled by Steve Howey right on the edge of the area, but the ref gave a free-kick from which nothing came for the home side.

Owen and Heskey then both went close with chances in the second half before Liverpool went 2-up.  Play began out on the right but the ball floated into the area was headed away by Howey, who beat Heskey to it.  The ball dropped for Dietmar Hamann, on the edge of the ‘D’ and he controlled it on his chest and then volleyed it with his left foot, giving Weaver no chance.

City manager, Joe Royle, then made a change which transformed his side.  George Weah came on for Mark Kennedy and within 10 minutes he danced through the defence before hitting an unstoppable shot to bring the visitors back into the game.  With just under 10 minutes to go, Traore brought down Haaland in the area and Horlock converted the penalty to level things up.  But before City could dream of earning a point from a seemingly hopeless position, Christian Ziege, making his debut, delivered a long throw and Hamann was on hand to blast his 2nd of the day and Liverpool had won dramatically.

Of course this was a record season for Liverpool as they won 3 cups, FA, League and UEFA Cups with each one containing a dramatic finish.  In the League they finished 3rd, grabbing a Champions League place on the final day.  For Manchester City, this was another season to forget as they were relegated. 

11th April 2011
LIVERPOOL   (3)   3   (Carroll 13, 35, Kuyt 34)
MAN CITY   (0)   0

LIVERPOOL: Reina; Flanagan, Skrtel, Carragher, Aurelio; Kuyt, Spearing, Lucas, Meireles; Carroll (N’Gog), Suarez

MAN CITY: Hart; Boyata, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov; Milner (Silva), Barry, Toure, Johnson; Dzeko, Tevez (Balotelli) (de Jong)

Liverpool were four months into a new reign under Kenny Dalglish as new owners had brought in Anfield legend in attempt to stabilise the club.  The League form had improved picking up 21pts from the last 10 matches, including a 3-1 home win against leaders, Manchester United.  In January, Liverpool sold Fernando Torres to Chelsea and replaced him with Luis Suarez from Ajax and Andy Carroll from Newcastle.  Carroll had yet to open his goal account for his new club having only appeared in 3 league games to this point, and Suarez had only scored twice so everyone was desperate for things to take off.

Manchester City were in third place desperate to win something and justify the spending on their squad, but mindful of the threat to a Champions League place from sides below them.  When they arrived at Anfield they had one eye on an upcoming FA Cup Semi-Final against United, but if they were hoping for a nice easy confidence-building warm-up, they got anything but.

The night belonged to Andy Carroll, who finally looked like the player Liverpool thought they had bought.  Thirteen minutes in a Dirk Kuyt’s throughball hit Kompany and bounced back into the path of Carroll, about 20 yards from goal.  Carroll hit it first time with his left foot and couldn’t have caught it sweeter.  The shot, hit low, curved away from Joe Hart’s outstretched hand although the City keeper could be forgiven for being surprised Carroll hit it so well.  City then suffered a further blow when Carlos Tevez went off with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Balotelli.

Ten minutes before the break Liverpool surged forward again and City desperately tried to repel each shot but when the ball fell to Dirk Kuyt, free on the right-hand side of the area, his carefully placed shot beat Hart in the far corner.  City were a beaten team already and soon the game was over as a contest.  Raul Meireles crossed right-footed from the left wing and Carroll got up first to head the ball past Hart and that was that.  Finally, Suarez and Carroll had begun to click as a partnership and the difference between them and the City attack was stark.

Liverpool won comfortably and definitely looked more of a team than City, who resembled a disparate bunch of expensive players assembled for the amusement of men with too much money.

Liverpool finished the season in 6th and City ending 3rd and winning the FA Cup.

HEAD TO HEAD at Anfield

Matches: 77
Liverpool win: 46
Man City win: 13
Draws: 18

Liverpool goals: 159
Man City goals: 95

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