Liverpool failed to stop City's juggernaut as the men in blues’ unbeaten run continues which has now extended up to 13 games. It was an out an out entertaining game, played at a breathtaking pace, with some exceptional individual brilliance and outstanding goal keeping. The game ended all square with City happier of the two with a point for more than one reason. Liverpool have produced yet another stellar performance against a top side and might feel should have won the game had a figure called Joe Hart was not standing beneath the bars.
a) Lucas Leiva: The Maverick: What a performance yet again from the Brazilian. Right from the first whistle, he was just two steps ahead from other fellow red shirts. Here are some stats (taken from Anfield Index) for you. A pass Accuracy of 92.2%, tackle won: 100% (7/7), ground Duel won 81% (13/16), aerial duels won: 100% (4/4) - it was a virtuoso display from the midfielder, simply head and shoulder above the rest.
b) The Big Dane: I don’t want to spark a debate that who is better than whom, but there can’t be any doubt that when fit and playing Daniel Agger is as good as any other top defenders in the Premier League. Liverpool looks a complete different side when he is at heart of the defence. An excellent passer of the ball with a very good positional sense, Agger once again produced a high class performance that deserves high praise. His stats (taken from Anfield Index) are equally enviable- 81% Pass Accuracy, 100% tackles won, 100% ground duels won, 100% aerial duels won. Martin Skrtel has never felt so assured playing beside him. Can’t see veteran Carragher replacing any of the duo unless Agger’s twitchy hamstring holds out.
c) Joe Hart: That back to back save from Carroll and Suarez right at the end of death was one of the many he had to make throughout the match. He did few mistakes in the first half. On two occasions he was out of his position- one he saved with his feet of Charlie Adam’s shot, another took a wicked deflection of Lescott which he couldn’t save. In the 2nd half, he was back to his old best and produced flurry of saves one after another. Put it in nutshell, he saved the day for City.
d) Too many draws at Anfield (4 in a row): After the match Lucas tweeted “Disappoint result today as we had chances to win the game anyway thanks for your support again. YNWA”. That sums up the mood within the dressing room. Performance wise nothing to complain. But the Reds need to hit the target more with the host of chances they create. Tonight was no exception. However, there is one positive note to it. Liverpool have played all the big guns -City, United, Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea in their 13 games so far, and maintained a steady league position, it is high time that they start picking up full points against weaker teams as well. As per as City is concerned, somebody must stop their impregnable run. But question remains, who is to bell the cat?
e) Football can’t be more than Life & Death: Kenny Dalglish before the match, when quizzed about Bellamy’s absence, said- "There's no way a game of football is more important than grieving". Football world was shell shocked with the news of passing away of Wales’ manager Gary Speed. By producing such a magnificent game, Anfield has paid perfect tribute to a great player, manager and person. Anfield is always known for its unique atmosphere; tonight it was something special. The decibel was deafening as Liverpool attacked the 2nd half towards the KOP and fans baying for blood.