Published on August 26th, 2014 | by Daniel Cheeseman1
Manchester City 3-1 Liverpool | The City Nitty Gritty
“Stevan keeps things (Jove)ticking over at the Etihad!”
Written by Daniel Cheeseman
The stadium might not have quite been ready yet, but the team were definitely more than ready for Monday night’s game.
To me it was obvious that Liverpool had come to the Etihad with a specific game plan, which was to try and frustrate City by closing down the ball quickly, drawing fouls and keeping possession.
And for about 20-30 minutes in the first half, it seemed like that tactic was working.
While, I admit, Liverpool never really had a proper attempt at our goal, they still managed to get into our final third on several occasions and we were forced to give away silly fouls in dangerous positions. But the Blues didn’t let this faze them. They kept calm, and employed a tactic of their own – be patient, wait for an opportunity to arise and gradually let Liverpool tire themselves out.
And that patience was rightfully rewarded towards the end of the first half, when the in-from Montenegrin Stevan Jovetic nicked the ball off Liverpool’s new signing Alberto Moreno, and coolly slotted it home to make it 1-0.
It was great to see Jovetic put in another another fantastic performance and put the injury woes of last season well and truly behind him. It seems that he has particular form for tormenting Liverpool, after scoring twice against them in Fiorentina’s Champions League win in 2009, and twice again in the game last night. So i’m sure it brought back great memories for him!
His contribution throughout the match was sensational; right from the word ‘go’ he looked energetic, eager to get on the ball (as he always is to be fair) and help out the team wherever possible. The 24-year-old, who was very unlucky not to score a hattrick on the night, was both the creator and the scorer of the second goal, and for me it summed up his near-perfect performance.
However, although most people (including me) voted for Stevan as the Man of the Match, I thought that several players also deserved a lot of credit for the win against Liverpool; and for me one of those players had to be Joe Hart.
While a lot would argue that Joe didn’t have a lot to do over the course of the game, I thought he made several important clearances from dangerous-looking corners and set-pieces. The England number 1 put his body on the line on several occasions and relieved lots of pressure off the defence with his towering punches and saves.
Another player who never ceases to amaze me is Sergio Aguero. After being subbed on for Edin Dzeko (who suffered an unfortunate injury in the second half) it literally took him 23 seconds to score what is already his second goal of the season. The little Argentine continues to show us week-by-week why he is regarded as one of the best players in the world (if you didn’t already know!) and I feel truly honoured to have someone of his quality still in our squad.
I’ll admit that I was surprised to see Liverpool come out after the second half with the exact same approach as they did in the first. I thought the fact that City managed to deal with the exact same tactic in the first half without much problem would have forced Brendan Rodgers to try something different – but he didn’t, and inevitebly, they were pretty overwhelmed in the second half.
And despite conceding an unfortunate own-goal with about 20 minutes to go, I think that it was a mutual belief that Liverpool were not going to get back into this game.
In summary, I would say that it was another very convincing win from the Blues. However, I think it goes without saying that this season will be no different from the last; with several teams able to put up a real fight for the Premier League title.
But, at this moment in time, I’d say we’re in pretty good shape!
Up the Blues!