That sucked. I'm not going to say much in recap other than I want to forget this one ever happened. It was quite frustrating as Liverpool controlled the game, but couldn't create too many chances. To City's credit, they did well to fill the box and were very effective in the counter. Really I should have said, to Kompany's credit... He was fantastic back there. There is no other way to put it.
The midfield did quite well to control the game. The counter of City and their ability to pack the box with defenders like a bottom 3 team was just too much in the end. In case you are curious here are some stats from the game from SkySports' match report that should make you vomit and worry:
Possession First half: Liverpool-55% City-45%
Second half: Liverpool-73.4% City-26.6%
Total: Liverpool-64% City-36%
Crosses: Liverpool-39 City-8
Passes: Liverpool-593 City-331
Shots: Liverpool-13 City-8 (each team also had 3 blocked shots)
Offsides: Liverpool-0 City-0 (that has to be unusual)
Ratings after the jump:
Reina - 5 - That was a howler, I don't care if the bottom dropped out of the shot. While were on the subject, it should be illegal to wear a short sleeve shirt with gloves. Aguero looked like a tool doing that. But that has nothing to do with anything.
Enrique - 6 - I give him a 6 only for his defending. His crosses left much to be desired and his attacking play was below his standard. That said, he always defends well and used his body extremely effectively to win balls all game long.
Skrtel - 5 - It was a silly penalty to concede. He did lose Kompany on a corner which forced a great save from Reina. They are still a solid pair, but that quick counter would be a test for any pairing. Really, only one goal came from the counter and that was the penalty.
Agger - 6 - Didn't really do anything wrong. Another of his runs forward also led to Barry's dismissal, even if it was a bit soft. In all the defense dealt with most of what was thrown at them.
Johnson - 6 - Get some longer studs. Please. I know they are free for you guys. Not a terrible game, although he was responsible for marking Toure on the second goal. At the same time, Toure made a fantastic header while going away from goal. It is hard to mark that. Like Enrique, he didn't really get much joy in the offensive half.
Downing - 6 - A tale of two halves. He certainly was at his best on the left and also should have scored. When he was switched to the right, he definietly took a step backwards with his play. That said, I don't think it was a poor night for him at all. Much will be made about him failing to provide service, but Carroll was blanketed by 3 defenders all night. Where was anyone supposed to put the ball so that Carroll could get it?
Spearing - 7 - I thought he once again looked very good in midfield. His distribution was good and he was constantly working to challenge for the ball, holding up a number of counterattacks. He isn't quite Lucas, but he is looking like a decent replacement.
Henderson - 6 - This was Henderson's best game. Overall, he didn't waste possession as he has in the past and played a few beautiful balls (like the one Downing should have scored on).
Adam - 4 - This was a poor game for Adam. He was clumsily fouling nearly everyone and over hit many of his passes. When he wasn't doing that, he was trying to do too much, like dribbling through 4 defenders. If Suarez is trying that, it is okay, but not you Charlie.
Kuyt - 5 - He worked hard and had a nice shot from a knockdown that required a block by Kompany. Other than that though, there was nothing. Unfortunately he is very rusty right now.
Carroll - 6 - He did a few nice things, but Carroll cannot play up top alone. It just isn't feasible. He has to drop way to deep to get his flick-ons and too often there was no one behind him to get on them. I would rather see Kuyt and Bellamy up top together or Bellamy and Carroll. He did create a few chances, but City were all over him all game. Kompany had him in his back pocket all game long. Too often though when the ball went out wide, he was the only player in the box. On a night when City were putting 8 men in the box to defend, there has to be more options.
Gerrard - 6 - I was hoping he would come out like he did against Newcastle, but he struggled to breakdown the City defense. He was also playing very deep for much of his time on the pitch.
Bellamy - 6 - Injected a little more pace down that flank, but the bad news is that it forced Downing to the right.
Maxi - NA - Not enough time, but he tried to put himself in the right position, latching onto a rebound from Hart and creating just enough room to get a shot away inside the box. Too bad the shot went wide.