An awful refereeing performance from Lee Mason helped Manchester City claim another home win over one of their title contenders, beating Liverpool 2-1 thanks to first half goals from Vincent Kompany and Alvaro Negredo, countering the opening strike from Philippe Coutinho, and lucky enough to avoid a disallowed Raheem Sterling goal and a clear penalty on Luis Suarez.
Suarez himself didn’t score, but had a brilliant performance in terms of the vision and passing he showed. He set up Coutinho one time for what could have been the Brazilian’s second goal after City’s equalizer, but he missed an easy opportunity in front of Joe Hart. Later in the match, with Liverpool looking for an equalizer, a brilliant cross was too strong from Raheem Sterling, missing in front of a wide open net.
Liverpool opened hesitantly, but after 15 minutes began taking over the pitch with excellent pressure in the middle of the pitch. Some wonderful passing between Suarez, Henderson and Sterling put Philippe Coutinho alone in front of Joe Hart to give Liverpool the lead. Vincent Kompany, pulling and tugging with Martin Skrtel all day long, beat the Slovakian defender to a corner kick and scored the equalizer.
Liverpool were the more dangerous team through the closing minutes of the first half, but Alvaro Negredo finishing a deadly counter attack with a powerful and tricky shot, a bit too strong and swervy for Simon Mignolet to save.
In the second half Liverpool didn’t have enough moments of domination, but did reach the more dangerous of opportunities, as Jordan Henderson missed from very close range twice, while Sterling himself added an awful miss to a very long list he has been compiling this season.
Liverpool had two serious claims of being treated unfairly – the Sterling goal in the first half, which was difficult to understand how the assistant didn’t see was onside by more than a meter. That, and the penalty kick after Lescott, frustrated by Suarez pulling off a nutmeg on him twice, pulled the Uruguayan for three seconds in the box, preventing him from reaching the ball.
Arsenal are back in first place, while Liverpool fall to fourth. However, in comparison to other clubs arriving at the Etihad, they were just as good as the hosts, showing they have the ability and the players to run with the big names of this league until the end of the season. Manchester City weren’t great or consistent, but proved once again that at home, their depth and power is a bit too much for everyone in this league.