Doctor Joe Hart and Mister Mario Balotelli (Liverpool vs Manchester City)

Manchester City lost points for the second time in the Premier League this season, but they won’t be too heartbroken. The Anfield Draw machine continued with Liverpool playing better than a Manchester side for the second time this season, but being unable to get the win.

Roberto Mancini’s  starting lineup pretty much declared his intentions – Control the midfield, but not try too hard to get the win. Too much respect for a mediocre Liverpool side if you ask me. Only Sergio Aguero up front is better than most sides in the world have to offer, but leaving Balotelli and Dzeko on the bench maybe cost him another victory.

Liverpool, as usual, rely completely on Luis Suarez. Too bad he’s too alone, and doesn’t have enough players joining him each time he does create space for himself and others. It’s not easy keeping him at bay – amazing strength, balance and an ability to draw fouls through theatrics. Still, Liverpool struggle offensively but don’t have enough quality to hold the midfield with only two players.

Lucas gave one of his finest performances for the club since arriving at Merseyside a few years ago and has endured the brunt of the criticism during the bad times. His confidence is high, and his involvement and decision making has never been better. He’s no Xabi Alonso, but he’s the better half of the Adam – Lucas midfield. Jordan Henderson lacks confidence, but is a good decision in the lineup.

Both teams scored lucky goals. Kompany with his shoulder, Charlie Adam scored off a Lescott wrong footer. The second half was a gamble of Mancini’s that failed. He gave up on the midfield, thinking Balotelli’s good form will continue. Only problem is Mario doesn’t love starting on the bench and was a walking red card from the moment he came on. City lost the midfield even before Balotelli got sent off, with David Silva feeling lost and alone. Yaya Toure and James Milner were too busy chasing Reds.

Bottom Line? Joe Hart with a massive game. Liverpool’s pressure kept coming, but Hart stopped everything in one of his best displays. City, eventually, got a result they’re pleased with. A five point lead over United and not losing to a team that beat Arsenal and Chelsea in London. Liverpool however must find a way to bring Suarez more support, especially at home, when team hold back.

Maybe a Henderson – Lucas combo, with Downing and Kuyt/Maxi on the wings with Carroll STARTing alongside Luis Suarez aught to be the answer. Lets hope Kenny Dalglish is reading this.

Mancini absolutely disgusted with Mario Balotelli
Images: Source