After The Match 


MANCHESTER C-LIVERPOOL 2-2 (1-0)    Sun Dec 28.       Premier League
Goals: Smicer (66), Hamann (80)    Anelka (29 pen.), Fowler (90)
Team: Dudek, Otsemobor, Biscan, Hyypia, Riise, Smicer, Hamann, Gerrard, Murphy, Kewell, Heskey
Subs: Henchoz (Otsemobor 27), Diouf (Gerrard 58),
Pongolle (Smicer 76)
Not used: Luzi, Cheyrou
Yellow: Kewell (40), Biscan (82)         Sommeil
Red: None
Referee: Mike Riley
Attendance: 47.201

                                                             FIXTURES & RESULTS
On target: 8-9
Off target: 8-2
Fouls: 6-14
Corne:rs 7-7
Yellow: 1-2





"It was almost
as if my team
wasn't there."

                Gerard Houllier

2812: Houllier sweats on Gerrard
2812: Former Reds gave City a draw



Houllier sweats on Gerrard

BBC Sport Online

Steven Gerrard is doubtful for Liverpool's tricky FA Cup third round tie with Yeovil next weekend after limping off in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City.

Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier confirmed skipper Steven Gerrard suffered a thigh strain in Sunday's game but said it was too early to know whether the influential England midfielder would be fit enough for the FA Cup match.

The draw itself left Houllier scratching his head as his side went behind to Nicolas Anelka's first-half penalty, took the lead through goals from Vladimir Smicer and Dietmar Hamann, only to then concede a late equaliser to Robbie Fowler.

Houllier said: "I asked for a reaction and a response at half-time because the first half was not good enough.

"It was almost as if my team wasn't there. I could have taken off practically the whole side at that point.

"I got what I asked for in the second half, so I have mixed feelings about the result because while we could have won, we might have been out of the game completely if they had taken their chances."

Former Reds gave City a draw

BBC Sport Online

Liverpool old-boys Nicolas Anelka and Robbie Fowler secured Manchester City a deserved draw against their old club.

An Anelka penalty gave City the lead, but the home side were then made to pay for a series of missed chances.

Liverpool equalised through a messy Vladimir Smicer goal and went ahead with a superb Dietmar Hamann strike.

But in the last minute Fowler slotted home the equaliser as he latched on to a wayward Trevor Sinclair shot.

City ran Liverpool ragged at times, but a combination of poor finishing from Fowler and Shaun Wright-Phillips and some fine goalkeeping from Dudek allowed the visitors to go in at the interval just one goal down.

Fowler wasted two glorious chances in the first 10 minutes, both set up by cut-backs from Wright-Phillips.

Dudek was also fortunate to see Paul Bosvelt's strike come straight back into his arms after his punch only reached the edge of his area.

Wright-Phillips was the next to fail, screwing a shot horribly wide after Fowler had rolled a neat pass into the area.

McManaman then released Anelka with an chipped pass and Dudek made a fine feet-first save to deny the Frenchman.

But from the resulting corner, Riise prevented Fowler from reaching the ball and this time referee Mike Riley pointed to the spot.

Anelka, without a Premiership goal since the middle of October, kept his nerve to score.

Imbued with confidence City kept on driving forward and Wright-Phillips was inches away from doubling City's lead when he skimmed a shot just wide.

Late in the half Liverpool at last contrived a chance when David Seaman saved well from Danny Murphy.

Gradually Liverpool gained a foothold in the game and Emile Heskey brought a smart near-post save from David Seaman.

From the corner a mad scramble developed and Smicer got the vital touch which beat Seaman as the ball bobbled into the net.

If Smicer's goal was no work of art, Hamann's effort was approaching a masterpiece as the German international spectacularly volleyed past Seaman.

But in a thrilling climax Fowler came back to haunt his old club to secure City a share of the points.

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Thor Zakariassen