Aug 26, 2012, 1:49 PM EDT
Man of the Match: Perhaps Steven Gerrard is at the point of his career where he can’t be expected to bring his A-game every match, but when he’s on, he can still be a game’s most important player. Today, Gerrard’s passing set the tone for Liverpool, whether it be his direct balls into attack to bridge the gap between midfield and Luis Suarez or his creative switching of play to bring Glen Johnson, Raheem Sterling, and Fabio Borini into play. The prime example: In the 34th minute, his sharp ball into the box forced the corner which, tanks to his bullet for Martin Skrtel, put Liverpool up 1-0.
Packaged for takeaway:
- Manchester City made five changes from the team that beat Southampton, starting in a 5-3-2 formation. Mancini’s preseason toy was being put into play.
- Did it matter? Hard to tell. Liverpool had most of their early success going straight to Luis Suarez, getting the best of the three-on-three midfield battle. If Manchester City used last week’s formation. Liverpool would have had a three-on-two advantage and would have still been able to utilize their wingers behind Samir Nasri and David Silva (who came off the bench today).
- A bigger factor was the play of City’s individual defenders. Vincent Kompany had a rare off day, while Aleksandr Kolarov looked like the man who’s lost his first choice spot to Gael Clichy.
- You’d think City would have still had enough numbers at the back to handle Liverpool, and for the most part, they did. The Reds only had three shots on goal, but thanks to Suarez – who City never really got a handle on – Liverpool had no problem transitioning into attack and keeping the ball (City had a 51-49 Opta possession advantage at match’s end).
- But for all his work in open play, Suarez’s place on the scoresheet came from a dead ball, curling a 25-yard free kick inside the right post in the 66th minute, taking advantage of Joe Hart’s ill-placed wall.
- The kick came after a Jack Rodwell hand ball, the new recruit committing the foul as he slid to block a shot. It was the second week in a row a Rodwell mistake led directly to a goal.
- Hart has also had a couple of bad games. At least, they were bad be his standards. After slow reactions on the two goals against Southampton, Hart let Liverpool take a 2-1 lead on a direct kick that should have posed little problem.
- Good news for Hart: Martin Skrtel saved him with a back pass that led to City’s 80th minute equalizer. Has a defender ever been justified to blindly kick it back to his keeper? Even if the ball gets there, was it really worth the risk? On Sunday, it wasn’t, as Carlos Tevez intercepted the ball, went right around Pepe Reina (who misplayed a cross on the first goal), and made it 2-2.
- It was a tough ending for a Liverpool team that probably should have had three points. The numbers (possession, shots) look similar, but Liverpool was the more dangerous side throughout. To drop two points on a mistake like Skrtel’s overshadows the accomplishment of getting a result from the defending champions.
- But Reds’ supporters should take solace in the actual performance. Tottenham’s yet to look that good. Neither have Newcastle or Arsenal (and arguably, Manchester United), other teams with whom Liverpool are expected to compete for European spots. It was a great way to rebound from last week’s disappointment.
- The only bad news for Liverpool: Lucas Leiva left after three minutes with an apparent right thigh problem.
- For City, they’ve needed late goals to get results against two teams there were expected to beat. Four points amid mixed form is a nice problem to have. Still, in the context of a highly competitive Premier League, it’s a problem.
May 19, 2013, 8:58 PM EDT
Paolo Di Canio and Andre Villas-Boas took to the media following their teams’ Premier League finale to voice displeasure with how their final fixture played out.
May 19, 2013, 7:51 PM EDT
A dull, scoreless first half picked up in the second term as D.C. United grabbed a point against the league’s second-best team and ended their club-record losing streak at 7 matches.
May 19, 2013, 5:50 PM EDT
With his eye on the imminent vacancy at Real Madrid left by Jose Mourinho’s almost certain departure, Paris Saint-Germain’s mastermind Carlo Ancelotti may now have a large hurdle to get past if he is to land his ideal job in Spain’s capital.
May 19, 2013, 5:34 PM EDT
Fernando Torres broke his Premier League scoring drought by banging home the game-winner to secure Chelsea a third place finish.
May 19, 2013, 5:22 PM EDT
Heartbreak in Serie A this year belongs to Fiorentina. Mario Balotelli converted a penalty in the 84th minute to draw level and two minutes later Philippe Mexes slotted home a cross to secure Europe’s top competition for AC Milan.
May 19, 2013, 5:01 PM EDT
Rare as they are, we’ve seen more than our share of “Olimpico” goals in MLS over the last pair of seasons, including one last night:
May 19, 2013, 4:47 PM EDT
With Arsenal and Tottenham the only teams battling for any meaningful positioning in the Premier League table, the final day still had implications for many teams in the form of placement prize money.
May 19, 2013, 4:28 PM EDT
Sir Alex Ferguson managed the final match of his career away from Old Trafford, and it looked set to complete on a high note, until the opposition had other ideas late.
May 19, 2013, 4:25 PM EDT
Another game-winning strike from Gareth Bale wasn’t enough to save Tottenham from more Champions League heartache.
May 19, 2013, 3:50 PM EDT
New York took all the points from the L.A. Galaxy on Tim Cahill’s late goal. So let’s talk about that goal.
May 19, 2013, 3:17 PM EDT
This Landon Donovan debate regarding his place on the national team is not going anywhere. So, did Sunday’s performance move the needle either way?
May 19, 2013, 2:42 PM EDT
Arsenal secured its 16th consecutive spot on the Champions League with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Newcastle at St. James’ Park on Sunday.
May 19, 2013, 1:43 PM EDT
Sensational news for fans around BMO Field:
May 19, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT
With David Beckham-esque tears streaming down my cheeks, we’re finally here: The final day of the 2012-13 Barclay’s Premier League.
May 19, 2013, 10:19 AM EDT
Newcastle have nothing to play for and have been a disaster at home of late, losing their last two matches at St. James’ Park by a combined 9-0.
May 19, 2013, 10:13 AM EDT
The timing on this thing in two words: pretty bad:
May 19, 2013, 9:32 AM EDT
Not to get too far ahead of ourselves on the 20-year-old goal-scoring sensation … :
May 19, 2013, 12:48 AM EDT
The Sounders exploit Dallas’ young back line in a meeting of two Western Conference teams in top form. Final score: 4-2 for the Sounders:
May 18, 2013, 11:41 PM EDT
Juan Agudelo makes his New England debut as Jay Heaps posts one of the best wins of his young coaching career:
May 18, 2013, 10:33 PM EDT
Highlights and context as “Jack Mac” scores his league-leading 8th goal:
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- Philadelphia’s Jack McInerney would be league’s youngest Golden Boot winner 0
- Talking points on Portland’s 2-2 draw with Vancouver 0
- PSG president confirms Saturday was likely David Beckham’s farewell match 3
- As Alex Ferguson says goodbye, Manchester United’s cupboard remains stocked 1
- Live Extra: Watch live coverage of Penguins-Senators
- PBT: Parker carves up Grizzlies as Spurs roll in Gm. 1
- PHT: Bruins crack Lundqvist, hammer Rangers
- MST: No bumping on Bump Day at Indy 500
- PST: Arsenal grabs Champions League spot
- Ferguson's managerial career ends with 5-5 draw
- Moore stays unbeaten as Rays top Orioles
- Play Video: Highlights: Union outlast Fire
- Play Video: Sir Alex says goodbye
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- Play Video: Red Bulls pull off win on the road
- Play Video: Highlights: Montreal extinguish Chicago