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Liverpool 1 City 0

Zero points once again as a return from another away fixture, but there were some signs of encouragement from the defeat at Anfield that the side at least played with some purpose and to a specific game plan.

Pearce opted for a 4-5-1 formation for this game, in what looked a clear plan to pick up a point by virtue of a 0-0 draw. The line-up saw Samaras sacrificed for an extra midfielder - with Nedum Onouha coming in at right-back allowing Micah a more advanced role in central midfield.
It was Richards where a lot of the early spark came from and two or three times he impressed in advancing into Liverpool territory but with Corradi essentially isolated in attack, we were not able to carve out any real clear-cut chances - a snap shot from Corradi being the best of the first-half.

Liverpool had a couple of good chances to take the lead but both Luis Garcia and Peter Crouch wasted opportunities to put their side ahead.

The second half began in very much the same vein, with us defending relatively stoutly, and although not creating a great deal we looked fairly comfortable with the ball. The midfield trio of Barton-Richards-Reyna looked at ease with each other and the system and Trabelsi linked in well with them. Vassell tried hard but doesn't appear to have any real sense for the position he is currently occupying and you have to wonder what effect it will have on him in the long-term.

But one mistake was to be our undoing, and inevitably Steven Gerrard - yet to score in the league this season, was the player to profit from this mistake. Joey Barton played an underhit ball back to the defence and Distin - not anticipating the ball being played back, was beaten to it by Dirk Kuyt who laid the ball back to Gerrard to hit home for around 25 yards. There were perhaps question marks over Nicky Weaver as the ball was far from hit out of his grasp.

Samaras was introduced into the game, and was unlucky with an attempted chip which cme close to catching Reina out of position, but that was as close as we were to come and as time began to run out an overly-officious Rob Styles was keen to blow on numerous occasions - not much going in our favour.

For the majority of the game we looked comfortable in the system adopted by Pearce, and an injury-hit Liverpool rarely threatened to score, but again we come away from an away game disappointed in defeat.

We move onto Villa Park on Wednesday night and historically it has been a ground where we have enjoyed some success, and despite their promising start under Martin O'Neill they have become draw specialists of late so there is some room for optimism as we look to break the run of form away from the City of Manchester Stadium.

Post-match comments:

"You cannot give Steven Gerrard the ball like that 20
yards out. If you do, all the hard work that has been put in goes down the
"They had thrown everything at us and they were not going to break us
down. It was one costly mistake and that is what happens when you are playing a
top-four club".
Stuart Pearce

"We didn't find the space we needed in the first half
and Manchester City worked hard in defence and were aggressive in midfield, but
in the second half we had more space and more possibilities and Steven scored an
excellent goal".
Rafa Benitez

Other match reports:

The Independent
The Guardian
This Is Anfield