It is hard to know where to start with the article this weekend. Normally I would simply state that the Premier League is back after the International break, but, a week on from the events in Paris, it seems wrong to go straight into it without first thinking about the people who lost their lives and the Parisians left to carry on.
Our own connection to France was big in the pre takeover 2000's with Sylvain Distin and Nicolas Anelka names instantly coming to mind, and both played for Paris St Germain in their careers by the way. Also Antoine Sibierski and David Sommeil
Eliaquim Mangala, Bacray Sagna, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri make up our current French connection, with the first two actually being on International duty and in that stadium when the attacks took place. Jerome Boateng, also there on the German side, also played for City at one point, albeit for a short period.
It put life into perspective and so finally, before I focus on the upcoming Liverpool game I would just like to say Pour tous mes amis français, s'il vous plaît rester en sécurité! Je suis de tout cœur avec toi!
In 1901 Manchester City would host Liverpool and it didn't go well. A 3-2 defeat on November 2nd was followed that March by a 4-0 defeat at Liverpool and then relegation. When they returned to the top flight in 1903 things improved significantly. This time City won their home fixture 3-2 while securing a point in the return game. We finished second in the League that season and won the FA Cup thanks to a Billy Meredith goal, meanwhile Liverpool found themselves relegated.
In fact, when City win the League, Liverpool struggle. The first title came in 1937 and, in that season City beat Liverpool 5-0 in their yard and then 5-1 at Maine Road. Not only do the results look bad for Liverpool, the mighty ‘Pool finished fifth from bottom.
The 1967/68 season was slightly different with both games ending in draws. Liverpool's improved record against City in that season actually and managed to finish third. Overall Liverpool do have the better record against City with 71 wins compared to City's 41, but this isn't a Liverpool site, so there!
2011/12 again saw City remain unbeaten by Liverpool in title winning seasons with a 1-1 draw at Anfield, with a Lescott own goal and Balotelli dismissal assisting the Merseysiders. The return game was much better with Aguero and Yaya Toure getting goals in the first half before Gareth Barry was sent off. Milner converted a penalty with 15 minutes left to go and City won comfortably. Hopefully Milner doesn't get on Saturday's score sheet having now swapped blue for red!
Finally to the last trophy winning season and finally Liverpool got that win. City had taken all three points from the first game 2-1 and then lost the return game 3-2. However the struggle came in the shape of Steven Gerrard and gravity. His slip in a later game costing the club the title and giving us enough daylight to get in.
Earlier in this piece I had said that Liverpool's overall record against City was better but at City's ground it is quite even. 28 wins for City compared to Liverpool's 27 with 110 goals a piece. You do have to go back to October 2008 to see the last time Liverpool actually came from 2-0 down to grab the 3-2 win. Stephen Ireland and Javier Garrido raced City to a 2-0 half time lead before Fernando Torres scored twice in twenty second half minutes before Dirk Kuyt netted the winner in stoppage time.
Other notable games for City involving Liverpool would have to be the third game in of Stuart Pearce in charge of City. A great strike from Kiki Musampa gave us that famous 1-0 win which kick started our race to the final game of the season, undefeated and the chance to beat Middlesbrough and go into Europe. An ex Liverpool goalkeeper, David James, was surprisingly placed up front in the final moments while another ex Liverpool legend missed the penalty which would have secured that European football place.
The final game of the 1995/96 season saw City needing to win at home to Liverpool in order to stay in the Premier League. At 2-0 down it looked impossible, and eventually proved to be, but goals from Steve Lomas and Uwe Rosler gave City fans hope and a sense of actually getting a good result despite the relegation.
David James, Nicolas Anelka, Craig Bellamy, Stevens McMahon and McManaman, Paul Walsh, Dietmar Hamann, Peter Beardsley and Robbie Fowler all played for both while Kevin Keegan was a playing legend for Liverpool and a Manager for us, as was Phil Neal.
Currently Liverpool have Mario Balotelli (although on loan to Milan), Kolo Toure, Daniel Sturridge and James Milner make up Liverpools current ex City contingent.
I am not sure if City currently have any ex Liverpool players.....nope no names coming to mind (other than maybe one very young England International)!