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Can the Blues FINALLY Overcome the Anfield Anelka Curse?

Michael Steele/Getty Images

Call it the Anelka curse - since Nicolas Anelka's two late goals lifted the Blues over the French striker's former club in March 2003, City have not won a game at Anfield. In this era of Manchester City winning everything in sight in every ground imaginable, Anfield remains a place where the Blues struggle.

Remember the April 2011 3-0 embarrassment that put Roberto Mancini's tenure on the brink? How about the 1-1 draw later that year which was arguably the Blues worst performance in a title winning season? What about the heartbreaking 3-2 loss that was billed as a title decider in April 2014, before Liverpool dropped points to Chelsea and Crystal Palace?

You can pick your game, but they all have the same theme. The Blues under-perform and Liverpool, long a fading force in English football save their best for Manchester City at Anfield. Even Sunday's League Cup triumph proved to be more difficult than expected, yielding only a draw in terms of the actual result.

For whatever reason while the Blues have figured out Manchester United, Chelsea and even some European giants, beating Liverpool remains elusive and difficult. November's humiliating 4-`1 loss at the Etihad was just the latest in a run of games stretching over seven seasons where the Blues seem to under-perform against the Reds.

Manchester City has recorded three lopsided home victories over Liverpool in the last seven seasons, two of which were in August. But it seems the later in the season the game occurs the more difficult it becomes for City. Over the course of the last seven seasons, in all competitions the Blues have beaten Liverpool three times, drawn six times and lost five times. By comparison, over the same stretch the Blues have beaten Manchester United seven times and Chelsea eight times.

How can this be explained? Either it is a mental block or just simply one of those things.

Can the Blues change this hoodoo tomorrow? Given the emotion expended on the UEFA Champions League and League Cup performances in the last week this is setting up to be another long night at Anfield, but maybe the confidence created by back-to-back strong performances can change the trajectory of things.