Reds comeback stuns City
Zabaleta off as Reds battle back for 3-2 success
Last Updated: 06/10/08 9:25am
Kuyt celebrates his late winner
Dirk Kuyt netted an injury-time winner as Liverpool battled back from two goals down to claim a 3-2 victory over 10-man Manchester City.
Mark Hughes' City side controlled the first half and were two up at half-time courtesy of goals from Stephen Ireland and Javier Garrido.
The comeback started when Fernando Torres guided home Alvaro Arbeloa's cut-back from close range after Liverpool looked out of sorts for much of the game.
City's troubles increased when Pablo Zabaleta was given a straight red card by referee Peter Walton for a lunging challenge on Xabi Alonso.
Within minutes The Reds were level when Torres nodded home Steven Gerrard's corner and just when it looked like Liverpool would not get a deserved winner Kuyt stole the points at the death.
Liverpool almost went ahead as early as the fourth minute when Albert Riera got a good touch and goalkeeper Joe Hart had to look alert to turn his effort around the post.
The visitors kept up the pressure and launched a swift counter-attack in the 15th minute. Javier Mascherano, who was preferred to Robbie Keane tried to send Gerrard clear.
However, Shaun Wright-Phillips showed his defensive qualities to get in a crucial challenge.
Three minutes later Kuyt should have put Liverpool ahead only to sky his shot over the top in front of the goal after Riera had set up the opening.
City made the breakthrough a minute later thanks to Ireland's third goal of the season.
Wright-Phillips did well to cut the ball back from the by-line but it seemed to get stuck under Robinho's feet. However, it eventually fell to Ireland and the ever-improving midfielder rifled an unstoppable shot into the corner.
Alonso tried his luck from distance in the 38th minute but Hart was equal to his effort.
City extended their lead three minutes later after Wright-Phillips was bundled over by Riera. Garrido stepped up and sent a superb free-kick over a stunned Reina for his first goal for the club.
However, it was game on in the 56th minute with Liverpool pulling a goal back through Torres.
England midfielder Gerrard, a subdued figure in the first half, began the move by releasing Arbeloa. He skipped to the byline before delivering a cross into the path of Torres, who scored from close range.
It was the Spain striker's fourth goal of the league campaign and came on the back of his brace in the victory over Everton.
Test of character
This was now a test of character for City, whose own form in the domestic campaign has been a little bit inconsistent.
However, they hit back and Wright-Phillips skipped down the wing in the 65th minute, leaving Liverpool players trailing in his wake. He picked out Robinho but he was unable to test Reina, his effort going over the bar.
The game took a dramatic twist in the 68th minute when City were reduced to 10 men. Zabaleta was sent off by Walton for what the official deemed as a two-footed lunge on Alonso, who needed brief treatment.
Keane was introduced at the expense of Mascherano in the 72nd minute and a minute later Liverpool were level.
Torres peeled away from his marker as Gerrard swung in the corner and thumped home a header.
He had a chance of completing his hat-trick in the 82nd minute only to send his effort at the back post wide of the target.Kuyt then secured the points in stoppage time, smashing the ball high into the net after Torres' shot had bobbled off Dunne and into his path.
|Manchester City||Team Stats||Liverpool|
|2||1st Half Goals||0|
|4||Shots on Target||6|
|2||Shots off Target||6|
Barclays Premier League
|4||West Ham United||9||16|
|12||West Bromwich Albion||9||10|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||8||4|