It was past dusk when the Reds pitted themselves against the costliest side in England, bankrolled by the riches of Abu Dhabi. Mancini’s side, assembled to extortionate values of close to £300M, just had no answer to the £58M classic axis of Andy Carroll-Luis Suarez.
In a game where Kenny Dalglish handed fledging John Flanagan his full debut, there was so much promise. So much hope. To see an Academy graduate fulfilling his dream with an assured performance is richly enriching.
The way Liverpool dominated proceedings from start to finish was such a joy to watch, and as City were left to sort the shambles out at the final whistle, they were left wondering what hit them.
Fernando Torres, currently in Manchester, must be overlooking the River Mersey in misery, with his replacement Andy Carroll notching a double to make the former No.9 a distant memory.
It was all one way traffic from the off as Liverpool’s slick passes dominated proceedings with gusto.
And in many ways, Andy Carroll’s first goal in the colours of Liverpool was a perfect one. Positioning his body in an unorthrdox manner, he lashed home an unstoppable 25 yard drive with such venom that rippled the back of the net. Joe Hart rued his luck at having to face such a menace, while Carroll wheeled off in relief and delight, to the four walls of rapturous roars from the Anfield crowd.
Andy Carroll 1, Fernando Torres 0. More importantly, Liverpool inched their way forward against their meek competitors.
And from there, it was business as usual as Liverpool dispatched the opposition in emphatic fashion within 35 minutes.
Wave after wave of attack poured. The Reds rained and probed City’s disintegrated defence with precision and a sense of belief. Perhaps this is the most accurate description for the second goal. It was patient play, sustained pressure at its very best, coupled by a sublime finish from Dirk Kuyt as the ball creeped away from Hart’s despairing arms to double Liverpool’s lead.
Advantage Liverpool. Twice.
The crowd was just settling back into their seats when Carroll conjured up his magic again. A pinpoint cross from Raul Meireles found Carroll who towered above his marker to prod the ball home, in another of his trademark finishes. Joe Hart gasped as the ball eluded him, and there it was…
The electronic scoreboard at Anfield read Liverpool 3, Manchester City 0. The game was sealed, what was left was to be professional. Liverpool sure did.
It was an encounter with so much promise. One game it’s Suarez taking the shine off Carroll, the other it’s the reverse. The unpredictability of Suarez’s darting, mazy runs combined with Carroll’s frame just makes our front pair unplayable.
Gone were the days where we dominated headlines of the front pages for boardroom turmoil, with our former fraud owners heap piling mountain loads of debts onto this institution.
Gone were the days where we were over reliant on Fernando Torres for goals. We don’t need him anymore. Today further emphasized that fact that Liverpool are better off without that former favourite.
And we look on, to a red future, with so much promise. With a reinvigorated summer, with renewed optimism, we’ll be back in where we once belonged.