Apr 13, 2014 at 1.37pm UK at ​Anfield
Liverpool
3-2
Man CityManchester City
Sterling (6'), Skrtel (26'), Coutinho (78')
Suarez (6')
Henderson (90')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Silva (57'), Johnson (63' og.)
Garcia (21'), Fernandinho (45'), Zabaleta (78')

Live Commentary: Liverpool 3-2 Manchester City - as it happened

Luis Suarez of Liverpool congratulates goalscorer Philippe Coutinho during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Etihad Stadium on December 26, 2013
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's commentary of the Premier League clash at Anfield where Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-2.

It was top against third in the Premier League on Sunday as Liverpool welcomed Manchester City to Anfield.

The home side were 2-0 ahead at the interval following goals from Raheem Sterling and Martin Skrtel.

City were back on terms after 63 minutes following a strike from David Silva and an own goal from Glen Johnson.

Liverpool secured all the points late on, however, when Philippe Coutinho found the bottom corner from outside the box.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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12.31pmAfternoon all! Our Premier League coverage continues on Sports Mole from Anfield and it is a bit of a big one as Liverpool welcome Manchester City. The home side currently lead the way in the Premier League on 74 points with just five games remaining. However, City, who sit third on 70 points, have two games in hand over Brendan Rodgers's in-form side. It promises to be a fascinating afternoon of football.

12.34pmJust a reminder that kickoff is at 1.37pm this afternoon – seven minutes later than normal. As revealed last month, every match in the top five leagues in England will start seven minutes late to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. There will also be a minute's silence before play commences.



12.37pmIt was on April 15, 1989 that 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives during the FA Cup semi-final between the Reds and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium. Unsurprisingly, there are a number of tributes around the stadium on what is emotional day for those involved with Liverpool.



12.40pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, both have won one of the last five matches, with the further three fixtures ending in draws. City were 2-1 winners at the Etihad earlier this season, but three of the last five have ended 2-2. Another draw this afternoon would certainly suit the away side, who would still have the title in their own hands at this stage of the campaign. Team news is expected shortly...

12.43pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS: No real surprises in the Liverpool XI this afternoon, with Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez all starting in attack, but Mamadou Sakho is preferred to Daniel Agger in central defence. The big news for City is that their skipper Vincent Kompany is fit despite an injury scare in training. Edin Dzeko leads the line, meanwhile, with Sergio Aguero named on the bench.

12.46pmTEAMS:

LIVERPOOL: Mignolet; Johnson, Skrtel, Sakho, Flanagan; Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho; Sterling, Sturridge, Suarez

CITY: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy; Toure, Fernandinho; Navas, Nasri, Silva; Dzeko


12.49pmSo there we have it. It had been suggested that Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers would throw Lucas into his midfield this afternoon, but instead the former Swansea manager has selected an incredibly attacking XI. For City, Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas and David Silva have been tasked with providing support to Dzeko, who has been preferred once more to Alvaro Negredo. As mentioned, Aguero is among the subs for the away side.



12.52pmLiverpool have won all four home matches against fellow members of the top seven so far this season, scoring 14 times in the process and conceding just once - a quite incredible record. City have also won just one of their last 16 league games at Anfield, with that losing run going back until 2003.



12.55pmMany Liverpool supporters would have been extremely content with a top-four finish this season, but few would have predicted that their side would lead the Premier League at this stage of the campaign. Rodgers's side have won their last nine in the league and have not suffered a single league defeat since losing 2-1 to Chelsea at the end of December 2013. Another victory this afternoon would leave them in a strong position.

12.58pmThe Chelsea defeat followed a 2-1 reverse at Manchester City, with many predicting that Liverpool did not have the credentials to maintain a challenge. Since then, they have lost just once in all competitions – in the FA Cup against Arsenal – and seriously hit the goal trail. Their 3-0 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford last month started to make the supporters believe that a famous title could be on the horizon.



1.01pmLiverpool enter the match off the back of a 2-1 win over West Ham United last weekend, with that result keeping them top of the table. It was certainly controversial, with the Reds once more awarded two penalties, but they squeezed past the Hammers to maintain their winning run. However, the next couple of games are crucial in terms of their title challenge. Here are the full teamsheets for this afternoon's clash...



1.04pmKompany has just been out on the Anfield pitch undergoing a warm-up, but it must be said that the Belgian defender does not look comfortable. City boss Manuel Pellegrini has also just told Sky Sports News that his skipper is still a slight doubt for the match, despite his inclusion in the starting XI.

1.07pmFollowing this match, Liverpool travel to Norwich City next weekend, before welcoming Chelsea at the end of the month. Their season finishes with games against Crystal Palace and Newcastle United. If they can secure three points this afternoon, it would be difficult to bet against them securing the title.



1.10pmLiverpool's home form this season has been extremely strong with 14 wins, one draw and just one defeat from their 16 matches. They have also impressed on the road with nine wins, four draws and four defeats. Only Manchester United, who are seventh, have won more league games on their travels this season.

1.13pmGoals have also not been too much a problem for Liverpool to say the least with 90 strikes in their 33 games making them the leading scorers in the league. Luis Suarez has 29 in the league, while Daniel Sturridge has 20. However, their defence has been far from watertight this season with 40 conceded, which is 11 more than Manchester City and 16 more than fellow title rivals Chelsea, who face Swansea later this afternoon.

1.16pmCity have conceded 29 goals this season, keeping 14 clean sheets in the process. Despite the absence of Aguero for long spells, the goals have also flowed for Manuel Pellegrini's side with 84 strikes in the league. Incredibly, 18 of those have come from midfield in the shape of powerful Ivorian Yaya Toure.

1.19pmCity might currently sit third in the table, but they are in the box seat. If the former champions win every league game from now until the end of the season then they will win the Premier League title for the second time. Like Liverpool, City's home form has been near-perfect this season with 14 wins from their 15 matches, but they have lost four and drawn four on their travels, where they have failed to hit top form.



1.22pmCity enter the match off the back of a 4-1 win over Southampton at the weekend, with that victory keeping them in charge of their own destiny. Their only slip in recent games came at Arsenal, when they drew 1-1 towards the end of last month. Like Liverpool, City were 3-0 winners over rivals United last month.

1.25pmThe goals have seriously flowed for City in recent weeks, meanwhile, with 15 strikes in their last five in the league. Granted, their away form has not been up to the standard of their form at the Etihad, but they continue to find ways to win matches. However, it would be fair to say that the pressure is on them rather than Liverpool and Chelsea in the final weeks of the campaign. Little over 10 minutes until kickoff...



1.28pmYou have to go back to the start of February for the last time that City lost in the league – a 1-0 defeat at home to Chelsea. Since then, they have been beaten over two legs by Barcelona in the Champions League and exited the quarter-finals of the FA Cup to Wigan Athletic, but they secured the League Cup trophy with a 3-1 win over Sunderland last month. Now, their focus is solely on securing another league crown.

1.31pmPREDICTION: Little under five minutes until kickoff at Anfield, which means that it is time for my pre-match prediction. Whoever wins this match - if there is a winner - will claim the title this season, in my opinion that is. Liverpool will enter as the slight favourites, but I just cannot see City losing. I am expecting goals and will back a 2-2 draw, which would leave the title in City's hands.

1.34pmBoth sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of kickoff. There is an emotional atmosphere inside Anfield that is for certain. It must be said that the noise inside the stadium is just deafening this afternoon.



1.36pmThere will be a minute's silence before the match, which is just about to take place. Following that, we will be just about ready to get the action underway in this key clash in the Premier League.

1 minThe pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. It is a massive match in terms of the Premier League title race. You just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - could be vital in terms of the final result. Right, the home side get the first period underway.

2 minPositive start from the home side, who are attacking the Kop end in the first period. Incredible noise inside the stadium as the Reds control the possession in the opening couple of minutes. City, meanwhile, have retreated into a defensive shape and certainly have players that could hurt Liverpool on the counter.

4 minKompany is called into action twice in the space of a few seconds to deal with Suarez, but the Belgian passes the test. All-action start from the home side, who have not allowed City time on the ball thus far. No real chances in the opening minutes, however, with both teams just attempting to find their way into the contest.

5 minFirst shot in anger from Coutinho, but his effort is wide of the post under pressure from Demichelis. Suarez drives into the City box moments later, but once more Demichelis is across to clear. All-action stuff.

6 minBOOKING! Suarez becomes the first name in the referee's book as the Liverpool forward dives into a late challenge with Demichelis. It was a really poor challenge it must be said.

6 minGOAL! Liverpool 1-0 City (Sterling)

7 minLiverpool take the lead with six minutes on the clock as Suarez finds the run of Sterling, who settles on the ball inside the box before moving past Kompany and Hart and finding the bottom corner of the net.

9 minWell, that is some start from Liverpool it must be said. City have not been allowed to settle in the opening nine minutes of this match as Sturridge wins a corner from Zabaleta. Liverpool have blown teams away at Anfield this season and it appears that could be the case once more this afternoon. The resulting corner is delivered towards the far post, but Dzeko just does enough to clear at the vital moment.

12 minFirst sign of Toure as an attacking threat as the City midfielder moves into the Liverpool box, but he cannot collect the through pass from Zabaleta. Better from the away side in the last couple of minutes, but the home side continue to force the issue in forward areas. It has been some opening 12 minutes to this contest.

14 minMuch more of an even contest in the last couple of minutes as Toure combines with Silva before dancing into the Liverpool box, but a free kick is awarded to Liverpool. The opening 14 minutes have just flown past.



15 minHalf-chance for City as Dzeko finds some space inside the Liverpool box before sliding a pass to Toure, but his effort is high and wide of the target. Toure holds his knee following the strike, but is fit to continue. End-to-end football as Liverpool break moments later, but Zabaleta is across to deny Sturridge.

16 minCHANCE! Incredible chance for Liverpool as Sterling puts it on a plate for Sturridge inside the box, but he places his effort wide of the post. City just cannot live with the pace at the moment.

18 minIt just is not happening for City in forward areas at the moment as Fernandinho fails to find Silva outside the Liverpool box. The home side are down the other end with Sterling moments later, but Kompany is across to clear, before the centre-back blocks a cross from Flanagan. It remains 1-0 after 18 minutes.

19 minTerrible news for City as Toure hits the deck in the middle of the park. It seems unlikely that the Ivorian will be fit to continue. What an incredible blow this would be for the away side.

19 minSUB! Indeed the change is made as Javi Garcia enters the field in place of Toure. Massive, massive blow for their chances in this match. Their top scorer for the season has departed with an injury.

22 minJust a reminder that Aguero is on the bench for City this afternoon, but it remains to be seen just how fit the Argentine is. Not too much to report in terms of clear chances in the last few minutes, but Liverpool continue to force the issue in forward areas. The next goal - if there indeed is one - will be just vital.

22 minBOOKING! Garcia enters the book for City following a late challenge on Henderson. Not the best of introductions for the midfielder. Two bookings awarded in this contest thus far.

24 minCity want a free kick on the edge of the box following a clash between Silva and Suarez, but the referee penalises the City midfielder. Strange decision for me. Liverpool are down the other end with Sturridge moments later, but Kompany is across to clear the danger. The frantic end-to-end pace continues at Anfield.

26 minHalf-chance for City as Navas finds some space on the right before driving a low cross into the box, but Skrtel manages to clear under pressure from Silva. Liverpool break with Sterling, but Kompany manages to clear inside his own box. Hardly time to take a breath at the moment as the home side force another corner.

26 minSAVE! Stunning save from Hart as the City goalkeeper denies Gerrard, who had a free header inside the box. Terrible marking from the away side, but brilliant goalkeeping.

26 minGOAL! Liverpool 2-0 City (Skrtel)

27 minLiverpool have their second of the match moments later as Skrtel flicks a header into the top corner following a set piece from Gerrard. It had been coming and now City have a mountain to climb at Anfield.

29 minCity just cannot get in this game at the moment as Liverpool continue to force the issue in the final third. You just get the feeling that City need to score the next goal if they are to turn this one around. Little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining and Liverpool are in control of the title race.

30 minCHANCE! Another chance for Liverpool as Sturridge finds some space inside the City box before cutting a pass towards Sterling, but City manage to clear once more. Sturridge has another sight of goal from the resulting corner, but Hart manages to collect as the pressure continues.

32 minCHANCE! City's best chance of the match falls to Dzeko following a through pass from Silva, but Gerrard is across to challenge at the vital moment. One goal for City and they are right back in this.

34 minPenalty shout for City as Sakho appears to fell Dzeko inside the box, but the referee is not interested. For me, that is a clear penalty. The home side have got away with one there that is for certain. City fuming.

36 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last few minutes, but both sides continue to force the issue at both ends. The play has settled, but Liverpool look capable of scoring each time they break into the City half. There is a big Toure-shaped hole in the City midfield at the moment.

38 minDzeko has another sight of goal following a through pass from Fernandinho, but the striker cannot collect at the vital moment. Navas switches the play from left to right moments later, but Liverpool clear once more. Little over five minutes of the first period remaining and City have a free kick just outside the box.

39 minThe resulting set piece is taken by Silva, but his effort is straight into the base of the wall. Clichy collects possession outside the box moments later, but his cross is straight into Mignolet's arms.

42 minThe intensity has dropped in the last few minutes, which has allowed City to enjoy more of the ball in the Liverpool half. However, clear chances have been at a premium for the team from Manchester. Little under five minutes of normal time remaining in the first period. It has been Liverpool's half of football.

44 minJust a reminder that City have already been forced into one change this afternoon, with Garcia replacing Toure, but Pellegrini still has a number of attacking options on his bench. Liverpool force the issue once more as Coutinho finds some space outside the box, but his effort is wide of the post.

45 minHalf-chance for City in the final stages of the half as Silva meets a cross from Navas, but the Spaniard can only flick his header wide of the post. The away side threaten from the resulting corner, but Mignolet manages to claim at the second time of asking. Nervous moment for the Liverpool goalkeeper.

45 min+1SAVE! Wonderful chance for City as Fernandinho meets a cross from Silva, but Mignolet is on hand to make a fine save. Much better from the away side.

45 min+2HALF-TIME: Liverpool 2-0 City

2.26pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Liverpool leading 2-0. The home side took the lead early on through Sterling, before Skrtel found the top corner with a flicked header. City have had their moments, but have largely been unable to deal with the pace on display from the Reds.

2.31pmSTATISTICS: The home side have had more of the ball with 55%, while they have had eight attempts - three of which have been on target. City, meanwhile, have failed to hit the target with any of their four attempts thus far. There has been three bookings, meanwhile, with Suarez in the book for Liverpool and Garcia and Fernandinho for City, who have been forced to play second fiddle thus far.

2.36pmBENCH WATCH: The home side have a number of midfield options on their bench this afternoon in the shape of Allen, Lucas and Moses, while Aspas is also in reserve for the Reds. City, meanwhile, have already been forced into a change with Garcia replacing Toure. However, they still have attacking options in the shape of Milner, Negredo and a certain Aguero, who is expected to play some part.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. As it stands, Liverpool are in control of the title race. Can City respond? Surely they need to score the next goal if that is to occur. The away side get the second 45 minutes underway inside what is a lively Anfield.



48 minNo changes for either side at the interval, which is a bit of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers, especially Pellegrini, will consider alterations if the score remains 2-0 for the next 20 minutes or so. Bright start to the second period for City, who force possession in the Liverpool half.

50 minHalf-chance for Sterling as the Liverpool midfielder drives through three City challenges before curling one towards goal, but his effort was always moving high and wide of the crossbar. City are preparing a change, meanwhile, with Milner due to enter. It will be interesting to see who the England international replaces.

51 minSUB! Indeed the change is made as Milner replaces Navas, who has really struggled this afternoon. Now only one change remaining for the away side, which could be Aguero late on.

53 minHalf-chance for City as Fernandinho finds some space just outside the Liverpool box following a through pass from Zabaleta, but Skrtel is across to make the challenge. Liverpool attempt to break down the other end moments later, but Kompany is on hand to clear. End-to-end football with 53 minutes on the clock.

54 minReally poor from Suarez as the Liverpool forward throws himself to the ground outside the box, but the referee does not issue a second card for simulation, despite strong pressure from City skipper Kompany.

56 minThe atmosphere is really increasing on the pitch as Milner goes down outside the Liverpool box following a challenge from Flanagan, but once more the referee is not interested. You just get the feeling that there is another card coming as Sturridge is felled by Zabaleta. Still 2-0 Liverpool after 56 minutes.

57 minCity have the ball in the back of the net as Silva converts from close range, but the referee blows for a Liverpool goal kick due to Milner just running the ball out of play before finding a cross. A mistake from Kompany almost allows Suarez in down the other end, but the danger is cleared. All-action football.

57 minGOAL! Liverpool 2-1 City (Silva)

58 minBrilliant from City as Milner finds some space inside the Liverpool box before crossing to Silva, who finishes from close range. City are right back in this match there is no question about that.

60 minSuarez needs to be really careful here as the Liverpool forward stops City from taking kickoff, which brings a furious reaction from Silva, who has just scored. Little over 30 minutes remaining and now City are on the front foot as a loose Skrtel clearance drops inside the Liverpool box, but the danger is cleared.

61 minCHANCE! Incredible chance for City as Silva dances into the box before finding a low cross towards Dzeko, but the striker cannot convert from close range. It is all one-way traffic at the moment.

62 minHalf-chance for the home side as Sturridge carries possession into the City box before attempting to move past Zabaleta, but the City defender manages to make a fine challenge. The resulting corner causes some concern inside the City box, but the danger is cleared as the away side launch another counter.

62 minGOAL! Liverpool 2-2 City (Johnson, OG)

63 minCity level with 62 minutes on the clock as Johnson can only turn a low Silva cross into his own net. It had been coming and now it is the away side in control of this contest. What a match at Anfield!

65 minHardly time to take a breath at the moment as Liverpool break down the other end, but once more the danger is cleared by Kompany, who has been solid in the second period. Little over 25 minutes remaining.

67 minSuarez wants a penalty as the forward goes down under pressure from Kompany, but the referee is not interested. For me, another dive. Good decision from the referee. Hardly time to take a breath here!

67 minSUB! Change for Liverpool as Sturridge, who has been poor this afternoon, is replaced by Allen, who will provide more protection in midfield.

68 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for City as Dzeko collects a loose ball inside the Liverpool box, but Mignolet is on hand to make the save. Liverpool cannot get out of their own half at the moment. Nasri has an effort from outside the box, but he fires one high and wide of the crossbar.

68 minSUB! City make their third and final change as Aguero enters the field in place of Dzeko, who had just missed a sitter after collecting a loose pass inside the Liverpool box.

70 minThree of the last four games between the two sides have ended 2-2 and that is how it stands with little over 20 minutes of football remaining. You have to fancy City from this position, but anything can happen. Suddenly there is not quite the same atmosphere inside the ground, with nervous tension among the fans.

72 minHalf-chance for Liverpool as Allen collects a through pass from Gerrard before attempting to backheel into the path of Suarez, but Zabaleta is on hand to clear once more. Zabaleta delivers a cross into the City box moments later, but Skrtel is on hand to clear as the end-to-end nature of the contest continues.

74 minLiverpool have the ball in the back of the net as Suarez converts from close range, but Henderson had been in an offside position before squaring to the club's leading scorer. Not too much to report in terms of clear chances in the last few minutes, but you just get the feeling that there is a winner in this match.

76 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for the away side as Aguero finds some space in a wide position before sliding a cross towards Silva, but the Spaniard can only turn wide of the post from close range.

78 minNeither side is settling for the draw that is for certain. Whatever happens, it has been a brilliant football match between these two title rivals. However, as it stands, City will be the more content. This is also the best result for Chelsea, who face Swansea later this afternoon. Little over 10 minutes remaining.

78 minGOAL! Liverpool 3-2 City (Coutinho)

79 minLiverpool lead after 78 minutes as Coutinho turns into the bottom corner following a terrible clearance from Kompany. Awful defending from the City skipper and it has cost his side on the biggest of occasions.

81 minCan City respond once more? It had been all one-way traffic, with City in control, but now they are behind. Little under 10 minutes of football remaining and it promises to be a fascinating conclusion to events.

83 minStrong response from City as Milner finds some space outside the Liverpool box before sliding a low pass to Silva, but Flanagan is across to make the block. Demichelis has a half-chance from the resulting corner, but his header is straight into the arms of the Liverpool stopper.

86 minLittle under five minutes of normal time remaining and still Liverpool lead 3-2. However, there is still plenty of time for City to find another goal. Milner delivers a cross towards Aguero, but it moves out of play as Liverpool survive once more. Is there to be late drama at Anfield?

88 minPossession football from City as the away side dominate the ball in forward areas, but Liverpool continue to clear the danger. Clichy delivers towards the near post, but Skrtel is on hand to head clear once more.

90 minSUB! Change for Liverpool as Moses enters the field in place of Coutinho. Just a reminder that if Liverpool win this match then the title will be in their own hands.

90 min+2The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional five minutes and we are indeed into the second of those. City have another corner, but once more Mignolet comes to collect.

90 min+3Time is just starting to run out for City, who are heading for a damaging defeat here. Kompany carries possession into the Liverpool half, but loses control and the home side now have a free kick.

90 min+3RED CARD! Henderson (Liverpool)

90 min+3Red card for Liverpool midfielder Henderson, with the England international diving into a late challenge with Silva. Poor from the former Sunderland man.

90 min+5SUB! Liverpool make their third and final change as Lucas enters the field in place of Sterling, who opened the scoring this afternoon. Not too much happening at the moment as Liverpool continue to clear their lines. Is there time for one last chance for City?

90 min+6FULL-TIME: Liverpool 3-2 City

3.33pmSo there we have it. Liverpool take control of the title race with a 3-2 win over City at Anfield. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action. Good afternoon!

Raheem Sterling of Liverpool celebrates his goal with Glen Johnson during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium on March 1, 2014
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