City snatch equaliser to stay in title contention
Refused to celebrate
Javier Garcia gave away the ball away outside the City area. Stewart Downing and Gerrard each had a touch before Sturridge let fly with a left-foot rocket that defeated Joe Hart. This caused David Platt and James Milner to join in the complaints and Sturridge, who refused to celebrate at his former club, to be jeered off when replaced at the end.
Of this reception, in which some fans appeared to chant that he was “greedy” for leaving in 2009 for Chelsea, Sturridge said: “I do not think the City fans know why I left, they think I left for money. I can never disrespect this club.”
His side’s opener had arrived five minutes earlier. From a throw-in down their left, Aguero touched the ball to David Silva, who turned it on to Milner. The midfielder surged towards the byline, then delivered a precise cross that took out Agger and allowed Dzeko to score with ease.
Liverpool emerged for the second half and immediately dominated. A Suarez free-kick was deflected for a corner that Downing hit too long. Gerrard and Downing combined before the winger swung in a deep ball that Suarez volleyed back across goal and a corner was won. This was stuck awkwardly in front of Hart by Liverpool’s captain but the keeper cleared.
Bewildering City’s defence
Downing, who was proving influential, then got in down the right, though the quality of his ball into the area was not matched by a team-mate gambling on the correct run. Before Aguero’s equaliser City had their moments. Notably, when Silva appeared to be clear in on Reina before Jamie Carragher stuck out a leg to concede the corner but it was the visitors who continued to run the show.
Sturridge’s ability to run and pirouette with the ball was bewildering City’s defence and in Downing and Suarez he had the ideal partners. One triangle made by Sturridge and Downing on 63 minutes allowed the striker to burst into space and, later, there was a dazzling touch and swivel before a sweeping 35-yard pass to Jordan Henderson that launched a Liverpool counterattack.
Sturridge, who has four goals since his move from Stamford Bridge, said: “I feel like I am maturing a bit, getting a bit fitter. The first few games for Liverpool I have not shown what I can really do performance-wise, even though I have scored goals.”
At the end was a chance for Maicon to win it with a header for City, but Liverpool would not have deserved to lose.