Liverpool defeated title rivals Manchester City 3-2 at Anfield thanks to Phillipe Coutinho’s late winner on the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster while Jordan Henderson saw red in the second half.
Brendan Rodgers’ side opened the scoring with the first chance of the match. Luis Suarez held off Martin Demichelis well before playing a pinpoint pass to Raheem Sterling who broke free of Vincent Kompany. The Belgian had a lapse in concentration and failed to pick up his marker. The young England winger Sterling showed fantastic composure in front of goal, skipping away from Joe Hart and then slotting home the opener after just six minutes.
Manchester City’s afternoon got worse soon after when Yaya Toure landed awkwardly following a wayward shot from long range and was replaced by Javi Garcia soon after.
Liverpool doubled their lead 20 minutes later when Sterling’s corner was headed in by Skrtel after a second example of poor marking from Kompany. An uncharacteristic poor performance from the Manchester City captain.
Edin Dzeko had a decent shout for a penalty on 33 minutes when he was tripped by Mamadou Sakho but referee Mark Clattenburg ruled that there was no wrong doing.
Liverpool had a penalty shout of their own in the second half when Suarez went down following an altercation with Kompany. Referee Clattenburg waved play on to the dismay of many Liverpool fans.
The Citizens halved the deficit just before the hour mark when David Silva tapped home from close range following a beautiful passing move. Substitute James Milner played a neat one-two with Fernandinho before setting up Silva who had the easy task of making it 2-1.
City supporters had to wait just five minutes for their leveller. Milner played in Silva on the left side of the box whose cutback pass across goal deflected off Glen Johnson which caught Mignolet flat footed and deflected into the net to level the scores.
Liverpool regained the lead when Coutinho fired home the winner with an accurate first time finish past the despairing Joe Hart 12 minutes from time from the centre of the area into the bottom right corner of the goal.
The second half was an edgy affair with City enjoying the majority of the play. A real Dr.Jekell and Mr.Hyde performance from Liverpool who dominated the first 45, with City only causing the hosts problems towards the end of the half.
City’s best chance of the first period came from a corner just before half time. Simon Mignolet drifted too far off his line and was beaten in the air by Kompany. Sterling cleared the ball off the line first before Glen Johnson headed it away from danger.
Fernandinho came even closer seconds later. In space, he managed to get a shot away and was only denied by a superb fingertip stop by Mignolet and shortly afterwards, an eventful first half came to an end.
Luis Suarez was fortunate not to see red in the second half when he dived following an incident with Demichelis but Clattenburg decided not to book the Urugayan despite awarding Manchester City the free kick.
With the home side holding onto their narrow lead, Jordan Henderson was sent off three minutes into five added on when he went overboard on a challenge and fouled Samir Nasri. He will miss three of Liverpool’s four remaining games.
Martin Skrtel was incredibly fortunate not to give away a penalty in the very last minute as he used to his hand to clear a deep cross into the Liverpool box. Referee Mark Clattenburg failed to spot the incident in what was a bad refereeing performance by him.