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DAVID RANDLES: Neither Liverpool FC or Man City pressed claims for top four finish
Published : 23 Nov 2009 00:00:00Rss feed
MANCHESTER CITY fans have created a banner that lends a line from a song penned by one of their own, Noel Gallagher. 'Some might say we will find a brighter day' is the message of hope emblazoned across the giant cloth sheet. It wasn't on show at Anfield on Saturday. Maybe it should have been. On a dour, damp November afternoon there was little bright about this particular day. With both Rafael Benitez and Mark Hughes reflecting on the 2-2 draw as two points dropped, neither team pressed their claims for a top four finish. As is often the case with these occasions, reality failed to live up to the hype. Four second half goals rescued the highlights package but, by the end, nothing had really changed. While City had started the season with the self-assured swagger of Noel's younger sibling, Liam, six consecutive draws has left us pondering whether they will have similar impact on the established Premier League order as the lesser known eldest Gallagher brother, Paul, has had on the music world. By the same token, just one win and three defeats in the league during the same period means Liverpool are still in danger of becoming a support act to the main event. Of course, injuries have had a devastating impact on the Reds' campaign thus far. But should Liverpool's hopes not recover in line with those in the treatment room, which club is ready to step up and join the assumed elite? With perennial under-achievers, Tottenham and Aston Villa likely to fade at some stage, Everton with their own injury problems, and the rest just happy to be here, you're struggling. On Saturday's evidence, it won't be City. Not this season anyway. And that could be Liverpool's saving grace once Benitez finally has a full strength squad to work with. Of City's notable players, only Robinho was missing at the weekend. Yet, despite their significant summer outlay, they were devoid of ideas for much of this encounter. It was only when Liverpool's static defence gifted Emmanuel Adebayor and then Stephen Ireland a couple of goals that the visitors looked like pulling off an unwarranted victory. With their filthy rich Abu-Dhabi owners pledging to spend a staggering £1 billion over the next 10 years to reach their ultimate goal of Premier and Champions League domination, it may be just a matter of time until all of this changes. In the meantime, their American counterparts at this end of the East Lancs Road must do all they can to back a manager who faces the increasingly thankless task of maintaining Liverpool's top four status.
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