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Hart To Heart About Title Chances

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05 Feb 2013 19:36:03

Hart To Heart About Title Chances

Joe Hart insists heads will not drop in the City dressing room despite another setback in their quest to retain the title.

Joe Hart: "We have got to be confident. There is no point turning up otherwise.

"We have got to win every game and look not to drop any points. It is a good challenge for us.

"We will always be in it, but unfortunately it's a big gap, getting too big for our liking.

"You have to move forward, and that means we have to beat Southampton next week. We are nine points behind with 13 games to go, so we need the win.

"It was a tough game. I thought Liverpool played really well. I imagine they'll argue we were lucky to get a result in the end. That's a shame but you have got to move forward.

"They are a good side and I think they have finally worked out what the manager wants from them. They are a really tough side to play against.

"It is not the result we wanted but I think a draw is a fair result.

"We need to do what we have done in the last seven games, when we won six and drew one.

"Of course we have now drawn again, and that is enough of the draws. We need to start winning."

Saturday 9th February 2013  

  Tottenham V Newcastle 12:45     Chelsea V Wigan  15:00     Norwich V Fulham  15:00     Stoke V Reading  15:00     Sunderland V Arsenal  15:00     Swansea V QPR  15:00     Southampton V Man City  17:30  

Sunday 10th February 2013     Aston Villa V West Ham  13:30     Man Utd V Everton  16:00  

Monday 11th February 2013

  Liverpool V West Brom  20:00

MAN CITY 2 LIVERPOOL 2

1. Joe Hart 5. Pablo Zabaleta 6. Joleon Lescott 33. Matija Nastasic 56' 22. Gael Clichy 7. James Milner 14. Javi Garcia 18. Gareth Barry 88' 21. David Silva 74' 16. Sergio Aguero 10. Edin Dzeko Subs: 30. Costel Pantilimon 3. Maicon 74' 8. Samir Nasri 88' 11. Scott Sinclair 13. Aleksandar Kolarov 56' 17. Jack Rodwell 32. Carlos Tevez

City dropped another two points, and the challenge for the title is slipping away.

Champions Manchester City lost more ground in the title race as they were held to a 2-2 draw in a thrilling encounter at home to Liverpool. 

Edin Dzeko's 12th goal of the season put the hosts ahead midway through the first half only for Daniel Sturridge to smash home his fourth in six matches for Liverpool since his move from Chelsea.

An even better trademark Steven Gerrard strike put Liverpool ahead with 17 minutes to go only but Sergio Aguero salvaged a point with an exquisite shot from the narrowest of angles.

However, it was not enough on a weekend when rivals Manchester United won and the result leaves Roberto Mancini's side nine points adrift of the leaders.

After criticising the youngsters in his side after their FA Cup exit to League One Oldham a week ago Brendan Rodgers selected Liverpool's oldest starting line-up (average age 28 years and 18 days) since October 2011.

It looked a sensible ploy as City have been imperious at home since before they won the title last May - losing just one of their last 41 league games - and they made their intent clear from the off.

There were just 49 seconds on the clock when Jose Reina was forced to tip over David Silva's dipping volley.

All the early pressure was with City but once Liverpool had weathered that initial storm they started to come into their own.

A deft touch by Sturridge took Stewart Downing's lobbed pass past Hart in one move but he was denied a goal as Pablo Zabaleta got back to block.

Luis Suarez, busy without being particularly threatening, flashed a shot across Hart and wide of the far post as it seemed the visitors were about to take control.

That notion was dispelled in the 24th minute as some neat interplay from Silva and James Milner from a throw-in on the left saw the latter cross low for Dzeko to sneak behind Daniel Agger and tap home from close range.

If that goal was founded in simplicity Liverpool's equaliser was made of pure brilliance, although it was viewed as controversial by indignant City players and their fans.

Agger appeared to go through Dzeko to get the ball but referee Anthony Taylor saw no foul and with the Bosnia international collapsed on the turf in their own half Liverpool played on.

The boos grew louder as the Reds made their way upfield but almost a minute had expired - with City momentarily winning the ball back on the edge of their area - before Sturridge scored.

Gerrard rolled the ball forward to the former City striker who smashed a fierce left-footed shot past Hart.

It was the first goal the City goalkeeper had conceded since December 29, 584 minutes in all.

The hosts were furious but Taylor's decision not to stop play was proved correct - even if his original one not award the foul was not - as Dzeko leapt got to his feet, declined treatment, berated the linesman and re-started the game.

Liverpool finished the half the stronger and having continued that after the break Mancini made a tactical switch 10 minutes in when he replaced Matija Nastasic with Aleksandar Kolarov and went to a back three.

That appeared to re-energise City and Aguero threatened to put them ahead again with a blistering 40-yard run only to slip as he entered the penalty area.

Gerrard showed him the way to strike a ball in the 73rd minute with a strike very reminiscent of his goal in the 2006 FA Cup final.

Gael Clichy's poor clearance from Jose Enrique's cross dropped to the midfielder 30 yards out and the England captain controlled the ball on his chest before unleashing a dipping low volley which gave Hart no chance.

It was Gerrard's sixth league goal - one more than the whole of last season - and his fifth in the last 10 games.

Martin Skrtel was introduced for the tiring Enrique and after almost scoring at one end was involved in a mix-up with Reina which allowed City to equalise.

Aguero raced onto Gareth Barry's pass and the goalkeeper's rush of blood saw him charge out to the left edge of his area, from where the Argentina international turned him and fired in impressively from a narrow angle.

Sturridge forced Hart into a low save late on before departing to jeers from the fans who, only a couple of years ago, cheered him as one of their rising stars.

Pos Team P GD Pts 1 Man Utd 25 29 62 2 Man City 25 26 53 3 Chelsea 25 24 46 4 Tottenham 25 13 45 5 Everton 25 10 42 6 Arsenal 25 20 41 7 Liverpool 25 12 36 8 Swansea 25 6 34 9 West Brom 25 -1 34 10 Stoke 25 -6 30 11 West Ham 25 -8 30 12 Sunderland 25 -5 29 13 Fulham 25 -6 28 14 Norwich 25 -15 28 15 Newcastle 25 -11 27 16 Southampton 25 -11 24 17 Reading 25 -14 23 18 Wigan 25 -18 21 19 Aston Villa 25 -26 21 20 QPR 25 -19 17

 

Source: Manchester City MAD


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