MANCHESTER CITY 2 - 3 LIVERPOOL
Sunday 05 October 2008 15:00 , Barclays Premier League
KUYT COMPLETES LAST-GASP COMEBACK
An injury-time winner from Dirk Kuyt completed a remarkable comeback to give Liverpool a 3-2 victory at Eastlands on Sunday afternoon.
The Reds came from two down at the break thanks largely to a close-range brace from Fernando Torres, the first of which was our 1,000th goal in the Premier League.
With the game heading for a draw, Kuyt popped up to score his first league goal since November and keep Liverpool joint top going into the international break.
The only sour note was a late injury to Martin Skrtel, who was stretchered from the field in agony after falling awkwardly.
Rafa Benitez gave the home faithful reason to cheer by leaving Robbie Keane on the bench, a player who has scored against City wearing the colours of four different clubs.
Those in sky blue would soon be smiling even more broadly after an opening 45 minutes which abrought a 2-0 lead over a side their cash-rich owners soon hope to challenge in the top four.
The game got off to a frenetic start, with both sides carving out opportunities to suggest this fixture wouldn't end in a third consecutive bore draw.
From the off, Albert Riera seemed intent on justifying his boast that he'd grown since a loan spell here in 2006. Within two minutes he'd skipped past Pablo Zabaleta to deliver a teasing cross which just evaded Kuyt. The trick was repeated just after the quarter-hour mark but this time the Dutch forward blazed over.
At the other end a half volley from Brazilian star Robinho tested Pepe Reina, who got down smartly to maintain his record of never conceding against City.
With attacking talent like Shaun Wright-Phillips, Elano, Jo and, of course, Robinho on show, it was always going to be tough for this stat to remain in tact. And so it proved on 18 minutes when Wright-Phillips robbed Fabio Aurelio before delivering a low cross which ricocheted past the despairing legs of Jamie Carragher and Alvaro Arbeloa to Stephen Ireland. His fierce finish gave Reina no chance.
Both sides continued to create opportunities but it was City who extended their lead on 42 minutes when Wright-Phillips somehow convinced Phillip Walton he'd been tripped by Riera.
The subsequent curler from Garrido prompted an inquest among those in red as to the placing of the wall, but the fact remained it was City who led 2-0 at the break.
Whether or not the debate continued into the dressing room, the Reds came out as a totally different side in the second period.
Seconds after the restart Kuyt was put through by Steven Gerrard only to fall in the box under pressure from Richard Dunne. The appeal was strong but Mr Walton kept his whistle in his pocket.
It's been a week of impressive stats at Liverpool, and two more arrived after Alvaro Arbeloa's goalmouth cross was tapped in by Torres on 55 minutes. Not only was it the club's 1,000th league goal since the First Division was abolished in 1992, it also brought the Spaniard level with Patrick Berger as our highest scoring foreigner in the Premier League “ both on 28.
The Reds continued to probe, though City worked well on the counter, notably when Wright-Phillips skipped past Aurelio only for Robinho to sky over when it seemed easier to score.
Their cause wasn't helped when Zabaleta went in studs first on Xabi Alonso and received a red card for his trouble. The crowd didn't like it, but replays showed Mr Walton made the right decision.
Mark Hughes responded quickly, sacrificing Jo for Gelson Fernandes, while Benitez introduced Robbie Keane and Andrea Dossena for Javier Mascherano and Aurelio respectively.
Whether it could be described as inspired is open to debate, but Dossena won a corner with his first touch, and the subsequent kick from Gerrard was headed into the net by Torres from close range.
Berger's record was gone and the travelling Kop bounced with glee.
They were still doing so on 82 minutes when their hero missed a glorious chance to make it 3-2 after blazing high and wide with an outstretched leg at the far post.
A quite remarkable game “ and comeback “ looked to have ended on a sour note for Liverpool after Martin Skrtel fell awkwardly during a superb piece of last-gasp defending. The Slovak was carried from the field in obvious pain.
With no substitutions left, the Reds had to see out six minutes of injury time with just 10 men.
But they didn't just see it out. Seconds after the game got back underway, the ball was in the City box once more after substitute Yossi Benayoun found that man Torres. El Nino's shot was deflected to Kuyt, who pounced to record his first league goal in almost a year.
Liverpool: Reina, Aurelio, Carragher, Skrtel, Arbeloa, Riera, Alonso, Mascherano, Kuyt, Gerrard (captain), Torres. Subs - Benayoun, Agger, Babel, Dossena, Leiva, Cavalieri, Keane
Manchester City: Hart, Garrido, Dunne (captain), Richards, Zabaleta, Blumer, Ireland, Kompany, Wright-Phillips, , . Subs - Schmeichel, Fernandes, Hamann, Evans, Ben-Haim, Petrov, Sturridge
Referee: Phil Walton
Man-of-the-Match: Fernando Torres
Goals Video Clip : EPL MANCHESTER CITY 2 - 3 LIVERPOOL
Stephen Ireland (18') | filefactory
Javier Garrido (42') | filefactory
Fernando Torres (55') | filefactory
Fernando Torres (73') | filefactory
Dirk Kuyt (90') | filefactory
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