#FlashbackFriday - Manchester City v Liverpool
Part Four: 2000 to 2017
Man City returned to the top flight after a four year absence in 2000/01 as Second tier runners up under the management of former City striker Joe Royle. Liverpool meanwhile were now under the stewardship of Gerard Houllier. The first meeting between the two sides on City's return came five games into the season in early September. Liverpool ran out 3-2 winners with goals for Michael Owen and two for Didi Hamann. On target for City meanwhile were George Weah and Kevin Horlock.
The return fixture came at Maine Road on the last day of January 2001. Liverpool were fourth and sixteen points off of Premiership leaders Man United, while Man City were languishing in the relegation zone in eighteenth place. Two minutes before half time, Liverpool took the lead with a goal from Emile Heskey, however three minutes into the second half Danny Tiattoo equalised for City. With no further scoring, the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Three weeks later, the two sides met in the fifth round of the FA Cup at Anfield. Goals for Jari Litmanen, Emile Heskey, Vladimir Smicer and Markus Babbel gave Liverpool a 4-2 victory, with Andrei Kanchelskis and Shaun Goater on target for City.
Liverpool went on to win the FA Cup, as well as the League Cup, UEFA Cup and bagging a Champions League spot with a third-place finish. Man City however finished eighteenth and found themselves relegated back to the second tier after just one season. City returned to the Premiership as second tier Champions in 2001/02. The first meeting came eight games into the 2002/03 season in late September. Liverpool were unbeaten and standing second in the table with four wins under their belt. City meanwhile were twelfth. A hat-trick for Michael Owen gave Liverpool a 3-0 win
The following January, Liverpool would head to Maine Road in the FA Cup third round in what would be the final game at the Stadium as the following year City would be moving to the Stadium which held the 2002 Commonwealth Games. A Danny Murphy penalty would give Liverpool a 1-0 win. City's trip to Anfield would be the penultimate game of the 2002/03 season. Liverpool were chasing the fourth place Champions League spot with Chelsea, while Man City enjoyed the safety of sitting in eleventh place. Liverpool took the lead just ahead of the hour mark with a goal from Milan Baros, however two goals from former Red Nicolas Anelka (the second in the final minute) earned City a 2-1 victory.
Liverpool went on to lose the final game of the season, which was an effective Champions League play off with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, which consigned Liverpool to fifth place. Man City meanwhile finished ninth. Liverpool's first visit to the City of Manchester Stadium to face Man City came in the interim between Christmas and New Year. Liverpool stood ninth, while Man City were five points behind in thirteenth. The game ended in a 2-2 draw, with Vladimir Smicer and Didi Harmann on target for Liverpool, while two former Reds in the shape of Anelka and Robbie Fowler twenty seconds from time, would be on target for City.
Man City's trip to Anfield came in mid-February, by which point Liverpool stood sixth and twenty three points behind leaders Arsenal, while Man City would be three points off of the relegation zone in sixteenth. Michael Owen gave Liverpool the lead on three minutes, before a Shaun Wright-Phillips equaliser five minutes into the second half. One minute later, Steven Gerrard restored Liverpool's lead as the Reds ran out 2-1 winners.
Liverpool finished 2003/04 in fourth place, while Man City finished the season in sixteenth. Over the summer, Liverpool replaced Gerard Houllier with Rafa Benitez at the helm. Two games into the 2004/05 season came his first home game at Anfield against Man City. Nicolas Anelka gave City the lead on the stroke of half time. Into the second half however, goals for Milan Baros and Steven Gerrard meant a 2-1 victory for Liverpool.
The return fixture at the City of Manchester Stadium came in early April, by which point Stuart Pearce had replaced Kevin Keegan as Man City manager. Man City stood twelfth, while Liverpool were fifth but thirty points off of Premiership leaders Chelsea. A last-minute goal for Kizito Musampa gave Man City a 1-0 victory - Stuart Pearce's first as City boss.
Liverpool finished 2004/05 in fifth position in the Premiership, though won the Champions League with a penalty shootout win over AC Milan. Man City meanwhile finished six points behind Liverpool in eighth place. In 2005/06, the European Champions headed to the City of Manchester Stadium in late November. After thirteen games, Man City stood sixth while Liverpool were two points behind in eighth place, but with two games in hand. In front of a crowd of 47,105, a goal for John Arne Riise on the hour mark gave Liverpool a 1-0 victory.
The return fixture came in late February 2006, by which point Liverpool stood third and fifteen points behind leaders Chelsea with twelve games to go. Man City meanwhile were ninth. A goal for Harry Kewell four minutes from time game Liverpool a 1-0 victory. City also had Joey Barton sent off in the second half. Liverpool finished 2005/06 in third place and nine points behind Chelsea, though won the FA Cup on a penalty shootout against West Ham. Man City meanwhile dropped to fifteenth by the end of the season.
In 2006/07, Man City came to Anfield in the last week of November. After thirteen games, Liverpool stood ninth with just five wins to their name, while Man City were two points behind in twelfth place. A goal for Steven Gerrard on sixty seven minutes meant a 1-0 victory for Liverpool.
The return fixture at the City of Manchester Stadium came in mid-April with six games of the season left. Liverpool stood third, but eighteen points off of Premiership leaders Man United, but a cushion of seven points for a Champions League spot. City meanwhile were fourteenth and had a six point cushion from the relegation zone. Over the summer, Stuart Pearce parted company with Man City and was replaced by former England boss Sven Goran Eriksson. The two sides played out a goalless draw.
Liverpool finished the season in third and twenty one points behind champions Man United, as well as losing Champions League finalists to AC Milan. City meanwhile finished fourteenth and four points from the relegation zone. The first meeting between the two sides in 2007/08 came at the City of Manchester Stadium during the interim between Christmas and New Year. Liverpool stood fourth and nine points behind Premiership leaders Man United. Man City meanwhile stood two points behind in fifth place. The two sides ended 2007 with a 0-0 draw.
The return fixture at Anfield came on the penultimate weekend of the season. Four days earlier, Liverpool were dumped out of the Champions League at the Semi Final stage to Chelsea. In the Premiership, Liverpool required just one point to secure their place in the Champions League over neighbours Everton in fifth place and even had a chance of catching Arsenal four points above them in third. Man City meanwhile stood in eighth place. A goal for Fernando Torres just before the hour mark gave Liverpool a 1-0 victory to secure third place.
On the final day of the season, after an 1-8 defeat to Middlesbrough, Man City dropped to ninth but still qualified for European competition after an extra place was awarded to the Premiership through topping the fair play league. Despite this, within a few weeks Manchester City confirmed by club statement that they had parted company with Eriksson by mutual consent, even though Eriksson still had two years left on his contract. Following news of his departure, the City supporters' groups organised a petition with around 14,000 signatures which was handed to the club, but to no available. The club instead then appointed Mark Hughes as boss, after agreeing a World record sum for compensation with Blackburn Rovers.
On 1st September 2008, Man City were bought out by the Abu Dhabi Investment group headed by Sheikh Mansoor. Their first meeting with Liverpool during their petrodollar funded era came around a month later when Liverpool headed to the City of Manchester Stadium. Liverpool were unbeaten after six games and joint top of the Premiership with Chelsea. Man City meanwhile had won three and lost two of their first five games. Man City took a two goal first half lead, with Stephen Ireland and Javier Garrido on target for the Blues. Into the second half however, two goals for Fernando Torres and a last minute goal from Dirk Kuyt meant a 3-2 victory for Liverpool.
The return fixture at Anfield came in late February. At the time, Liverpool topped the Premiership by one point over Manchester United in second, however their old rivals had two games in hand. Man City meanwhile were ninth. An own goal from Álvaro Arbeloa seven minutes into the second half put City ahead, however Dirk Kuyt equalised with twelve minutes to go with the game ending in a 1-1 draw.
Liverpool finished 2008/09 as runners up, four points behind Man United who achieved a second hatt-trick of Premiership titles. Man City however finished their first petrodollar funded season in tenth place. When the two sides met again in late November, twelve games into the 2009/10 season, Liverpool stood seventh with six wins to their name. Man City, having played one game less had one point more and stood sixth. Five minutes into the second half, Martin Skirtel put Liverpool ahead. Nineteen minutes later, Emmanuel Adebayor equalised for City, before Stephen Ireland doubled their lead seven minutes later. One minute later however, Yossi Benayoun pulled Liverpool level. With no further scoring, the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
That game turned out to be the last meeting between the two sides during the noughties and Man City had sacked Mark Hughes and replaced him with Roberto Mancini. The first meeting during the 2010s came the following February. Liverpool stood fourth and fourteen points off of Chelsea at the top of the table, one place above Man City in fifth. The two sides however played out a 0-0 draw, with the Liverpool Echo's headline claiming 'TV lucky to miss out on Liverpool FC shocker at Manchester City', as neither Sky nor ESPN had chosen the game as part of their Premiership coverage that weekend.
By the end of 2009/10, Man City's petrodollars still found Champions League qualification elusive as the Blues finished fifth and nineteen points behind Double winners Chelsea. Liverpool meanwhile finished seventh and over the summer replaced Rafa Benitez with future England boss Roy Hodgson. The first meeting with Man City during the Hodgson era came two games into the season at the City of Manchester Stadium. Goals for Gareth Barry, Micah Richards and Carlos Tevez gave City a 3-0 victory. By the time of the return fixture the following April, Roy Hodgson had been replaced by Kenny Dalglish, returning to Anfield after a nineteen-year absence.
With seven games to go, Liverpool stood eight points off of Champions League, with Man City in fourth place. First half goals for Dirk Kuyt and two for Andy Carroll gave Liverpool a 3-0 win. Liverpool finished the season ten points off of a Champions League place in sixth, while Man City finished nine points off of Champions Man United, as well as winning the FA Cup.
The two sides met for the first time in 2011/12 when Man City came to Anfield in the Premiership in late November. After twelve games, Liverpool stood sixth while Man City topped the table unbeaten with eleven wins and one draw. Vincent Kompany gave City the lead on the half hour, before a Joleon Lescott own goal drew Liverpool level two minutes later. With no further scoring, the two sides played out a 1-1 draw.
The return fixture came at the Etihad Stadium three days into 2012. Man City were still top of the table, but only with a better goal difference than their neighbours Man United. Liverpool meanwhile stood eleven points behind in fifth. Goals for Sergio Ageuro, Yaya Toure and James Milner gave Man City a 3-0 victory.
The two sides met again in the Semi Final of the League Cup in early January. In the first leg at the Etihad Stadium, a Steven Gerrard penalty meant Liverpool took a 1-0 lead back to Anfield for the second leg. Two weeks later, a 2-2 draw with Steven Gerrard and Craig Bellamy on target for Liverpool and Nigel De Jong and Edin Dzeko for Man City. Liverpool went on to win the League Cup that season with a victory over Cardiff City in the final
Liverpool also reached the FA Cup Final, but lost to Chelsea. The Reds however finished 2011/12 in eighth place and replaced Kenny Dalglish with Brendan Rodgers as boss. Man City meanwhile won the Premiership with two late goals in the dying minutes to earn a 3-2 victory over QPR. Liverpool's first meeting with the defending Champions came two days into the 2012/13 season at Anfield. The two sides played out a 2-2 draw with goals for Martin Skirtel and Luis Suarez for Liverpool and Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez on target for Man City.
By the time of the return fixture at the Etihad in February, City trailed Man United at the top of the table by seven points. Liverpool meanwhile languished in seventh place. The two sides played out another 2-2 draw with Edin Dzeko and Sergio Augero on target for City, while Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard were on target for Liverpool.
Man City finished the season eleven points behind Premiership champions Man United as runners up, however Alex Ferguson had now retired as United boss meaning the end of an era for English football. Man City also lost the FA Cup Final to Wigan Athletic meaning that they ended 2012/13 trophy-less. Over the summer however City sacked Roberto Mancini and replaced him with Manuel Pellegrini. Brendan Rodgers' first season at Liverpool meanwhile finished with the Reds in seventh place. In 2013/14, Liverpool came to the Etihad Stadium on Boxing Day top of the table with a one point lead over Man City in second place.
Phillipe Coutinho gave Liverpool the lead on twenty four minutes. By half time, goals for Vincent Kompany and Alvaro Negredo put City 2-1 up. With no further goals, City ran out winners at the Etihad.
The return fixture at Anfield came in mid-April with five games to go for Liverpool. The game also took place two days before the twenty fifth anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy. The Merseysiders topped the table with a two point lead over Chelsea in second, while Man City were four points behind in third but with two games in hand. Raheem Sterling gave Liverpool the lead on six minutes, before Martin Skirtel doubled the lead twenty minutes later. Into the second half, City pulled level with goals from David Silva and an own goal from Glen Johnson. With twelve minutes to go, Phillipe Coutinho put Liverpool in the lead. Jordan Henderson had received a red card in the final minute, however Liverpool held on to their lead for a 3-2 victory.
By the close of 2013/14 however Man City finished the season as Premiership champions with a two point lead over Liverpool in second place. In 2014/15, Liverpool came to the Etihad Stadium two games into the season. Goals from Sergio Ageuro and two for Stevan Jovetic put City three goals up. With seven minutes to go, a Paolo Zabeleta own goal pulled one back for Liverpool, however couldn't prevent a 3-1 victory for Man City.
By the time of the return fixture at Anfield on the first day of March 2015, Man City stood second and five points behind league leaders Chelsea with twelve games to go. Liverpool meanwhile were sixth and one point off of a Champions League place. Jordan Henderson gave Liverpool the lead after eleven minutes, before Edin Dzeko equalised for City. With fifteen minutes to go however, a goal for Phillipe Coutinho gave Liverpool a 2-1 victory.
Man City finished 2014/15 as runners up, eight points behind Champions Chelsea. Liverpool meanwhile finished the season eight points off of a Champions League spot in sixth place. In 2015/16, Liverpool came to the Etihad Stadium in late November. After twelve games, Liverpool stood tenth with just four wins. By now, Brendan Rodgers had been sacked and replaced by Jurgen Klopp. Man City meanwhile topped the table over Arsenal on goal difference. Liverpool thumped City 4-1 with goals from Phillipe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Martin Skirtel and an own goal from Eliaquim Mangala, while Sergio Augero would be on target for Liverpool.
At the end of February 2016, Liverpool and Man City would meet each other in the final of the League Cup at Wembley. Man City took the lead four minutes into the first half with a goal from Fernando Luiz Roza. Phillipe Coutinho equalised for Liverpool with seven minutes left of normal time. With no further scoring in extra time, the match ended 1-1. City however went on to win the subsequent penalty shoot out.
Three days later, the two sides met again in the Premiership. By now Liverpool were eighth and nine points off of Man City and a Champions League spot in fourth place. On this occasion, the Reds triumphed 3-0 with goals from Adam Lallana, James Milner and Roberto Firminho. Liverpool however ended the season in eighth place, while Man City finished fourth. Over the summer, Man City parted company with Manuel Pellegrini and replaced him with Pep Guardiola.
In 2016/17, the two sides first met on New Years' Eve at Anfield for the first Premiership head to head between Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. Liverpool and Man City stood second and third respectively with one point separating them, but clear daylight between both of them and Chelsea at the top of the table, who stood six points clear of Liverpool. A goal for Gini Wijnaldum gave Liverpool a winning finish to 2016 with a 1-0 victory.
The return fixture at the Etihad came in late March, by which point Man City stood third and six points behind leaders Chelsea. Liverpool were one point behind in fourth, but with a game in hand. Liverpool took the lead six minutes into the second half, when former City star James Milner converted a penalty. A Sergio Aguero equaliser just over twenty minutes from the end however earned City a 1-1 draw.
Man City finished the season in third place and fifteen points behind Champions Chelsea. Liverpool meanwhile were two points behind City in fourth place. In 2017/18, the two sides first met four games into the season at the Etihad Stadium. The previous week, Liverpool had hammered Arsenal 4-0. Making his debut for Liverpool would be Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain, who the week prior conceded four as part of the Arsenal side. This time however, it was Liverpool's turn to be on the receiving end of a hammering. Goals for Sergio Aguero and two apiece for Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane earned City a thumping 5-0 victory.
And so on to Sunday. Unbeaten Man City at present are fifteen points clear of the chasing pack and have the incredible record of twenty wins from twenty two played. Liverpool however are in fine form also and have been unbeaten since late October, therefore it would not be unreasonable for Jurgen Klopp's side to fancy at least a draw from this encounter.
*Published 12th January 2018
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