Manchester City vs Liverpool - LIVE! - Live coverage - The Independent

Manchester City vs Liverpool - LIVE!

Manchester City take on Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium 
by Simon Rice
Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of Manchester City vs Liverpool, with me Tom Sheen, in what is the biggest clash of the new Barclays Premier League season so far. These teams finished first and second in an extremely tense title race last year and will be looking to secure early ground for the long season ahead. We'll have all the action as it happens from the Etihad.
    • FULL-TIME: Manchester City 3 Liverpool 1
    • Stevan Jovetic fires in the opener after Alberto Moreno error just before half-time
    • Montenegrin scores his second after a nice piece of build-up play
    • Sergio Aguero on target 23 seconds after coming on
    • Pablo Zabaleta turns into his own net in the final 10 minutes
    8/25/2014 5:11:01 PM
  • Hello and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of Manchester City vs Liverpool from the Etihad.
    8/25/2014 5:09:18 PM
  • Liverpool have announced some pretty massive news already tonight, with the £16m capture of Mario Balotelli announced earlier by the club.

    The mad Italian arrives on a 'long-term' deal with Brendan Rodgers hoping he can replace the departure of another mad striker, Luis Suarez.

    Balotelli, of course, was once a favourite of City - it'll be interesting to see what kind of a reception he gets at the Etihad tonight.
    8/25/2014 5:37:00 PM
  • The £16m transfer of Mario Balotelli was announced by Liverpool earlier today

    8/25/2014 5:39:52 PM
  • Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has also claimed that his team is better this year despite the sale of Suarez. I'm not sure how he comes to that conclusion having sold the best player in last season's Premier League (and one of the top 10 players in the world), but he mentions something about squad depth. 
    8/25/2014 5:53:48 PM
  • The team news is in and Manuel Pellegrini has decided to leave Sergio Aguero on the bench despite his goalscoring cameo at Newcastle last week. Pellegrini has made a change with Pablo Zabaleta in for Aleksandar Kolarov - that means Gael Clichy can go to his more natural left-back berth. 

    For Liverpool Brendan Rodgers has made two changes, Alberto Moreno in for Javier Manquillo and Joe Allen in for Lucas. The Brazilian midfielder has been linked to a reunion with Rafa Benitez at Liverpool and this may be an early indicator that he's on the way out.

    Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Kompany, Clichy, Fernando, Toure, Nasri, Silva, Jovetic, Dzeko

    Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Lovren, Skrtel, Moreno, Gerrard, Coutinho, Henderson, Allen, Sterling, Sturridge

    8/25/2014 6:07:49 PM
  • Sergio Aguero remains on the bench despite his goalscoring cameo at St James' Park last week

    8/25/2014 6:09:34 PM
  • A prodigal son has returned to the Etihad, but he will now line up in the Red of Liverpool rather than the Sky Blue of Manchester City...

    8/25/2014 6:27:36 PM
  • On his new signing, Rodgers had a one word answer for the Sky Sports cameras when asked what he will expect from Balotelli.

    "Trouble," the Liverpool boss replied with a wry smile.
    8/25/2014 6:29:37 PM
  • Stat time:

    Manchester City are unbeaten in their last five matches against Liverpool at the Etihad, winning three and drawing two of those matches. However, to counteract that little nugget of information, Liverpool are unbeaten away from home in 2014 - winning seven of their nine matches (Liverpool fans will want to get about that 3-3 draw at Selhurst Park).

    Daniel Sturridge has scored more goals than any other Premier League player in 2014 - he has 14 - but Brendan Rodgers' attack-minded team have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of the last seven matches.

    This game has all the omens for a 0-0 draw...
    8/25/2014 6:35:33 PM
  • A bit more here on Brendan Rodgers pre-match interview; Rodgers also said it could be Balotelli's last chance at a big club.
    8/25/2014 6:37:14 PM
  • Alvaro Negredo scores a looping shot over Simon Mignolet as City beat Liverpool 2-1 on Boxing Day last year

    8/25/2014 6:41:37 PM
  • We'll take a step back in time now, to Boxing Day 2013.

    Liverpool went a goal up through Philippe Coutinho but City fought back and a wonderful goal by Alvaro Negredo, a looping left-footed strike with the outside of his foot, won City the match 2-1.

    But do hurry back as we're only 20 minutes away.
    8/25/2014 6:42:04 PM
  • Manuel Pellegrini decided against starting Sergio Aguero saying: "No [he wasn't tempted], because we are working with Sergio on a mixture of pre-season and playing games.

    "Next Saturday he may play more minutes but it's important for him to have a pre-season."
    8/25/2014 6:46:59 PM
  • Here's a little snippet that passed me by, Liverpool signing Lazar Markovic, on the bench tonight, will wear No 50 for the Reds this season. Apparently he's worn it throughout his career. 

    Balotelli will wear No 45 - seems a bit excessive while the iconic 7 and the not so iconic 12 and 13 are still around...

    8/25/2014 6:48:58 PM
  • The players have just emerged from the tunnel, we're almost there!
    8/25/2014 6:56:57 PM
  • KICK OFF: Manchester City get us underway at the Etihad!
    8/25/2014 7:00:25 PM
  • Early attack down the right for the home side but Moreno, on his debut, does well to stop Pablo Zabaleta. 

    That'll give the Spaniard an early bit of confidence. 
    8/25/2014 7:01:56 PM
  • Slow start, both teams just happy to feel each other out at the moment. Couple of sloppy passes as well. No one wants to give anything away just yet.
    8/25/2014 7:03:07 PM
  •  City just starting to play a couple of passes in the Liverpool half, with David Silva trying to pull some strings - Yaya Toure then bursts forward and Fernando tries to play a one-two with Edin Dzeko, but his return pass is poor.
    8/25/2014 7:04:18 PM
  • Demichelis then gives the ball away and suddenly Daniel Sturridge is on the attack down the right; he tries to play in Raheem Sterling but the ball is just slightly too heavy.

    Liverpool look like they are going to play much more defensively than they did in the big games last season.
    8/25/2014 7:05:42 PM
  • More good football on the break by Liverpool and this time it's Coutinho and Sturridge playing a one-two but the little Brazilian is just stopped on the edge of the box before he can get a shot away.
    8/25/2014 7:06:37 PM
  • Early sighter for Edin Dzeko who has the first shot at goal. Lovren is a bit rash and is caught out by Jovetic's dummy, the ball lands at Dzeko's feet but his left-footed strike is dragged harmlessly wide.
    8/25/2014 7:08:00 PM
  • Half-chance for Sterling as well - Gerrard floats a beautiful pass to Raheem Sterling from beyond the half-way line and somehow the England winger is able to bring the ball down on his chest inside the box.

    However, with his back to goal and defenders closing Sterling can't get a proper effort on goal.
    8/25/2014 7:10:13 PM
  • Wasted free-kick from Gerrard that time. Sterling was fouled by Demichelis down the right but the Liverpool captain's delivery lands straight in the arms of England team-mate Joe Hart.
    8/25/2014 7:11:37 PM
  • Nice bit of football by City on the break this time, they work the ball out to the left and Clichy puts in a deep ball to the back post - Zabaleta ghosts in unmarked but lashes at the ball, volleying high into the night sky.
    8/25/2014 7:13:23 PM
  • Liverpool definitely the better team in the opening 15 minutes, however.

    Just then Sterling shows what he's all about storming past two players before Clichy manages to recover and get a block in for a corner.

    But Gerrard's delivery is again poor and it's cleared at the front post. A foul is then given to City for some pushing and pulling in the box
    8/25/2014 7:15:05 PM
  • Straight down the other end City on the attack again down the left - a cross is half cleared and falls to Yaya Toure. He tries to bend one into the far corner but doesn't catch it at all and it's easily saved.
    8/25/2014 7:15:46 PM
  • The tempo is starting to increase now and Liverpool win a corner after a deflected Gerrard shot.

    Joe Hart just gets a finger tip on it for another corner. City only half clear and there's a little period of pressure but they eventually get it away after a full-bodied Vincent Kompany block.
    8/25/2014 7:16:38 PM

  • Mario Balotelli is an interested observer tonight at his former home. 

    8/25/2014 7:19:39 PM
  • The game is getting a little bit scrappy again now, Brendan Rodgers will definitely be the happier of the two managers so far.
    8/25/2014 7:21:20 PM
  • Excellent piece of play from Jovetic, driving into the final third and playing a lovely pass for Zabaleta to run on to, the Argentine wins a corner.

    The delivery lands right on the hands of Simon Mignolet but he's bundled into by Fernando and the whistle is blown.
    8/25/2014 7:24:03 PM
  • Demichelis does just enough after a wicked delivery from Moreno, the City defender slicing a ball out for a corner. 

    But, again, nothing comes from the Gerrard set-piece. They've been poor so far tonight.
    8/25/2014 7:25:56 PM

  • Pablo Zabaleta under pressure from Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen 
    8/25/2014 7:26:52 PM
  • Liverpool still have the edge here, City struggling to get a foot on ball...

    And as I type that Yaya Toure almost sets Dzeko free, but Skrtel reads his pass and just toes the ball out of the Bosnian striker's path.
    8/25/2014 7:28:16 PM
  • The big midfielder has now been booked after pushing over Coutinho, who showed an excellent burst of pace to get away from Toure.

    I hate to type it again but Gerrard's delivery is poor - he'll get another chance this time from the right...
    8/25/2014 7:30:13 PM
  • It's the same result, far too close to Hart who punches away.

    Henderson then finds space on the left and clips a ball into the middle, but City defend it well.
    8/25/2014 7:31:12 PM
  • Daniel Sturridge is unlucky! Sterling floats a ball over and the Liverpool man shows quick feet to work the ball past Kompany to give himself half a yard. There's not much of the goal to aim at and he fires straight at Joe Hart.

    Excellent, sharp play from Sturridge.
    8/25/2014 7:34:16 PM
  • City really need to increase their work rate here, Liverpool are free to pick and pop passes almost at will.

    Yaya Toure then buys City a bit of time with Raheem Sterling all over him like a rash, eventually conceding a free-kick.
    8/25/2014 7:37:13 PM
  • Liverpool are in control, though. Coutinho makes a run into the box and Sterling's pass is slightly too long as Hart rushes off his line to collect. 
    8/25/2014 7:37:58 PM
  • David Silva and Samir Nasri are passengers at the moment, they really need to get involved.
    8/25/2014 7:38:31 PM
  • Better from City as they manage to keep possession for a prolonged period - it looked as if City may then in a penalty as Zabaleta bursts forward and Moreno dives in, no contact is made and it goes out for a corner with Gerrard providing cover. 
    8/25/2014 7:40:08 PM
  • GOAL! Manchester City 1 Liverpool 0

    Well that was certainly underserved! City enjoy a bit of pressure but it's a bad mistake from the new boy Alberto Moreno at left-back.

    Liverpool half clear but the Spaniard fails to react and is caught half-asleep, allowing Stevan Jovetic to nip in and fire past Simon Mignolet.

    On balance Liverpool have been much the better team but you can't afford to make mistakes like that, especially against City.
    8/25/2014 7:40:50 PM
  • That will feel good for Jovetic who had an injury-hit first year at the Etihad. He only played 16 matches, though he did score six goals, last season.
    8/25/2014 7:45:43 PM
  • It's a completely different game now and Liverpool almost look in danger of conceding another. Yaya Toure's gets some space on the right but his cross is too deep - the half-time whistle blows as the ball bounces harmlessly out of play.
    8/25/2014 7:46:21 PM
  • HALF-TIME: Manchester City 1 Liverpool 0

    Liverpool were the better team for 40 minutes of that match, but errors against the top teams are always costly.

    City don't deserve their lead - but they'll take it.
    8/25/2014 7:46:36 PM
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