City three points clear as Liverpool downed
Ten-man Manchester City went three points clear at the top of the
Premier League on Tuesday after goals from Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and
James Milner set up a 3-0 victory over Liverpool.
Liverpool - missing striker Luis Suarez after the club confirmed they
would not appeal his eight-match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra -
were always struggling after City struck twice in the first half at
Eastlands. City, who had suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at Sunderland on
Sunday, opened the scoring on 10 minutes when Argentine star Aguero
unleashed a speculative dipping effort towards the Liverpool goal.
Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina appeared to have the shot covered but
somehow allowed the ball to skid under him to give City a 1-0 lead.
City doubled their tally on 33 minutes, when Toure met a David Silva
corner with a powerful glancing header which flew past Reina.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish attempted to revive his side's
fortunes in the second half after introducing Steven Gerrard and Craig
Bellamy from the bench, but it was to no avail as City maintained their
grip on the contest.
City had Gareth Barry sent off for a second bookable offence on 73
minutes but the setback was only temporary as City made it 3-0 with
Milner's well-taken penalty after Martin Skrtel brought down Toure. The
victory saw Roberto Mancini's City go three points of clear of second
placed Manchester United, who play Newcastle at St James Park on
City captain Vincent Kompany paid tribute to the way his side had
bounced back from their Sunderland defeat 48 hours earlier.
"It was massive for us, we didn't deserve to lose against Sunderland
but we were incredibly efficient today," Kompany said.
"For us it was very challenging, playing two games in 48 hours, and
it was a great three points."
Reds boss Dalglish bemoaned his side's failure to make the most of
the few chances that came their way.
"If you want to be a successful team - and they are - then you've got
to be clinical. We've got to get that into our make-up and tonight we
never had it," Dalglish said. (AFP)