Carlos Tevez is away with his baby son in the ICU
For two teams with a chance to put some distance between themselves for fourth place this match turned out as wooden as that of Tiger Woods confessional. Peter Walton’s performance as referee generated more animation than anything else on the field.
Martin Skrtel made the save of the day as his timely tackle denied Adebayor and at the other end Pablo Zabaleta kept the Liverpool attack quiescent. Adebayor had a couple of good looks at goal. The other highlight was Vincent Kompany losing his shoe.
Roberto Mancini’s choice of three holding midfielders reflects his ultra cautious approach which of late is not paying dividends. His introduction of Abdisalam Ibrahim to counter Fernando Torres was a risk averse move. As it turned out the month long rust showed on the Spaniard. But for Mancini, the substitution came at the expense of another attacking player. Roque Santa Cruz could have made a difference. The hot start has stagnated into a series of colourless draws and a loss to Hull. Reports of squad unrest with Micah Richards and Kolo Toure sitting out the match have not helped.
With Steven Ireland on the wane the ball took forever to get out of the backfield with a frustrated Adebayor isolated without any clear cut supply. All that firepower touted at the beginning of the season and it is only Carlos Tevez who seems to be delivering. But who knows when the Argentinian is getting back from baby duty? Even his manager does not know where he is.
On the other end, Babel, Mascherano, Lucas, and Gerrard just could not string two passes together giving City the ball regularly. But all that gifted possession made no difference to both clubs. Fernando Torres came back for about 20 minutes late in the second half showing the month long rust. For City, Adam Johnson provided some sparkle. The wing back showed pace and neat ball skills but his delivery let him down.