League Cup Semi-Final - Manchester City v Liverpool Match of the Day Live

League Cup Semi-Final - Manchester City v Liverpool

Gary Lineker hosts live coverage from the Etihad Stadium of the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final between Manchester City and Liverpool. With Mark Lawrenson and Guy Mowbray.

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Good evening. Welcome to the Etihad Stadium for the first leg of the


Carling Cup semifinal between Mammuthus primigenius and Liverpool.


If you are sat there thinking haven't we just seen these two


sides play each other? You would be right. Eight days ago to be precise.


Gareth Barry is sent off. Manchester City down to ten men. A


penalty is given. Brilliantly taken. A week is a long time in football,


Manchester City cruising there to a 3-0 win over Liverpool to move


three points clear at the top of the Premier League. They are out of


the FA Cup and have two key men missing, as dag's side roll into


town, looking for another away win in the Carling Cup. -- Kenny


Dalglish. What a goal! Dirk Kuyt to finish it. It is 2-0 to Liverpool.


Suarez, that is magnificent. Kelly Tonight, promises to be a terrific


game, and on the week that has seen the return of a couple of greats of


the game I can put to bed rumours of come backs for our trio, Alan


Hansen, Alan Shearer and Lee Dixon. At least two you have look ready.


He was a bit concerned about my age, but, and he said he would stick


with Skrtel and Agger. Terrific game. All set up for what should be


an entertaining. It should be. There should be goals, with the


players out on the pitch this evening. Two teams who I think will


be desperate to win this competition. Liverpool got a great


record, but haven't been to the new Wembley since it was built back up


in 2007, so they will be desperate to get there and City to continue


their trophy run and carry on from that good work last season. We are


seeing the emergence of Manchester City of a big club that will win a


lot of trophies. Yes, this is a good test, they best player, Toure


and company are out and Silva has not made the team sheet. It is a


test for what they have got beyond that. But Roberto Mancini has built


his squad to cope with nights like this. It is a semifinal. That man


there, Balotelli, for a semifinal you would expect to be tight,


something magical from him or one of the flair players. You don't


know what he will do next. latest story is he pulled into the


petrol station and filled everybody's cars up with petrol and


paid for them. So he is quite a character. Match city are not


playing as well as they did early in the season. We thought they


might not get beaten in the league and we said at some stage, they


have had three defeats in seven, it is a blip, they have to get back on


track and quickly. I was right about Liverpool. Certainly, if


Liverpool won this competition, it would help them, in their quest to


finish the Champions League spot. Steve Gerrard, back in the starting


line up which has to be good news for Liverpool. Andy Carroll there,


and Craig Bellamy, they play as well. So... Fantastic that Gerrard


is back. He gives you something extra, the final third of the pitch.


He came on against Newcastle and was magnificent: He gives you


something extra as far as quality is concerned. It has been typical


Kenny. A difficult spell for Kenny and Liverpool. A lot of negative


policety round the Suarez thing, then the fan thing. I was going say


it is typical Kenny the way it he has handled Steve Gerrard in his


come back. He always held you back on the bench. He felt he knew best


and most times he did. So he is ready to unleash Gerrard. It's a


huge plus for Liverpool to have him in, because of what he is and the


aura round him. This is the sort of game you need to arrive early to,


and there is one sporter in the stand there, can you recognise him


yet? If we zoom in closer, you might spot him. Where's Wally?


Could be on the side of Manchester City. Italian. Yes, you got him?


There he S Zola, of course, a bit like City. No company this evening.


He wanted to play. I played in a charity game against him. He could


still play at the ability he's got. As opposed to you! Let us get the


views of the Manchester City boss, Roberto Mancini, he has been


talking with Damien Johnson. Roberto, no David Silva tonight,


how serious is the injury and how big a miss will he be? I hope that


it is not serious. I hope that we can recall him for the next game on


Monday. No Kompany or Toure, Savic starts in central defence, the


biggest game for City? Yes, for Liverpool the same. What is the


approach to the Carling Cup after being knocked out of the FA Cup at


the weekend? This is a semifinal. We played this semifinal in two


matches. It is important, it is an important cup. We want to go in the


final if it is possible. You have put I guess your strongest team out.


Hearth is back in goal. We have some players with some injuries,


but it is the better team. What do you expect from Liverpool? You have


had two games with them, both have been fairly close, very tight?


is difficult. Liverpool is a strong team, they play very well. They


defend very well. It will be a very tough game. And here is Roberto


Mancini starting line up for Manchester City this evening. It's


a strong one despite the fact a couple of key players are missing.


Kompany and Toure and David Silva too. He is not there. But I suppose


you look at the central defence. There is questions about who will


come in and he had gone for Savic who has not played too often.


him play against QPR with compaeb. It is a big night. He didn't play


particularly well against QPR playing alongside Kompany, their


leader. He is playing with Lescott tonight. Again, on his performance


against QPR you would look at the Liverpool line up and say there is


a weakness here, let us exploit that weakness. Obviously, the two


in front of them, De Jong and Barry are massive to give protect


shurpbgs but you would look at that back four and think, not as good


obviously without Kompany, because he has been their best player.


think there has been a question mark at the back for City. At the


start of the season it was how the centre back performed. Chichy


coming from Arsenal. Not the best defender in the world. But the


partnership has been solid up until recently. So that has been


something that has worked for City. All of a sud therein is a few


questions. There is a massive game for the manager. When you in that


position, and you are having this blip, it is what you say in the


dressing room. How you get the players up, how you get the belief


in them, and it is important he says the right thing at the right


time. Plenty of firepower at the other end. Balotelli after an ankle


injury. What about on the pitch? did the game against Chelsea,


although they lost the game he was in the team and it was one of those


games that you think he would take by the scruff of the neck. He is


one of those players you don't know what he is going to do next. I


don't think he does. In a semifinal, it will be tight, a player like


that to explode, do something out of the ordinary and I think it can


be a match winner tonight. He does things out of the ordinary


generally. A word with Kenny Dalglish doesn't go amiss. He


stopped to talk to Damian. Kenny, it is an attacking looking


Liverpool side what is your thinking about the tie? It is the


first leg. It's a long time since we have been involved in two legged


competition, so we will take it as it comes, we have a lot of


attacking players at our disposal. We may as well use them. Steve


Gerrard starts, as does Craig Bellamy. He has enjoyed the Carling


Cup, do you sense tonight might be made for him? Don't want to predict


anything other than they are going to work their socks off. It is a


difficult game we have. Manchester City. We came here a week ago and


got beat three. Craig's been fantastic for us not only in the


Carling Cup, the FA Cup last week we had a fantastic performance and


done brilliant in the league there is no pressure on him that is not


there for any other game. It is unfair to say because he has had a


good run in the Carling Cup he can produce it again. I hope he does.


Do you taken couragement from their team sheet. No Kompany, Toure?


take more enkurnsment from our own team sheet. We look after our own


players. They have a fantastic squad of players. If they have a


couple missing, they put another couple in. Not too far behind them.


So, we look at the team sheet bg obviously, but respect every player


that plays against us. They have players that earn the respect. If


we have any evidence of that it came last week. Classic resort from


Kenny. Takes more influence from his own team sheet. It is a strong


Has supply been the problem for him? It's a bit of both. When I


look at Andy in recent games he started. He doesn't look fit to me.


On the turn he looks slow, cumbersome, he is spending a lot of


time out of the 18 yard box, which we all know he does most damage, in


the 18 yard box, and when, think I will pick when Steve Gerrard came


on against Newcastle, he looked a different player because all of a


sud hen is getting balls in like that. First time balls, with pace


on, precision on and put into that area, that he loves to get on to.


All right this one is a pass, but this is down to confidence to me.


If this Andy Carroll is playing well and scoring goals, this is a


touch and in the back of the net like we have seen time and time


again. But again, you put a ball in that area when there is that much


space in between the keeper, one- on-one against the centre half,


nine-and-a-half times out of ten he will hit the target. Explain one


thing. You talked about he is not fit. You are talking about a �35


million player, how can he not be fit? You have to look at yourself


and say hang on, am I doing everything I can to get the best


out of myself? You think he is not working hard. He doesn't look fit.


Whether he is not working hard enough in training... He won't be


allowed to get away with that with Kenny. When he played Newcastle we


said unplayable. When it was coming up to Hizb ut-Tahrir first touch he


was getting away. When it sup and his first touch he can get away.


Then again, the whole system at Newcastle was designed for Andy


Carroll. Every time the ball went out wide it was in the middle.


do you see it going first? I would have gone for Manchester City,


Kompany and Toure were playing but they have weaknesses in centre back.


I think Liverpool can get a result. I am going to gore a draw but I


will put Liverpool through to the final. As they fade the lights here


for blue moon. I am going to gore a city win overall. I thought you


might. This is a fantastic scene here. They fade the lights of


course, then we will hear the crowd start singing Blue Moon, any second


which is quite a moment. We will I think that is enough of that! To


the first half of the Carling Cup semifinal, Manchester City against


Liverpool. The commentators here are Mark Lawrenson and guy Mowbray


P Top it is that dramatic moment that Manchester City like to treat


us to on these big nights as the Blue Moon rises good afternoon.


That is what City will be pray forg after that defeat against


Manchester United on Sunday. And the big occasions keep on coming


here. It is only the 11th January and it is Liverpool's second visit


of the year with a Derby sandwiched of the year with a Derby sandwiched


in between. 3-0 defeat at Liverpool last Tuesday. That was a score line


that didn't really reflect the overall balance of the match. As


yet again this season Kenny Dalglish was left to rue a host of


missed chances by his team. Micah Richards is the Manchester City


captain tonight. Steve Gerrard is back to fitness, and back to lead


out Liverpool P -- Liverpool h you in the match city side tonight. --


Manchester City side tonight. Savic comes in and there are four changes.


Out go Pantilimon, Nasri and Silva, a huge blow that. In company heart,


clishy, and Mario Balotelli, who has missed the last three games


with a knock to his ankle. Liverpool side is much changed from


Friday against Oldham. Three changes, Kelly for Enrique. Belly


for Kuyt and Charlie Adam has made way for Steve Gerrard, his first


start in a Carling Cup tie for more than four years. Bag -- Kenny


leg in two weeks. Certainly will know each other pretty well soon.


Ma, one man in particular who will be delighted to see the captain


back. Andy Carroll. We saw from the VT that Gerrard's passing ability


is second to none. You would think with Suarez out for a while, this


is the big chance for Carroll, so it is important that he works very


hard, I agree with Alan Shearer he doesn't look 100% fit. This has to


be his moment, these two games against City. It is his moment


every day of the week isn't it? we going to get super Mario or


stupid Mario? He is brilliant when he wants to play? Does he want to


play, that is the question. He was sent off when the sides met at


Anfield in November. Rather harshly treated some might say. And the


same with Gareth Barry. Also sent off in the meeting eight days ago.


City's first priority might be to keep 11 players on the field. Lee


it has been steady drizzle throughout the afternoon. It will


be a greasy top. There will be under way. Carling Cup semifinal


first leg. Two games away from a Wembley final. After City's FA Cup


exit, this competition has taken on more importance. It was growing in


Roberto Mancini consciousness any way. Got here by beating Birmingham,


winning at Wolves and Arsenal, Liverpool have done it all on the


road. Stoke, the op situation has got more difficult for them.


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time in 31 home games on Sunday, over a year they were unbeaten at


that place. Liverpool have started Mark, they are coming in with two


days less rest than Liverpool? wouldn't have thought so, they had


this the other week when they were complaining and two days later they


beat Liverpool 3-0. I am thinking of the work they had to put in


against Manchester United with ten men. Rather be playing than


training though. Steve Gerrard is turning deep. We thought Henderson


would be alongside Spearing, but Gerrard is the man Henderson has


pushed forward. A bit 4-3-2-1 at competition with Arsenal last


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not dissimilar to the chance Downing had in the league game last


night. Same outcome, the keeper out quickly. Wait till you see the


position of Savic which will give Liverpool great heart. He was the


wrong side of his man. Here goes Mario Balotelli. That is a good


tackle from Skrtel. Not sure that Reina was going to get there.


ended Sunday's FA Cup tie with a cut above the eye, after a clash of


heads. Can't use that as an excuse the City half so far. -- game in


the Liverpool supporter es. -- deadlock last week. One that Pepe


Reina won't have viewed again, I'm sure. Might have done with his head


in his hands! Through the gloves. Burr in is the way City are at home.


They won't change the way they play round tonight. There is one playing


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much. Savic, nowhere near Andy Carroll. He had hold of one other.


am not sure he has, I'm not sure James Milner has either. Liverpool


have had a lot more of the ball. It is their 14th semifinal in this


competition. Equal lying Arsenal's record. No-one has won it more than


Liverpool. Three times with the man to my left in the team. Four times


with the man who's the manager of damed Johnson, who is stuck to him.


Liverpool continue to have most of the ball in the Manchester City


half. This was the way last week Hart had to get down to keep it out.


I think it was creeping in. It was. Good save by Hart. A minimum amount


of touchs for Gerrard. Try and bend it round Lescott. A good save.


Hart took a breather on Sunday, sigt on the bench during the


Manchester derby. On guard and ready as ever. Four clean sheets in


his last five games. He was brilliant at Anfield attend of


November. He has been pretty much brilliant all season. Another great


save by Hart. Was it Carroll with the last touch? I think this is a


better save. I don't think Hart sees this until late. Into Downing.


Great touch, a flick on as well. It is a brilliant save. Seen so late.


Agger or Carroll. I think somebody got something on it but Hart was


down remarkably quickly. Over from Gerrard again. Agger tumbles and


Lee Mason has given a penalty. What a start for Liverpool this could


be! Not a great show of motion from Kenny Dalglish. He is more


concerned about Daniel Agger getting back to his feet. I am sure


he will be fine. Just a kick isn't it. Yes, I think Savic catches him


on the knee. Yes. It is a daft tackle isn't it. It is a daft


tackle. That will have come from the fact that Carroll turned before,


very nervy here at the moment. haven't exactly been efficient from


the penalty spot in the Premier League this season, Liverpool. They


have only scored one out of four awarded. Steve Gerrard, he scored a


penalty as cent as Friday night against Oldham in the FA Cup.


Doesn't miss many. Two goals in his last three game, to announce his


return to fitness. Joe Hart takes some beating. Liverpool will do


well to get many better chances at their early dominance has been


rewarded. Thoroughly deserved. An guessed right but Steven Gerrard


was not playing the guessing game, he knew exactly where he was


putting it. For the second game in a row at home, Manchester City find


Manchester City. Understandable, Vincent Kompany. David Silva is out


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injured. We are told it is and a clear shooting chance but the


in Manchester City's last Carling lead. And from their point of view


they do not need to change anything about the way that they are playing.


that Andy Carroll was all set for a return to Newcastle, or a story


quickly rebuffed by his agent. little bit deeper, it is stopping


de Jong getting took Gerrard because he has to deal with


Henderson. Consequently, Gerrard, there is nobody around him and he


is starting everything for referee, who was not looking on


either occasion. Probably a good there. Six goals in 31 Liverpool


appearances before today. Can you see a day when it will click?


he went in against Lescott. Andy Carroll of Newcastle would not


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health bounced off Lescott there. - Liverpool against Chelsea in an


patient. Yes, they do not need to centre circle. It is played out so


that he can receive some treatment. I did not see him caught by anyone.


It looks like a hamstring. They said, as soon as the ball went out,


sit down. He started four games in a row, trying to hold down a


regular place in the team. He has had a good run of chances under


Kenny Dalglish. I think he has done well, he is improving all the time.


He has only lasted a quarter of this match. Charlie Adam will come


would think he would be very well warmed up. There is no logic to it.


What did you pull the most? I could not possibly tell you! I knew that


have dropped Aguero a little bit deeper. They want to get him


the last time that they played a Carling Cup semi-final first leg.


They were a goal down to Manchester United before coming back to 2-1.


But it all went wrong at Old Trafford. The goals came from a


certain Carlos Tevez but they do not talk about him much at the


Not much closer to Buenos Aires. Manchester City supporters at the


moment. They got used to all those years of struggle and now they are


just getting used to success. The stadium is not full. But they have


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drift across the field. We have not seen anyone really slide in yet.


The game has not been played with that tempo. No, it has not. And if


it is a Liverpool player, just listen to the Manchester City


but not a good choice of shot. was poor from Andy Carroll. With


the ball at your feet, with your them. And his reaction is sensibly


stopped by James Milner. The Mason caught sight of what was about to


happen and blasted out his whistle. James Milner had seen it first.


it looked like Charlie Adam just gave him a little Slapper. Or has


he said something to him? He tapped his head. I thought that was more


three games without a goal, his Charlie Adam. And now he has


stopped moving altogether. He has just got his petrol bill from the


other day! You never know whether they are true, these Balotelli


stories. There seems to be one every day. I am inclined to think


they might be! The thing is, you cannot take your eyes from him when


where they miss David Silva. Just coming off players and playing


balls into Balotelli. They are Yaya Toure as well. Mancini did not


get much sympathy for his complaint that he did not have a big enough


which is disputed by the Liverpool players. -- for Manchester City.


There is no doubt about the foul. It is a bit of a hangover from the


weekend. Every time one of the tackle and then soft to go down as


James Milner came in. Want to get in front of a play you cannot be


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touched, as we know. He was games for Manchester City this


season, but this is the worst they have been. Distinctly average


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running backwards. Balotelli takes well to get in front of his man and


get the header in. That is a little bit more like the Player that


game, where Aaron Lennon has broken the deadlock. The challenge from


Tottenham continues for Manchester we have seen that on many occasions


and then he does something character like this in the English


game for quite a while. He has done really well to turn it around. The


first few games, people were thinking, what have Manchester City


board? We do not want this kind of temperamental player. But everybody


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City bench. Milner was caught by Gerrard. Free kick for Manchester


City. And that is the loudest at the home supporters had been all


say Balotelli. Back on the field after that ankle injury but from


the start tonight he has not been quite right. The quickest he has


moved was when he took offence to Charlie Adam tapping him on the


head. Possibly they took a gamble with no David Silva or and Dezeko


coming back to fitness. But the gamble has not taken off. And he


goes straight up the tunnel. Which is fine, if you are injured.


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of getting the ball away. They have dropped Nasri in to the left side


impressed by the performance of his side so far. He cannot blame the


referee for this one. It was a penalty put Liverpool. There is no


doubt about that. He needs one of the players dictate the game by the


scruff of the neck. -- took take the game. The other thing is that


Manchester City are going backwards and that is not the way that they


play when they are playing well. And it is the perfect away


performance in the first leg of a play. Gerrard stops it P Just as


well for Skrtel. He tried to pinch better save than it first looked by


Pepe Reina. He made sure he cleared Manchester City showing a bit of


bit more with that tactical shift, get himself set? He was caught


between the middle of his two feet. He decided which ever way it came,


good play for him Richard, I think he decided, Milner, he was going to


hit it it right footed. Just a scuff in the end. City's best


chance by far. Something in the England right back battle. Richards


just blew Glen Johnson away. He is very much third choice in Fabio


Capello's list. Not for me. He has a job to do as captain tonight, try


to lift things for Manchester City. I thought he was immense in the


second half on Sunday, Micah a chance. I thought James Milner


was going to hit it right foot, which ever way it cames. It was


predetermined. This is the save from Nasri. It is a comfortable


save. The fact it bounces before, made sure it didn't go out to an


inrushing Manchester City player. nice even bounce rather than a skid.


Yes, strong wrists. That will do him the world of good after last


week here. Nas is another one, a big money signing who has not quite


shone at his new homement No. He has plenty to do. �25 million or so.


Not quite pocket change even for Sheikh Mansour. I'm not sure about


has come on, haven't they. I think they are keeping the ball a lot


more and looking more positive with we are in the third minute of first


half stoppage time. City's first corner of the match. Martin's


blown away by Andy Carroll in the early stages. How about he gets the


It is a free-kick for City. I think Adam Johnson was looking to bend it


in the top corner. He scored from that place many times before,


hasn't he. Is that a yellow? First one? Just a talking to at the


moment. It will stay that way. This will just about be the last kick of


up involvementment ininvolvement. Adam Johnson is having a touch too,


to muddy the waters. I think this might be a left footed opportunity.


was over and always wide and the first half was ore. It was a side


where the keeper already was. Liverpool going 1-0 up and


thoroughly deserved although City have improved since Nasri came on,


they have had one or two opportunities but this is the worst


I have seen City at home all this season, so far. It is advantage


Liverpool at the breakthrough Steve Gerrard's penalty. Manchester City


Gerrard's penalty. Manchester City 0, Liverpool 1. The ups and downs


of top flight football. What a difference a week make, a totally


different game to last week. Absolutely. We spoke before the


game about man City blip and have some belief. It is as though the


belief has been drained out of them. When you are trouble in, when you


are struggling, you have to get together as a group and fight and


show character, and for the first 43 minutes they showed nothing. And


if it wasn't for Joe Hart they would be out this cup tie.


Liverpool were great. They pressed at the right time, they passed it


well, they moved it well. And the only unfortunate for thing for


Kenny is they are only 1-0 up. few signs towards the end of the


heart that Manchester City were showing more the form we have seen


in recent weeks. You would never guess that Man City to play Cardiff


or Palace. Del there is a lack of atmosphere. I don't know whether it


is because the City fans expect bigger things than the League Cup.


The fans aren't getting behind the team and the tame aren't giving the


fans anything to shout about. But for Liverpool their system is


working, they were comfortable, two very good saves off Joe Hart.


penalty off Steve Gerrard and they deserve to be in front. Lee,


Liverpool have had the edge in this, Kenny has it right? Yes, they have


dominated in midfield, every time there has ban Liverpool player on


the ball he seems to have pass on. Tay have no option, there is no


pace in City's attack, we are used to seeing with them. They are


lacking a penetrative up front. There is no focal point. Mario


Balotelli has gone off injured but Aguero has not been in the game.


Right from apart from the keeper they have been awful. Not said that


many times this season about them being awful. From I every man on


the pitch, the opposite for Liverpool. They have been on their


game. They have done simple things and that has been enough to get a


1-0 lead. We talked before the game about new central defensive


partnerships. Savic has come in. You highlighted him as the man


Liverpool might put under pressure. From the start he looked vulnerable.


You might think this is nothing, but as soon as this happened. Lee


and I said this looked nervy, nobody, missed controls. It is the


first touch of the game. Bad start, and with the Carroll chance, he is


terrible. He gets too tight, too quickly. If Andy Carroll rolls on


to the left hand side, with a bit of strength and power, there is no


way back for him, and... Where should she be the defender?


shouldn't go to tight. A couple of yards? Just a yard behind him. And


then the penalty-kick, Lee, is just rash. Terrible. Right from the


first minute he looked nervy. has had a couple of poor games in


the past. He is a young lad and he wants to do well. Sometimes when


you want do well, the chance against Carroll especially, he


thinks getting tight is the right thing. He is not thinking. He has


to be touch tight. A yard away. Brilliant penalty. But a rash


challenge in the box that gives the penalty away. All round he has ban


nervy performance, if that is the centre of your defence you will


have problems. If I am Andy Carroll, I would go and stand on Savic every


time. I would stay away from Lescott. I know there is a rick in


him. That doesn't sound stupid to me. I would. I would stand on him.


He was the best at that. If you went and fought Alan Shearer


playing as a centre half he loved it. He could roll you, him and Tony


Adams. Tony used to stand off him and not let him know where he was.


Alan would play the game. He is not playing the game. What he needs


there is somebody alongside him that has massive experience. That


is where they are missing Kompany. What Kompany does is gets you into


position, gives you confidence, a bit of experience, Lescott is an


adept player but not as good as Kompany. He is looking after


himself and is a rick is looking after himself. There is no


partnership and it shows. To be honest, it could have been at that


stage, they already had a couple of great efforts, if it weren't for


Joe Hart... He is the only guy in the Man City team who has done


himself any credit. Very good save there great first touch and a great


hit. Takes it early but he is alert. This one is better. This one from


Downing. He gets a flick from Agger but that is a great save. Really is.


As we said, this could be over for him. It was a great save.


Sensational. Apart from the last two minutes. Aguero and Skrtel


haven't been out of position. They have had no threat at the back.


you mention the last couple of minutes I think it was the 43rd


minute before Manchester City had a shot on target. Nasri has come in,


we were sitting there waiting for a chance. When this happened, and


it's a good save, as the ball gets cleared out we were saying is that


their first chance? We couldn't remember them having a chance. And


it was, 43 minutes. This is not bad play from Micah Richards. Power and


strength. This is when you see his strength. He goes past him. Johnson.


But up until the last two or three minute, there is nothing there.


That is probably the best. I know what we can expect in the second


half. They can't get any worse. Or can they? They have been second to


99% of everything, second in the tackle, second to the ball. It has


been incredible. They haven't been playing well. What happens is, you


know, you are not playing well and you are still getting the results


and then all of a sudden you are not playing well and you a poor


performance, the problem they have got in the first 43 minutes there


and you never accuse anybody of not trying, but there is a lack of


fight. There is a total lack of fight. They look as though, they


look to me. Lethargic. When they lose the ball nobody is chasing.


Liverpool are first to the ball. Second to the ball. They need a


leader. They need somebody to get a grip and say right. As Alan said


before. This is where Mancini earns his money at half-time. He has


taken Balotelli off. It was a four star performance, he was running on


empty. He wasn't happy with this decision. He gets up. A bit of pet


lens adds we know he can do. Every time he got the ball he was


frustrated. Charlie Adam tries to give him a friendly tap on the ear.


You would wind him up. You know he is going to react. Milner did well


to hold him back. This is where he has a shot with the free-kick. He


starts to feel his knee but a minute later I think the ball comes


to him bg and this is when he thinks I'm off here. Down the


tunnel. He is a character. There is no down h -- doubt he is


entertainment. You Gary, you love him. But to me, I think... I find


him entertaining. I think he is a disruptive interinfluence. He is


doing it fine, when he is not he doesn't want to know. He ran out of


gas. The other semifinal first leg was played between crystal plast


was played between crystal plast and Cardiff. -- plast. Palace. That


ball. Good pressure, good delivery. Isn't cleared. A love I touch. -- a


game. Murray with a layoff. Could be a chance. Good save by Heaton to


deny. Good sequence of play. Held goal. Links up well. There is not


enough pressure on the ball. He has a chance to look up. You know what


what has been given by the referee. The crowd doing their bit to lift


the team. Ambrose tries again. It is going to be in! And it is


Gardener. He was only two yards out. He could hardly miss. Crystal


Palace ahead in this semifinal. is nowhere near and you have to say


it... Gardener a simple tackle. There won't be an easier chance in


but they are claiming it was a handball by Joe Mason in the


penalty area. I am not sure. Play to the whistle. That takes the dip


into the ground. That is a foot away. From an equaliser. It is


congested in there isn't it. won't count. The whistle before the


ball was headed into the back of the net by Miller. The referee had


a great position there. Look at this pushing and pulling, what does


he give it for? The arms. It was a great header from Miller. But


unfortunately Joe Mason, I think he is impeding. That is what it is


It was so nearly an equalising goal for Cardiff at the end of the game.


Perfectly balanced. But one goal advantage, and it was, goalkeeping


error? The Cardiff keeper came for two or three before that but they


were up in the air. He caught them. This ball was flat with a lot more


pace and he misses by a pile. Gardener comes in and scores. And


like you say, evenly poised. A tort night's time. Fourth time lucky for


Ambrose. It is a great ball. He has paid the penalty. You don't mind


them, two yards, header. We will have live coverage of the second


leg between Cardiff City and -- Crystal Palace on BBC Two from 7.30.


A date for your diary. There is one Premier League game taking place,


Spurs entertaining Everton. We can hear about the first half at White


Hart Lane. Tottenham scored in 18 consecutive Premier League games


before this one. Ten minutes before the break they extended that run,


Everton full back Leighton Baines playing his part. Failing to


properly deal with a searching cross field ball but Aaron Lennon


had plenty to do. Do it he did, snaking into the box before wrong


footing Tim Howard. Spurs had been slick and imimeimpressive. They


could have been out of sight here against an Everton team seemingly


content to contain rather than create. One other comfort, that of


Michael Dawson, back as captain for his first league game since August


28th. The last time Spurs tasted league defeat, a defeat to


Manchester City, which makes a convenient link back to you Gary.


There is game taking place in the Championship. At half-time it is


Birmingham one, Ipswich Town one. Before the second half, a few


sporting programmes to tell you about. Later tonight Freddie


A guaranteed classic. The Mas sers. Sunday at 1.20 on BBC two. Look


forward to that. Look forward to the second half. Absolutely.


Manchester City have to change their attitude and conviction


haven't they? More togetherness, passion, more leadership, more


fight. Liverpool more of the same? Yes, Kenny will be delighted. He


will be saying beware of something from Manchester City because they


have to change. He will be happy. Over our shoulders the Liverpool


players are out early. Manchester City are coming out. You suspect


they have had a bit of talking to. I bet there are a few tea cups gone


missing. They deserve it because they have been awful in the first


half. Can they turn it round? I think so. If there is enough


character in the club. Whether there is new character on the pitch,


I don't know. Nay have to try and give this crowd something to shout


about. Up to now they have given them nothing. That man there and


Liverpool. Lots to play for. Let's Liverpool. Lots to play for. Let's


rejoin our commentators. That man there, Steve Gerrard scored the 1-0


win at home and away the last time Liverpool were in the League Cup


semifinals. That was against Watford a few years ago now. Savic


is bearing the scars of a game that was much more recent when Roberto


Mancini really did get a response from his team in the second half.


They felt there was a wrong to be Wrighted in that one. There was a


focal point for their second half aggression. Where are they going


get it from this time? There was only teb of them as well, wasn't


there. Ten in the second half on Sunday where better than the 11 we


saw in the first half tonight. All about Liverpool at the moment. At


the moment, although they are on a quarter of the way there, they are


the team set for an appearance at Wembley in the Carling Cup final.


It would be Liverpool's first visit to the new Wembley. Manchester City


have been there three times since last April. Liverpool's last


Wembley day out was five years before the opening of the


redeveloped stadium. Steve Gerrard's first half penalty


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injury time to get their first corner of the game. Second corner


comes a minute into it. Savic and Richards, the most likely


candidates here. Richards couldn't much different in the next 45


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Very disciplined. One goes out, everyone follows. They are keeping


Manchester City back in side, into his half-time words of advice. He


has had a pained expression on his face from the start tonight. There


are occasions, the big ones haven't quite gone to plan. The defeat on


Sunday against Manchester United. Then of course they were beaten by


Munich in the Champions League, but it proved to be a bitter-sweet win


as they went out of it. Naply the first home game in the Champions


League. They didn't really perform that night either. A 1-1 draw. They


have won 28 of their last home games. Manchester United came here


and won on Sunday of course. Cracks appear organise a little spell?


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think a little spell, to be honest what they are doing is they are


making every City player get his head down so he can't have a look


up. Not that there's much on for them but it is almost impossible.


look between Steve Clarke and Kenny Dalglish. Just got the feeling


right from their first outing in this competition at Exeter, back


when it was warm, Kenny Dalglish's had the feeling for this one. Built


a strong teem. Suarez scored, Andy Carroll scored. One away in every


round to date. One away in every round to date. -- won away in every


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had been at Liverpool for a while and have not won anything yet. --


winner of this type has a great chance of winning the Cup. But when


you think about Arsenal and Birmingham City last season, it


does not always work that way. It did not work out brilliantly for


and Liverpool will be as patient as you like. Aguero touched it too far


Henderson was sprinting away from his area. He did not see the run of


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might just catch city on the break. -- catch Manchester City.


goalkeeper did really well here. Tried to stay up as long as he


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pressure from Reina. -- good Manchester City. Liverpool have


started to give the ball away a little bit which was something you


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could not accuse them of in the while they are about to defend and


is an outstanding save because he does not see it until late. Unlike


last week, he gets his body behind better than anybody else. Possibly


Enrique. Steven Gerrard comes across to get the word on the


just said to Agger, I am not sure where I am supposed to be playing


here. Bellamy has gone to the left. Henderson has come to the right. I


think Glen Johnson is an extra body in midfield, the way Steven Gerrard


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from Johnson, one born of Johnson knows where he is supposed


to be playing. Are you convinced of the title challenge from Tottenham


a frustrated figure. The first game of his four-match ban. I wonder if


he had had his time again he would have made the tackle in the same


way. Did he give the referee the option? Yes. That has clear that


behind in any Premier League game this season but have now trailed at


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half-time in successive cup games penalty area for Manchester City.


They are going to try to change that in a minute because Dezeko


wrong-footed the defenders but got the wrong bend on it. It was


substitution for Manchester City. Adam Johnstone is coming off. --


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singing again. It really is advantage to them at the moment.


They have only lost one game at home since Kenny Dalglish came back.


And at the moment, Manchester City will have to go there and win.


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there is a long way to go yet in Johnson. He was inside the box and


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Liverpool have not solved that but there were too many Liverpool


has Reina hopping around and having helped themselves with the system


that they are trying to play. They are inviting Manchester City on to


them. It is five at the back, free kick for Kolarov. Getting


ready to come on. He has played in an advanced position down the left


of this competition against Arsenal bar was taken off before half-time.


Steven Gerrard. As Manchester City make another change. De Jong is off


and Kolarov is on. Steven Gerrard sent Kelly to the centre. Same pegs


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three centre backs as well, as they and Dzeko. I remember being here


two years ago for the semi-final against Manchester United and it


was a totally different atmosphere. I know it is not a local Derby but


it is the semi-final of the Carling Cup. I'm just surprised it is not


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do not know any Italians where words. Brian Kidd knows plenty! He


not had one attempt on goal, but as it is, they had not needed one. --


and a free kick for Liverpool. And Reina has angry words for Enrique.


Was that too tentative from Gareth Barry? I think he realised he was


always going to be second to the ball. The reason Reina was angry


was the fact that NBK allowed the cross to coming too easily. And


this is a nice stay here. A good reception for Bellamy. A different


reception for Jamie Carragher, mind you. He has come on with more


instructions. It looks like it is back to a back four. Carragher the


holding midfielder. I think he has for being a little bit too


defensive since half-time? Manchester City had not hurt them


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flicking the ball away. No, we are not. He looked like he was going to


his pocket. I think it Bellamy had played through the middle, at the


moment, there is no respite for Liverpool. They cannot get out of


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pace or power in the shot. -- Wales. Liverpool have the advantage


Manchester or London, maybe he will put it right at Wigan on Monday.


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Tell him it's near London! It's City, having to think a way a


disciplined defence. Not been up to you are 100% certain. Six minutes.


Liverpool are slow to react to that. That is a complete waste from


Aleksandar Kolarov. He has not made a mark op the game. He has, but it


is not a very good one. -- he has not made a mark on the game. Steve


Gerrard got the chance to put Liverpool in front early on in the


game. It was Savic's foul on Daniel Agger. The penalty was never in


doubt. Sure footed. Right footed. Manchester City 0, Liverpool 1.


Look at that. Steve Gerrard and Kenny Dalglish showing us how much.


There is a bit of afters here. Nasri on karger. Henderson's


involvement is not welcome either. Nor is Kolarov's to be honest. Lee


Mason hasn't had the cards out of the pocket all match. He is a


referee who doesn't like it. Nasri has taken up braidge more than


karger. He doesn't want to Carragher. He doesn't want to shake


hands. I think Jamie Carragher might get a yellow as well. What


he. Fair enough referee. He has had a tidy game Lee Mason, the referee,


but he has nod hat had a lot to officiate on really. The penalty


goal to see them go to Liverpool level. Roberto Mancini has reacted


angrily, Michael Oliver who has had to stand between the assistant boss


and the assistant referee. He is not letting it lie either. I don't


understand why we have fourth officials. In that position. Sit


them in the stand where they can't get the same amount of abuse.


Oliver looks as if he is taking it on the chin. I would love to know


what he is really thinking. As a young referee in his 20s he is


giving it back to Mancini plenty. They are a target for your abuse as


a manager or a coach. They are, aren't they? If you remove them


away from the scene, see what would happen. The assistant would cop it


instead. You would just run down the other end, wouldn't you. I


think what has been apparent with City in the second half, there is a


lack of width. Not too many ideas but to where? It keeps coming back


to them. There is a bit of history repeating itself here. Liverpool


ten times in the final. That came in 1981, semifinal. Played


Manchester City, they won the first leg away 1-0. The late great Ray


Kennedy got the only goerblgs at Maine Road. -- the only goal.


Manchester City have rarely looked likely to score for all their


round Manchester City's Etihad Stadium. We haven't heard Blue Moon


all night. Hand wall is the shout as Kelly dipped in to it. Throw in


those years away from Wembley, and the best chance of returning is


coming under Kenny Dalglish. There is another whole 90 minutes of this


to go yet. There is another two or three minutes of this one to go yet.


kick. Charlie Adam was the offender. Silly to have a bit of a bite.


will go back while Milner was getting to his feet as well. Nasri.


Aguero. Only just over the cross bar. I don't think he got a touch


from Reina, I don't think he needed it. Too much space for ooing row.


Silly from his point of view. They were left two against one. Allowed


Nasri the time for the cross. Somebody switched off. That was the


case of having so many people back, forgetting to mark. We are into


additional time. Henderson has lost are saying two footed for that


tackle. I knew there would be one tonight. Yeah. Nothing wrong with


the tackle. No. Something wrong with that. Free-kick. Not sure what


was wrong with that. He got the ball. Carroll had barked a few


words towards Milner. It is only half-time in the tie. Looking for


an equaliser. James Milner to put one into the box. Well flighted.


Well met by Carroll. It has come to Savic. Gerrard took it off his toes


and Dzeko spun down and fell over I think. I think you are right.


didn't see anything in that at all. There is Savic. A good job the


referee wasn't looking at that. That is out. That is going to be a


Liverpool throw in. That is a stadium clearer that pass. How was


that as a judgment? Very similar lar, he gets the ball. Second reply.


-- replay. There you go. Interpretation, different referee,


different views of things And no moaning you have to say from the


City player,, was there? Not at all. He did jump in wrong. It looks a


lot more controlled. Both feet seemed to be off the ground there.


Again there is a different intensity which much affect a


referee's judgment. Gerrard goes down after a challenge from Barry.


long look. And that's it. Weer r we're at the half way stage of the


Carling Cup semifinal between Manchester City and Liverpool.


Liverpool have the advantage as they go home for the second leg.


Liverpool do have the advantage. There is a lot of football to be


played, certainly in this tie over the two legs, but a very


professional performance from Liverpool tonight, a very average


performance from Manchester City. All it took was one shot on goal


from 12 yards. Steve Gerrard, Liverpool's captain, very accurate


and it is those Reds from Liverpool who will be going down the east


Lancs road happy tonight and hopefully from their point of view


they will be ready to sew their team defend this lead in the second


leg in a fortnight's time. No way through for Manchester City. And it


finished in the first leg, Steve Gerrard so oftenly talisman


for Liverpool over the year, returned to the starting line up to


score the only goal of the game. Reina a couple of good saves in


there. Pepe Reina even. Steven Gerrard once again the hero for


Liverpool. The Liverpool players. They walk off the pitch at the end,


very happy. Very much a rearguard action in the second half, and that


is what they had do. They have that lead they wanted going back to


Anfield. Played really well and all right in the last 15 minutes they


went to flat back nine, but at the same time Manchester City, are they


in crisis? They nearly are. I said at the top of programme, when you


are plague badly and struggle and you haven't got that belief, they


have got on the pitch and for 90 minutes they were dead. What you


need, if you wanted to be champion, if your aspirations and dreams are


you are going to dominate English football, when you are struggling


what you need is a leader. Somebody on the pitch that will galvanise


everybody and say right, I am going take this game by the scruff of the


neck and we will do something special. You could argue their two


leaders are missing. You need somebody else. For 90 minutes you


are watching the game and the whole thing was dead. The atmosphere was


dead, but what you have do on the pitch is give the supporters


something to shout about and they koiant do it. They struggled. They


lacked a bit of guile. I know Mark said it in commentary, they lacked


Silva. Nasri was up, Dzeko came on and everything was in front of the


back four, their rarely got behind, when they did it was Liverpool's


own defensive mistake, they couldn't find anyone in that hole


to turn and run at Liverpool's back four or five, whatever they were


flaiing the second half. You have to give Liverpool credit for the


way they played. They would have settled for that when they brought


Carragher on, they brought others on, as Alan said they were playing


six and seven at the back and it was a lonely role for Andy Carroll.


For all the possession Manchester City had they rarely tested


Liverpool. They would have come trying to get a draw. If they could


have nicked the game great. They have done that. You can't blame


them for playing the way they did. City were going to have a go in the


second half. Glen Johnson played in virtually every position on the


pitch. Wasn't sure what position he was supposed to be playing but they


did joofpblt as far as City are concerned, in the past, or up until


now, everyone ee been easy. They haven't had to dig in. Now they are


looking over their shoulders. this the crux moment now for


Manchester City? Absolutely. Four defeats in eight would tell its own


story. They have Wigan away and Tottenham at home and the Tottenham


match is massive. When you are struggling and when the


performances and the results aren't going your way, obviously, since


time began the quicker you can come back the better, but they are


missing for the next three matches big players and you look that the


performance and everyone plays badly, but they had nothing on that


pitch that would going to make them better. It a extraordinary


difference from a side that was banging in at least three plus


goals every game. Absolutely. We said before Toure and company are


big player u Silva has been big. Balotelli didn't seem to want to


play in the first half, so he went off, but crisis, I'm not sure. Dip


in form, absolutely. What are they, still three points clear? That will


be their main aim. It It is a good crisis. There are plenty who would


swap with them. I am not sure say it crisis. Questions to answer,


absolutely, can they come back? I am sure they K.. I think the


difficult thing they have got is they have been solid up to now and


been creating chances, they didn't create a lot but they will create


chances in the Premier League. Now there is a few of them looking at


the back going, what is going on there? They have been solid. Now


they have someone who is not quite on his game in Savic. That is right.


The thing is we have said all along, when will Manchester City. Can I


interrupt you but, for Roberto Mancini I would. Would you admit


that Manchester City were poor tonight? The first half, we didn't


play well, yes. Why was that, can you put your finger on it? Because


after the first half, the second half, Liverpool didn't pass, they


made, they made a pitch, second half we had a chance, we didn't


score, but before the game it was difficult. Did you miss perhaps the


leadership of the likes of Toure and Kompany? It is clear without


three or four players it is more difficult, but I think in the end


we... If we played a better first half. I don't understand your first


question. The pundits said you played poorly, I just wanted to get


your opinion. We didn't play good in the first half, but the result


is not right, for me the result was a draw, maybe. Was it a penalty?


Maybe, yes, yes. I want to know also, I want to see also the take


on the tackle of Johnson on Adam. Thank you. I knew it would be our


fault. It was your fault. I was going to say before, the point Lee


was makeling, and the big criticism of City was we felt when they came


under pressure they were never a team we said if they if they want


to win the title I think that have to be a team. The goal came via a


penalty. I don't think there is any doubt. I don't think there is any


doubt.. The complaints of the City players weren't strong. It is a


rash challenge. He started the game poorly Savic and this culminated in


giving this penalty away. He shouldn't dive in there. He is not


going anywhere with the ball. It is in front of him. He can't head it,


he can't kick it. So he sticks his foot out. I think Agger, because he


spots him coming, it is a terrible tackle. Nowhere near the ball.


said about Gerrard, who took a thousand penalties against Joe Hart,


he knows what favourite side he goes. It has to be a good one


because he went the right way. Let's hear from him.


Congratulations, a big result and a great performance from Liverpool.


Yes, it was, that is what we wanted to do, come here and try and get a


clean sheet and try and get a goal. But there is no way this tie is


over. We know we are in for a tough match if two weeks time. So the job


is half down. For you it must be great to get back on the pitch and


to get the penalty. I feel like a footballer again, I have had a


difficult year but it is games like this I have missed. Games I have


been patient sheant for and tonight, you know, I got the winning goal.


It was all about the team. We defended superb from back to front.


We weren't effective second half. We know that, but we are playing


one of the big powers in the world and sometimes you have to do the


ugly stuff. We have done that tonight. Maybe the pretty stuff


will come at Anfield in two weeks time. Roberto Mancini was not happy


with the tackle. What is your view? I think it was a clear win over a


tackle, but that surprises me, because he has a go at midweek in


roony, now he is trying to get one of our players in trouble. I don't


think that works. But the tie finely balanced. Yes, it sets up


for a cracking match at Anfield. Two fantastic teams. I thought we


were the better team first half, they were better second half. I am


sure it will be a cracker at Anfield, it is still not over.


Thank you. I think Steve Gerrard accusing Roberto Mancini a bit of


hypocrisy, we might as well have a look at that tackle. I comes after


the Kompany. I thought Kompany should have been sent off. If you


are telling me the throefrt law a two-footed tackle. There is a


mention in the law... That is how it seems to be read these days..


Surely that is worse than the Kompany one. I think that is what


frustrates managers, players farpbgs from one game to another


you are not sure what referee is going to give. Whether he will


interpret that as a two-footed tackle. We saw the Arsenal ones


against Arteta. And we saw Kompany's. That is not a foul.


is problem. That is why people get frustrated. Maybe the law needs


spelled out. It is supposed to be reckless or dangerous challenge.


Endangering and opponent. Winning the ball seems to be a foul these


days.. No defender is going to tackle. I don't think Roberto


Mancini was trying to get Johnson into trouble. He was comparing the


point. Tell us the difference. more positive note, great to see


Gerrard back, it is like when you are in the dressing room and he is


there and his name is in the team sheet it gives everybody a lift.


City didn't have too many clear-cut chance, the best one was created by


a Liverpool player, Kelly: doesn't know what is behind him. He


turns round without looking and his vision is blocked by his own


defender, and right, it was brilliant. Makes him beat him and


the angle is tight. He never looks up, Kelly. Reina makes up for his


mistake, because that is brilliant goalkeeping. Just did enough.


Really good. Just after that City were playing the prern. A terrific


save. This was a brilliant save. So close. He has had so little time to


think about I he was only three yards away from him, so to git his


whole body, and keep it out, poor marking you have to say but that is


a very good save. As Al said for the mistake he made, a week or


soing a, he will be delighted. When he was called upon twice with that


and certainly with Aguero's before, what Lee spoke about he came up on


top. Absolutely. Aguero header. Was the only chance City had. Nothing


that clear-cut. He is in a great position. It is high for him. He


tries to get the flick. Anybody else, a bit taller would have got


that on target. But dephenomenon sily the only time Liverpool got


out of position. It was a very disciplined performance from Kenny


Dalglish's team, and the whole tacticical approach but right. They


pressed throughout. What I was impressed with, they let the centre


backs have the ball there is Carroll backing off, and what they


did, all season long City had been adept at getting between the lines


and attacking that way. As soon as the ball comes towards the half way


line Liverpool press, Bellamy goes tight there, and there is so many


men behind the ball but they are make life difficult, and what


happens is that Clichy comes there, comes across, and he has chipped it


forward, and they were never going to get through that. But to be fair,


it is all right says man City playing better, I was disappointed.


We have seen where they passed and played and cut defenders to ribbon,


not tonight. They are not, in the last four or five games I have seen


them, when they were scoring three, fours and fives at the start of the


season, it was easy, now it is more difficult. They have had to face


that for most of the season, with teams sitting deep. They have had


the guile to get through them and get something. They sat so deep in


the second half, Andy Carroll cut a loan figure. He was much more


involved in the first half. It is not quite happening for him. He is


having a tough time. He is. I he was bigger and stronger than Savic,


which might not have been difficult. He hits the target and that waserly


loin in the game. If it goes in it changes his performance, he gets


hold of his shirt in the box, he gets a decent shot away, and Andy


Carroll of 18 months ago that goes in the back of the net. You know


again, ball into the bo, it's a decent header, but he is feeding on


scraps to be fair. With the system that Liverpool played tonight. He


put a shift in. He worked hard. But, particularly in the second half we


see here, look, there is no-one within 35 yards of him and he may,


should perhaps try and get hold of that but it's a difficult role when


you are playing four or five at the back or four in midfield. But he


his touch is not as good as it should be. He has to keep on


working, pefr veering, he has the chance to play regular games now,


because of the Suarez ban, but it certainly isn't happening for him..


Not a lot he can do. That is all he is feeding on, to be fair. Poor lad.


Poor Andy! We will have highlights in two weeks time on BBC One. You


can see that at quarter past 11. Before that, we are live for the


conclusion of the other semifinal between Cardiff City and Crystal


Palace on Tuesday 24th January. OK, the Spurs game is finished. Let us


hear about it. This should have been Tottenham's first game of what


is proving to be a promising seasonment on a night when they


cruised so comfortably to victory they will feel it is worth the wait.


Against an Everton side content to sit back an contain. It became a


case of not how, but how many. It could have been more than the two


they settled for. Emmanuel Adebayor might have made it a hat-trick.


Pinnish -- punishing bain's mistake. A flashing drive, albeit by Cahill,


rather like the ball for Howard it put the game beyond Everton's reach.


Spurs have won 14 of their 20 league games, the sort of form last


seen by the 1961 side here, for those Spurs for the titles sceptic,


that year they went on to win the league. And Spurs are in action on


Match of the Day this Saturday against Wolves. We have seven games


in all, including Manchester United versus Bolton, BBC One from 10.20.


Then on Sunday, it is a trip to Newcastle for mark Hugh's new


charges and highlights of Arsenal's visit to Swansea on Match of the


Day 2. The Premier League's getting interesting as well.. Tottenham for


the title. Who would have thought it? Saturday night we could have


three team tons same points. big game here, 20 seconds,


Manchester City. Do you think they can win the league. I am not the


one to say, I ask the questions. Of course they can. They are playing


the best football. They can't win it. Is that an Arsenal man talking


or neutral? It could be anybody. Who is going to win the Carling


Cup? City. Liverpool. Liverpool. We said that beforehand. Gentleman


Gary Lineker hosts live coverage from the Etihad Stadium of the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final between Manchester City and Liverpool. Big-spending City have led the way in the Premier League so far this season, scoring goals for fun as their wealth of attacking talent has clicked into gear, with Spanish winger David Silva their bewitching conductor. But Liverpool are resurgent under idol Kenny Dalglish, with midfielder Charlie Adam proving a shrewd buy from Blackpool and striker Luis Suarez terrorising defences week-in week-out. With commentary from Guy Mowbray and Mark Lawrenson.

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