Benayoun pegs back City

November 22, 2009

“Liverpool proved they are not ready to be replaced in the top flight elite by Manchester City just yet as Yossi Benayoun’s equaliser secured a draw at Anfield. Mark Hughes’ men from Eastlands arrived on Merseyside intent on proving they were top four material but they found a Liverpool side in defiant mood despite more injury problems.”

Manchester City waste the chance to confirm their top-four ambitions
“Manchester City should seek a placenta cure for their lack of ambition when they next visit the besieged Belgrade home of Mariana Kovacevic. A point at Anfield is no disgrace, as Mark Hughes mentioned once or twice afterwards, and but for the deflection that aided Liverpool’s equaliser, his game-plan could have yielded a victory of renewed intent. Even with mitigation, however, this was a glorious opportunity wasted by City.” (Guardian)

Liverpool face a winter of discontent after one win in 10 games
“Their recent run now reads a solitary victory, albeit an epic one over Manchester United, in 10 outings and this week threatens more misery, more darkness. Liverpool are fighting two Champions League campaigns at once, battling to stay in this season’s competition and struggling to qualify for next year’s. Both dreams could effectively be terminated over the next eight days, filling the horizon with black clouds.” (Telegraph)

Liverpool draw little comfort
“A POINT at Anfield would normally be regarded as a fine result, but not now and not for Mark Hughes and Manchester City, who have had more draws than the national lottery in the past few weeks. Both managers had agreed beforehand that this was a “make or break” game, a match capable of propelling their teams into a sustained challenge for the top four in the Premier League. But a sixth successive league draw for City and two more points dropped at home by Liverpool did neither Hughes nor Rafa Benitez any favours.” (TimesOnline)

Tevez cameo ends Rafa’s chances of top billing
“Having untypically and unwisely agreed that this was a ‘make or break’ game, Liverpool’s manager Rafa Benitez was last night left facing the unpalatable fact that his team’s Premier League hopes are broken beyond repair for another season. Worse, one victory in 10 games has not only left them with too much ground to make up on stronger domestic contenders, but on Tuesday they go to Hungary in the Champions’ League knowing that even a win over Debrecen will be irrelevant if Fiorentina beat Lyon.” (Independent)

Barca Dissappoints Again; Athletic – 1, Barca – 1

November 22, 2009

“For the third time in row Barca failed to win their La Liga match after an international break. They are known to carry their form in La Liga to the UEFA Champions League, and if that happen we will definitely see holders Barca getting knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage. In the preview of this match I have written about my concern about our away form. What irritates me most is Guardiola’s attitude after the match, he made a statement which is in line with his usual standing – that he is unconcerned with Barca’s dip in form.” (All About FC Barcelona)

Barcelona held at Bilbao
“Barcelona will head into El Clasico next weekend in second place in the Primera Division after being held to a 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao. Pep Guardiola’s side kicked off the clash at San Mames having relinquished top spot to Real Madrid, who beat Racing Santander 1-0 earlier on Saturday night. The Spanish and European champions looked on course to reclaim their place at the summit when Dani Alves opened the scoring in the 54th minute, but substitute Gaizka Toquero levelled matters nine minutes later and Athletic held on for a point.” (ESPN)