Premier League - Mignolet howler helps Manchester City beat Liverpool

Premier League, Etihad Stadium – Manchester City 2 (Kompany 31, Negredo 45) Liverpool 1 (Coutinho 25).

Premier League - Mignolet howler helps Manchester City beat Liverpool
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Manchester City's Alvaro Negredo (not pictured) scores a goal against Liverpool as team mate Samir Nasri (C) celebrates during their English Premier League soccer match at the Etihad stadium (Reuters)

An error from Simon Mignolet saw Manchester City beat Liverpool 2-1, keeping the Reds off the top of the Premier League as Arsenal finished the weekend leaders.

A breathless first-half ended with City going 2-1 up, as Alvaro Negredo’s tame finish was helped into the net by Mignolet. It was a poor mistake from the Reds keeper, and one that proved dear.

Philippe Coutinho had put Liverpool ahead after a lovely one-touch move, with Vincent Kompany equalising from a powerful header at a corner.

Liverpool – who had seen an early Raheem Sterling goal incorrectly disallowed for offside – initially failed to respond in the second half, with Luis Suarez unable to get into the game.

They did improve, with the impressive Jordan Henderson nearly assisting Glen Johnson and almost backheeling one in himself. On both occasions, the excellent Joe Hart was equal to the finishes.

Hart was helpless when Sterling fired over from close range as the visitors went closer to an equaliser but, in the latter stages, City closed shop as a frustrated Suarez failed to win his desired penalty despite some theatrical tumbles over Joleon Lescott challenges.

Suarez cut a dejected figure as he was booked for catching Hart, with City’s defeat putting them one point shy of Arsenal; Liverpool slip to fourth.

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KEY MOMENTS

4’ – CHANCE: Jesus Navas hits the post with a fine header from Aleksandr Kolarov’s superb cross.

19’ – DISALLOWED GOAL: Sterling is at least two yards onside as he races clean through, but an errant flag rules out his finish. An error from the officials.

25’ – GOAL (Manchester City 0-1 Liverpool): Coutinho finishes from an angle after Sterling touches it past Joe Hart. Excellent off-the-ball run from Sterling after some lovely one-touch play by Liverpool.

31’ – GOAL (Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool): Kompany, despite being fouled by Martin Skrtel, leaps like a salmon to power a header in over the line. Joe Allen tries in vain to keep it out.

39’ – SAVE: Fantastic stop by Hart after Luis Suarez sends Coutinho through. Again, lots of cute touches and turns in the build-up.

42’ – CHALLENGE: Skrtel has made several good interventions but none better than the last-gasp tackle to deny Negredo’s finish.

45’ – GOAL (Manchester City 2-1 Liverpool): A fine counter-attack and some blunders from Liverpool see City take the lead. The passing and movement was slick, but Skrtel went to sleep and Mignolet made a hash of keeping out a weak finish by Negredo.

50’ – SAVE: Hart ‘does a Schmeichel’, diving out star-shaped to deny Jordan Henderson. Super pass by Sterling to release his team-mate.

70, 71’ – SAVES: Hart again is the man for City, saving from Johnson and Henderson.

72’ – MISS: Sterling fires over from close range as Suarez pings a low ball across a helpless Hart. Joleon Lescott may have put him off, but a bad miss.

89 – PENALTY APPEAL: Suarez may have won a spot-kick had he not been so theatrical following a Lescott shirt-pull. Would have been harsh, with Skrtel at it all game.

90+2’ – CHALLENGE: Skrtel with another brilliant intervention, this time on Dzeko as the sub was set to finish the game.

TALKING POINT

Are Liverpool contenders? The Reds were the better side for around an hour of the game, and should really have equalised. They look a match for City and, in such a tight top end of the league, could be in the hunt come May.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

KEY STATS

Negredo has now scored in each of his nine games at home for Manchester City.

Liverpool last won on December 26 back in 2009 when Rafa Benitez was manager (2-0 v Wolves)

Manchester City are the only team in the Premier League this season yet to drop a point at home (P9 W9 D0 L0). They have also scored in each of their last 59 Premier League home games.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Joe Hart (Manchester City) – A very good performance as Hart started a second consecutive Premier League game. Looks back to his imperious best.

PLAYER RATINGS

Manchester City: Hart 8, Zabaleta 6, Lescott 6, Kompany 7, Kolarov 7, Fernandinho 7, Yaya Toure 6, Nasri 6, Silva 7, Negredo 7, Navas 7; Subs: Garcia NA, Milner 6, Dzeko NA

Liverpool: Mignolet 5, Cissokho 6, Skrtel 7, Sakho 5, Johnson 6, Lucas 6, Allen 6, Henderson 7, Sterling 7, Coutinho 7, Suarez 6; Subs: Aspas NA, Moses 6

MATCH IN A TWEET

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