It may be advantage Liverpool after their first leg win last night, but the tie is far from over.
Liverpool though, showed yet again that they can compete with the best and, without making the same kind of mistakes that were evident when the sides met in the league a week ago, were rewarded for their performance.
Roberto Mancini bemoaned the lack of 3 or 4 players, but for Man City to refer to their absentees as any kind of reason for defeat simply highlights that Mancini perhaps isn’t as special a manager as some of his players would try to have us believe.
He has a tremendously talented squad at his disposal, and coping with the absence of key players is part of the game and the job of the manager is to find a solution with the players he has available in reserve.
There’s no doubt that missing Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and David Silva is going to weaken any team, but Liverpool were without key players of their own with Suarez suspended and Lucas, Liverpool’s player of the season last year, having been ruled out for the season since November.
In addition, Jay Spearing had to be withdrawn and Steve Gerrard is only recently back from long term injury.
Liverpool haven’t got the same strength in-depth as Man City, but have done what they have to do and simply got on with it.
Man City need to do the same if they’re have any desires of turning the tie around because no-one will have sympathy for a manager whose club have invested over half a billion pounds on players during the last few years.
Why so quiet?
Whilst on the topic of last night’s match, why were there so many empty seats and such a subdued atmosphere in the ground for much of the game, particularly the first half?
The riches invested in achieving Champions League football and competing for the title may have raised expectations, but surely not to the point which has led the fans to appear so disinterested in a semi final match in their own stadium against local rivals?
It may be true that some of the bigger clubs haven’t always prioritized the League Cup, but both Man United and Chelsea have treated it seriously enough to win the competition multiple times in the last few years, despite having bigger trophies still to fight for.
It’s simply the mark of a big club to go for whatever silverware is on offer, particularly in the latter stages of a competition.
With their FA Cup semi final of last season having taken place on a neutral venue, this was amongst the biggest games Man City have played at home for some time but their was a lack of the atmosphere that the club has once famous for.
Anfield itself is no longer what it once was, but there is always a full house for a big match and a fantastic atmosphere can be expected in two weeks’ time – even if it is ‘only’ the Carling Cup.