After watching his side dominate reigning champions Manchester City, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers bemoaned mistakes for again costing his side all three points…
Liverpool put in a second impressive away performance in four days but, as against Arsenal in midweek, they had to be content with a 2-2 draw after letting the lead slip.
“It was an outstanding performance at a notoriously difficult place for teams to even score a goal,” analysed Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers at his post-match press conference. “I don’t think they’ve conceded here [in 2013].
“What was important for me was to see the confidence of the players, the desire, the quality and the efficiency of their game. I don’t think anyone would deny that we probably deserved to win that game.
“The disappointing thing was that it typified our season, really, where we’ve been outstanding in our game and the model of our work but mistakes have cost us.”
Unlike at the Emirates on Wednesday, the Reds fell behind when Edin Dzeko slotted home James Milner’s 23rd minute cross from close range.
The goal seemingly spurred the visitors on however and they quickly started to dominate the game through endeavour, pace and incisive passing.
A thumping drive from City old-boy Daniel Sturridge bought Liverpool level just before the half-hour mark, putting the Merseysiders firmly in the ascendency.
It was a slight surprise it took until the 73rd minute, when Steven Gerrard scored a cracking goal from distance of his own, for Liverpool to finally take the lead.
With a thoroughly deserved victory within their grasp, a miscalculation from Pepe Reina allowed Sergio Aguero to equalise from an unlikely angle after the Spanish keeper had advanced from his box in an attempt to cutout a through-ball.
Reflecting on City’s equaliser, Rodgers told reporters: “I was really disappointed for them because they’d put so much into the game. Obviously Aguero’s finish is unbelievable but from our perspective we’re bitterly disappointed he was even in that position.
“It was a mistake, everyone was clear on that, but I can’t fault the players. I thought they were absolutely brilliant today. We showed great character.
“We might be missing two or three players who can really help the group that clubs like Manchester City have, but I don’t think you can fault the players for what they’re giving in the game.
“Once we cut out those mistakes – which we will do, there’s no question about that – draws turn into wins and we can be a real force, because we’ve got some really talented players. The group is still growing and building.”
Liverpool enjoyed more possession and had twice as many shots at Roberto Mancini’s hosts with new signing Sturridge particularly impressive despite picking up an injury during the game.
“He got a knock just before half-time on his thigh,” said Rodgers. “He wanted to give it a go in the second half but I think he’ll be a doubt for the [England] game on Wednesday.
“It’s unfortunate because he was terrific today. His hold-up play, his movement, his pace. He was a real, real threat. His combination with Suarez and Downing and Henderson up front was outstanding.”
Despite the positives, Liverpool fell further behind the top four due to other results and go into next Monday’s match at home to West Bromwich Albion with a nine point deficit to make up on the Champions League places.
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