Incredible comeback at City

Liverpool came from 2-0 behind to win 3-2 at the City of Manchester Stadium as they continued their unbeaten start to the season and remain joint top of the league, with Chelsea.

City had gone 2-0 up inside the first half through Stephen Ireland and Javier Garrido’s free kick, but a much improved second half performance saw Fernando Torres score twice and Dirk Kuyt hit a late winner for Rafa Benitez’s side.

The only sour note for Liverpool was the late, serious injury to defender Martin Skrtel.

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    Dirk Kuyt scored an injury-time winner as Liverpool came back from two goals down to beat 10-man Manchester City.

    Stephen Ireland lashed in a shot to put City ahead and Javier Garrido curled a 22-yard free-kick into the top corner to extend the home side’s lead.

    But Fernando Torres slotted home and, after City’s Pablo Zabaleta was sent off for a tackle on Xabi Alonso, headed in to level for the visitors.

    Kuyt then decided the match late on when he slotted in at the far post.

    The game was a match up between the highest scoring side in the Premier League so far this season against a Reds side with the top-flight’s meanest defence.

    There was a danger that the duo could cancel each other out but those fears proved unfounded after an action-packed match with plenty of drama.

    Liverpool showed plenty of character in completing a battling comeback which will have enhanced their title credentials.

    They had started well and, in the opening skirmishes, Reds left-winger Albert Riera caused plenty of problems for ex-club City.

    Riera had a low well-struck shot from an acute angle saved by Joe Hart before he weaved and wriggled his way into space and put in a low cross for Kuyt.

    The Dutchman sidefooted over with his left-foot from six yards and City raising their game and punishing the miss by taking the lead.

    Wright-Phillips crossed for Jo and, after Alonso nicked the ball away from him before he could shoot, the City winger managed to pull back another cross back for Robinho.

    Brazilian Robinho was challenged by Alvaro Arbeloa and loose ball fell to Ireland to power in a shot.

    The goal put a spring in City’s play and they knocked the Reds out of their stride with a mixture of flair and hard work.

    City were rewarded with a second when Riera fouled Wright-Phillips and Garrido curled in a left-footed free-kick past the despairing dive of Reina.

    Liverpool must have been on the end of some harsh half-time worlds from manager Rafael Benitez because they came out with an increased desire after the break.

    The visitors quickly pulled one back when Torres sidefooted in Arbeloa’s cross but City would have restored their two-goal advantage if Robinho had not fluffed a glorious chance.

    Robinho failed to steer a Wright-Phillips cross into an empty net from three yards before City’s Zabaleta was red-carded for a studs first tackle on Alonso.

    Torres missed an equally glorious chance to Robinho’s to get his hat-trick as he put an effort over from point-blank range after Steven Gerrard‘s ball across the City six yard box.

    The Reds suffered a setback when centre-back Martin Skrtel buckled under his standing leg and was stretchered off.

    Liverpool were also now down to 10-men as they had made their three substitutions but Kuyt slotted in the winner after a Torres shot found it way to him.

    Teams and Stats

    Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Richards, Dunne, Garrido, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Kompany, Elano (Petrov 85)Robinho (Evans 80), Jo (Fernandes 70)
    Subs not used: Schmeichel, Hamann, Ben Haim, Sturridge
    Booked: Dunne
    Sent off: Zabaleta 67
    Goals: Ireland 19, Garrido 41

    Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio (Dossena), Kuyt, Alonso, Mascherano (Keane), Riera (Benayoun), Gerrard, Torres
    Subs not used: Cavalieri, Agger, Babel, Lucas
    Booked: Arbeloa
    Goals: Torres 55, 73, Kuyt 90

    Attendance: 47,280

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