Justice…what justice? – LIVERPOOL 3 MAN CITY 2

An insatiable desire for justice and an agonising need for the truth behind the tragic events of Hillsborough has driven Liverpool Football Club for a quarter-of-a-century. With the 25th anniversary of the loss of the 96 innocent lives about to dawn, justice is on the horizon for the families and friends left behind. New inquests and criminal investigations are finally going to deliver damning accountability on the inept and corrupt culprits who presided over the carnage and cover-up.

Solidarity - City fans showed empathy & sympathy with Liverpool supporters. Courtesy @MCFC

Solidarity – City fans showed empathy & sympathy with Liverpool supporters. Courtesy @MCFC

How bitter then the irony, that Liverpool FC and highly questionable ‘officialdom’, should host a wanton injustice in an arena and a community, that rightly pays homage to those who lost their lives in pursuit of a football passion.

Titanic struggle - City and Liverpool served up a sensational match. Courtesy @MCFC

Titanic struggle – City and Liverpool served up a sensational match. Courtesy @MCFC

Thankfully there was no loss of life as Liverpool edged a tumultuous battle against Manchester City at Anfield, but the highest level of English football lost its credibility amid a cauldron of passion and emotion, that ran deeper than the ‘black box’ recorders of missing Malaysian flight MH370.

The focus of any investigation this time around should be on referee Mark Clattenburg who, innocently or otherwise, shaped the fate of this titanic struggle and with it, the final resting place of the Premier League title of 2013/14.

For the neutral this was utopia, the ultimate offering from the Premier League ‘brand’ – goals, drama, excitement, along with the  ‘C’ word… controversy, created by the biggest ‘C’ on the Select Group list of the Professional Game Match Officials Board – Clattenburg.

Fight 'Till the End - Fernandinho typified City's battling qualities. Courtesy @MCFC

Fight ‘Till the End – Fernandinho typified City’s battling qualities. Courtesy @MCFC

The ref, with hair as dubious as his decision making, failed to award City two clear penalities, first when Dzeko was felled by Sakho in the first half, and second as budding Wrestlemania star Skrtel, punched the ball clear in a frantic finish to the hostilities.

By far the biggest miscarriage of justice was Clattenburg’s incomprehensible failure to dismiss the repugnant rodent-like Suarez for a dive that any U-Boat commander would be immensely proud.

The cannibalistic Uruguayan, the creature who put the ‘eat’ into cheat, was booked in the opening minutes of the match after a late challenge on Martin Demichelis.

Repelling the rodent - Martin Demichelis gave a good account of himself against cheating Luis Suarez. Courtesy @MCFC

Repelling the rodent – Martin Demichelis gave a good account of himself against cheating Luis Suarez. Courtesy @MCFC

At that stage it boded well that the referee was going to be both firm and impartial in the highly-charged, multi-layered atmosphere born of anticipation, expectation, anguish and sorrow.

Nothing could have been further from the truth when, for reasons known only to himself – at least that must be the hope – Clattenburg engineered an epic fail by ‘sanctioning’ a blatant slice of Suarez simulation.

The dictionary defines the verb simulate:  ‘to make a pretence‘imitate the conditions of (a particular situation)’…in football speak it translates into a cheating dive, 100% deserving of a bookable offence – the second of the day – and dismissal.

The only ‘yellow’ on display was Clattenburg’s abject spinelessness. He didn’t award Suarez a free kick for the simple fact Demichelis hadn’t touched him. So why didn’t he book him?

Yellow peril - Clattenburg booked Zaba but bottled it when he should have sent off Suarez. Courtesy @MCFC

Yellow peril – Clattenburg booked Zaba but bottled it when he should have sent off Suarez. Courtesy @MCFC

In the media-fired frenzy and clamour for Liverpool to win their first ever Premier League crown – especially in the midst of the Hillsborough anniversary – does anyone with any influence care to demand an answer from Clattenburg?

Does the County Durham official have a secret sponsorship deal with makers of incontinence pants? Did he nigh on crap himself when faced with making the right decision?

His supporters and those seeking to whitewash his deficiencies will point to the last minute dismissal of Jordan Henderson – for a horrific lunge at Samir Nasri – as proof of his impartiality and decisiveness.

What utter tosh, it doesn’t compare with Luis the low-life being forced to miss 43 minutes of action.

SAS - Ex-City striker Daniel Sturridge was part of the Liverpool attack that terrorised the Sky Blues in the 1st half. Courtesy @MCFC

SAS – Ex-City striker Daniel Sturridge was part of the Liverpool attack that terrorised the Sky Blues in the 1st half. Courtesy @MCFC

As for the action there was plenty of it, with much of it coming in the first half from a scintillating Liverpool attack who tore City to shreds.

The 2-0 lead at the break flattered City, the margin could easily have been doubled, had it not been for a world class save from Joe Hart and Daniel Sturridge’s profligacy in front of goal.

Raheem Sterling’s opener on five minutes was class and composure personified. It also gave the first hint of the afternoon that Vincent Kompany, despite passing a fitness test, was simply ‘not right’.

City’s Captain Fantastic had, by his own imperious standards, a stinker and was culpable in all three Liverpool goals.

Bad Kompany - Vinny, nursing an injury, had a rare off day in the 3-2 defeat. Courtesy @MCFC

Bad Kompany – Vinny, nursing an injury, had a rare off day in the 3-2 defeat. Courtesy @MCFC

Sterling outpaced and outwitted him for the first, Skrtel outmuscled him for the second and the usually rock solid ‘Belgian Boulder’ produced a panic fuelled ‘clearance’ that amounted to an assist for Coutinho’s winner.

Kompany’s discomfort was mirrored by that of Yaya Toure’s, when the Ivorian colossus was forced to exit the fray after just 19 minutes with a muscle injury.

18 points - If Pellegrini can guide City to six wins will it win the PL title? Courtesy @MCFC

18 points – If Pellegrini can guide City to six wins will it win the PL title? Courtesy @MCFC

It was rapidly turning into the Sunday from hell for Manuel Pellegrini as a relentless Liverpool went for City’s jugular with searing pace, urged on by the baying masses, oozing hostility at every touch of the ball by a man clad in sky blue.

The rabid-like home support was in stark contrast to the empathetic atmosphere prior to kick-off.

Ever respectful, the City fans unfurled a huge banner with bearing sentiments of ‘YNWA Manchester City Remembers the 96’ in a touching display of camaraderie with their fellow football supporters.

Majestic - Silva led City's second half fight back. Courtesy @MCFC

Majestic – Silva led City’s second half fight back. Courtesy @MCFC

The one-minute silence was impeccably observed by the away section – it was always going to be the case.

It makes it all the more saddening that there were social media reports aplenty and eye witness accounts, of City fans being attacked and coaches bombarded with bricks after the match.

Corroboration is required, but tempers must have been running high after such a tempestuous affair over the 96 minutes.

Jump for joy - Silva's best efforts were ultimately in vain as City were edged 3-2 by Liverpool. Courtesy @MCFC

Jump for joy – Silva’s best efforts were ultimately in vain as City were edged 3-2 by Liverpool. Courtesy @MCFC

Had it not been for a superb City second half display – thoroughly deserving of a draw – that would not have been the case.

Stonewall - Dzeko was denied a certain penalty when Clattenburg failed to penalise Sakho's foul. Courtesy @MCFC

Stonewall – Dzeko was denied a certain penalty when Clattenburg failed to penalise Sakho’s foul. Courtesy @MCFC

Pellegrini has to take some of the blame for a clueless first half performance, but it’s a measure of his talent that despite the early loss of Yaya, and a physically compromised Kompany, City turned the game on its head with two goals in five second half minutes.

Gone were wave after wave of Liverpool attacks, replaced by an assured and purposeful City who powered back into contention.

James Milner replaced Jesus Navas in the 50th minute and was instrumental, along with the indefatigable Fernandinho and sublime David Silva, in picking holes in the brittle Pool backline.

Sign him up - Milner helped change the game in City's favour and deserves a new contract. Courtesy @MCFC

Sign him up – Milner helped change the game in City’s favour and deserves a new contract. Courtesy @MCFC

Silva converted a close range effort in the 57th minute after a slick interchange between the England and Brazilian midfielders. He then forced an error from Glen Johnson, as the England full back diverted Silva’s cross-cum-shot past Mignolet in the Liverpool goal.

With a half-an-hour to go it seemed City were the most likely winners and Sergio Aguero replaced Dzeko. A sponsorship deal with JCB should have been on the table – City had dug deep and were getting their just reward.

Silva strike - Merlin made it 2-1. Courtesy @MCFC

Silva strike – Merlin made it 2-1. Courtesy @MCFC

The mercurial Silva was a toe-end away from making it 3-2 when he just couldn’t stretch far enough to steer an Aguero cross beyond Mignolet.

Steven Gerrard was reduced to hoofing the ball upfield as City took control and Brendan Rodgers’ beleaguered troops suddenly had the look of mere mortals, not the supermen that the likes of Sky’s two Jamie jerks – Carragher and Redknapp – would have us believe.

But even superheroes have their flaws. Kompany’s horribly sliced 78th minute clearance fell kindly to Coutinho and the 21-year old Brazilian playmaker sent a sizzling shot beyond Hart’s despairing dive.

Sergio surge - Can Aguero fire the goals to win the title for City? Courtesy @MCFC

Sergio surge – Can Aguero fire the goals to win the title for City? Courtesy @MCFC

City didn’t deserve to lose, but the same could be said of Liverpool when they lost 2-1 at the Etihad on Boxing Day night. If the second half had been anything like the first, City would have been buried and the sky blues would have been magnanimous in defeat.

Frustratingly, City were left to reflect on Clattenburg’s imperfections and Suarez’s perverted interpretation of sportsmanship.

It had been on an occasion which had demanded dignity and integrity – neither of which were forthcoming from the man from Consett, County Durham or the cheat from Salto in north west Uruguay.

All square - City celebrate the equaliser but will they be celebrating on May 11? Courtesy @MCFC

All square – City celebrate the equaliser but will they be celebrating on May 11? Courtesy @MCFC

City are left lingering seven points behind Liverpool with 18 points still up for grabs. Two years ago, Mancini’s men were eight points behind with 18 left to contest.

Now, as then, City must ‘fight ‘till the end’. Fortress Anfield denied City victory in battle…but there’s still a war to be won.

#TrustOurMP

By David Walker

www.readbutneverred.com

@djwskyblu

 

 

91 Comments

  1. April 14, 2014  7:55 am by James HouseOlogy Reply

    Excellent read David, and i do think that there is more twist that will allow City back in, and that twist will be when Liverpool visit Palace. Chelsea are slugging out wins but can see them slipping up, City were brilliant 2nd half and MP must look at formation to allow free flowing attacking football to get a very possible maximum 18pts. We're still in this and this is not over by a long shot.

    • April 14, 2014  8:23 am by David Walker Reply

      It just needs 1 draw from Liverpool but Everton away is always tough for us and woe betide we underestimate Palace & Pulis - the man hates us!

    • April 15, 2014  1:48 am by Alan crabb Reply

      I thought it was pretty disgusting that you linked the 96 dead with metaphors of the league title being buried.

      • April 15, 2014  6:21 am by David Walker Reply

        Alan it is regrettable that you feel that the editorial direction taken on this article is 'disgusting'. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion and the fact that I have published your comment demonstrates that this blog is democratic in its approach, and not one that only ever publishes positive feedback. This is by no means an apology for anything published. I would counter by saying that the sentiments expressed in this post-match piece, as well as the pre-match article (along with a dedication to the 96) clearly shows empathy and sympathy for the victims, their families and friends.

        • April 15, 2014  10:02 pm by Alan crabb Reply

          so linking the deaths of 96 people to the loss of the title is ok? You even say that luckily no one died at the game. No need to apologise though.

    • April 15, 2014  1:57 am by Alan crabb Reply

      How is this an excellent read? The author attempts a grossly insensitive link between the deatths at Hillsborough and its investigation to the death of the league title and an investigation of the referee. Did he think that it tied in nicely?

      • April 15, 2014  6:25 am by David Walker Reply

        I would just reiterate my previous reply and say that the editorial link between the Hillsborough Tragedy and the outcome of the match was, in my judgement, acceptable. Once again, it is a source of regret that you found it to be otherwise. The matter is wholly subjective and will draw differing opinions, as can be seen by the diversity of the feedback on here as well as other social media i.e. Twitter and Facebook.

      • April 17, 2014  12:48 am by John Evans TT Reply

        You must have gone over David's piece using a magnifying glass and one with a with a faulty lens at that.

        The links you see exist only in in your twisted mind.

  2. April 14, 2014  7:58 am by Vincent Connell Reply

    SOUR GRAPES! SOUR GRAPES! SOUR GRAPES!

    • April 14, 2014  3:40 pm by David Walker Reply

      Keep the receipt mate and take them back to the supermarket. I'm hoping ours will ripen in time for May 11th.

  3. April 14, 2014  8:01 am by shane mellor Reply

    Spot on, I had to avoid the sky coverage of this for the purely bias shown to Liverpool, i'm fast lying falling out of love with Sky but BT aren't much better with Owen and Rio on their books - we should have got a point, when we lose and deserve it you hold your hands up (Munich at home) but games like these leave a sour taste, quality article, keep up the good work

    • April 14, 2014  3:43 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Shane, people posting about unripened fruit etc don't read every week. If they did they'd see RBNR is big enough to acknowledge if City are poor or undeserving - in our humble opinon we state as much. Sunday was not an occasion that fitted that criteria e.g. 'we wuz robbed!'

  4. April 14, 2014  8:02 am by Pete Lynch Reply

    Im beyond words David

  5. April 14, 2014  8:05 am by Ralph hadley Reply

    Well done man city fans for the banner , nice gesture. Definitely deserved a draw but so did we on Boxing Day. Should have been a pen for skirtel handball but we got terrible decisions at your place. We've also had more than our fair share this season. Suarez got caught for the 'dive' slow motion showed it . You mightn't like him but you would have him on your team if you could. Anyway if we don't win it hope your boys do.

    • April 14, 2014  3:51 pm by David Walker Reply

      Very magnanimous of you Ralph and fair points made although I still don't accept that Suarez did anything but dive. up until yesterday I agree , I WOULD have had Suarez in a City side, but honestly, not now. Sheikh Mansour has high standards and these would be lowered too far if we bought the nasty little Uruguayan cheat. City have good fans and we were always going to honour the memory of Hillsborough - it would be monstrous to do anything else. Empathy and sympathy for all connected with LFC, families and friends.

  6. April 14, 2014  8:07 am by Nick Reply

    It was a fantastic game. I think your write up is spot on to be honest, even we thought Suarez was throwing himself to the floor at every opportunity - it did get embarrassing. I think the bottom line is that he was well marshalled by Demichelis and that frustrated Suarez so much that he ended up trying to cheat his way to having some kind of impact.

    A draw would have been a fair result, but as you say, so should the away game at the Ethihad. That would have given us both 2 points but as it is we both have 3 points from the 2 games!

    The booeing of the Man City players whenever they touched the ball is really a sign of respect. We know you have the better players so we did whatever we could to put them off - and to be honest, it worked in the first half. The respect was still there when the entire stadium applauded Toure as he limped off.

    I didn't see anyone attack any away coaches and the amount of Police there was around the ground I'm surprised that it happened. There is no place for that is any football so I apologise on behalf of all Liverpool supporters.

    The title is far from decided as it stands and I'm sure there will be a few more twists and turns yet, but well done to both teams for producing a fantastic match in difficult circumstances yesterday. You can feel aggrieved at the standard of refereeing but there are still so many points to play for that it may all be immaterial at the end.

    Best of luck for the rest of the season.

    YNWA

    • April 14, 2014  3:57 pm by David Walker Reply

      Many thanks for your generous feedback Nick. Suarez really is vermin, but I understand how he is idolised by LFC fans. He is a great player and apparently a 'nice guy' off the field but somewhere, somehow, that doesn't all add up to what we see out on the pitch at times. Fans like you should not be apologising for the 'mindless minority' - you are a decent supporter and you have my respect and gratitude.

      Refereeing standards have plummeted - maybe we should do away with them and have game decided on the basis of 'First Team to Score 10' I should just say that IS a joke in case Herr Blatter or Msr Platini stumble across #RBNR on the internet.

  7. April 14, 2014  8:10 am by peno123 Reply

    Fair play to City, they made us battle and deserved something out of the game. And fair play to the supporters, their behaviour and the support of the 96 with the banners was fantastic and much appreciated by all. If the reports of coaches being bricked are true then we can only apologise for the little sewer rats that carry out this kind of act These are just mindless little scumbags who have nothing to do with the club. Unfortunately the coaches have to go through some areas were these vermin tend to congregate and like most cities we have our fair share of them. We can only hope that the next time they do this it causes the coach to swerve and crush the lot (with no harm to the coach occupants of course!) it would do us all a favour. But back to the football, this battle isn't over by any stretch of the imagination, there are many twists and turns left yet. And you can bet that all three teams involved know that, as well as the teams fighting for their lives/4th place they still have to face.

    • April 14, 2014  4:00 pm by David Walker Reply

      LOL - all points made are completely valid and fair. Thank you for being so gracious. MCFC are not entirely angelic when it comes to a minority of fans, but fan bases are just reflective of society as a whole. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  8. April 14, 2014  8:14 am by Eileen Fullen Reply

    So aptly put the passion we all felt yesterday in a second half performance that had me jumping up and down. Sadly the draw or even a win wasn't to be we knew we were up against the world yesterday but feel proud with the fightback. Yellow back Clattenberg was a disgrace. Are we to win the league again this year not impossible but a mountain to climb!!,

      • April 14, 2014  11:03 am by carole Reply

        Not sure I do #trustOurMP . If we can go to OT and start off like a train, why not at Anfield? Surely MP knows exactly how they attack from the first second...everyone in football knows it. Surely he would stress this to the players, that a high tempo from the off was critical?

        These sluggish starts are a familiar sight at City. Often it's because we are sizing up the oppo and then we gradually take control so even at 1-0 down, it's not normally a major worry.

        But then we lost Yaya.....

        This is a man who, once he's settled into a game, dominates midfield, dictates play, finds that killer pass, is invariably part of every City forward move. and is capable of scoring worldies from almost anywhere. He has won us important matches singlehanded in the past...
        Yes, he has his off days...but there was no reason to think this would be one of them.

        To lose Yaya within 17 minutes is to lose a major football brain and a figure who instills fear in the opposition.
        He is marvellous linking up with Silva and Nasri especially, so is it surprising they had little impact the rest of the 1st half when he went off and the game-plan was disrupted?

        Garcia did well...but he can't frighten the way Yaya can. He hasn't the rapport with Fernandhino that Yaya has.
        I know the big man has his off-days. But when you really need someone to change a game, he's one of the few who can and he's done it time and again for us.
        With a fully fit Vinny and Yaya...and match-fit Aguero... we'd have come back to win that match. We had them on the ropes.

        • April 14, 2014  4:03 pm by David Walker Reply

          MP is culpable for our lack of preparedness at kick off but, in adversity, I think he did well to change the shape of the team and nullify the attacking threat posed by an excellent Liverpool side. Milner showed why he simply must be offered a new contract and the unsung boys MDM & Garcia did their jobs. Very very frustrating but we're still in with a chance. Thanks Moonbeam.

  9. April 14, 2014  8:18 am by Paul Reply

    Go back to last week and the game against liverpool at home if you want to talk about decisions. As for Suarez he was caught by that clumsy caveman as shown on MOTD.

    In all it seams to me you're clutching at straws cause your team got beat, I mean who dares to have the audacity to beat Citay it must be the ref.

    He's great Suarez! I like the way you bring up all his past to try and justify your rant.

    Spend some more money in the summer see if you can win it next year.

    • April 14, 2014  8:25 am by David Walker Reply

      Thanks for reading. You can keep Suarez.

  10. April 14, 2014  8:21 am by GeorgeInIsrael Reply

    Excellent as always. I was listening to the game on Radio Manchester (with the wonderful team of Ian Cheeseman and Fred Eyre), and it certainly seemed as though we were lucky to score nil in the first half. However, this is a City team with character and they came back from the dead and were certainly good for the draw. I haven't seen the Suarez incidents, but Cheeseman and Eyre were both at a loss to explain how he stayed on the pitch. I know it doesn't make us feel better, but next time Clatternberg f*cks up, he is just as likely to do it in our favour; I think that he's not anti-City, just a very bad ref.
    As far as the title goes, if both City and Chelsea win all their remaining games, the the final table is City 1st (88 points), Chelsea 2nd (87 points) and Liverpool 3rd (86 points). Actually, the best reult for City is for the malevolent Maureen to get a draw at Anfield.

    • April 14, 2014  8:26 am by David Walker Reply

      Happy for Maureen to beat Brenda - sounds like a game of cards at the Women's Institute coffee morning!

  11. April 14, 2014  8:27 am by Dan Reply

    You blind defence and one sided view is absolutely laughable.

    You're a biased in the view of your team as your Red Manc counterparts.

    Watch the Suarez 'dive' again and you will see his left foot gets clipped. Even backed up by Lineker and co on MOTD. There's also the fact that Kompany used two hands to push him to the ground in said panalty appeal.

    Anyway good luck with the rest of your transition into Man U.

    • April 14, 2014  4:06 pm by David Walker Reply

      Try not to lose any sleep Dan, City will never ever emulate the hateful arrogance of the Trafford Troglodytes. However, your lot - backed by the Mersey Media Mafia - will probably get there in next to no time.

  12. April 14, 2014  8:38 am by Hugh Yao Reply

    how bitter.

    • April 14, 2014  4:07 pm by David Walker Reply

      Have you been at Vincent Connell's grapes? Squeeze the pips out - it'll make your eyes water.

  13. April 14, 2014  8:42 am by Geogina Schofield Reply

    Sorry, but this just sounds like sour grapes! Sure, there were decisions that went against us, but there were decisions that went FOR us in the game on boxing day. Apart from a 20 min spell after half-time, Liverpool were the better side and you can't say that Pellegrini was the reason for the way the first half went. It was a great game that could have gone either way and unfortunately it went with them. Finally, comparing the injustice of a couple of referring decisions to that suffered by the Hillsborough families is crass in the extreme! David, you normally call things right, but on this occasion I'm afraid you've got it wrong on a number of different levels!

    • April 14, 2014  4:09 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks for reading - you are entitled to your opinion as I am to mine. I hope you'll continue reading in future, if only to see how I'm doing on the 'crassometer'.

  14. April 14, 2014  8:43 am by AAmir mir Reply

    City were unlucky yesterday but they do possess the ability to clinch the title let us hope for the best

  15. April 14, 2014  8:47 am by Fifthcolumnblue Reply

    "It had been on an occasion which had demanded dignity and integrity"

    How dignified was it for the Liverpool fans to choose to commemorate the 96 who died by booing every time a City player touched the ball?

    They have a peculiar sense of dignity on Merseyside, and I have lost what little respect I had for them.

    • April 14, 2014  9:02 am by peno123 Reply

      You've got to understand this wasn't about booing the city players because we don't like them (except for Nasri!) this was to give our team as much support and as much advantage as we could. If that meant trying to get at the City players by booing them, then Ok. All's fair in love and war!! Don't tell me City would do anything any differently? You want the fervour and passion to help try and carry your players through a game. If you don't, then perhaps you should be supporting Man Ure or some other Southern supported club!

      • April 14, 2014  5:04 pm by David Walker Reply

        Incidentally, why Nasri in particular?

        • April 14, 2014  11:56 pm by peno123 Reply

          He's always seemed an odious little man. He's blessed with a lot of talent, he's extremely well paid, yet he plays with a scowl. When things go against him he is a sore loser and this is an opinion formed when he was an Arsenal player. There were a few comments made by people around me yesterday about how he was always in the refs ear moaning. I guess it is an opposition fans opinion of a player, much like City's (and everybody elses its seems!) of Suarez.

          • April 15, 2014  6:27 am by David Walker

            Indeed! Thanks for the clarification.

    • April 14, 2014  9:11 am by Dan Reply

      Stop whining you moron!!!!

      • April 14, 2014  5:03 pm by David Walker Reply

        Four exclamation marks - wow, extra dramatic effect!!!!!

    • April 14, 2014  9:22 am by David Walker Reply

      I didn't mind the booing they were simply trying to extract an advantage for their team - hell, it shouldn't have bothered our players. No, it's the cheating I find offensive. Thanks as ever No 5.

    • April 14, 2014  4:18 pm by David Walker Reply

      Hello there No 5 - as I said on twitter, the booing should have been of no consequence, the Liverpool supporters were simply seeking whatever advantage they could muster against a team they clearly respected, even feared. On reflection it was unfortunate that we were the team visiting Anfield on the Hillsborough anniversary. Pool harnessed all the emotions and energy of the moment and channelled them against City, whereas when United marked the 50th anniversary of Munich it backfired on match day. At least City fans showed their class in their overall demeanour and extending respect and empathy to Liverpool.

    • April 14, 2014  5:01 pm by David Walker Reply

      Oh well, never mind No 5 - each to their own. Let's hope they boo us next season when we roll up to Anfield as PL champions.

  16. April 14, 2014  8:49 am by Gordo Reply

    Great article my sentiments exactly

  17. April 14, 2014  9:09 am by Joe smith Reply

    I'll give you the Skrtel handball but the rest as shown latter on TV you have wrong.

    • April 14, 2014  4:19 pm by David Walker Reply

      What - you trust MOTD analysis? Never thought I'd say it, but I'd rather go with Gary Neville's views.

      • April 14, 2014  5:25 pm by Joe smith Reply

        Never mind it could be worse Balotelli could still be playing for you

        • April 14, 2014  6:44 pm by David Walker Reply

          Now that's entertainment - PL & FA Cup winners medals in 2.5 seasons - not bad going. 'OOOOH BALOTELLI HE'S A STRIKER HE'S GOOD AT DARTS...'

  18. April 14, 2014  9:21 am by Paul Reply

    Great article. My one disagreement is your take on the Suarez 'dive' which was a foul.

    Demichelis caught Suarez' left ankle, with a clumsy challenge...almost identical to the foul Suarez commited in the first 5 minutes, therefore, Demichelis should have been booked and Liverpool should have had a free kick in a dangerous position.

    The referee did, however, get two decisions wrong. The first was Kompany's blatant push on Suarez in the box, which should have been a penalty. The second was the Skrtel handball, for which, City should have had a penalty.

    • April 14, 2014  4:24 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Paul. For the life of me I still can't see it as anything other than a dive by Suarez and a penalty against Sakho. Sky - along with the Mersey Media Mafia of Redknapp and Carragher were saying something different to MOTD, whereas Niall Quinn is an ex-City player gone bad. Ever since the Aguerrrooo goal in May 2012 he has been decidedly anti-City. That said the standards of punditry in general are abysmal nowadays, apart from the man I used to love to hate - Gary Neville.

  19. April 14, 2014  9:25 am by craig Reply

    What a load of bull, where were you when manc city beat Liverpool over the chrismas period? Why weren't you here singing about the mis-carriage of justice carried out by the referee, when Liverpool should have drawn if not won, after a calamity of errors from said referee. At least we have a football club built on integrity, not thrown together by a rich Arab willing to throw away billons in order for success. A title bought is not a title won, where were city a few years ago, a mid-table team at best. Even worse are all the so called man-city fans that r crawling out of the woodwork, a couple of years ago you wouldn't see a city jersey outside of north Manchester, now all the money grubbing, glory hunting so called football fans are wearing da sky blue. But they have as much of a clue about football as the Arab owners do, which is very little..

    • April 14, 2014  4:30 pm by David Walker Reply

      Well fella I was at the Etihad on Boxing Day night having had a delightful conversation with John Bishop about the match. So can you account for your whereabouts? As for the barbs about Sheikh Mansour, it's hardly City's fault that your club, with so much integrity, sold its soul to a couple of cowboys from as you so eloquently put it - 'da' good old USA. Your eyes are as green as the US dollars you thought were going to build you a new stadium...green with envy that we have a brilliant owner with a long term commitment and a vision for City. As for gloryhunters...don't even get me started where your lot are concerned. Thanks for reading.

  20. April 14, 2014  9:28 am by craig Reply

    All in moderation ey, absolute coward, just like da football team you support. Only let people read the complimentery comments. Hitler all over again.

    • April 14, 2014  4:34 pm by David Walker Reply

      Craig, dear boy, it's 'COMPLIMENTARY' if you insist on using big words. As for Hitler - he only had one testicle, I thankfully have two, whereas you sir are brilliant at 'talking bollocks'. Maybe you should have a go at Britain's Got Talent - your expressive 'testiculae' should capture the attention of David Walliams.

  21. April 14, 2014  9:58 am by carol Reply

    hardly know what to say Davy, if we had played in the 1st like we did in the 2nd we'd have had em and their cheating would have started even earlier. as for their fans behaviour after the game I'm afraid they arent doing anything to challenge the stereotype eh?

    • April 14, 2014  4:38 pm by David Walker Reply

      They don't help themselves do they? That said, there are genuine, passionate and decent Liverpool fans - as there are at any club, apart from Man Utd of course ;-)

      Generous comments from some Pool fans here on RBNR. They are a club steeped in history who have played wonderful football in both the past and present. I read Tommy Smith's autobiography - now that man was a footballer!

  22. April 14, 2014  10:07 am by Nev Artingstall Reply

    Great read as always David. I'm with fithcolumn about losing respect for Liverpool with all the booing. I asked a Liverpool supporting work colleague why all the booing and he had no clue either. They were my "second" team when I was a kid and I would cheer them on in Europe when they dominated. Now I feel let down by them. Its not over though. Just ask bacon face.
    Cheers.
    Nev

    • April 14, 2014  4:40 pm by David Walker Reply

      Absolutely - I hear no oversized female blasting out a tune just yet. Let's keep this thing going - 6 wins and #TrustOurMP.

  23. April 14, 2014  10:12 am by Susan Richardson Reply

    I would sooner have our lads and fans any day whether we win it or not. Disgraceful aided and abetted by the ref but the wrestling and diving have been going on all season, th FA and FIFA need to get a grip but don't hold your breath. After all the talk of Clattenburg and his penalties not really surprised he didn't award any. BUT we are still in it so let's get behind our team.

    • April 14, 2014  4:43 pm by David Walker Reply

      Suarez and Skrtel are unbelievable...but it's good for the Premier League's global 'brand' if Liverpool win the title. All of those lovely shirts sales in China and a mahussive sponsorship deal for Suarez with Rodent World Weekly.

  24. April 14, 2014  10:47 am by Simon Dear Reply

    I have to say having slept on the result I still find myself feeling very uncomfortable with the way the media whip up the Liverpool frenzy and clearly support their push for a 1st EPL title in a defining year for the families of the 96 that perished on that day in 1989. We all have our own feelings on why it happened on that day , I went to Anfield in the same year with my dad and remember running to the ground from where we parked the car and running back again after the game. Well done City fans for showing absolute class in the face of fans that in my opinion know little about respect for any other fans except their own. I can see now why the rags don't like them very much , they are cut from the same cloth ,very similar in their outlook and belief that their club is the biggest in the world and nobody else should ever question this.
    The match itself was a great advert for the EPL and the Sky Money men will be dribbling in their coffee this morning, but if we win our two home games we are just 1 single point behind , I think we will be let back into this race but will need to win against the more likeable Everton who might have to do their friendly neighbours a 'big favour' when we meet with 3 to play. I bet by then the Pool fans will be taking the view that it would be great to have two clubs in Europe from Liverpool!!... Laughable really.
    Great reply to scouse Paul , Suarez is a brilliant footballer but also a cheat, he fits in well with the Liverpool Ethos.
    6 games to go , this is where it is won and lost, we can still do this . Out of Liverpools 4 remaking games only Newcastle at home on the last day is a banker . It would not surprise me if we back I control in 1 weeks time .
    Keep the faith blues.
    Thanks for a superb write up David accurate and unbiased in all manners

    • April 14, 2014  4:48 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Simon BUT as I keep on saying, you can hardly call me unbiased! I am biased but not to a point where I lose all grip of reality & MCFC can do absolutely no wrong.

  25. April 14, 2014  10:53 am by ant walton Reply

    Spot on as always. The FA MUST explain the state of their referees for this season. There isnt a weekend gone by without an inadequate cocking a result up.Surely they can see for themselves !!! Milner was excellent when he came on and its a shame he doesnt get more game time. his energy is 2nd to none. we can take positives, the return of Sergio, as well as the fact we know Vinny doesnt have an off day regular ! I dont mind losing to anyone but when your cheated out of it it sticks in the throat.

    • April 14, 2014  4:49 pm by David Walker Reply

      Yes, perversely being hammered 5-0 would be easier to take than being cheated.

  26. April 14, 2014  11:16 am by Guvnor Reply

    Great read, for once I agree Clattenburg was a complete Shithouse

    • April 14, 2014  4:45 pm by David Walker Reply

      We are as one Guvnor...at long last. I even had Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror, and a well known Liverpool fan, agreeing with RBNR about Clattenberg, Top journo Darren - one of the few with integrity.

  27. April 14, 2014  11:44 am by Richard Cooper Reply

    Firstly what a superb game of football by the 2 best teams in the Premier League
    I won't add any comments about Mr Clattenburg and Suarez - Your article says it all David.
    I know now what the expression "Unleash The Crowd" means - A constant torrent of booing for about 96 minutes. It didn't bother me at all, I just thought it was ineffective, pointless and sad.
    We were talking to a lady on the concourse who was on the minibus that got attacked. That this kind of behaviour, especially on a day of importance for Liverrpool, was going on beggars belief. To be fair we did not have any problems going to and from the game. As always the small minority grab the headlines.
    A word of praise for the much maligned Martin Demichelis and Javi Garcia - Hope the many who vociferously said they should never wear a blue shirt again are eating a bit of humble pie
    From where we were sitting, sorry I mean standing, the penaty claims seemed legitimate and I didn't watch MOTD to watch the incidents again - A bottle of half price Tesco red and some music seemed preferable.
    It isn't over yet - advantage Liverpool - It is up to City to consign that game to history and ensure we do our best in the last six games. Win our home games, get at least 4 points away, and hope that Liverpool and Chesea drop points along the way which is definately possible.
    Fat Ladies and all that

    • April 14, 2014  4:50 pm by David Walker Reply

      Do you think the Fat Lady was a fierce critic of MDM and Javi? Who ate all the (humble) pies?

  28. April 14, 2014  1:09 pm by Graham Ward Reply

    Hopefully this was our Arsenal moment, but I can't help feeling that Crystal Palace may indeed play a huge part in deciding where the title finishes, never mind Everton.
    The spirit and the fight, as shown yesterday, is there. It's not done and dusted...yet.

    • April 14, 2014  4:51 pm by David Walker Reply

      And...Sergio is back - MCFC CHAMPIONS 2014!

  29. April 14, 2014  1:57 pm by Harry Garnett Reply

    All this cryarsing and conspiracy claims from City fans... Show me a Suarez dive that's more embarrassing than Jovetic against Chelsea. Did you find that offensive? Did you blog calling him a rodent? I could give you a list of cheating and gamesmanship from City as long as your arm - I could for every club. Just as I could point to decisions for and against. This "They're classless, we have dignity" stuff.. it's nonsense. Every team is the same, they are all doing what they can to win. This time Liverpool won, next week they might not.

    • April 14, 2014  4:55 pm by David Walker Reply

      Harry, if you care to read my match report where Jovetic dived you will indeed see me criticising him in no uncertain terms, the same way I did when Yaya dropped to the floor against Fulham. No, I didn't call him a rodent because, unlike Suarez he doesn't resemeble a sewer rat. Do your research before coming on this blog and running your metaphorical 'north & south'. Just think, you'll never get the time you spent reading RBNR back...what a bummer.

  30. April 14, 2014  3:53 pm by Mark Shaw Reply

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's about time the PGMOB were held accountable for the abject failure and plain incompetence of their members. The standard of refereeing this season has been abysmal and until the PGMOB demand nothing less than excellence from refs and censure those that aren't capable of it then football as a whole is damaged.

    As a friend of mine mentioned yesterday, we have the best league in the world in the Premier League yet it's being referee'd by the equivalent of Scottish Division 2 standard refs!

  31. April 14, 2014  4:58 pm by David Walker Reply

    Scottish League Division 2 referees are drawing up a legal suit against your friend as we speak! What else can you expect from the PGMOB - they sound like a bunch of chimps from a tea advert and theIR boss is Mike Riley for Christ's sake!

  32. April 14, 2014  5:30 pm by Jon Cantrill Reply

    Clattenburke refereed the game with the intention of not 'spoiling' the spectacle, but as usual with him he ends up being the centre of attention and the most improtant man on the pitch.

    Manuel brought on the wrong player when Yaya go injured, we were getting the run around by a speedy midfield, and bringing on another midfield plodder didn't help. Milner should have started, and it was no coincidence that once he was introduced we started to creat chances.

    Vinny did what Vinny does in many of our big games, and tries to do it all rather than continuing to do what he's good at. It might be that he doesn't trust any of his defensive partners, but he can't continue to be a headless chicken we need him to be the foundation of our success.

    As for the sewer rat, we can cheer ourselves up with the fact that he'll be playing in Spain next season, so hopefully won't come up against his dispicible behaviour.

    • April 14, 2014  6:52 pm by David Walker Reply

      There were 'strong' rumours of a £70m switch to City this summer for the rodent. He must not come, yes, he's a talent, but he's cheating scum.

  33. April 14, 2014  7:15 pm by Fifthcolumnblue Reply

    Whilst on the subject of referees, I know I'm biased, but we seem to be receiving more than our fair share of bookings this season, particularly when compared to the teams around us.

    I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions/call me biased/bitter/deluded or whatever, but it doesn't look entirely kosher to me.

    Here are the caution stats for our last 11 games:

    Total City: 31 Yellows plus 2 straight Reds
    The Opposition: 16 Yellows & 1 straight Red, 1 second booking Red

    City 4
    Chelsea 0

    City 2 & 1 straight red
    Barcelona 2

    City 3
    Stoke 1

    Barcelona 1
    City 4 & 1 red for second yellow

    City 4
    Wigan 3

    Hull 2
    City 2 & 1 straight red

    City 0
    Fulham 3 & 1 Red for second yellow

    United 2
    City 2

    Arsenal 1
    City 4

    City 3
    Saints 0

    Liverpool: 1 & 1 beyond stonewall red
    City 3

    • April 14, 2014  7:27 pm by David Walker Reply

      Great research No 5 - and we're not a dirty team by all accounts. They're definitely out to get us! ;-)

  34. April 14, 2014  8:23 pm by Jtm08 Reply

    Great read David spot on in every detail.

    Liverpool were the team I wanted to win the EPL if not us, rather them than Maureen. Not anymore.

    There behaviour towards us after we showed such great support for the 96 was disgusting. If they continue bricking coaches and attacking females and youngsters someone else's family will be looking for justice before long.

    As for MP as much as I hate to say it in certain games like yesterday , Chelsea and Barca at home I think he needs to adopt a Maureen game plan. I think he should of started with Milner & Garcia and Yaya pushed up to give us the solid midfield. Dzeko was never going to trouble Skrtel would of loved to see the beast give him a contest for an hour before Sergio came on.

    As for that cheating rodent Suarez the scouse scum can keep him, the only sky blue shirt I hope he will ever wear is his National shirt.

    Have to leave it there as I can feel a Keegan moment coming , I'd love it if we beat them love it.

    Keep up the good work.

    Not Bitter just Better.

    • April 15, 2014  6:31 am by David Walker Reply

      Thanks for the feedback I am with you on just about all of your comments. As I have stated previously, City were flawed at the start and simply couldn't cope with the speed and intensity of Liverpool's play BUT, in defence of MP he had things right for the 2nd half.

  35. April 14, 2014  8:32 pm by DOUGLAS HENSHAW Reply

    We started to slow MP must know that Liverpool would be fast out of the blocks so why weren't we.What should been a classic was ruined by a poor ref & cheating rat Liverpool were rightly ahead in the first half we should of had a pen but for me Dezko made a meal of it but ref was close enough to seee the initial tackle. Suarez was a disgrace & should been sent off I hope rumours of him coming to City aren't true his antics cost Liverpool a pen when will he learn. Skertal handball how did nobody see it unbelievable & poor from the Liverpool crowd booing every time a city player touched the ball. Should Vinny have played only he can answer that one but I was concerned to seee him warming up alone before the match but he made mistakes for all 3 goals. Now were having to put up with the Media led Liverpool love in. By the way Dave & forgive me if im being nosey but are you getting flack of some fans for what you write. If so tell them to get lost if they dont like what you write. Excellent piece again my friend.

    • April 15, 2014  6:44 am by David Walker Reply

      This match, more than most in recent times, has ignited controversy and bad feeling among the two sets of fans and the wider football world. Hardly surprising when you have Sky and BBC match coverage contradicting each other within the space of a few hours. The stakes and the emotions were sky high because of Hillsborough and the PL title race, it was laways going to a quart into a pint pot.
      I have been criticised for stating the facts about Suarez and Clattenburg - even Darren Lewis the respected Daily Mirror football journalist and Liverpool fan - tweeted me to say he was in agreement with my criticism of the referee.
      A minority of people think that this article is 'crass' because it draws a parallel on a 'justice' theme. I disagree, I wouldn't have written it in the first place if I thought it so. However, although I don't do bland, I certainly never intended or would wish to cause offence over such a delicate issue as the Hillsborough Tragedy.

  36. April 14, 2014  11:30 pm by Jay Reply

    As a liverpool fan i can only apologize for the scum that attacked your coaches. On a day when chelsea fans stooped to yet new lows, the respect shown by city fans is truly appreciated. If we don't win the title i sincerely hope you do.

    • April 15, 2014  6:36 am by David Walker Reply

      Jay, it's true fans like you that should not have to apologise for the mindless minority, nonetheless the gesture is appreciated. There was such a conflict of emotions before, during and after the match that many City fans have altered their perspective on Liverpool...and not for the better.Hitherto, most City fans would have preferred a Liverpool title above that of the hated Mourinho but that has been thrown into doubt. We all get so wound up and passionate about what is a game - I am as guilty as the next man/woman - maybe we need to step back and get a proper persepctive from time to time. Once again Jay, thanks for taking the time and effort.

  37. April 15, 2014  7:05 am by Ed Reply

    I could understand that the ref was only going to send a Liverpool player off if it was blatantly obvious that he had to and did he or didn't he is always going to be more debatable. Frustrating that Suarez isn't facing a ban though although can't see anything but Liverpool win against Norwich with or without Suarez, although it would be funny if they failed.

    • April 15, 2014  9:12 am by David Walker Reply

      Clattenburg pandered to the occasion and the potent combination of Hillsborough emotion and Premier League expectation. However which way it is dressed up, it was a dereliction of duty by the referee and, lest we forget, the Assistant Referee - what was he doing while Suarez auditioned for the part of the dying swan?

  38. April 17, 2014  12:50 am by John Evans TT Reply

    Great game, shame about the result.

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