Manchester City picked up a hard-fought 2-1 win over Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League's final Boxing Day match.
Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring, with Vincent Kompany and Alvaro Negredo replying for City to put them in front before half-time, a lead they did not relinquish.
|Manchester City Player Ratings|
|Liverpool Player Ratings|
Quick first half analysis:
MAN CITY—Negredo has had several chances on goal, mainly thanks to the efforts of Yaya Toure behind him in City's midfield. The passing from the home team has been hugely impressive at times, quick and accurate. Joe Hart has made two good saves, in particular from Coutinho at 1-1.
LIVERPOOL—Like City, they've had moments of excellent class and technique, with Raheem Sterling's running off the ball a real positive. The winger had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside too. At the back, Skrtel and Sakho have individually been good—but as a defensive unit, the Reds have been far, far too open, especially on the counter-attack.
Quick second half analysis:
MAN CITY—Slowed the tempo and dictated possession for an important 15-minute spell in the second half, ensuring they stayed in front and kept their own defensive third locked tight. Might have added another with the odd half-chance. Toure and Fernandinho very impressive once more, while Lescott was lucky not to concede at least one penalty.
LIVERPOOL—Didn't quite have enough to find a second goal, though Henderson and Suarez went close. Sakho endured a difficult second half and the substitutes had very little impact. Allen, Sterling and Skrtel had big second halves—but the latter could have conceded a penalty of his own again.