Liverpool holds Man City to 1-1 draw

Mario Balotelli added another chapter to his eventful season

when he was sent off just 18 minutes after coming on as Premier

League leader Manchester City was held to a 1-1 draw at Liverpool

on Sunday.

Balotelli came on in the 65th minute as City searched for a

winner but was sent off in the 83rd after receiving his second

booking for barging into Martin Skrtel.

City captain Vincent Kompany glanced in the opening goal in the

31st minute but Liverpool equalized two minutes later when Joleon

Lescott diverted Charlie Adam’s shot past his own goalkeeper.

With 11 wins and two draws from 13 games, City leads defending

champion United by five points. United, which last season surpassed

Liverpool’s 21-year-old record of 18 English titles, drew 1-1 with

Newcastle following the award of a contentious penalty to the

visitors.

Kompany glanced a header into the top corner from David Silva’s

corner kick before Lescott’s outstretched leg deflected Adam’s shot

past Joe Hart for the equalizer.

”Manchester City are a top side and have top players and we

knew it would be difficult,” Adam said. ”But we stuck to our guns

and we played well.”

Balotelli charged about the field after replacing Samir Nasri in

the 65th minute, getting his first yellow card for pulling back

Glen Johnson by the shoulder and the second six minutes later for

leading with his arm while challenging Skrtel for an aerial

ball.

Sent from the field, Balotelli seemed to remonstrate with

manager Roberto Mancini before being escorted down the tunnel by a

policeman. But Mancini said he had no concerns over the

striker.

”He didn’t deserve the second yellow card,” Mancini said. ”We

don’t have any problem. Mario is young. I think he was disappointed

with the yellow card.”

Hart then made saves from Luis Suarez and – with a spectacular

one-handed stop – from substitute Andy Carroll. Silva could have

won it for 10-man City at the other end with a breakaway but his

shot was blocked on the line by one of a trio of covering

defenders.

Liverpool is in sixth place, ahead of Arsenal on goal

difference.