City slip up, Luis lifts Reds mood

BY foxsports • February 3, 2011

At St Andrew's, Roberto Mancini's City stars fell further off the title pace after twice losing the lead and having to settle for a point after Craig Gardner's late penalty secured a point for Blues. Man City had got off to a stunning start with Carlos Tevez taking less than three minutes to put them ahead. The Argentinian striker scuffed his shot past Ben Foster after brilliant work in the box by David Silva. Nikola Zigic forced a fine save out of goalkeeper Joe Hart before the Serbian equalised on 23 minutes when he got his leg on the end of a David Bentley cross to poke home. Aleksandar Kolarov put the visitors back in front just before the break with a fine free-kick and they looked comfortable until 13 minutes from time when Patrick Vieira fouled Kevin Phillips in the box and Gardner stepped up to score from the spot. The result leaves City eight points behind their Manchester rivals United, having played two games more. Meanwhile, Liverpool new boy Luis Suarez proved there is life after Fernando Torres at Anfield by scoring just 17 minutes into his debut as a second-half substitute to seal his new side's 2-0 win over Stoke. As fellow new boy Andy Carroll watched from the stands, Suarez seized his chance to shine when he stole onto a through-ball by Dirk Kuyt and rounded keeper Asmir Begovic before rolling the ball in off defender Andy Wilkinson. Injured Carroll was paraded in front of his new fans before kick-off and will have wondered how Liverpool failed to break the deadlock in the first period, with Begovic pulling off a wonder save to deny Glen Johnson. Raul Meireles finally put his side in front two minutes after the break after seizing his chance when Steven Gerrard's low free-kick deflected off Robert Huth, to drill past Begovic. Newcastle fans will no doubt be raising further questions about the departure of Carroll after the Magpies drew a blank and were sunk 1-0 by their former player Damien Duff at Fulham. Duff, who was booed throughout, scored the only goal of the game after 67 minutes when he burst onto the end of a Danny Murphy punt into the box to fire past Steve Harper. Gael Kakuta and Clint Dempsey could have added to Fulham's victory late on while the visitors laboured in front of goal and were hardly helped by the 13th minute loss of Shola Amoebi after a clash with Steve Sidwell. Robbie Keane made an immediate impact for West Ham as Avram Grant's men moved off the bottom of the table after recording only their second away win of the season, 3-1 over Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. Victor Obinna put the Hammers ahead in the 24th minute with a shot that squeezed through keeper Richard Kingson's hands and Keane opened his account on 37 by bundling home the rebound after Kingson saved from Obinna. Charlie Adam reduced the deficit for the home side direct from a corner three minutes from the break - but just two minutes later, Obinna restored the Hammers' advantage with a magnificent strike from 25 yards. The Hammers sent Wolves to the bottom of the table after Mick McCarthy's men lost 1-0 to an injury-time strike from Bolton debutant Daniel Sturridge at the Reebok Stadium. Sturridge, a 67th-minute substitute, pounced on Ronald Zubar's weak back-pass to keeper Wayne Hennessey and proceeded to fire past the Welsh keeper to secure all three points. Finally, Peter Crouch's third-minute header proved enough for Tottenham to see off Blackburn 1-0 at Ewood Park. Crouch nodded home a cross from Rafael van der Vaart while Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes was in fine form at the other end.

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