Jovetic Stars As City Outclass Liverpool

Matthew Stanger was at the Etihad to watch Stevan Jovetic star in Man City's impressive victory over Liverpool. The striker certainly has a part to play after last season's frustrations...

Last Updated: 26/08/14 at 09:29 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Backing Spurs To Thrash Leicester...


Degsy is tipping Spurs to pile more pressure on Nigel Pearson with a 3-0 win at Leicester on Boxing Day. He also predicts easy wins for United and Arsenal...

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

Post comment

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

All Articles

When asked what Mario Balotelli will bring to Liverpool before a pulsating encounter at the Etihad, Brendan Rodgers joked on Sky Sports: "Trouble." But it was the Italian's replacement at Manchester City that posed the biggest problem for the Reds on a night that saw City reassert their superiority.

Stevan Jovetic was a ghost in City's squad last season, collecting a Premier League winner's medal despite making only 13 appearances for the champions. Injuries disrupted a frustrating campaign, but Manuel Pellegrini never lost faith in the forward. "He had a number of different injuries last season but now he is fully fit," said Pellegrini in pre-season. "If he's fit all the year, he will be a very important player for us." On Monday, Jovetic began to reward his manager's patience.

With Balotelli watching in the stands at his former stomping ground, Jovetic provided the sort of lively display that his predecessor frequently failed to deliver. Developing the flashes of quality he exhibited in the Community Shield and at Newcastle on the opening weekend, Jovetic's contribution once again emphasised the remarkable depth of City's squad. The best attack in the Premier League has been strengthened without even having to dip into the transfer market, although 'dip' is rarely the right word when it comes to City's spending power.

Jovetic faced being the fourth wheel among City's strikers after a nightmare debut campaign, but Alvaro Negredo's foot injury and Sergio Aguero's steady return to fitness have afforded him an unexpected opportunity to stake a claim for a starting spot. And it is one he clearly intends to seize in the manner in which he pounced on Alberto Moreno's hesitation to fire City into the lead.

More than anything else, a fully fit Jovetic offers movement and, after pulling Liverpool's defenders out of position with his darting runs, the forward capitalised on Moreno's momentary lapse to rifle the ball through Simon Mignolet. His second goal revealed even more of his talent, as the 24-year-old flicked a delightful through-ball to Samir Nasri before connecting with his teammate's return pass to put City firmly in control. By this stage the hosts were cruising, and Aguero's introduction in the 68th minute was followed by the Argentine grabbing the third goal in the 69th.

The home support gloated that Balotelli is destined to win nothing with his new club, but the Italian will have been impressed by several aspects of Liverpool's attacking performance, despite the Reds suffering a disappointing defeat. That is more than can be said for Angel Di Maria had he seen Manchester United's drab display in their draw with Sunderland on Sunday, and there is still plenty of encouragement for Liverpool that they can keep their rivals at arm's length in the race for the top four.

However, on this evidence City remain a level above the Reds, and it will require yet more rapid development under Rodgers to rein in the champions. With Jovetic adding another dimension to City's attack, and Fernando proving a fine alternative to Fernandinho in central midfield, Pellegrini still possesses by far the strongest squad in the league. If Liverpool are to prove they can bridge the gap, Balotelli will have to contribute much more than he ever managed at City.

Matt Stanger - he's on Twitter.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments


really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew


m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce


ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Premier League: QPR look for result against Arsenal, Rio Ferdinand in selection contention

QPR boss Harry Redknapp says Rio Ferdinand could be back in the team as the squad is rotated through the festive period.

Premier League: Nemanja Matic says Chelsea can win quadruple

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic insists the Blues can win the quadruple this season.

Premier League: Ronald Koeman facing selection crisis ahead of Southampton's match against Everton

Harrison Reed's impressive display against Everton has given Ronald Koeman a selection dilemma.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property