Manchester City v Liverpool 1991/92

liverpool home 1991 to 92 prog 
Barclays League Division 1
21st August 1991
attendance 37,322
City White(29 & 64)
Liverpool McManaman(75)
Ref Paul Vanes
City Coton, Hill, Pointon, Reid, Curle, Redmond, white, Brightwell, Quinn, Megson, Brennan – subs Heath(87), Hendry(unused)
Liverpool Grobbelaar, Ablett, Burrows, Nicol, Whelan, Wright, Saunders, Houghton, McManaman, Barnes, McMahon – subs Walers(64), Marsh(70)
liverpool home 1991 to 92 1st white goal
Taken from an article by David Clayton in the City Match programme 26th December 2013
…With nine defeats in the last ten home games against the reds, and 33 goals conceded during that time, City fans turned upp expecting the usual Maine Road thrashing.
It wasn’t a defeatest attitude, just an acceptance that Liverpool had been a class apart from the Blues for more than a decade and, for whatever reason, they clearly relished playimg on Maine Road’s wide open spaces with City proud owners of the biggest pitch in England at that time.
But with City now player-managed by ex-Evertonian Peter Reid, this looked to be a game where the Blues would at least give a decent account of themselves. Reid was determined that the experienced and workmanlike side he’d fashioned over the summer wouldn’t lie down and roll over for for anyone, least of all the fierce rivals of his former employers, something that also applied to Gary Megson, Neil Pointon and Adrian Heath who were also in the starting XI that day.
A feature of Reid’s City team was that they were seldom found wanting when they had a battle on their hands, the manager managed to get the best out of his squad and the fact that he was lining up alongside them in matches must have helped.
It was a bright August evening and a crowd in excess of 37,000 took the opportunity to welcome the Blues back home after the summer break.
liverpool home 1991 to 92 action 2
While the visitors had added the likes of Mark Wright and Dean Saunders to an already impressive squad, Reid’s main summer signing had been Keith Curle from Wimbledon for £2.5M, a price tag that made the former Dons skipper the most expensive defender in English football at that time. He would play his part, too, in a great all-round performance from the Blues who had a touch of steel about them for the first time in many years.
They needed it, too, with Liverpool packed full of stellar names and exciting attacking talent. City tore into Liverpool from the first minute, never allowing their players time and space. As a result, the dangerous John Barnes and an emerging Steve McManaman weren’t allwed to settle. With Wright struggling to contain Niall Quinn and Ian Brightwell’s midfield energy snuffing out the usually dominant Steve McMahon, City had set the foundations to go on and beat Liverpool at home for the first time since Boxing Day 1985.
It was Quinn, a constant aerial threat, who provided the opening from which City finally made the breakthrough. In the 30th minute he lobbed a glorious pass over the top of David Burrows into the path of David White whose pace had already taken him clear of the rest of the Liverpool defence. A slide rule finish past Reds’ keeper Bruce Grobbelaar put the Blues one up and sent Maine Road wild. Liverpool huffed and puffed but Tony Coton was rarely threatened and midway through the second half, the same devastating combination of Quinn and White helped City double their advantage, though not without a touch of controversy, Quinn’s flick on sent White hurtling towards the Liverpool box with Wright once again trailing in his wake. As the City striker looked up, he unleashed an unstoppable drive, which rocketed past Grobbelaar and hit the underside of the bar before bouncing away to safety. Had it crossed the line? There was a moment’s confusion and it seemed to take an age for referee Paul Vanes to make his mind up, but after checking with his linesman, the goal was given and the packed Kippax went crazy as the official pointedto the centre spot. White was duly mobbed by his team mates and the Blues were on the brink of a famous win.
But it wasn’t over and there was still time for the almost inevitable Liverpool comeback, inspired by the impressive McManaman who had at last broken free of his shackles. Not long after City went 2-0 up, the young winger pulled a goal back with a diving header. Then, Andy Hill’s outstretched leg brought down £2.9M signing Dean Saunders, a boyhood City fan. Penalty to the Reds and agony for the home fans.
The Welshman dusted himself down and, perhaps mindful of Niall Quinn’s penalty save against him the previous season when Derby were relegated when the striker went in goal covering for the dismissed Tony Coton, walloped his penalty against the underside of the bar. But there was to be no repeat decision from the referee as the ball bounced clear without going over the line, proving perhaps that lightning really doesn’t strike the same place twice. Maine Road erupted and the Blues ran down the remaining minutes to claim a 2-1 win.

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