Ahead the showdown between Liverpool and Manchester City this afternoon, we take a look at the sides’ 2011 showdown. A dazzling performance from Kenny Dalglish’s 22 year-old, Geordie signing promised so much for a Liverpool career that never got going.
The 2011 January transfer window may go down as the most peculiar in the club’s history. On a crazy deadline day, Liverpool sold star striker, Fernando Torres, to Chelsea for a whopping £50 million. In return, Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll were brought in to fill the offensive void left by the Spaniard’s departure.
The transfer fee of £35 million for the Newcastle forward stunned the footballing world. Despite his limited top-flight experience, Carroll was now the most expensive British player in history.
Liverpool v Manchester City
The striker had to wait till March to make his Liverpool debut, after suffering a thigh injury in his time at Newcastle. However, he properly introduced himself to the Anfield faithful in April against a high-flying Manchester City.
Roberto Mancini’s side sat fourth in the table with an FA Cup semi-final against their city rivals to look forward to. However, the Reds were clawing their way up the table, under Dalglish’s resurgent lead.
Carroll took little time to leave his mark on the game. A 25-yard bullet past a helpless Joe Hart gave Liverpool an early lead. Talisman Carlos Tevez’ injury minutes later pounded further misery on a debilitated City side.
Dirk Kuyt’s tidy finish was followed shortly afterwards by a towering header by Liverpool’s new number nine. A convincing half to say the very least.
The second half was nothing more than a procession for a dominant Liverpool side. Carroll bullied City’s defence, dominating the aerial battles and forming a coherent understanding with strike partner, Suarez.
He only just missed out on a hattrick after his looping header had Hart scrambling.
The 3-0 victory edged the Reds ever closer to the top four, marking an incredible turnaround since Dalglish’s January arrival.
City arguably had eyes on the weekend’s FA Cup semi-final but Carroll, and Liverpool, put on a show. The Reds looked dangerous throughout the match and sustained an intense level of dominance over an in-form Manchester City.
Without key players Steven Gerrard and Daniel Agger, things indeed looked promising for the Merseyside outfit.
Infamously, it was never to be for Carroll. Without another goal that season and only nine in the following term, Liverpool loaned him out to West Ham United before making that deal permanent in 2013.
Despite being plagued by injuries, the imposing striker has since shown glimpses of his class.
Considering his aerial supremacy and weapon of a left foot, it is a shame things did not work out at Anfield for Carroll. Did he need more time to gel into Liverpool’s system?
Admittedly, his departure prompted the signing of Daniel Sturridge in January 2013. Without that arrival, there would have been no SAS, dancing celebrations or Hip Hop Quizzes.