Andy Carroll grabbed his first Liverpool goals as the hosts obliterated a weakened Manchester City by 3-0 at Anfield. With City gearing up for a huge FA Cup semi-final clash over the weekend, Roberto Mancini opted to rest both David Silva and Nigel de Jong, but his plans backfired as the makeshift side he put out were played off the park by Kenny Dalglish's men - and to top it all off Carlos Tevez hobbled off the field barely a quarter of an hour into the match with an injury.
The City captain is believed to have a hamstring tear, which if true would put the rest of his season in some doubt, and he'll almost certainly miss the match against Manchester United this weekend. Mario Balotelli, the man who came in for Tevez, also appeared to pick up a knock - the striker was clearly troubled by a back problem after being flattened by Lucas - and was himself replaced by Nigel de Jong with a few minutes left on the clock. His injury is not expected to be particularly serious, however.
As for the rest of the match, Liverpool were sublime in the first half and comfortable in the second. 3-0 flattered the visitors, who couldn't cope with the intelligent movement of Luis Suarez combined with the physical presence of Carroll. Carroll got the party going with a long range shot that caught Joe Hart flat-footed before Dirk Kuyt threaded in a fine finish, and the ex-Newcastle man added to City's misery by netting a powerful header less than two minutes after Kuyt's goal.
In the second half, Liverpool weren't quite so rampant, but they didn't need to be. Despite the introduction of David Silva ten minutes into the half, there was virtually no attacking threat from City and Liverpool were free do just do whatever they wanted, which was mostly having Suarez try ten billion cute flicks into space. It took until there were less than ten minutes to go for the visitors to even register a shot on goal, and although Yaya Toure's effort packed a real punch, Pepe Reina dealt with the threat to deny City even a consolation goal.
The result leaves Manchester City just three points ahead of fifth place Tottenham Hotspur (and the London side have a game in hand), as well as reducing their goal differential advantage to twelve. Liverpool, meanwhile, seperate themselves from the pack of teams chasing sixth place - they're now four points clear of Everton and five of Bolton Wanderers. More than that, they've given themselves a huge boost with a great performance tonight.