In one of the dullest games ever played, Liverpool have defeated Manchester City 1-0 in the first leg of the two teams' Carling Cup semifinal at the Etihad Stadium. Neither side looked like they were an aggregate win away from Wembley, with City in particular desperately poor. The hosts were missing Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and David Silva, but their absentees are not an adequate excuse for playing like a League One side.
Liverpool weren't much better - they controlled the play in the first half, won a penalty when Stefan Savic pulled a monstrously stupid challenge on Daniel Agger for Steven Gerrard to put the visitors ahead on the spot, and holding a 1-0 lead at halftime... the Reds shut up shop completely. City looked better in the second half thanks to their opponents not even pretending to mount an attacking threat, and they might have levelled the scores with better luck or against a lesser keeper, but it's difficult to say that they deserved anything from a miserable performance. It was a far cry from the entertaining FA Cup match that the same ground hosted over the weekend, and hopefully the second leg will be greatly improved.