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In Cleveland, hope dies last

Liverpool lets one get away against Manchester City

It’s a fine line between hero and goat in professional sports.

Just ask Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel.

Defending Premier League champs Manchester City were able to get out of Anfield with a point they may not have deserved on Sunday thanks to one errant back pass from Skrtel.

Leading 2-1 off of goals from Skrtel and Luis Suárez, Skrtel tried play the ball back to keeper Pepe Reina, but his blind pass instead set up Carlos Tevez for an easy equalizing goal, denying Liverpool a much-needed three points in the home debut for manager Brendan Rodgers.

“My glass is very nearly full,” Rodgers told ESPN. “I thought it was a brilliant performance. We were asked a lot of questions and I thought the players were incredible. Some times the best team doesn’t win. Let’s remember we were playing a good side.

“(Martin) was brave enough to play it and that’s the development of the team. As a group we will only get better.”

The win was definitely there for the taking, as Liverpool twice went up by a goal. But Manchester City answered back each time, first from Yaya Touré  and then from Tevez.

“It was a brilliant game for the neutral and it was great to go ahead twice, so we’re disappointed not to win the game,” Joe Allen told Sky Sports. “Bittersweet probably sums it up perfectly.”

But there were some encouraging signs. Allen and Raheem Sterling had solid debuts, and the squad played much, much better than in the opening match with West Brom.

“It was a brilliant performance I thought,” Rodgers told Sky Sports. “There were a lot of questions asked of the team coming into such a big game but I thought the players were incredible and sometimes the best team doesn’t win, and I think we were the better team.

“From what I’ve seen today, last week was a one-off and today I thought they were terrific.”

We’ll find out pretty quickly if Liverpool can build on today’s solid showing as their next game is Sunday, when they host Arsenal.

(Photo by Reuters)

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