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Micah Richards receives directions from manager Mark Hughes

Micah Richards receives directions from manager Mark Hughes

Sunday October 5, 2008Micah's say... Manchester City v Liverpool

By William Wood | In Micah's Say

Micah reflects on Manchester City’s 3-2 home defeat by title-chasing Liverpool in game that had promised so much.

After a difficult opening 15 minutes in the match, Mark Hughes men seized the initiative, and the lead, through Stephen Ireland’s effort after 19 minutes.

The goal gave the hosts a confidence boost and, as they began to establish themselves in midfield, they were nudged further in front as Javier Garrido’s superbly-aimed free-kick glided past the helpless Jose Reina.

However, the match was not over, and Liverpool clawed themselves back into the game via Fernando Torres third goal in two matches ten minutes into the second half, before panic encapsulated the City faithful as Pablo Zabaleta was shown a red-card for a challenge on Xabi Alonso.

The Reds were level soon after, Steven Gerrard’s pinpoint corner finding Spain international Torres who headed home his second of the afternoon, before City’s hearts were well and truly broken by Dirk Kuyt’s winner in injury-time.

“It was really disappointing to lose the match,” Micah told exclusively. “Going in at half-time two goals up and then going on to lose the game was really disappointing.

“To be honest I think the red-card had a big part to play in the changing of the game, but to be fair to Liverpool they did have the better of the play before the sending-off. It just gave them the extra incentive to go on and win the game however.”

Up to the three-goal collapse, Micah’s partnership with Richard Dunne in the centre of City’s defence had again looked solid, with the duo quelling the threat of Torres throughout the first-half and restricting Liverpool to pot-shots for much of the opening exchanges. How did Micah rate his own display?

“I’m fairly disappointed with my performance and feel as a defender to concede three goals in any game is particularly disappointing,” Micah added. Aside from that though, me and Dunne have developed a good understanding and have a really strong partnership at the heart of the City defence. We both have different strengths and I feel we both complement each other really well.”

After netting 33 goals in all competitions in his debut season in England, Fernando Torres had suffered somewhat of a sluggish start to this campaign, though his brace against Micah’s men followed on from the double he hit against Everton in the Merseyside derby the week before.

On the quality of the 24-year old, Micah said: “He is a world class striker – the type of striker that can be really quiet throughout the game and still manage to get his name on the scoresheet. He has great movement, a good turn of pace and is a deadly finisher. He’s certainly up there with the best stickers I’ve played against and is clearly one of the best strikers in the world.”

City are in somewhat of a sticky patch at the moment, with the defeat to Rafa Benitez’s side their third in four games, but Micah concluded with the belief that Hughes’ men will improve as the new-signings adapt to the Premier League.

“It’s still early in the season, we have brought in a few new faces and the team is still adjusting,” Micah said. Over the course of the season we will only improve and I can guarantee that we will be moving up the table.”