Lucas Leiva (21) is congratulated by his Liverpool teammates after scoring the shoot-out winner. AP/Press Association Images

Liverpool recover from Gerrard slip to beat Manchester City on penalties

The Reds captain was unable to prevent Stevan Jovetic from scoring the opener but Brendan Rodgers’ men rallied well.

LIVERPOOL RALLIED TWICE against Manchester City and triumphed 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out after their pre-season friendly at baseball’s Yankee Stadium ended 2-2 at full-time.

Stevan Jovetic scored twice for City, but Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling answered for Liverpool in the clash between last season’s top two teams in the Premier League. Brendan Rodgers’ had goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and midfielder Lucas Leiva to thank for the shoot-out win.

Montenegro’s Jovetic opened the scoring in the 53rd minute after a defensive miscue from Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard. Jesus Navas had fired a cross from the right and a stumbling Gerrard was unable to block it. The ball trickled through his legs and Jovetic pounced to fire it home.

Henderson equalized six minutes later with a fine finish after solid work from Sterling and Daniel Sturridge. But Jovetic restored the Premier League champions’ lead in the 67th after smart, close control. It was the second match in a row that Jovetic scored two for the league champions. He netted a brace in Sunday’s 5-1 friendly triumph over Italy’s AC Milan.

Sterling levelled the match at 2-2 in the 85th with a well-taken strike — and had a goal disallowed in injury time for offside.

After a lively performance throughout, Manchester City were lacklustre in the shoot-out. The decider featured two wild penalties, from Aleksandar Kolarov and Daniel Sturridge, before Mignolet stepped up with fine saves — from Jesus Navas and Yaya Toure — and Leiva slotted home the winner.The match drew a crowd of 49,653 to Yankee Stadium.

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Manchester City are the majority owners, along with storied Major League Baseball franchise the Yankees and of Major League Soccer expansion club New York City FC, which is slated to begin play in 2015 at the baseball ground in the Bronx.

On the night, however, Liverpool fans outnumbered City supporters at the match which was part of the International Champions Cup — a friendly tournament featuring eight European clubs all preparing for the start of their domestic campaigns.

City had the better of possession in the scoreless first half, but Liverpool had arguably the best chance to score when Rickie Lambert’s header from point-blank range was denied by City keeper Willy Caballero.

 - © AFP, 2014

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