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Hughes hails gritty City display at Anfield

Mark Hughes 0809

Mark Hughes 0809

Mark Hughes has hailed City's display in the draw at Anfield as the best away performance of the league season.

City were 12 minutes away from the first win on the road in the Barclays Premier League since August 31st, but Dirk Kuyt's equaliser, after a lucky deflection when Torres had miskicked at a cross in the area, saw the Blues come away from Anfield with a point.

Craig Bellamy had struck just after half-time to score against his old club, and the goal spurred City into their best phase of the match, so given the context of the opposition, did Mark think this was the best away performance of the season?

"I think so," he said afterwards, "given the quality of the opposition and who we were up against today. We caused them problems in attack, and for long periods we were very much in control of the game. To say that at Anfield is something we have to be pleased about.

"We have set a standard now and it is up to us to not let it drop from what we produced today. There have been times this season when we have been impressive at home, and then been at fault away in the next match. What we have to do from now until the end of the season is a consistent level of performance. On the back of the display in Copenhagen, we are starting to get that.

"I thought we looked strong at the end of the game after the exertions of Thursday night. Liverpool have had a couple of weeks off, and no-one could say we were tiring towards the end. It’s a good sign for the second half of the season."

Sunday's team selection saw De Jong, Zabaleta & Kompany impose a presence in midfield in front of the back four, and it is an option the Manager may keep in the locker for the future.

"There was good movement from our front three, and having the three lads in midfield worked really well. We had to change the personnel, went for a more solid look and I think it helped. It is something we will look at in the away games coming up. Nigel probably had his best game in his short time with us and that has to be good for his confidence. Overall, it was a professional Premier League performance."

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Liverpool v City 22-02-2009

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