The only rules are that the player must have appeared in a Man City v Liverpool Premier League match since the year 2000, to make it vaguely relevant…
GK: Claudio Bravo
Worse than Nicky Weaver, Sander Westerveld and Scott Carson? In terms of expectation, absolutely. The former Barcelona keeper has a lovely pair of feet but his hands are a far greater concern. He has been relegated to the role of cup keeper – just the domestic ones too, David Ospina at least gets the European games – after half a season at City and he doesn’t look like winning his place back anytime soon.
RB: Hatem Trabelsi
The Department for Employment reportedly had to instruct City to tear up the contract they had with the former Ajax defender because, technically, he was being paid less than the minimum wage in 2006. Some City fans think he was lucky to get that. Still, he was hardly on the bread line City were said to have been topping up his illegally-low basic wage with £15,000-per appearance, which would have still netted the Tunisian £300,000 during the 2006-07 season, had the contract remained in place.
CB: Mauricio Pellegrino
The former Argentina defender joined his former boss Rafa Benitez at Anfield in January 2005 but it quickly became clear his best days were well behind him. “A player who is alarmingly short of pace,” was Alan Hansen’s verdict so it was perhaps no surprise that Liverpool won only 25 per cent of the 12 Premier League games Pellegrino appeared in.
CB: David Sommeil
The French defender created a little bit of history by scoring the first Premier League goal at the City of Manchester Stadium but that’s all City fans will remember him for. Tottenham’s Lee Young-Pyo probably hasn’t forgotten Sommeil, though, after the centre-back was banned following what Martin Jol described as an “horrific” tackle on his player. Even Stuart ‘Psycho’ Pearce thought Sommeil crossed a line: “It was a poor tackle and I will have a chat to tell him it is unacceptable.”
LB: Paul Ritchie
Shortly after joining City from Rangers for £500,000, the Scottish defender started at Anfield in 2000 alongside Jeff Whitley while George Weah sat on the bench. In fact, two of Ritchie’s 12 Premier League appearances came against the Reds but with City relegated at the end of that season, the full-back never played in the top flight again. Spells at Portsmouth, Derby and Walsall followed his City exit before he returned to Scotland with Dundee United.
RM: Antonio Nunez
The winger arrived at Anfield as part of the deal that took Michael Owen to Real Madrid and he finished his debut season with a Champions League winners medal. The Spanish Jonathan Greening, however, was shipped back home after just one season with the Reds, during which he failed to find the net in the Premier League, or do anything else worthy of note.
CM: Dani Pacheco
Liverpool have imported many a talented youngster from the continent, with almost none able to live up to the hype. Big things were expected of Pacheco when he arrived at Anfield from Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, but ‘The Assassin’ was more Gai Assulin than Cesc Fabregas. The attacking midfielder got Reds very excited with some brilliant displays in the reserves and occasionally in pre-season, but he never looked like replicating that form in the first-team.
CM: Abdisalam Ibrahim
Another exciting imported youngster who couldn’t cut it at senior level, Ibrahim’s 15 minutes of fame came in February 2010, when Roberto Mancini gave the Somalia-born Norwegian midfielder the last quarter of an hour of a 0-0 draw with Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium. That was Ibrahim’s only Premier League action before he was released from his contract to join Olympiacos. He managed not one appearance for the Greek giants and now plays for Viking in Norway.
LM: Bernard Diomede
Diomede arrived at Liverpool from Auxerre for £3million as a World Cup winner. It was all downhill from there. The winger made only two Premier League appearances for the Reds, including one off the bench during a 1-1 draw with City in January 2001. Gerard Houllier had some sympathy for his compatriot: “Let’s just say that he’s been the victim of several twists of fate.” Phil Thompson just thought he was rubbish.
Offering yet more proof that you don’t have to be any good at football to play for Brazil, Jo flopped spectacularly for City after joining them for a club-record fee of around £19million from CSKA Moscow. For all that cash, City got one goal in 21 Premier League appearances. Barely half a season after signing him, City shipped Jo off to Everton. The striker fooled David Moyes into extending that arrangement throughout the entire 2009-10 season, but he was returned to sender halfway through that deal after he buggered off back to Brazil without permission.
CF: Bernardo Corradi
Completing an all-City forward line, Corradi faced Liverpool twice in the 2006-07 season. Unsurprisingly, in hindsight, they failed to hit the net in either game. The Italian managed only one more goal than red cards during his season at City. The first dismisal came on his debut; the second towards the end of the Manchester derby. Stuart Pearce was not impressed: “I’m not gonna stand here like nineteen other Premiership managers and give you some bullsh*t story. He dived. I’ll talk to the player. It won’t happen again.”
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