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What The Guardian Said!

By: Andy Wilson of The Guardian
Date: 24/10/2001

GRIMSBY's Worthington Cup win at Liverpool was scarcely believable at the time, but it looked more of a shock than ever last night as they were totally outclassed.

They came into this game on a run of five consecutive league defeats and were condemned to a sixth inside 24 minutes as Manchester City exploited some poor defending to earn a 3-0 lead.

That glory night at Anfield is now their only win in nine matches. Perhaps they are keeping their powder dry for a trip to Manchester United or Arsenal in the fourth round next month.

City started with a back four for the first time under Kevin Keegan, and the manager's change in tactics seemed to take Grimsby completely by surprise.

Inside three minutes Stuart Pearce, who reverted to left back rather than playing as one of three central defenders, found Danny Tiatto in acres of space ahead of him, and the Australian crossed for Shaun Goater to score his 15th goal of the season.

Grimsby came close to an equaliser when Alan Neilson found Michael Boulding on the edge of City's box. But his shot was just wide and it was not long before the Mariners' defensive problems were exposed again.

First, Ali Benarbia, who found more space on the right of midfield after being man-marked in recent matches, earned a corner with a typically inventive piece of play and Steve Howey beat Paul Groves to convert Pearce's excellent delivery with a powerful header.

That was Howey's first goal of the season and three minutes later it was followed by Darren Huckerby's second in three days, as he received the ball on the left corner of the penalty area, skinned Marlon Broomes and surprised Danny Coyne by shooting with the outside of his right foot to find the top corner.

Phil Jevons, who scored Grimsby's late winner at Anfield, was booked for protesting that he had been fouled by Pearce in the build-up to the goal.

Huckerby was having a field day running at the defence and he scored his second after beating Tony Gallimore to Goater's flick-on.

After failing to win their last three home games City needed this, although they can expect a far tougher test against Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

Andy Wilson at Maine Road
Wednesday October 24, 2001
The Guardian

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