Back to the drawing board!
Why is it that too many of our players instinctively opt for a backwards ball? That was what I found myself repeating to myself as the game wore on and our performance got progressively worse. Secondly can anyone tell me why Yossi Benayoun didn’t start the game? He created more in his 20 minute cameo that Ryan Babel did in his hour plus on the pitch.
We never looked threatening in the first half and our defence was truly shaken after Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel battled bravely for the same ball. It was a scrappy first half to be honest but I just couldn’t see us getting a goal at all and too many players were not firing on all cylinders.
They deserved their lead and although I was delighted when Glen Johnson won the penalty that Stevie G converted, I still had a sneaky suspicion they would take the lead sooner rather than later and they did just three minutes later as again our backline turned off from a free-kick.
However on the counter attack for the last 15-20 minute we were rattling the opposition. Benayoun was finding space and using the ball wisely, but more importantly, incisively. Lucas was okay for the first 30 minutes but then vanished. We didn’t deserve anything from the game but we could have gotten another penalty towards the end it would have been against the run of play and we thoroughly deserved to lose. Rafa needs to shake things up for Stoke City midweek starting with giving Yossi a starting berth and maybe even considering trying a two pronged attack with Voronin getting a chance.
Without Alonso driving the midfield we are lacking forward momentum and It may be time for a tactical wake up call.
Reina 7 – A couple of decent stops and not at fault for either goal
Johnson 8 – Liverpool’s best player. Winning the penalty showed just what he can offer that Arbeloa couldn’t.
Insua 6 – Lost the ball too often
Carragher 6 – Fought for every ball but may have been to blame for Bassong’s goal
Skrtel 7 – Typically tigerish performance, probably played a good 40 minutes with concussion!
(Ayala) 6 – Hard to judge on such a short stint on the field, but looked overawed and unstable
Gerrard 6 – Poor in my opinion. Lacked cutting edge and dipped in and out of the game
Mascherano 6 – Off the pace and lost the midfield battle
Lucas 6 – Desperate to take his chance but wasn’t very impressive
Torres 7 – Ran his socks off but was given little in the way of service
Kuyt 6 – subdued performance
(Voronin) 7 – On the pitch for ten minutes but probably should have been awarded a penalty
Babel 6 – Time for the Dutchman to prove his worth rather than always losing the ball
(Benayoun) 8 – Was always a threat and if the game carried on much longer would surely have either created or scored a goal himself.