Rafa Benitez is in serious trouble as Liverpool boss as his side failed to overcome bottom of the table Portsmouth at Fratton Park. The Anfield outfit were poor as were Pompey but the south coast side got the breakthrough thanks to a lashed shot from Nadir Belhadj. Javier Mascherano made things worse for Liverpool when he was sent off for a violent challenge on Tal Ben Haim.
Both sides may blame the conditions at a freezing Portsmouth for a serious lack of good play but in truth this was two sides low on confidence playing very badly and the team with more determination ran out winners. Benitez made some odd tactical decisions, such as bring Andrea Dossena in to play ahead of Emiliano Insua, again relegating Yossi Benayoun back to the bench, perhaps more oddly Alberto Aquilani, Liverpool‘s big money summer signing, wasn’t even on the bench and the knives will be out for Rafa after this shocker.
Avram Grant’s Portsmouth side battled on with determination and secured a crucial three points thanks to a fine finish from Frederic Piquionne
Portsmouth 1-0 Liverpool (Nadir Belhadj)
Liverpool’s Mascherano Sent Off
Portsmouth 2-0 Liverpool (Frederic Piquionne)