Liverpool 2-2 Sunderland
A dark cloud had descended over Liverpool ahead of this match after defeat at Old Trafford and at home to Northampton in the week, combined with more off field troubles from our wonderful owners. This performance and result did nothing to lift the gloom. This was another dismal display and again we were quite lucky to come away with anything from it.
I’ve no problems over the actual team selection, that 11 is probably our strongest available. Never though did I expect Meireles to end up on the right of midfield. I doubt he himself expected to be playing out there when he was made our most expensive signing of the summer.
I just can’t understand the logic behind signing a player like Meireles then sticking him out of position on the right. We would have been a lot more natural to play him alongside Poulsen, with Gerrard in behind Torres and Kuyt on the right.
Our massive lack of width in the final third was due to Meireles and Cole, both always looking to come inside, in the wide positions. Width only arrived once the full backs got forward and Sunderland were able to funnel us inside.
The match itself was somewhat similar to the nightmare of Northampton. Again we got an early goal within ten minutes and you expect we’d take that on but instead we didn’t and eventually ended up 2-1 behind before grabbing an equaliser late on.
The opening goal, well, Steve Bruce isn’t happy with it, he’s called it unsporting and I can see why he would say that. I’d be pissed off if we conceded a goal in that manner. At the same time though, Turner was stupid to do it and Torres showed his desire to get us going by taking advantage. It’s karma anyway for the beachball goal last season so get over it Bruce.
The first half was much like any Liverpool match this season. Stale, played in the middle third and no real action at either end. Only once Poulsen handled in the box did Sunderland get an opportunity to score. Bent hit the penalty well but Reina was down well, too well in fact. If Bent’s penalty had been in the corner Pepe would have saved it, instead it wasn’t quite and the ball went under his body.
Bent’s second just after the break was well crafted by the visitors and the cross from Onouha was excellent. Bent put it away at the back post, getting across Johnson – who had another poor performance.
It was only once Hodgson finally realised something needed changing – most notably getting some width. Ngog came on for Poulsen with Meireles going inside alongside Gerrard and Kuyt on the right. We looked much better after that and Gerrard equalised with a well taken header from Torres’ cross after good work down the right from the Spaniard.
So 6 games in and we have 1 win to our name. I struggle to see how we are going to get anywhere near the top four. Simple things like the lack of width and playing people out of position will haunt us all season at this rate.
Add to the poor performance the complete apathy of the 80% of supporters who left at full time and therefore didn’t join in the post-match sit-in protest against Hicks and Gillett. Too many ‘supporters’ who don’t understand what’s going on and/or don’t care about the club enough to do anything about those two cretins.
Depressing times to be a red.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Konchesky (Agger), Meireles, Poulsen (Ngog), Gerrard, Cole, Kuyt, Torres