Sunday, November 26, 2006

Gerrard Inspires Lacklustre Reds

Organised vs Disorganised; 3-5-2 Mess


English Premiership

LIVERPOOL 1 - 0 Manchester City

Scorer:
LIV - Gerrard (67min);

1-0 Gerrard:






If you're a Liverpool fan, you must have heaped a sigh of relief.

If you're a neutral, you'll be glad the bore fest was over when Rob Styles blew the whistle.

A beautiful right foot strike from Steven Gerrard ensured Liverpool's victory over a determined and organised Manchester City. Just like the uncountable number of occasions where Gerrard pops up from nowhere to score the winner, he was there to pounce on a mistake from City captain, Sylvain Distin and scores his first Premiership goal for Liverpool this season.

That goal must've made all the critics who says Gerrard should play in the middle real happy. It was a typical Gerrard-esque goal.

A run from deep and then a powerful shot which gave Nicky Weaver absolutely no chance. Like an eagle pouncing on it's prey. Precise and swift. He was also the player who came closest to scoring in the first half.

Manchester City set out a very defensive tactics at Anfield in hope of a change of fortune away from home. They have been just as bad as Liverpool in terms of away form and in order to avoid defeat, they had Chinedum Onuoha, Micah Ricards and Hatem Trabelsi all in the same team. Obviously they are there to shackle Liverpool's left flank as well as exploit it.

Without Stephen Warnock, Fabio Aurelio and Harry Kewell, John Arne Riise was the only outright option for Rafa Benitez.

With injuries abound, Rafa tinkered not only with the players, but now with an experimental 3-5-2 formation which made us looked so disorganised at times and the players were obviously confused and were nearly caught out on a couple of occasions.

The first half was a dull affair with the home team having a lion share of possession. Crouch, Gerrard and Luis Garcia all had chances to put Liverpool ahead and kick start the pace of the game, but the finishing was found wanting.

Second half was no better as Rafa decided to keep the formation as Liverpool continued to toll on as Man City sat deeper and deeper. Distin and Dunne led the defence line very well and they rendered Crouch and Kuyt almost useless. The 2 strikers could not get a sniff at goal throughout although Kuyt looked very energetic as usual and seemed to be running his socks off.

The game finally reached its peak when Gerrard scores and it did have a certain effect on the Liverpool team as well as City's. Inspired by captain, the Reds pushed on for the second but sadly, lost the momentum as time wore on. Introduction of Fowler didn't do much impact while Pennant was active, but final ball still poor.

Man City looked to have a last push with Giorgios Samaras coming really close with a shot towards the top corner, but Pepe Reina was alert enough to stop it and saved Liverpool from embarrassment.

Overall, a below par performance from the Reds. But I was pleased to see us winning despite playing poorly. Credits goes out to Man City who defended superbly until a lapse of concentration cost them a credible draw. They were organised, but were obviously not there to play much football.

By the way, can we just take a corner rather than always keeping it short? Because if I'm a defender and by sprinting 50-60 yards to the opponent's box only to see it goes short and then lose possession, I'll be well pissed.


Liverpool Ratings:

Reina - 8 - Inspired confidence. A couple couple of good catches and vital saves.

Agger - 7 - Did well. But dwells on ball too much to be reliable.
Hyypia 7 - Towering presence. But he seemed to be VERY slow.
Carragher - 7 - Made to play on the right, then left back. Did okay.
Finnan - 7 - Nothing spectacular. Didn't provide width when required.

Gerrard - 9 - Disciplined performance as an anchorman and a goal to his name.
Zenden - 7 - Tried luck with some shots. Overall, his passing is still pretty poor.
Luis Garcia - 5 - Infuriating. Showed poor touches and decision.
Riise - 7 - Worked hard down the left flank.

Crouch - 5 - Did nothing that I can remember of.
Kuyt - 7 - At least he tried and his constant closing down is a problem for opponent defenders.

7 comments:

Hafiz said...

""By the way, can we just take a corner rather than always keeping it short? Because if I'm a defender and by sprinting 50-60 yards to the opponent's box only to see it goes short and then lose possession, I'll be well pissed.""

I would be freaking pissed too!
and i'm even though i wasnt the one playing !

DROGBALLS said...

Haha it was actally better this week. Last week at Boro, it was total disaster. EVERYONE of it was short corner. B*llocks

Anonymous said...

I thought this was how we played AWAY from home. Wtf? If we slip in our HOME form like this...
Also, I believe we need a finisher. Just a pure clinical classic goal poacher, because we have chances that just DONT go in. Maybe like Horseface, or even (excuse by blue and whited tinted glasses), Crespo.

DROGBALLS said...

Maybe in comparison, it was like the last game against Boro. Because they defended deep and Liverpool lacked the penetrative power to overcome them. But generally our away form was due to us trying to outplay the opponents like Arsenal and Chelsea, which in my opinion, miles ahead of us in terms of personals and their team work. We got eaten alive by them.

Anyway I have to agree with you that we need a regular goal poacher. We bought Kuyt and hope that he can be that 20 goals a season striker but to me, he's more like a supporting striker due to his intelligence and movement. Be honest, Crouch might be good, but we cannot rely on him for goals. We deffo need a 'fox in the box'. Hard to find nowadays, eh?

Anonymous said...

"Maybe in comparison, it was like the last game against Boro. Because they defended deep and Liverpool lacked the penetrative power to overcome them. But generally our away form was due to us trying to outplay the opponents like Arsenal and Chelsea, which in my opinion, miles ahead of us in terms of personals and their team work. We got eaten alive by them."


True. But then again, Chelsea, arsenal and ManYoo also have much better resources than us. I'm not saying that's an excuse, especially since many of the smaller clubs with not many resources are outplaying us, but still...
Another thing about our away form is I think Rafa's approach. Now I don't want to criticize Rafa, and I may be wrong (don't shoot me...) but something in our away formation always seems to be amiss...
*sigh* Our midfield always scores more than our strikers, because as you rightly said, Kuyt is a support striker and Crouch can be awkward ad unreliable. Bellamy is a whining b*tch, and our beloved God is getting a tad old. We dont have anyone else! Where have the goal poachers gone? Its so comforting to see them, so useless (well, most of them are) throughout most of the match, but capable of converting any ball near the penalty area into a deadly chance- even a goal...

Hafiz said...

yea didi didnt play .. anyway here's his vidz

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTym_bS-Gnc

DROGBALLS said...

Yes, that's why I'm eagerly anticipating as to who will be the one who will successfully bid for Liverpool and how much we will get for perhaps, the next summer transfer window.

Well, we just need to get the mentality right, the belief and also the morale back and I think we should do OKAY for away games. Perhaps we have forgotten how to grind results until yesterday when we had no choice.

Coming to strikers. It's a trend that there is going to be a decreasing number of so called 'poachers' and more strikers who will be like Kuyt and Saha. Football tactics have evolved over the years and the age of 'a team around a 20 goals a season striker' has sadly passed. It's now a team's game rather than a team playing around a star.

Rafa's Valencia is the perfect example. You can compare the stats and scorers with Liverpool last season and you'll be shocked how similiar we are. They don't have a poacher as well. Just John Carew and look what they've won and achieved