Middlesborough 0 - 0 LIVERPOOL
Middlesborough 0 - 0 LIVERPOOL
Are you surprised that Liverpool fired blanks again last night? I don't even need to tell you the exact number of minutes we've gone on to NOT score in an away game because the commentators have been reminding everyone of us. It's like rubbing the salt on your wounds. Those words hurt and at the same time, beggars belief.
A team with 11 full internationals looked so toothless and so impotent that I reckon the team's going through a confidence crisis.
The way we took the game to Boro, dominated lion shares of possession and then gone home with 2 points dropped without scoring a goal is just plain shame.
If the referee of the Sheffield United game in the opening weekend had not given us the ridiculous penalty, it would've been even more embarrassing and...ridiculous.
I must admit all the away games we've got so far has been difficult games against top teams. But as weeks pass by, I fail to see that as a 'reason' to our team's fall from grace. As a top team, you're expected to dispatch anyone in your path not with ease but at least with the grittiness and effectiveness.
We've seen Chelsea over and over again winning without playing at their top of the game. They can win 1-0 all the way without trouble. When you win, nobody criticises you. Then recently the rise of Man Utd. They've raised their game, silenced all critics, proved everyone wrong and made those pundits who says ManYoo is a falling empire, eat their words.
I saw the way they came back against Sheffield United and I'm impressed.
Now the thing is do we still have the belief and confidence to come back from the dead just like in Istanbul and Cardiff? Sadly, it seemed that it's all gone. The team looked deflated. They looked jaded and lack of motivation. Now we can't even win a one sided match 1-0.
Rafa mentioned he was surprised as to see us not win the match. Sorry Rafa, I beg to differ. Although we controlled the game well, the best chance of the match fell to Boro and I myself was surprised by Yakubu's air kick with the goal gaping. You would've bet him to put that away, but we're lucky to escape.
Of course you can argue we have our fair share of 'good chances'. Crouch had his header cleared off the line while Kuyt missed by an inch. But let's just say, we fail to put teams away. We lacked the clinical touch to kill the game off like the big teams do.
Crouch was substituted on FAR too late in the game to make any impact. On that part, I don't know what's Rafa thinking about leaving Bellamy on the pitch when Boro's defence has already sat so deep with no space behind them. He's like a midget lost at sea. Poor touches didn't help either.
On that Kuyt's chance, a top draw striker would've put that away. Not that I doubt his quality, but football is about grabbing your chances and make your opponents pay. We didn't and we paid for it.
I don't think I need to further comment on the other players because they all played average at best. No particular player stood out while some just manage to disappoint me even further.
Yesterday, what I saw was a mid table match. A match between two teams scrapping for UEFA Cup spot. If we don't improve, then I'm afraid we're going to have to win the Champions League again. Wishful thinking on my part of course.