Reds Rue Missed Chances
Blackburn 1 - 0 LIVERPOOL
Blackburn 1 - 0 LIVERPOOL
This match epitomizes the term “you’ll get punish for not finishing teams off when you have the chance”. I have long feared this problem when we played against both Charlton and Watford where we have chance aplenty but failed to put it into the net until late in the game. To be fair, they’re weaker opponents and therefore, we’re let off.
Not this time.
Benni McCarthy was on hand to punish Liverpool for their wastefulness as Blackburn claimed a famous victory over the Reds for the first time since 1996. They fought and closed down Liverpool well and held on to the 5 minutes added on time with valor. Although guilty of some time wasting, Blackburn deserved the victory through their clinical finish and also the turn around after the first half.
Liverpool dominated the first half although playing away from home. Blackburn suffered a humiliating 6-2 defeat by Arsenal last week and looked a wounded animal, short of confidence but always ready to pounce.
Peter Crouch and Craig Bellamy had a load of chance to put Liverpool ahead but squandered them all. Crouch’s height might be ad advantage but heading is never his forte. He went into great positions but failed to punish Blackburn for their slack marking. Bellamy meanwhile, showed what Blackburn was missing with his constant running into channels and causing the ageing Andy Todd big time problem.
Passing was crisp. Just didn’t finish it. Well you thought it’s a matter of time before Liverpool takes the lead. But disappointingly, it didn’t came at all. Even with the 5 minutes added on, they had absolutely no space to work and Blackburn defended brilliantly.
With the combative Robbie Savage and Tugay in the middle of the park, they managed to shackle Steven Gerrard and limited him to a virtual spectator of the game.
In the end, a lapse of concentration from the Liverpool defence cost them dearly while players on the other side of the pitch failed miserably as well. The failure to finish games has finally come back to haunt Liverpool and now, the run has ended and Liverpool only had themselves to blame.
Drogballs' Thoughts: I must say I'm pissed. My fear was confirmed today, that we still cannot finish teams off early when we have the chance and it's not good at all. In football, the most important thing is score goals and we didn't do it. We screwed up. Big time.
First half was impressive. Finnan putting in quality crosses for Crouch, who must've thought he's part of the Blackburn defence, heading the ball tamely back to Friedel. With Kuyt and Bellamy forming a good partnership, Crouch must have felt his place under threat and when he's put on by Rafa to show what he's made of, he didn't impress and from his body language, he was utterly disappointed by himself.
Bellamy had a good game but just didn't put the ball in the net. His pace was causing problems but as Blackburn sat deeper and deeper, he found it really difficult to get into the box. Alonso was doing well in the first half with his crisp passing while Gerrard had a disciplined performance.
But after half time, they lost the momentum and when Blackburn scored, Liverpool fell apart while they drew confidence. They sat out to frustrate Liverpool with your reknown 'parking bus' tactics and we found it difficult to break them down.
I think there can be no excuse with things like this. It wasn't a bad performance at all, but we just got punished for not doing what we're supposed to do. It's worrying and we have Spurs up next. It'll be a tough game and I don't know how much this will affect the players but hopefully, we can bounce back. Wound up and pissed we might be, but it's not a time to wallow in self pity but to do something about it.
Now we screwed up the chance to cement our place in the top 4. The league title is already out of sight and now, if we're not careful, Champions League might be too before we know it. Bolton and Portsmouth are having a time of their life and if Liverpool doesn't take a step up, it might be a terrible year ahead before it has even arrive.