Wednesday, December 27, 2006

McCarthy Punishes Liverpool

Reds Rue Missed Chances

English Premiership

Blackburn 1 - 0 LIVERPOOL

BLA - McCarthy (49min);


You just can’t understand how Liverpool didn’t manage to put a dozen into Brad Friedel’s net. 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.


louis` said...

if we can't take our chances, i don't think we can go further. it's very disappointing. truely is. we had lost too many points.

spurs next ? i'm afraid of history repeating itself..



I don't know why but Liverpool is fast becoming a striker's graveyard. Any half decent ones will become shit once it wears the red shirt. Even Morientes. B*llocks...

But look at the bright side I guess. We have scored almost a dozen for the past few games and things even up. Just have to admit we're not good enough, just YET.

Lena said...

Completely off topic, do you think Liverpool will let go of Crouch? I recall reading a rumor of that a while back. It still seems unclear-- at least to me-- but maybe you have a better idea of the situation.


Well, I can't be sure about that. But to be honest recently I dreamt that Crouch went to Newcastle. It might be a dream but it MIGHT happen you know, especially after such a haphazard performance.

With Sheikh's money coming in, you COULD see that his time at Liverpool is not as long as expected. But maybe Rafa has something in store for him.

Lucas said...

Though I am a ManU fan, I certainly expected Liverpool to provide more challenge to Chelsea this season. One would have never thought Liverpool would be sixth in the table at the end of the year, below Porstmouth and Bolton! That said, they are playing quite well but a deadly finisher is what they lack.

psychohare said...

i think it's the rotation that's killing the strikers... strikers need alot of form to be successful. Crouch had a great form earlier this season, but his time on the bench has kinda dampened his form...
Bellamy's form has returned, and Kuyt has been consistently hardworking and creating chances...
damn im annoyed we lost to Blackburn..


lucas: beats me too. Football is something that not everything has an answer to and I guess it just isn't our season (again after 10 or so years).

psychohare: Actually Rafa has already stopped the rotation of strikers already. For the last few games it has been Kuyt and Bellamy and had good results. But I believe that wtih the strikers we have, it's a must to at least rotate them some day and we're unlucky that bringing on Crouch, he cost us the game.

psychohare said...

yea, bringing in Crouch prolly killed the game coz he lacked form to score goals...
i was really upset when i came back from Boxing day shopping and saw that Liverpool lost... but after watching the MOTD Highlights 2 mins ago, i was pretty relieved actually... we didnt lose coz we were out of sorts, nor coz we were dominated... we lost coz we were unlucky + Freidel was on form... he was in the right place at the right time.
it's ok, it was a good performance, and we didnt deserve to lose, but things do happen, so i guess i'll bear with this loss with a positive mindset. We are still playing good football and creating quite alot of chances... that is the most important, to not lose our momentum.
Happy New Year everyone!