Sunday, April 08, 2007

Reds Triumph Over Spirited Reading

Kuyt Ends Goal Drought To Score Winner

English Premiership

Reading 1 - 2 LIVERPOOL

REA - Gunnarsson (47min);
LIV - Arbeloa (15min), Kuyt (86min);

Match Highlights

Advantage Liverpool as they managed to shrug off their usual away day blues and European hangovers to move into pole position for the race for third place. Better news as Arsenal stumbled at home to the resurging West Ham side at the Emirates stadium.

It was not the best performance from the Liverpool side as they had to withstand heavy pressure from Reading, who relentlessly gave the visiting team problems down the flanks. Stephen Hunt was lively and proved to be quite a handful for Steve Finnan.

But Liverpool survived and managed to ground out an important win at the Madjeski Stadium, which is never an easy place to play at. The crowds were getting behind their team and many teams went away with nothing.

Dirk Kuyt provided the winner after Jermaine Pennant's wonderful outside foot cross found his head and he was able to direct it across the goal and past goalkeeper, Marcus Hahnemann. It was the first goal in 9 games for the Dutchman as he finally breaks his scoring duck and gave Liverpool all 3 points.

But credit where it is due, Reading was brilliant throughout, just like they did all season. They didn't gave up when Alvaro Arbeloa gave Liverpool the lead, they came back for the second half strong and found the equaliser. They seemingly deserved something out of this game but at the end of it, lady luck just didn't seemed to favour them on this day.

With Liverpool's European exploits in midweek, Reading welcomed them with a very attacking minded set up and threatened early on with John Oster going close. His shot stung the hands of Jose Reina.

But Liverpool, who has been very effective in front of goal in recent games, hit Reading on the counter attack and it was a goal from an unlikely source. Alvaro Arbeloa, the Spanish defender who started in place of the injured Aurelio, found himself one on one with the goalkeeper after Peter Crouch threaded the ball into his path.

Finishing the move that he started with aplomb, the curled the ball past Hahnemann, Owen-esque finish that is. What a way to score your first ever goal for the club. It was a well worked move and the Reading defence was caught static and square.

Even though Liverpool seemingly controlled the game and had the upper hand, Reading did not relent and self destruct like PSV did on Wednesday. Maybe Steve Coppell had a few harsh words with the team in the second half, they came out all guns blazing.

Bryjnar Gunnarsson, who was shifted out to the right back position, scored from acute angle after he controlled the ball from Hunt beautifully before striking it in off the post.

But some ingenious substitution by Rafa paid off with the two substitutes, Jermaine Pennant and Dirk Kuyt with a well worked winner. Pennant seemed to have found a bit of form of late and looked comfortable on the ball while his assist for the goal was brilliant.

It wasn't the best performance but it was effective at the same time. Lucky or plucky, whatever you can name it, it was a well worked win and their persistence paid off. Reading will have to count themselves a little unlucky but should be proud of their efforts.

Drogballs' Player Ratings:

Reina (7) - Comfortable. Good range of passing

Arbeloa (8) - Good goal and solid at the back. Looked like a shrewd signing
Hyypia (7) - Dealt with all the high balls well
Carragher (8) - Solid as ever. Typical performance
Finnan (6) - At fault for the goal. Struggled against Stephen Hunt

Gerrard (7) - Could've scored but contributed just enough
Sissoko (5) - My word, learn to pass. It's either foul or misplaced passes from him
Mascherano (7) - Composed and industrious
Gonzalez (6) - Albeit a few good crosses, generally disappointing

Crouch (6) - One assist aside, anonymous
Bellamy (5) - Time his run badly, poor controls. Just not his day

For more goals and highlights, visit for more!


TLR said...

A "professional" performance I suppose you could call that Drog.

It seems my main man, Jermaine Pennant, can't do much wrong at the moment and promptly put the ball on Dirk Kuyt's head where it would've been more difficult to miss that hit the back of the net.

As for your Poll on who you would like to see join the club, (I voted for Pederson myself, I think he's a star) how about a poll later about who you would like to be shown the door? Craig Bellamy anyone?


Yea, it's those sort of wins that makes United and Chelsea different from the rest, played bad but got the results.

Sure, I was thinking of that too! Thanks for the input anyway.

Ace Cowboy said...

Best form on Earth right now...

Arbeloa is really making me wonder whether we wasted so much of the year without a confident and inspiring left back.

J said...

arbeloa's goal was very fine! =) i was watching this on gamecast coz i don't have foxtel (cable tv) and omg, i was sitting tehre looking at all these shots popping up for reading...and none for liverpool. but then hte first one that does~ it's a GOAL~! =D ahahha
i'm so glad kuyt managed his header. would have been gutted to only take 1 point. now we are 5 points ahead of arsenal. =) =)
but much excitement about the PSV match!
unfortunately for me...they're not showing that match til sunday >_> much waiting for me to do. but i guess bayern munich vs AC Milan would be more "exciting" i wonder who will win tehre. actually all three ties are pretty much up in hte air. only liverpool seems to ahve a positively skewed chance at semis.


Yea, that guy looked very cool playing right or left back. Might be another under-rated player.

I'm excited about PSV as well because I think there's nothing much to be played for except putting a few backup players in and let them have a run.