Monday, August 27, 2007

Job Well Done Without Skipper

Sissoko The Surprise Milestone Setter

English Premiership

Sunderland 0 - 2 LIVERPOOL

LIV - Sissoko (37min), Voronin (87min);


Sunderland's Stadium of Light became the perfect setting for Liverpool to once again, display their proficiency and new found belief as they dominated the home side, stamping their authority and went off with all 3 points.

Also, the mystery scorer of Liverpool's 7000th league goal came as a big surprise.

The one player whom seemed least likely to score came up with an absolute scorcher and all the fans who doubt his shooting ability can be rest assured now. It was Momo Sissoko, the one player most of us would like to see scoring and he did it just at the right time!

Roy Keane's side endured the baptism of fire last week after being thrashed 3-0 by Wigan but that lesson alone didn't seem to wake the players up from the harsh reality of the Premiership.

Within seconds of kickoff, Gary Halford nearly gifted Liverpool an early goal after his backpass was too short and Andiry Voronin was able to pounce on the loose pass but Craig Gordon, who was imperious throughout, blocked his effort valiantly.

But soon the game settled down and the away side had to endure the physicality of the Sunderland side. Sami Hyypia was forced off with a nose injury after he was elbowed while Jamie Carragher was later substituted off with a broken rib and collapsed lung.

It certainly does add injury woes to Liverpool, something unseen for the past seasons. With Gabriel Paletta joining Boca Juniors, the Reds seemed a little short in the centre back position currently.

But as seen throughout the game, defence never seemed to be a problem for Liverpool despite Sunderland crawling their way back into the game. Just when they seemed to catch them asleep with the pace of Anthony Stokes, Liverpool hit back through the unlikely source.

Andiry Voronin intelligently laid off the ball for Sissoko to smash home from range and replays showed that it wasn't an easy chance to take but what a beautiful, it was! That goal seemed to have helped him in building some confidence as he went on to put up an impressive display, winning accolades and man of the match award as well.

After a decent first season, his form dipped while the eye injury didn't help either. He seemingly lost his place to the newly arrived Javier Mascherano last season and thought to be on his way out last summer but this performance alone probably earn him some time to prove himself further.

Liverpool, though put up a decent performance, once again guilty of failing to putting the game to bed with a number of glorious chances. Only the most expensive British goalkeeper, Craig Gordon, kept Sunderland in the game with some magnificent saves, mitigating the score to a respectable one.

But then with determination and some sparkle of brilliance from the front line, they managed to unlock the Sunderland defence again and this time round, putting the ball past Craig Gordon. The nimbleness and vision of Jermaine Pennant combined with the unselfishness and creativity of Fernando Torres gave Voronin the perfect chance to put the game to rest in the 87 minute.

Composed and calm, the Ukrainian cut the ball back before placing it into the far corner of Gordon's net. A lovely move finished with a simply aesthetic goal.

Overall, a professional performance that resulted in a good win. You can say it's only Sunderland but the physicality of the Black Cats could've caused a whole lot of trouble yet Liverpool stamped their authority throughout and never really lost the grip of the game.

Without Gerrard, Sissoko stepped in and replaced the captain seamlessly while Pennant was once again, terrorising the right flank constantly. Torres and Voronin formed a pretty good partnership up front. A combination of hard work, determination and intelligence.

The only drawback was the injury to Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher, with the latter being a little more worrying as he's the integral part of the formidable Liverpool defence line. But Arbeloa should be able to cover during his absence while Hyypia's injury shouldn't be that bad.

It's one small step but this is the sort of 3 points we ought to get. We used to throw it all away but we should appreciate every point we get from now.

1 comment:

juv3nal said...

collapsed lung? yikes! is that somehow not as bad as it sounds? (because it sounds very, very bad)