Brendan Rodgers has admitted that he was thoroughly disappointed by his side’s performance on Saturday, as we were beaten 3-0 at home by a resurgent West Ham United side, who had lost their last two games.
Manuel Lanzini, Mark Noble and Diafra Sakho scored the goals while Philippe Coutinho’s red card and subsequent suspension – which will now rule him out of the Manchester United game next month – only made matters worse for the under-par Reds.
Roberto Firmino was perhaps the one shining light and our summer signing struck the post early in the first-half – something which may well have changed the course of the game had it gone in. However, Rodgers was struggling to find the positives from a performance which was all too reminiscent of last season.
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We were particularly poor defensively, with Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren at fault for the first two goals, before the entire back four simply folded and allowed Sakho a clean run through to goal for the third.
“We were disappointing today,” Rodgers admitted, in quotes taken by our official website.
“We arrived into the game with confidence high but when you give away a goal so early in the game, it gave West Ham the boost and the lift that they needed, because they have shown in their two games away from home now that they can sit in and defend in a low block well. That seemed to set us back a bit.
“We obviously then conceded a second goal, which was difficult to take. All of a sudden we were right up against it.
“Coutinho getting sent off, which I thought was extremely harsh, set us back. From that first period in the game, we never really got going. It was the overall performance. I felt we disappointed right from the off, really.
“Once we conceded that early goal, we just couldn’t get back into the game again. Our overall performance with and without the ball will be much better in the future.”
For us, it was something of a reality check. Rodgers was quick to point out that we had come into the game in good form and high spirits having won two and drawn one of our first three league games, but he knows better than anyone that there’s a lot of work still to be done.
“Up until today, the morale and confidence has been really high and we’ve been developing and improving,” the manager continued. “We know today a lot of it was self-inflicted in relation to the result. We gave poor goals away and that was the biggest disappointment.
“I’m lucky that I work with a very honest group who work very hard on the training field. There’s a lot of analysis behind that as well and we’ll now get ready for the next game.
“At this level, you have to be able to bounce back – and that’ll be the job in the next game. We’ll learn from it.
“In both winning and a defeat, we’ll always analyse every game, it’s not just when you lose. When we’ve won games and drawn games over the course of the first three, we’ve sat with the players and analysed the areas where we can improve and the good elements of it.
“So it’ll be no different to this game, it’s still the same. You have to be better and you want to be better in your next game and that’ll be the case once the players get back from international duty.”
Yesterday’s result was yet another indication that home wins are becoming harder and harder to come by in this league, with only a handful of positive results for the teams playing at home across the first four weekends. Rodgers will be hoping that we can continue that trend at Old Trafford in two weeks time.
He added: “It’s going to be a real difficult league to get your home wins in. For us, our concentration is to win here at home – we love playing here and the support has been brilliant for us.
“Today we disappointed. In the first three games we’ve given them that hope again, but today we’re all disappointed. We’ve got seven points out of 12, the players will go away internationally, they’ll come back, we’ll re-focus again and look to put in a much better performance away from home [at Manchester United].”