JUST DO THE RIGHT THING and GO !!!!
My Match Report on our LSCM website..
If nothing changes in the coming weeks.. it will be a very bleak season if you wear the RED of Liverpool..
Surely, this game once again amplifies the glaring shortcomings of our players.. and indirectly, the indecisiveness of our dear manager.
We started out with a seemingly strong first eleven, enough to see off Premiership newbies Blackpool.. or so we thought.
Carragher was shifted to the left side of defence in the absence of Konchesky, Agger and Aurelio, all stricken down by injury. Kyrgiakos came in to partner Skrtel in the middle with Johnson, as usual, at the right.
In the heart of midfield, Poulsen was paired with Gerrard, with Meireles playing as the makeshift rightwing again while Kuyt supported Torres upfront. Cole completed the attacking formation on the left.
Within the first 5 minutes, both sides had chances to open the scoring !! A power freekick by Blackpool just palmed away by Reina.. and then a Torres low cross, just missed by Cole in front of goal. Sadly, by the 8th minute, Torres was limping and signalling to the bench to be replaced. In came Ngog as Torres trudged off into the tunnel amidst worried looks of the fans in Red and also in Black.. the Black of the “alternative jersey” protesting against our current American owners.
Soon after, it was a ding-dong, end-to-end stuff as play switched sides at great speed.. aided by a Blackpool side who went for the jugular, while our Liverpool side were just blocking off the blows but were still attacking back with equal vigour.
Yet one reason why Blackpool was enjoying chunks of possession and looked threathening then was the fact that our own midfield collapsed like a deck of cards at times. Poulsen was chief culprit throwing away loose passes and equally careless in possession at times. Even players like Meireles, Kuyt and Cole were guilty.. more so as they lacked the cutting edge creativity into the final third of the pitch.
We were also caught out very often at the flanks, especially on the right with Johnson and occasionally on the left with Carragher.
It was from one of these forays that Blackpool gained a penalty after slack defending and a silly tackle by Johnson in the box. Penalty converted but the home crowd were still singing and urging our Reds on. Credit to the home fans !!
Soon after, a “guilty” Johnson wanting to make amends, was getting forward with greater purpose. Regretfully, when you start playing with your anger as the driving force, you get clouded and lose focus. How many times have we seen Johnson advance in a menacing position only to waste his delivery or pass, just when an open Meireles was available as the better option. In fact, this goes back to the repeated decision by Roy to play Meireles there despite the ineffectiveness of this pairing in the Utrecht game. Maxi would have coordinated play better with Johnson. But both Maxi and Jova were “made to pay” for their role, or lack of it, in the Man Utd and Northampton losses respectively.
You can sense disaster was going to happen as we made little headway to trouble the Blackpool keeper. And happen it did at the end of the half, in injury time. Again a Liverpool attack that broke down lead to a sweeping counter-attack that brought hordes of Blackpool players right to the edge of our penalty box. And as our defenders sat back to cover their line, Blackpool players had a free role in the middle to dictate play as our own midfielders Poulsen and Gerrad were already stranded upfield.
So a perfect pass that beat the offside trap enabled the away fans to rejoice in an unimaginable manner. 2-0 up in what used to be “Fortress Anfield”..
We did respond in the second half. We were now carving out more chances, especially with BOTH Carra and Johnson advancing at will to support our attacks. Ngog had a near miss just a minute into the second period. A well-flighted cross by Kuyt that Ngog headed just wide. Oh, how things would have changed if that had gone in !!
But we didn’t wait long, a quickly taken freekick by Gerrard at the edge of the box had Kyrgiakos meeting it with a thunderous header that went in off the underside of the bar. 1-2 and it was game on with 40 minutes to play for !!!
REDS poured forward at will.. it looked like it was only a matter of time the Blackpool goal would cave in.. Then another bad miss.. A swift and precise throw from Reina set off Carra on the left who placed the ball for Cole to do the rest. And Joe did everything right; turning the defender.. positioning himself for the shot.. had the goal in his sights and the keeper at his mercy.. he missed !!!!
So it was time for Jovanovic to come in for the shaky Poulsen. After today, those Lucas-haters amongst us better reconsider our stand.. because if you consider carefully.. the Brazilian would have done a better job than the Dane, favoured blindly by Uncle Roy.
We still had our anxious moments.. Blackpool returned to their threatening self after seeing us blew chance after chance.. and losing the way countless times when we got near the penalty box. The introduction of Maxi for Cole in the dying minutes did fashion a final last-gasp diving header by Soto which was cleared by the keeper.
In the end, to cut a long horror story short.. we lost out.. again.. to a much more determined side, who wanted to run for the ball, challenge each situation and work for each other tirelessly.. attributes that were sadly insufficient in our Men In Red.
We have 2 weeks to do something that can change our fortunes.. we all know what it is.. New owners aside, it is now increasingly obvious that we need a new man in charge.. We need King Kenny !!!!
For now, we will suffer being in the relegation zone for 14 long days..