How many sides can truly go to Old Trafford and say they dominated them for long periods? Because we really did, didn’t we? More possession, almost the same number of shots on and off target and hitting the post. We dominated them for long periods of the game and were only let down by a lack of quality in the final third. That was probably or best 11, though I expect Coutinho to come in for Henderson in midfield when he is fit again. Despite the loss, there were several aspects that I was extremely pleased to see:
1. A 3-5-2 formation – I really do believe this is the best formation for us to play with the personnel we currently have. Having said that, we drastically need Aly Cissokho to get fit as quickly as possible. He has a very realistic chance of displacing Jose Enrique on the left. Enrique was defensively poor again last night, leaving Hernandez loose in the area from a corner, which is as open an invitation as is needed for the Mexican to score from inside the box.
2. The defence – Enrique’s error aside, how good did that defence look! The only thing I would change is throw in Agger in place of Martin Skrtel. We do need a play who can bring the ball out from the back.
3. Lucas – I thought Lucas was absolutely excellent yesterday! He did his job well, and even got involved high up the pitch once in a while!
4. SAS – The looked really good together, didn’t they? I think Brendan Rodgers has done a brilliant job in supplementing the talents of Luis Suarez since arriving. Now, we have a front three (Suarez, Sturridge and Coutinho) which is on par with the best in the league. Let’s just hope they all get enough games starting together soon!
Suarez looked short of match fitness. That will improve over time. But the real concern for me was how tired Daniel Sturridge looked last night. We know he hasn’t missed any games for Liverpool, he’s played a couple with niggles, and the one break he did get (international weekend) he spent working hard to get upto match fitness for Liverpool. Could it be that this is finally taking a toll on him? I certainly hope not, because we will need our front three players fully fit and firing to have any sort of chance of gatecrashing the top 4.
Onwards and upwards to managerless Sunderland next weekend! Though that is exactly the kind of game we have known Liverpool to lose in the recent past!