Editorials — December 28, 2011 00:22

Liverpool 1 Blackburn 1 (Match Report)

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Disappointment at the DW stadium last Wednesday was obvious, the Reds had created enough chances to claim all three points but a came away with one.

A home game against the team bottom of the pile would be an ideal opportunity to see the goal net ripple more than once and hopefully inspire the goal scoring habit amongst the team. However Blackburn for all their on and off field problems had other ideas, and as the game unfolded, the narrative was the same, plenty of chances but not many goals.

The Match

Two noticeable changes from the Wigan game, in came Andy Carroll and Maxi Rodriguez with Dirk Kuyt and Craig Bellamy dropping to the bench.

As usual the Reds started the better of the two teams. The tempo not as high as previous games but enough to question Blackburn’s back four. Liverpool dictated the opening 20 minutes carving out opportunity after opportunity. Luis Suarez leading the frontline was proving to a nuisance again for Samba and company.  Doing what he does best, the Uruguayan continued to twist and turn his way in and around Premier League defences.

Chances did come Liverpool’s way with Andy Carroll’s shot being saved by Mark Bunn from 6 yards out in the 27th minute. But then it was pretty much as you were from the previous games, chances being created but no goal.

Liverpool continued their quest for the opening goal. The more they searched, the more frustrating it got. Glen Johnson and Stewart Downing seemed to gel on the right, linking up well and delivering some fine crosses. Half opportunities did come Suarez’s way but nothing that troubled Bunn. The scores remained 0-0 until the 45th minute. Daniel Agger who has been excellent in defence, uncharacteristically gave away an unnecessary corner at the end of the first half. From the resulting corner, Charlie Adam’s attempted clearance sent the ball past Pepe Reina and into the back of the net.  The away team took a shock lead, and that wasn’t part of the script, leaving the Anfield faithful stunned.  Blackburn were 1-0 up at half time.

It was a better showing from the Reds in the second half. There was alot more urgency and desire from Liverpool, something that was perhaps missing in the first half. The pressure finally told and the Reds were duly rewarded in the 53rd minute with a Maxi Rodriguez header. Right man, in the right place, at the right time, Maxi just can’t get enough, strengthening his case to start each game. The mood had suddenly changed inside the stadium, and surely, surely, this was the goal that would set up the winner?

We pressed and pressed, started from the back, made the substitutions, brought on Bellamy and welcomed back Captain Fantastic but that winning goal never came. We came close with a Andy Carroll shot in injury time but for another outstanding save from an opposition keeper denied us and within seconds Liverpool were denied again, this time from a goal line clearance from a fantastic Agger header. Late drama at Anfield but the comeback would not be complete. Another draw at home, the sixth of the season, and whichever way you look at it, more points dropped.

Chasing games = tired players

Apart from the Villa game, Liverpool have been chasing game, and if in each game you are continually searching for goals and they are not coming, frustration will inevitably creep in. Watching the Reds build move after move, launching into wave after wave of attack made me wonder whether their efforts in the past games might be wearing them down, both physically and mentally.

The effort that the Reds are applying  in games at the moment, is tremendous, and yet goals are still hard to come by for the Reds. We deserve better and as the attempts on goals increase so should the goals. Unfortunately, Liverpool’s return on chances created is very low.

Liverpool are making hard work of many games this season. It’s probably not how each game should be played but for whatever reason, this is how the games are panning out.  If you get the goals, confidence kicks in, pressure is eased and energy is conserved. We need to get into a habit of killing games off way before they turn into ‘chasing games’.

 

Final Thoughts

Contrary to what the recent result may suggest, Liverpool have made good progress as a team this season. From the horror show earlier this season at Tottenham, Liverpool are much more stable and there is a better understanding between the players. We don’t have a problem with creating chances and are unlocking teams with ease. However for all the development, goals are drying up and with the January transfer window opening, there is only one wish…a couple of ‘out and out’ strikers.

We need strikers that can cope and adapt with playing for a big club like Liverpool, and who can hit the ground running from the word go. Someone is needed to reignite the goal scoring pilot light and the club need to act fast. Past strikers such as Crouch, Morientes, Cisse and even Bellamy have found it challenging in leading the frontline at the beginning of their Liverpool careers. Apart from our former number 9 and Luis Suarez who have settled immediately and made an instant impact. A player in that mould would have to be seeked, otherwise, we will still be seeking goals in the 94th minute.

Some disappointing results – but the Liverpool spirit is strong – In Kenny we trust – YNWA  

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