Not good enough. That is pretty much all I have to say about this match. The Reds did a great job of maintaining possession and limiting the opportunities their opponents had, but were horrendous when it came to accuracy in passing and shots taken. 10 corner kicks, 25 shots taken, and we managed a single goal. Ugh...
Rafa went with the same formation as the match against Burnley over the weekend. Yossi looked as though he was going to run rampant again, but was never able to really make anything happen. All shots kept flying wide, or the forwards would try to be too creative, getting into the 18 yard box and not knowing what to do next. I really did not see the ball getting to Torres enough. The lone goal from Kuyt came off of a rebound from a Torres strike. There were several opportunities when he was open and waiting for a well placed ball that never came. Instead, the pass would go out wide or Kuyt, Rierra, or Yossi would craftily dribble in, and then lose possession.
Gerrard's accuracy was off as well. The same shots we've see him nail from outside the box time and time again were flying high or wide. He also picked up a yellow card early on for not following the referees instruction. The ref clearly indicated that Gerrard was to wait for the whistle before taking a free kick, he nodded, and then did not wait. Very silly move from the captain.
Ryan Babel made a brief appearance. If he always played as he did in those 15 minutes, I would like him much more. He gave up the ball when he needed to and also put on a short juggling act that would have been epic if his shot at the end of it had scored. Mascherano and Aurelio were also brought on as late subs. I don't even know if Aurelio got a touch on the ball since he was brought on so late. It was good to see him on the pitch at least and hopefully he will make an appearance against West Ham on Saturday.
I guess three points is three points, but there's also something to be said about wasting opportunities. If we had managed to lose or draw this one, I would have been furious. We need to find consistency in our attack. That is going to come from giving opponents the respect they deserve and then breaking them down with hard work and skill.
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