So that wasn't much fun, was it? A match highlighted by a ton of Liverpool chances and a nearly equal volume of Alex McCarthy saves that devolved into a back-and-forth slop fest that ended with zero goals and did more to trigger flashbacks from last season's profligacy than the season review DVD. Like everything else to do with Liverpool, it was a living, breathing contradiction of itself.
I think we can probably agree that Liverpool should have scored somewhere along the way, with eleven shots on goal and twenty-eight overall. McCarthy produced the performance of his career, but Liverpool certainly could have done better on a number of chances the young Englishman turned away. That they didn't managed to get anything past McCarthy was the most confounding of all, a point which Brendan Rodgers underlined in his post-match comments:
"We're one of the top goalscorers in the league. This season, some of our performances have been very good, but what we've got to do next season is make sure we turn the performances into points. That's the key thing. We created enough opportunities to win two or three games today. You give credit to the Reading boys because they defended well when they had to, at times putting their bodies on the line.
"It was a real, real difficult game for them but for us, we'd expect to win the game. It's a point moving forward - but it should have been three. Our aim going into the last games of the season was to finish as high as we possibly could. We didn't make a great start, but since the opening 13/14 games we've really pushed on."
I'm not too interested in criticism or critique of Brendan Rodgers and what he offers in a presser; there's bound to be a sarcastic reaction whether or not he's engaging in hyperbole or manager speak, and it's mostly just lazy at this point. I get it, he talks and talks and talks. Mostly in response to being ask to talk and talk and talk. And he overhypes his own squad's performance, leaning towards pointing out positives that don't necessarily exist or dramatizing those that do. It's annoying, sure, but it's also part of the deal, and like it or not, he's probably going to continue to do what he thinks is best for the squad. And, at this point, there doesn't seem to be any compelling reason for him to continue to respond in such a manner other than that he believes it'll help his squad.
As for this set of comments, it's hard to find much actually wrong with what he's said, as it's a set of points to which we constantly return. Performances haven't led to points and need to, chances have been created but need to be converted in order to actually mean something, and Liverpool should and did expect to win today. That's all dead accurate, and the only part of it that's annoying is that the club haven't managed to figure any of that out in the past three years.
So yes, he said the display was outstanding and other etceteras that should only be reserved for watching a dog in a cowboy hat riding a shark through space, and he shouldn't really ever be forgiven for that. He's also clued in to Liverpool's problems, though, and apparently committed to fixing them. He can be faulted for plenty--substitutions and man management in particular--but not that.