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Liverpool 0, Portsmouth 0: First Half Thoughts

If I had to pick one word to sum up the first half, it would be frustrating. The two things that are causing this match to be so distressing is Portsmouth's excessive physical play and our spacing. If LFC comes from this without injury, I'll be surprised. Pompey are grabbing, tripping, and running our players over, most of the time while not even trying to play the ball. I understand they want to win, but come on, this is a bit ridiculous. I still don't know how they've avoided a card.

As for the spacing, we either have a communication problem or some of our players are completely clueless. Too many times are we getting stuck on a flank with three to four players within ten yards of each other. At one point, Pennant brought the ball across from right to left and nobody bothered to fill the Siberian-sized hole on the right side. Finnan didn't come up and neither Babel nor Kuyt went over there.

Individually, no one is really having that bad of a match. Kuyt has wasted a few chances on goal, including a pass from Pennant right to his head that unluckily found James' foot, but that's about it. Everyone has been pretty solid, but we just can't break through the Portsmouth defense, mainly because they have most of their team behind the ball most of the time.

Our starting line-up was Reina, Riise, Hyypia, Agger, Finnan, Kewell, Xabi, Momo, JP, Babel, and Kuyt. Sort of surprised to see Agger and Riise out there after running themselves ragged on Tuesday. From the looks of the bench activity toward the latter end of the half, it looks as if we're going to bring in a plethora of subs including Gerrard, Torres, and hopefully Lucas.

Defensively, we got caught too far up and with Hyypia out there, that's going to happen. He just doesn't have the pace to get back in time anymore. Luckily, Reina made a great one-on-one save. From the looks of things, this match could go to penalties, which sucks, but Harry Redknapp doesn't seem to be wanting to take any chances.