Honestly, I did not concentrate much on this game, because I was quite turned off from the beginning after discovering Torres is not on the starting XI. Of course, having Rob Styles refereeing the match was another bummer.
The match was a reminiscence of the previous week’s encounter with the Baggies. Liverpool was strong on the first half, and second half saw the physically-abrasive Trotters having most of the possessions and creating several good chances for themselves.
The 2 goals came from a Dirk Kuyt's header from another sweet Fabio Aurelio's cross on the 28th minute, and a Steven Gerrard's diving header from a Fernando Torres assist on the 73rd minute. CSD's favourite player is now Liverpool's joint leading scorer in the Premier League this season alongside Liverpool's no 9, with 5 goals apiece.
Once again Rob Styles smeared himself with controversies, but fortunately we were not so much on the receiving end of his collections of really rubbish decision. He denied a Gary Cahill equalizing header before the first half ended, claiming that Reina had been obstructed by Kevin Nolan.
Rafa’s team selection was pretty quirky. First off, he did not start Torres! That was a huge WTF to me. Stephen Darby was on the bench, so Rafa is probably on some kind of experimental drug. Then again, can't quite blame Manager of the Month for having limited options at right-back. Arbeloa was suspended, while Degen is
Other interesting incidents in the match: Daniel Agger lost a tooth, and the pitch was horrible, everyone had to slip up at least once.
What could have happened?
It could have been a many more goals-to nil scoreline, if Torres had started the game. Nando had come close several times and had even squandered one in front of goal (so did Keano and Riera), but had he been allowed to start, I’m sure he could have netted some.
Skysport’s MOTM was Dirk Kuyt, granted that he have been on faya lately! Liverpoolfc.tv chose Xabi Alonso for his midfield masterclass performance.
My MOTM would have to be Pepe Reina. He saved Liverpool’s blushes by thwarting several close calls from Matt Taylor and Kevin Davies. Ricardo Gardner could have beaten Reina a couple of times, but in the end, it’s another clean sheet, brought to you by our very own shot-stopper.