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Liverpool 0, Sunderland 0: First Thoughts

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A bore draw and a boring display saw Liverpool rarely look likely to score against Sunderland today.

Scott Heavey/Getty Images

liverpool blog fc sbn

Liverpool 0
Sunderland 0

  • With Steven Gerrard on the bench, Lucas Leiva at the base of midfield, and all three of Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho, and Adam Lallana in the lineup, Liverpool would be looking to control the match, dominate possession, and look for penetrating run/pass combinations, right? Well, apparently not; for much of the first half, Liverpool basically ceded possession to Sunderland and got forward on counter attacks.

  • Speaking of counter attacks, let's talk about Glen Johnson. He's been getting a lot of run in the first team lately, and has done decently when deployed on the left. When he's been on the right, though, he's been pushing forward with wild abandon, as is his wont, and today as it often does, that made things dangerous for Liverpool. Every time he pushed forward and Liverpool lost possession, Sunderland countered through the space Johnson should have been in but wasn't, because as per usual he was slow getting back. Most of Sunderland's most dangerous attacks were generated that way. As patterns go, this one was depressingly predictable.

  • The commentators complaining that Connor Wickham wasn't getting penalty calls because "he would never dive" when he clearly dived several times just in the first half, and then saying Raheem Sterling was "going to ground" when Santiago Vergini and Wes Brown were shoulder-checking him at every opportunity was really, really annoying. So was the ref not doing anything about the shoulder-checking, for that matter.

  • That Raheem Sterling run that Coutinho screwed up the finish on late in the match.... wow. That was Classic Sterling. Please do more of that, Raheem. We want you to be The Dreem again. 

  • Is it weird to refer to a 19 year old re-finding some form as "classic"? I feel like that's weird.

  • Jordi Gomez' shot in the 80th minute may have been heading just wide, but considering the traffic that shot came out of, Simon Mignolet did very well to get down and turn it around his post.

  • Sunderland are in terrible form and Liverpool should have beaten them handily at Anfield. And yet, from the run of play on the pitch, a scoreless draw felt like a fair result. I'm not sure what exactly that says about Liverpool, but it's not anything good.

liverpool blog fc sbn

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.