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L4L Match Report: Anzhi Makhachkala 1 v 0 LIVERPOOL

Date: 9th November 2012 at 8:40 am
Written by: | Comments (4)

UPON review of the starting line-up, many Liverpool fans would have been left with limited expectation going into this evening’s match. However, filling a team with fringe players and aspiring youngsters is often a good move, especially when far more important games are to follow.

The players chosen in these circumstances often run the extra mile in their attempts to force themselves into the manager’s plans.

The Capital One Cup win at The Hawthorns was a case in point, but tonight, despite a spirited showing, the decision to rest most of Liverpool’s favoured first XI didn’t produce a result and Liverpool went down to a 1-0 defeat to in .

The game started quite slowly, Liverpool’s players looked tentative – understandable given many players’ lack of competitive action – but fortunately, the home side were also lacklustre. As a result, Liverpool were able to gain a reasonably quick foothold, looking well organised at the back and accomplished in possession (despite a poor playing surface).

The first chance fell to the visitors on 22 minutes, when Adam Morgan held off the challenge of his nearest marker and slotted in Jordan Henderson. A criticism of Henderson in the past has been his reluctance to gamble and he does indeed have a frustrating tendency to play it safe.

He did little to banish himself of such an unfavourable assessment when he attempted to pull the ball back to Morgan as opposed to shooting – it was completely the wrong decision given his proximity towards goal and the ball was intercepted quite easily by Joao Carlos.

In response, the visitors lifted the tempo of their play and started to impose themselves on the game. Their first chance came on 35 minutes when Yuri Zhirkov forced an error from Andre Wisdom (playing on the right-hand side of three centre backs) and pulled the ball back across the box to Samuel Eto’o; with plenty of space to shoot, the Cameroonian fired a high shot towards the roof of the net, but it was met with a brilliant reflex save from .

A satisfying first half looked to be coming towards a quiet conclusion, but inflicted a painful blow just seconds before the end of stoppage time.

Played in by Mbark Boussoufa with his back to goal, the 6′ 8” Ivorian skilfully chipped the ball over Sebastian Coates and then lofted a fine finish over the advancing Brad Jones. It is easy to analyse the roles of Coates and Jones in the goal, but it was so well executed by Traore that it’s probably a touch harsh on him and Liverpool, if one were to point fingers.


After a slow start to the second period, Liverpool created what should probably be termed a half chance on 50 minutes. Following a long spell of possession, Joe Cole slipped in Adam Morgan, who from a tight angle fired a left-footed shot against the side netting. A ball across the box was probably a better option and he acknowledged this immediately.

The introduction of Daniel Pacheco and for debutant and a tireless but ineffective Adam Morgan freshened things up and Liverpool immediately began to look more penetrative.

After Traore fired the Reds a warning with a free header straight at Jones, Liverpool went straight up the other end and created a great chance on 76 minutes. Suso’s superb trickery gave him space to fire a powerful shot at Vladimir Gabulov, it then fell straight to Joe Cole, but he could only aim his own shot straight at Anzhi’s keeper.

Liverpool were nearly put out of their misery two minutes later when Traore was put clean through by Jucilei, but he could only guide the ball agonisingly wide of the right-hand post.

Although a hard-working Liverpool continued to pass and probe in the final ten minutes, a killer pass didn’t arrive and Anzhi held on for victory.

On the face of it, such a young side being beaten so closely against the leaders of the Russian Premier League, especially after pushing so hard for an equaliser in the second half, was not a disastrous outcome. However, this Anzhi side are overrated and any good team would have fancied their chances here.

It almost goes without saying at this point of the season that Liverpool played reasonably well until they reached the final third. This area of the pitch yet again lacked any real cut and thrust and Anzhi probably felt quite comfortable in defending their one goal lead.

Rodgers described his team’s performance as ‘outstanding’ in the aftermath. Although he is obviously trying to accentuate the encouraging aspects of Liverpool’s display, he should be warned that trying to create too many positives after losing games (unacceptable for a club like Liverpool, no matter what the circumstances) will start to grate on the fans.

He would be better served accentuating the negative aspects of the team’s performance to FSG: that is, the alarming lack of depth in Liverpool’s squad, particularly in attack.

Fortunately for Liverpool, they have ample opportunity to make up for tonight’s loss and still have a good chance of qualifying.

L4L Man of the Match: Suso. This probably appears a strange choice given he was only on the pitch for the final half hour, but his quality shone through in his brief time on the pitch and he looked the most likely to create an equaliser. He was closely followed by an increasingly confident-looking Brad Jones. It will be very interesting to see what Rodgers does once Pepe Reina returns to full fitness.

Follow me on Twitter: @antonyjlfc


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4 thoughts on “L4L Match Report: Anzhi Makhachkala 1 v 0 LIVERPOOL

  • Sperm thrower
    2 years ago

    Confused as to why Rodgers opted to play 5-3-2. If he felt that formation would be effective then he should have played Henderson at right wing back cause Flanagan clearly does not have the pace and strength to play in that position. It was good to see Morgan up front but he clearly struggled with only Cole supporting him. Not too sure why Pacheco and Assaidi were left on the bench. They would have provided much more firepower up front. I felt Rodgers’ formation and tactics were too defensive.

    Reply
  • sleeps with angels
    2 years ago

    People slated king kenny for making excuses for losing games,i was one of them,people moaned at rafa for the same reason,but am really p.ss.d off
    with rodgers saying we played “outstanding how mate? getting beat is not good or outstanding
    shanks would give you a belt across the chops for
    insulting our fans talking crap,rodgers you were
    an embarrassment in that fly-on-the-wall,you love the sound of your own voice,and i believe you think your a legend in your own head! and dont get me started on these owners,liverpool fans need to wake up and see theseclowns for what they really are,money men plain and simple who dont give a toss for our club but have a love of making money,think about this FSG have billions
    between them right?how much are they spending on
    players?…sod all!and thats the way it will remain,if rodgers had any self respect he would
    have walked away when the owners told him he wont
    be getting anymore money in the summer window,but
    the truth is rodgers is just a puppet for the owners placed to reduce the wages and playing staff while at the same time collecting a nice fat paypacket,with a fancy car and big house for
    good measure,if one thing gets my goat it is being taken for a fool,rodgers if you care about
    liverpool fc and the fans its time to show it and
    start by not taking the p.ss out of the fans in interviews,grow a pair of balls and stand up to these american owners and demand cash for much need players,if you cant or wont do these things
    then do one out of our club,because i for one wont put up with half measures and lack of honesty when it comes to the club i love.

    Reply
    • stevieG
      2 years ago

      well said , i agree with all

      once again mr rodgers really let the fans down last night , my brother spent a fortune travelling to support the team last night ,and for what ?

      to see the likes of no-hopers cole henderson and all the kids , meant no hope of victory , a wasted trip for the fans

      for the ones at home like me , another boring boring 90 minutes watching the ball passed sideways with no attacks

      its not acceptable , not only is mr rodgers making us a poor team ,but he is boring us at the same time

      Reply
  • stevieG
    2 years ago

    on a positive note , well done coady , flanno and suso . you 3 gave a lesson to henderson and cole

    Reply

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