Liverpool got a badly needed win today at the Reebok Stadium that, at least for a few hours, returns us back to the top of the premier league and banishes memories of the terrible Carling Cup defeat by Spurs.
Lets start with the game against Tottenham. We were absolutely shocking. It shows that we may have depth in our squad in terms of numbers, we are still lacking in quality. David N’gog got a start up front and was awful. I realise we didn’t spend a great deal of money on him but he is just not good enough. I was excited at the prospect of Babel and El Zhar getting starts but they provided absolutely no threat whatsoever.
Lucas and Plessis were the midfield anchors and were a huge part of the reason we lost. Both players are in the team for their ability to win the ball and disrupt the other team. That didn’t happen. Tom Huddlestone ran the show in the middle and Lucas and Plessis ended up running round like headless chickens. Also, both of them are extremely poor on the ball so contributed nothing.
The worst however, was our full backs. Degen was appalling, the only good thing he did all game was break his foot so he can’t mess up any more for us. Dossena was Spurs’ best player. He had a part in all four of Spurs’ goals, either by giving the ball away, missing tackles or bad marking.
It was no surprise then that Rafa made nine changes for todays game. We dominated the first half and nearly took the lead when Kuyt hit a screamer of a shot that hit the crossbar. We didn’t have to wait too long for a goal though. Fabio Aurelio whipped a great cross in and Kuyt majestically rose to head the ball in. We should have doubled our lead and effectively sealed the game when Kuyt crossed and Keane missed from six yards. The ball fell perfectly to Keane but he missed a chance my Grandma would have scored.
Bolton nearly got an undeserved equaliser when Gary Cahill headed in but the goal was disallowed for a foul on Reina by Kevin Nolan. Another Rob Styles decision that went against Bolton (remember the penalty at Old Trafford) but I think this one was correct.
After the break Bolton came out with much more purpose and Ricardo Gardner nearly scored but lost his balance after he rounded Reina. Liverpool brought Torres on and he set up Gerrard who again missed when it was easier to score. The second and decisive goal came when Torres crossed in from the right and Gerrard headed past Jaaskelainen. Torres and Lucas missed good chances to add to the lead and Gardner missed another chance for Bolton but 2-0 was a fair result.