Liverpool suffered another defeat after Lyon netted the winning goal at Anfield in the 90th minute. The lads have now gone on a run of four successive defeats, the last time this happened was in 1987. These are testing times at Liverpool and after tonight's performance, Champions League qualification is set to become a less than ideal struggle for the Reds.
Liverpool started the game with the right tempo and mentality and had fielded a relatively strong 11 under the circumstances. The only exceptions being N'Gog in for Torres and a certain Martin Kelly drafted in for Glen Johnson who was ruled out with a groin problem.
All seemed steady for Liverpool for the beginning of the first half at Anfield with the team making good passes, good movement and creating a couple of chances. Liverpool also had the ball in the net within the first twenty minutes as Kuyt headed home but the goal was disallowed for a push on the Lyon defender.
At 25 minutes a situation we never needed to be faced with, the fourth official shows the number 8 on his board after Steven Gerrard appeared to be struggling with the recent injury to his groin. Luckily the substitution was a precautionary measurement and early signs show that Gerrard has in fact not torn or done any serious damage to the groin or ligaments however this still puts a doubt on whether he will appear for the Manchester United game this coming Sunday.
So with the skipper off and Fabio Aurelio on things weren't looking up for an already disheartened Liverpool side.Nevertheless the team still continued in a similar fashion as to which they started the game, Lyon were now holding more possession but the Reds were still pushing.
At 41 minutes the Yossmeister scores after getting on the end of an Aurelio cross and Liverpool find themselves in the lead before going into half-time.
During the next five minutes an initial incident between Kuyt and the Lyon defender Cris eventually results in a Lyon substitution. After Cris was somewhat astonishingly booked for a tackle on Kuyt when his head made contact with the Dutchman's knee he remained on the deck for quite a while, after receiving medical attention off field he continued to play. Shortly afterwards the Lyon defender appeared to still be having problems and was stretchered off, this brought us up to half-time.
Second half begins and Liverpool again start positively, it is clear that Gerrard and Torres are being missed but the team is fairing well and has the confidence boost after Yossi Benayoun's first half goal. Liverpool have a few decent chances namely an N'Gog shot which was created via a Martin Kelly cross but unfortunately David could do nothing but put it wide.
72 minutes and Lyon have turned 3 points into one after Gonalons sends the ball home. A frustrating equalizer after Reina made a magnificent double save the ball comes in and Martin Kelly who had made a fabulous start for the Red's was so unfortunate not to get there to send the ball away from goal. Kelly was shortly after substituted after picking up a knock during the incident. Martin Skrtel was brought on as his replacement.
Liverpool weren't ideally looking for just a point today and continued to try and search for a winner. 85 minutes and the scoreline still reads 1-1, substitution – Benayoun off, Voronin – on. This received a very hasty reaction from a large quantity of the Liverpool fans who decided to “boo” the decision.
Within the dying minutes Liverpool still desperately try to press to turn the game around but they are sorely punished by a Lyon counter attack which leaves almost an open goal mouth for the foot of Cesar Delgado to slide the ball home.
Frustrated. Gutted. I can't begin to explain, I knew it wasn't going to be a walk in the park but I didn't think it would be as bad as this.
For me things went from bad to worse when Carragher was pushed out to right back, Kelly made a great, great start and was supplying crosses and good play. Also with Carragher in his unfavoured position and currently in the midst of some bad form it just wasn't working.
Even when Gerrard was taken off I still felt the introduction of Aurelio had a positive effect, we still appeared to be able to go out and get the result we wanted.
Tonight I feel was far better than the Sunderland performance but I still feel as frustrated, to have been done on the last counter attack is just horrible, I don't feel as though tonight we deserved the loss, on Saturday we didn't deserve a point but we definitely deserved something from this tonight.
With Manchester United on Sunday I really don't know what to expect all I know is that it is clear that we are going to need the Gerrard and Torres partnership to even attempt the win. This will either be the perfect match or the worst match of the season.
And I'd like to just voice my opinion on the scenes at the end of the game, I have never understood and can never agree with fans who “boo” the team off. Win, Lose or Draw you should have the common decency to take that elsewhere, so the team hasn't played up to scratch? Go vent your disappointment to your friends and family or on forums & blogs don't spread the negativity to a team who already fully realise the difficulties and frustration they are creating from their performance.
How did you feel about tonight's performance?
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