Reina Prevents Reds Defeat
Yer wha?! I can't hear yer!
It was a tough game yesterday for Liverpool and to be honest by the end of the 90minutes it could have been a less flattering scoreline. Despite the best efforts from the Reds it was the heroics of Pepe Reina that kept our dignity and in turn the point.
I did say in my match preview that this away fixture wouldn't be a walk in the park but analyzing Liverpool's chances/play it wasn't particularly fantastic.
Roy decided to go with Maxi Rodriguez in place of the injured Dirk Kuyt which i was quite happy to see. The rest of midfield was made up of Lucas, Poulsen and Jovanovic. Gerrard sat behind Torres, Reina in goal and a back four of new man Konchesky along with Carragher, Skrtel and Glen Johnson.
It was a match built up to be entertaining but one that unfortunately failed to meet expectations. Birmingham started the game well and were strong in attack, Liverpool appeared caught off guard, they knew the Blues would come at them but their rate of success was too high for an unsettled defence so early in the game.
Ridgewell and McFadden were looking good for Birmingham and along with the likes of Jerome it didn't seem like it would be too long until they punished a lack lustre Liverpool. Luckily the Reds were strong in defence but it was the inefficiency going forward that would prove to be Liverpool's problem.
Fernando Torres still coming back to full fitness showed signs of his usual fluent and magic creating self but he wasn't on top of his game. Throw in a Steven Gerrard who was constantly on and off the pitch after a collision caused his ear to keep bleeding, well, it wasn't going too well up front for Roy's boys.
Jovanovic was quite impressive and although he helped create some chances i would have loved to have seen him have a pop himself or just push that bit further forward to create even more havoc.
Pepe Reina was really whom to thank though after two fantastic saves the Spaniard showed his true colours again in a great performance from a goalkeeper under plenty of fire.
Late into the second half we saw Konchesky leave the field after picking up a knock. A reasonably good performance from the new recruit and he applauded the fans as he was replaced by Daniel Agger who would get into make shift left back role again.
Meireles who was also brought onto the field late on for Liverpool was perhaps the boys best chance of equalising after a close range shot nearly saw him score on his debut for the Reds.
Although it is possibly unfair to make comparisons between Poulsen and Meireles, especially considering i haven't seen much at all from the Portuguese man (parts at World Cup) i do however feel that the linking up of himself and Lucas would be a better option than he and Poulsen or Poulsen and Lucas.
I realise they are different players but it's not only this that has raised my concerns. Poulsen despite bags of experience has worried me the few times i have seen him so far. Sometimes even the simplest of passes he messes up and for a midfielder sometimes acting in a holding role, that surely can't be good. I shall keep my eye on him though and see how it goes.
So all in all a rather uneventful one for the Reds and worryingly Roy's comments suggest that he didn't really have high expectations... Neither did i Roy but i'm writer of an amateur blog, not manager of the bloody side! Keep it to yourself next time or just make something up and say we're gonna hammer um! Talk about confidence boost.
Of course there will be no high expectations of Liverpool until these owners shift the hell out of our club but it wouldn't go a miss if Roy raised the morale. It was nice to see him jump to the defence of Torres though after some media talk.
Next match for Liverpool is a home game against Steaua Bucharest, followed by a trip next weekend to the theatre of shite. We won't fair well if we play as we did yesterday against United but you can't help but laugh when they fail to put one over the bluenoses despite being 3-1 up. Hahaha.
Roll on a big week for Liverpool!