|A masked Bendtner celebrates...|
Some changes to the side were made by Dalglish who introduced Coates and Bellamy. Suarez was once again the lone man up front and captain Steven Gerrard was able only to start from the bench.
The first half was uneventful to say the least, neither side caused major problems in the box and there was no real flow to the game. The Liverpool midfield appeared to be unsettled and with Charlie Adam having one of his poorer games, we were struggling to create any real passing from the centre of midfield and out to the wings or cut through to the likes of Suarez.
Charlie Adam did however manager to trouble Mignolet just before the whistle in the first half. A direct free kick allowed the midfielder to have a long range shot which Mignolet saved.
10 minutes into the second half and Sunderland found their goal. As if we haven't had enough with bizarre goals against this club (insert beach ball memories here) they decided to ride on a bit of fortune again. A shot from Frazier Campbell hit the post, it then came out and hit Reina on the back of the head. Poor old Pep reacted quickly, turning round in an attempt to see where the ball had gone but it had already hit off the post again and fell to bloody Bendtner! The ex Arsenal man made sure he put Sunderland ahead.
I still feel so gutted for Reina, to be honest, Liverpool didn't look like getting anything out of the game and Sunderland would have probably found a goal from somewhere sooner or later, but what a goal to concede. Horrible.
Liverpool did try to recover from this but despite some improved movement going forward there were no real chances until the substitutions were made.
Downing, Gerrard and Carroll all came on before the 80 minute mark. It was left to Steven Gerrard as per usual to finally inject some sort of life into the side.
A speculative shot from a range out was stopped by Mignolet from the captain but it was his efforts to get a cross in to Dirk Kuyt that nearly found Liverpool an equaliser. Unfortunately though the Dutchman couldn't quite get a header on the cross.
It was a drab performance and a worrying one for Liverpool fans. The need for a clinical goalscorer is clear to see for anybody watching this side at the moment. Luis Suarez brings a hell of a lot to the game but unfortunately he isn't scoring enough goals.
In my opinion, although they've played some cracking games, we can't seem to rely on the likes of Henderson and Adam. In a game like yesterdays you need someone with consistency, somebody who can take charge of the midfield whilst another player pushes forward and creates the attack. That man of course is Lucas Leiva and it's becoming more and more frustrating waiting for his fitness to return.
In all honesty, i don't think Dalglish can escape the criticism for Saturday's loss and I'm sure he knows it but then you look at some of the other line up options and i still don't feel we'd have got anything from the game. This was proven when Carroll, Downing and Gerrard combined still couldn't find a goal for the side. Obviously more time may have helped.
With 4th now miles away the more rising concern of preventing Everton from overtaking us has suddenly come to light. The Merseyside derby on Tuesday night is sure to be an intense affair, i just hope that Liverpool can pull something out the bag.
In fairness the Reds tend to come out in the big games but despite good performances against Manchester United and Arsenal, they still couldn't quite find a result. Fingers crossed they manage it this time out.