Goalless Draw At The Hawthorns
|Image via: thisisanfield.com|
Mario Balotelli was given his first league start since November for Liverpool and whilst it was nice to see Brendan start a striker I thought he could have taken this chance to try a different system and offer Balotelli some much needed support. I'm not going to make excuses because aside from some flashes from Balo he offered little else but for me he can bring a lot to the side if played in a proper formation.
Balotelli's first real moment of note led to a free kick on the edge of the box for Liverpool. In Steven Gerrard territory the captain had to watch his effort travel just off target missing the top left corner. Another effort involving Balotelli would soon follow after he took a pop from outside the box only to see his chance follow the same direction as Gerrard's.
Really, they were the only moments of note in the first half. West Brom barely had the ball and Liverpool didn't create many chances at all but, as I say, Balotelli was involved. For the second half Liverpool began to bring some other players to the forefront of the minimal action.
A melee in the box soon after the second half had begun saw half chances from Henderson, Coutinho and Balotelli but the Reds were still unable to get any close range efforts past Myhill. West Brom managed to create some chances of their own in the second half with some pacey breaks.
A cross from the wing from Chris Brunt to Craig Gardner left the latter hitting the side netting. In fairness to Liverpool, one real positive from the game was the defence, particularly Dejan Lovren who for once had a very good game.
Shortly after the Baggies effort, at the other end of the pitch Mario Balotelli had linked up well with Jordan Ibe to play the youngster through into the box, unfortunately his strike smashed the cross bar.
Things got tentative for the Reds soon after when a messed up clearance from Martin Skrtel after a Morrison header left Lovren having to make a clearance off the line. Liverpool had fought hard to keep themselves in this game when it mattered but it still never felt like Liverpool were going to find that all important goal.
A long range shot from Coutinho late on flew just over the bar whilst McManaman for the home side went on a weaving run into the box, shooting from an angle but Mignolet saved.
It was probably destined to be a 0-0 from the off, after all this is a Pulis side who will do anything to prevent you from scoring. I don't have much to say about the game really just that it was pretty dire and that I wish Rodgers would consider playing two up top, especially now we have nothing to lose. To describe our overall game as "outstanding" too, it's just ridiculous in my opinion. How can you reinforce that performance as positive, granted we had all the ball but we did nothing with it I just don't think you should be using words such as "outstanding" in this instance.
Next up for the Reds is Hull away.