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West Ham took just three minutes to get off the mark at the Kop End. A relatively poor defensive header from Skrtel allowed the ball to fall into the path of Cresswell who despite being closed down by Clyne was able to assist Lanzini who fired home the first goal of the game.
The goal left the Reds somewhat shell-shocked and we didn't react positively after going 1-0 down. Attacking wise we didn't appear to pose a significant threat and Christian Benteke for me once again looked completely lost. He's wasted in Brendan's preferred formation and it's seriously beginning to do my head in. The sooner Sturridge is back, the better.
The Reds' best hope of getting back into the game came from Firmino shortly after we had conceded with a stinging effort that smashed off the post. For me though, the new Brazilian signing didn't bring enough to the game as a whole and when you have Benteke up front relying on Firmino and Coutinho for support, you know it's not going to end well if the former has a pretty average game.
West Ham gained confidence as the match grew older and they were extremely dangerous on the counter attack. The speed at which they could turn the game left Liverpool looking desperately to their defence to pull off a performance like the one at the Emirates but the reality was far from it.
Next up to make a fool of themselves was Dejan Lovren. The Croat did well to keep the ball in play initially and refused to be muscled off the it.However after taking possession to the corner instead of passing to safety or even hoofing it out the way he was easily dispossessed by the chasing Lanzini.A cross from him into the danger area allowed Mark Noble to score West Ham's second goal.
Liverpool needed to pick themselves up and fast. The game was quickly turning into a disaster for the Reds who still looked unable to find a goal to get them back into the game.
After five minutes of the second half things got worse for Brendan Rodgers after Philippe Coutinho (arguably our most influential player at present) was given his marching orders. The second yellow appeared harsh to me, Coutinho is not a malicious player and there wasn't much in the challenge at all.
Down to ten men the Reds were going to find it even more difficult to get back into this game and Rodgers' tactical decisions didn't help matters in my opinion. His second half substitution saw the Reds revert to a back three. I think it was right to take off Firmino but Moreno essentially provided a similar offer. Going to three centre backs too and leaving Dejan Lovren to contiue to play after having a right mare just didn't make sense to me. We were leaking goals so Rodgers decided to decrease the number of defenders and increase the number of players not playing in their natural position?
For me the immediate half time substitution should have seen an additional striker brought into play but the boss is stubborn and we had to wait until 60 minutes for this which in my opinion was too late. The introduction of Ings allowed for flashes of link up play between himself and Benteke but what was even more frustrating was the constant decision to take short corners.
What is the point of buying a £32.5 million forward, renowned for his aerial abilities only to take a short corner and try to walk the ball into the net? Pointless. The one time we did whip in a proper corner, Benteke rose and headed back across goal creating real danger only for Lovren to fail in his attempt.
At 77 minutes Mark Noble was given a straight red card after a challenge on Danny Ings. The whistle had already been blown after Milner had fouled Noble so his decision to take on Ings was perhaps misguided however I don't see how that challenge was worth a straight red. It was a shocking performance from the referee overall really.
To finalise a terrible performance, in extra time the Reds thought they would close with yet more terrible defending as Lovren, Moreno and Skrtel may as well have not been there. Diafra Sakho took advantage and with a left footed shot completely sealed all three points for Bilic's side.
I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received:
@_TheLiverBird - shocking defending, no creativity in the 18 yard box-- time to play 2 strikers!— Linda Mitman (@LiverpoolLinda) August 29, 2015
@LFCKirstyLFC one word, "flashback", to last season. One of the worst home performances we've seen— LFC Raleigh (@LFCRaleigh) August 30, 2015
@LFCKirstyLFC absolutely hopeless. Defending was woeful & we didn't create any significant chances. Very disappointed to say the least— SportGuyAlex (@sportguyalex) August 29, 2015
Next up for Liverpool is Manchester United away after the international break!