The atmosphere around Liverpool was cautiously optimistic before yesterday’s match. So, on behalf of Liverpool fans everywhere, I would like to say thank you to the team for getting that out of our systems before the international break. We can now return to simply cautious.
What a difference a single result can make, especially this early in the season. Before today, Liverpool were watertight and grinding out results. Now, we are as leaky as ever and only have two goals from four games with two average performances (which were unconvincing wins) followed by a good first half against Arsenal which was not continued after the break.
And then…this. It being my first match report, I sat down well-prepared, pen in hand. But all I wrote before giving up was Coutinho attempts to link with Benteke after around 50 seconds. Then, I saw what was coming. It was going to be one of those days. All Liverpool fans know what I mean.
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When the inevitable goal came, the only surprise was that it happened so soon after I thought, ‘here we go again!’
It was the Liverpool from last season...and the season before to be fair. Only (as everyone keeps reminding us) there is no world-class talent up the other end to spare the dodgy defence anymore.
I am still undecided on Benteke as I’m sure many are. I really hope he comes good; likewise Firmino too. It worries me immensely that we are pinning top-four hopes on the shoulders of Sturridge and Coutinho.
The goals conceded were sloppy, Mignolet was again at fault and I failed to see a single stand out performer in red. West Ham were more organised, more determined and fully deserved their goals and the points.
I’d like to touch on the red cards now, there seems to be question marks over both and I do not understand why.
Coutinho, on a booking, slid in recklessly and brought down his man having gotten nowhere near the ball. Second yellow card, no doubt. The Noble red card was given in ‘bizarre circumstances’ according to Sky Sports.
The incident, Noble loses the ball having been fouled and then lunges at Danny Ings, two-footed. Red card.
The ‘controversy’ was because the ref had already blown for a foul on Noble before his lunge. I do not see how the fact it happened seconds after the whistle had blown makes it acceptable. If someone is elbowed or punched when the ball is out of play, is the referee not allowed to take action?! Of course he is.
Man United game looming
The red card didn’t change anything of course and all that’s left now is the question – what next for Liverpool? The easy answer is – Old Trafford.
A win on Sunday for United at Swansea and it will be an interesting game, one which Liverpool will want/need to win. If Sturridge is back, maybe things will improve.
If not, it will uncomfortable viewing in my house with my wife – the Manchester United fan!