Voronin, Riera, Nemeth 2, Torres
Another Sunday and another set of papers packed with rumours. Gosh, surprise, surprise its more Alonso and Mascherano stuff!
Best to leave it all and enjoy number two sons sixth birthday which consisted of a party at the local tropical rain forest centre (yes they do exist). It was sod’s law though. Number one son wore his Liverpool shirt which prompted the guy who was showing the kids the various crocs, snakes, piranhas, parrots and lizards to ask whether or not I was a Liverpool fan and then ask whether I thought Alonso and Mascherano would go! Turns out, that despite a cockney accent, he was born in West Kirby. The centre has a large tortoise called David Beckham which, needless to say, our host had a hand in naming!
Meanwhile in Singapore and if you ever wanted an indication of how popular the Reds are in this part of the world just look at the crowd, red everywhere although some of the TV shots showed the stadium not to be totally full.
Ironically it was Singapore who sported red while we debuted our new away strip or is it European strip? Anyway it’s black, I think, or it could be dark grey or as the LFCTV commentator suggested “charcoal black”. Other than the first team red I’m confused by our strips now. I think this is our away strip and we have a European strip which presumably is meant to be only worn in European games just as last seasons European shirt, a green ensemble, was at er… Stoke and West Ham! Anyway I wonder if this strip will cause confusion on dark nights or make it difficult for players to pick each other out? Leaving that aside I have to say it does look pretty good.
To the game and despite the obvious PR stuff, it was once more another opportunity to build up fitness. Slowly, as if by stealth, more and first teamers are being added to the line up. This time Mascherano and later in the game (significantly?) Alonso. As is the case with these games there wasn’t a great deal of action, initially anyway. The pace was slow and Singapore didn’t help by throwing everyone into defence as soon as they lost the ball. I guess this might have been good practice for us after some of the opposition tactics we experienced at Anfield last season? But surely any frustration at these methods was offset at this stage of the season by the possession that the “All Black Reds” had?
It took us until the end of the first half to knock over Singapore’s wall and it needed a tad of luck. Voronin’s long speculative shot deflected off Bennett (a good old Singaporean name that) giving us a deserved lead. Any hopes that Singapore had of getting back into the game, by putting one over a Liverpool team that had made plenty of changes at half time, were soon snuffed out after Riera got around the back of the defence and chested down Mascherano’s ball to fire home.
Our third was the best goal of the game with Kuyt breaking free, after seizing on a poor clearance. With the tiring opposition flocking round Torres, Kuyt easily found Nemeth with a short, considered pass and the Hungarian made no mistake. Torres did get on the score sheet tapping up Kuyt’s cross to make it four. A simple goal but something the crowd had been wanting and expecting. Nemeth then finished things off, this time with a stooping header, from Kuyt’s cross. Well done Dirk, a hand in four of the goals
At the end Carragher was presented with a trophy whose size was in inverse proportion to the importance of the game. It will need to be shipped home – probably in parts! However, we can take comfort from another confidence boosting game and a few goals which had until now been lacking.
Liverpool: Cavalieri, San Jose Dominguez, Carragher (captain), Agger, Degen, Babel, Mascherano, Leiva, Benayoun, Voronin, Ngog. Subs – Alonso, Dossena, Johnson, Riera, Pacheco, Plessis, Kuyt, Spearing, Torres, Arbeloa, Nemeth
Singapore: Sunny, Khaizan, Jantan, Rahman, Bennett, Fahrudin, Jiayi, Ishak, Harun, Noh Alam Shah (captain), Duric. Subs – Nawaz, Muhamed, Halim, Esah, Sha’ban, Li, Sulaiman, Lewis, Casmir, Sahdan Daud, Emuejeraye