Same old same old? A defensive error involving the usual suspects, a Luis Suarez penalty incident involving a dive, or other wise, a fair share of attacking play and long periods of dominance and then, as ever these days, no real result to show for it!
Perhaps it was too much to hope that this week’s news would kick start our season however, we remain waiting for a win Brendon Rogers continues to buy himself time and speak as if the club was in a titanic mess when he took over, that so many things needed to be done and that we should need to wait some time (no length stated) before we see everything fall into place. Interesting that the previous regime was so bad that this time in the league we sat .,, well rather than banging on about the past let’s just say we have notched up our worst start to a season for around one hundred years.
There is only such much time and so many words that Rogers can speak before patience goes, however we have to run with it as this is all we have and there is no going back. Hope remains… for now.
BR made two changes from the last game against Arsenal, Kelly replaced the injured Enrique in defence whilst Sahrin made way for Jonjo Shelvey in midfield. The first fifteen minutes were pretty much forgettable. Rumours were that both sets of fans would sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” six minutes into the game to remember the 96 however although flags in the Stadium were at half mast, we had already sung “Justice for the 96” before this. The home club did all they could but the Sunderland fans just seemed content to boo Luis Suarez and, later on, dredge up the “in your Liverpool home” song. Do they know that Kevin Keegan and John Toshack don’t play anymore!? There was even a mention of beach balls, even though we’ve beaten Sunderland a number of times since then it’s clearly difficult to let go, no matter how much the dead horse has been flogged!
All we really had to hang our hats on were two efforts from Borini. The first came from Cuellar’s poor back pass which allowed our man to take advantage only to see Mignolet, in the Sunderland goal, save. Later Suarez, after Shelvey’s pass, chested the ball into Borini’s path however his decent snap shot was blocked again.
So good signs! We seemed to be setting our stall out nicely albeit a bit slowly and Sunderland, wary of us, seemed content to let us have the lion’s share of possession. So it was no surprise that Gardener broke down the right crossed to Fletcher who, immune to Skrtel’s flaky efforts to stop him, slotted home.
I guess when you’ve got two of your back four so out of form it’s difficult. Martin Skrtel’s start to the season hasn’t been the best and Glen Johnson has carried on where he left off last season, and the season before that, with a series of defensive errors that have lead to opposition goals. This one was a “powder puff” tackle on Gardener, before he crossed to Fletcher which showed just how, as a defender, he simply isn’t up to mark, sorry I can’t be bothered putting it diplomatically anymore as I’ve said that way so many times. Later in the game, when pushing forward, Johnson hit the cross bar with an excellent shot after cutting in from the left. The game is littered with players who have changed position yet why can’t anyone at Anfield see this with Johnson?
From one bug bear to another. Luis Suarez was incorrectly booed for “diving over “ John O’Shea’s leg. Replays suggested that the Sunderland player had made contact however one wonders how much Suarez’s reputation for diving, or going down too easily (is there a difference), went before him? Not all referees are in the narcissist school that Graham Poll used to occupy however, it would have taken a brave decision, given our man’s reputation, to give the penalty in front of the Sunderland crowd. I hope Suarez looks at this, no doubt he will feel he was wronged however perhaps he should look at the reason why, it’s not just bad referring?
Things were better in second half. Sterling, the only consolation so far this season, with a cross via Shevley saw Gerrard hit the outside of the post. Later Gerrard’s deflected effort found Skrtel’s head but Mignolet was up to it diving to his left and collecting. Finally we got the goal which on the balance of our share of the play deserved. Sterling’s cross from the left found Suarez, his first effort bounced of Bramble but he made no mistake with his second. Shelvey had a chance to nick it at the end however it was not to be.
So a bit better this week it remains a topic of debate that things were so bad when Rogers took over that we are where we are. However he has a plan and we should give him time to implement it. Patience is the word and so is perspective. A season of wait is nothing compared to the twenty three years of patience we finally saw vindicated this week and when you bear all that in mind, it seems churlish and peevish in the extreme to complain.
Sunderland: Mignolet, O’Shea, Cuellar (Bramble – 46′ ), Rose (Campbell – 72′ ), Cattermole, Larsson Booked, Gardner, Colback , McClean, Sessegnon, Fletcher (Saha – 86′ ), Substitutes 20 Westwood, Kilgallon, Bramble, Meyler, Campbell, Ji Dong-Won, Saha
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Agger, Kelly, Skrtel Booked, Gerrard, Allen, Sterling, Shelvey, Suarez, booked, Borini (Downing – 64′ ), Substitutes: Jones, Jose Enrique, Carragher, Sahin, Henderson, Downing, Assaidi