Liverpool 1-3 Aston Villa
0-1 Benteke (23), 0-2 Weimann (40), 0-3 Benteke (51), 1-3 Gerrard (87)
So Brendon, what’s all this about second place?
I know he probably didn’t mean it but all the same Saturday’s game was a salutary lesson to anyone, in any walk of life, about the dangers of opening your mouth and unceremoniously putting your foot in it.
To me it is a basic mantra to keep ones feet on the ground and let the results speak for themselves. BR, despite being a relative novice at this level, has been around long enough to know this. One good result at Upton Park does not a Champions League or runners up spot make. Two defeats in twelve games might suggest that is more to it however, when one of these losses is like Saturday’s it is hard to look back at what we’ve done and suggest that this is a blip and that we are to pick ourselves up and storm up the league. There is still a lot to do and actions, rather than results, speak louder than idle, verbose, overly speculative pipe dreams?
After the game BR said
“We probably got punished for our decision-making in that first 20 minutes, we were a bit careless.”
Thanks for the 20 minutes reference Bren otherwise I would have thought you were referring to the decisions to allude to second place either way the second part of the statement “we were a bit careless” refers to both, the statement and the game.
I too fell into the trap of hoping that Saturday might be significant in our progress however, I don’t manage the team. As it was I sat there with the hump whilst BR, rather talk about how we are improving, was reduced to his old distraction trick of moaning about the old issue of not getting a penalty. At least there were no excuses re our inexperience this time as Villa were younger.
Once this has all died down perhaps BR might like to consider the effect his pre match words had on his team going into a game at a venue were form suggests expectations are, seemingly, already difficult to deal with? Sometime less can have the effect of achieving more?
BR, resplendent in club scarf, presumably he thought he could emulate Mancini as he would soon be challenging his team, made one change Suarez, returning from suspension, replaced Luis Enrique. Prior to the start everyone remembered Phil Taylor, ex Reds player and manger, who passed away aged 95.
From then on it was the same old story. I have lost count of the number of pieces I’ve written about us and our inability to take chances however once more we were woefully short. Stats are open to interpretation however 26 shots to Villa’s 9 says it all. Of those 26 only seventeen were on target Villa managed to get six of their nine on target and, as we are only too painfully aware, three of them really counted.
As you can no doubt surmise it was the sort of game where, as we homed in on goals you got out of your seat in anticipation of a celebration only to sit down again, there must have been some aching thighs at Anfield! Lichaj almost showed us how it was done by nearly turning Downing’s cross into his own net. Downing, who has been told he can leave the club, then flashed a drive wide after cutting in from the right. Shelvey then had a decent opportunity thwarted by a last ditch tackle from Baker.
Despite all our efforts the Villa goals came with alarming regularity leaving us with very little in the way of response. Benteke, from Holman’s pass, fired a low stinger from distance off the post with Glen Johnson and Martin Skrtel just watching, as if daring him to do so! The second, saw Barry Bannan (always sounds like a stationary sales rep from Slough) and Benteke combining to set up Weimann who knocked it past a helpless Reina. It was a move that cut right down the middle of the pitch and was woefully unchallenged as if we were stunned at the audacity of Villa to take such a liberty.
The third was even worse Joe Cole, on for Shelvey which is a debating point in itself, lost the ball to Holman which allowed Benteke to shrug off the Allen, bamboozle Skrtel and fire home. In between Suarez, after a good pass from Gerrard, smashed a drive into the side netting. We should have had a penalty when Clark decided to try and rip off Agger’s shirt. Gerrard got one back with a headed “glance on” from Johnson’s shot but it was way, way too late.
So were are we? Someone said it’s not the result that hurts it’s the hope. Totally true in my book however all teams lose games and we will, like them, recover I’m also (reasonably) confident that we will progress. What is perhaps worse at present is, regardless whether they were intended or not, is the stifled sniggers up and down the land at the sound of naive foolhardy premature and unnecessary words crashing down around our ears?
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Gerrard, Downing, Lucas (Henderson – 60′ ), Allen, Sterling, Shelvey (Cole – 46′ ), Suarez Booked Substitutes: Jones, Coates, Carragher, Wisdom, Cole, Henderson, Suso
Aston Villa: Guzan, Clark, Lichaj, Baker, Lowton Booked, Westwood, Bannan (El Ahmadi – 85′ ), Herd, Holman (Delph – 69′ ), Benteke Booked, Weimann (N’Zogbia – 90′ ) Substitutes: Given, Bennett, El Ahmadi, N’Zogbia, Albrighton, Delph, Bowery