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Monday, 29 March 2010
LIVERPOOL 3-0 SUNDERLAND MATCH REPORT
No margin for error with games running out and Liverpool still trailing in the race for fourth place. This was a must win game against a Sunderland side on a decent run of form and still boasting about the infamous beach ball win earlier in the season. A good reaction was paramount after last weekend's devastating defeat against Man Utd to put Liverpool back on track.
I was expecting a more attack minded team selection for this game and I wasn't disappointed, it was good to see Torres getting some support in the form of Kuyt. The defence was as expected, but good to see Babel getting another start out wide and i was pleased to see only one holding central midfielder in Mascherano with Gerrard playing alongside him in midfield giving him the chance to have more influence on the game. Overall i liked the team selection.
Liverpool got off to a flyer, really burst out of the traps at a ferocious pace and in only the first minute could have taken the lead when a cross over to the back post was met by Agger who hit a net bound volley only to see Gordon pull off a very good save. It set the pattern of the day, and Liverpool continued the tempo for the whole of the first half creating numerous chances, which was very pleasing after hardly creating a chance last week at Old Trafford.
Liverpool didn't have to wait long before taking the lead and it was that man Torres once again. It came in the form of a long clearance from Reina which Torres ran onto down the left wing martialled by the Sunderland defence, but with no danger he managed to cut inside from the left and found space to unleash an unstoppable shot into the postage stamp corner of Gordon's goal in what was an amazing piece of finishing giving Gordon no chance and giving Liverpool a great confidence boost early in this match.
Liverpool played with a great tempo and some very good incisive passing making Sunderland look like they were chasing shadows. Some very good moves and chances were being created, in fairness the scoreline should have been more emphatic. It was a joy to watch unless you were a Sunderland supporter. Good chances for Agger, Torres,Gerrard,Maxi were all created in the first half but it wasn't until late in the half until Liverpool scored their second, and it came with a hint of luck, Johnson cut inside from just outside the box and unleashed a left foot shot which was slightly deflected off a Sunderland defender and flew into Gordon's left hand corner leaving him stranded.
The second started with Sunderland trying to get back into the game after being overun in the first but it wasn't long before Liverpool started controlling the game again and they went further ahead on the hour mark when Babel sent over a cross from the left and Maxi headed down to Johnson who played a great pass into the onrushing Torres who controlled it brilliantly in the centre of the penalty area and produced a sublime finish to finally finish off Sunderland. The rest of the game was played out with a hint of a training match about it as the job was done, so substitutions were made and Torres went off to a standing ovation.
REINA- virtual spectator but great save from Zenden to keep clean sheet
JOHNSON- getting better with each game tremendous runs forward and a great attacking option
INSUA- played well after tough week last week, got forward and put over some great crosses
AGGER- missed a host of chances but strolled through the game at the back very good at bringing the ball out from the back
CARRAGHER- solid game as ever never put a foot wrong
BABEL- flashes of what he can do but not enough for me, think he just needs a run of games
MAXI- best game yet, some great passing and tremendous workrate
MASCHERANO- usual brilliant performance and also produced some great passes and one or two shots
GERRARD- good to see him in this role more influence, some great passes and crosses from the captain
KUYT- great work rate and great foil for Torres was very involved
TORRES- another superb performance a constant threat, scored two goals but could have had more
Superb performance, in my opinion, the first half performance was Liverpool's best of the season. Played the game at a great tempo and passed the ball quickly compared to so many games this season where we have only seen a pedestrian pace. Good to see Rafa being more attack minded I hope he takes not of what this team is capable of when allowed to attack, too often he prefers the defensive approach.
Great to see width with Babel, Maxi, and Johnson providing it and Torres having support up front with Kuyt who complimented him brilliantly, I was a lot happier to see Gerrard in central midfield where he can influence the game more, what a difference it made.
Overall superb stuff and hopefully Rafa will learn that this type of team and formation is the way forward for us.
Posted by james walker at 05:55