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Monday, 13 September 2010
BIRMINGHAM CITY 0-0 LIVERPOOL MATCH REPORT
Another very tough fixture for Liverpool in what has been a testing start to Hodgson's Liverpool career. Hodgson who is still getting to know his players and his best team, has really been thrown into a baptism of fire. Going to Birmingham is never easy and their record at home is as good as anyone not having lost at home in the league in about a year.
I'm afraid my match report is only based on what I saw on Match Of The Day 2 Highlights as I was working yesterday.
A very defensive formation with the likes of Poulsen and Lucas playing in the middle made me wonder where the creation was going to come from. I prefer Gerrard playing deeper but I guess Hodgson played Gerrard higher up the park as he was still missing Joe Cole who I think will come back and play just behind Torres. Maxi I expected to come in for the injured Kuyt and Konchesky coming into left back. The rest of the team I expected.
Like I said I have only seen brief highlights but it looked like a typical Liverpool, Birmingham match from recent years being very tight and not much space on the park. Birmingham under the management of the excellent McLeish are a very difficult opponent and work so hard and Liverpool found this so difficult especially in the first half, as Birmingham got stuck in about them. Liverpool struggled to create and string passes together as Birmingham were closing them down so quickly.
Lee Bowyer sent over a cross which Jerome unmarked met brilliantly heading low into Reina's bottom corner, but somehow Reina got down to it and pushed it round the post saving Liverpool who were under a lot of pressure in the first half.
The second half was more of the same with Liverpool struggling to make any headway. It wasn't till Gerrard was brought back into the middle when Lucas was taken off for new signing Meireles that Liverpool started to create a bit more. Gerrard had a speculative volley that was easily saved. Torres who had little service and was left frustrated, suddenly burst into life and had a great run through the middle before shooting tamely at goal. Then Torres burst into the left hand side of the box and shot at goal from an impossible angle when he may have been better crossing for Gerrard who had made a run into the box.
But with all Liverpool's late pressure it would have been robbery for Liverpool to have scored and taken all three points.
This wasn't pretty and as much as I would have loved us to be more attacking and won the match I have to be realistic and realise this is a transitional period for Liverpool and against Birmingham side that has made their home a bit of a fortress a draw is not too bad a result. But the way the game panned out a believe this was a point won and not two dropped especially with the saves that Reina made to keep us in the game.
Man Of The Match - Reina Sorry no surprise here, obviously for his saves to keep us in the match.