Thursday, 30 September 2010


                          MATCH REPORT

Another difficult game for Liverpool who are stiil trying to kick start their season, against a Dutch side that humbled Celtic last month in qualifying for the group stages of the Europa League. No games are easy away from home in Europe and with Liverpool struggling for form this season this was going to be no easy game.

                        THE TEAM   

I was pleased to see Hodgson fielding as strong a team as possible. Gerrard was the only exclusion as he was being rested. Kelly came in at left back due to injuries to Konchesky and Aurelio. But once again I couldn't fault Hodgson for his team selection. There was an attacking look about the team with Kuyt playing up with Torres and Meireles and Cole wide, with Lucas and Poulsen in the middle of midfield.       

                       THE GAME

Liverpool started the game well with keeping good possession early on. Just that when Liverpool got near the Utrecht penalty box their final ball kept letting them down and Torres not getting much service. Liverpool had a couple of chances Torres done well cutting in from the left before hitting a vicious right foot shot just past the Utrecht post. Meireles was also unlucky with a header from a Johnson cross that he headed straight at the Utrecht keeper. Utrecht came into the game as the first half wore on and they looked dangerous, but most of the danger was caused by Liverpool's slack play, Lucas gave the ball away in his own half and had to foul when the Utrecht player was running towards the Liverpool penalty box picking up a booking in the process. Liverpool were also fortunate when Wuytens smashed a loose ball from a corner high into the Liverpool net only to have it ruled out for an infingement that I never saw. Utrecht almost scored when Kuyt hesitated at a corner letting a Utrecht forward in on goal which Reina blocked well.            
  The second half started the way the first half ended with Utrecht shading possession and causing Liverpool problems especially down the Utrecht right with Kelly struggling to cope with the dangerous Malengo. A big scare for Liverpool came when Reina flapped at a cross and the ball was almost bundled into the net until a great headed clearance off the line by Meireles saved Liverpool, from this scare Reina launched the ball straight to Kuyt at the other end and he picked out Torres in the box and would have scored if not for a great save from Vorm, this was their best chance. close to the end Utrecht nearly got a late winner when hesitancy from young Kelly let in Mulenga when he got caught out thinking the ball would run through to Reina, Mulenga nipped in and shot just past Reina's post. Liverpool held on and I think 0-0 was about the right result.


I thought Liverpool started well but I was disappointed with the lack of chances they created. Liverpool got themselves into problems with slack passing too often and were lucky to survive at times. Utrecht did pressure well and made it difficult for Liverpool but Lucas especially in the first half gave the ball away too often. Meireles was another I found disappointing in the first half and Poulsen was quiet the whole game. The tempo Liverpool played at was far too pedestrian in my opinion even though you need to give Utrecht praise for their closing down. I thought Cole looked our most dangerous player trying to create something all the time but I felt he tired in the second half and was eventually substituted. Torres never got much service but he worked hard and was unlucky with a couple of efforts but he needs more service. Johnson foraged down the right and was one of our better players. Young Kelly struggled but gave his all and was against a difficult player in Mulenga. Overall the performance wasn't great but to get a clean sheet away in Europe is always pleasing although Liverpool rode their luck at times. 0-0 a fair result.

Man Of The Match - Cole  He worked his socks off and tried all night to create something but ran out of steam


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