LIVERPOOL 0 – 1 ASTON VILLA
Liverpool have lost at home. Many call Anfield a “FORTRESS”, mostly when we manage to keep clean sheets and defeating many people in lots of home games. After the display against Villa, I am sad to say I can’t use that word to describe our stadium right now- we just haven’t earned it this season. The only goal of the game was a shot deep inside the box from Gabriel Agbonlahor that just managed to make its way past Mignolet, Gerrard and Lallana (who were on the goal line). We never equalized.
The potential was there. The starting line up despite being affected by players out with injury (we didn’t have Daniel Sturridge) was still quite strong.
The players, I was most excited to see, were Adam Lallana and Mario Balotelli, two of our newest signings in the summer transfer window and a couple of our most promising players – they show great potential that is yet to be fulfilled.
Adam Lallana had been a transfer target for months, his club kept a hold of him until the last moments that they could – the World Cup came and went before he was allowed to leave Southampton.
Eventually, when he arrived at Liverpool, he had gotten himself injured (in training) before the Premier League fixtures had even started and it was announced that he would miss at least the first month of the new season. Then on 13th September, it was announced that Lallana had fully recovered and would be able to make his full debut for his new club at Anfield, in front of the reds fans. The news filled me with excitement and anticipation for the game. However, by the time the 90 minutes of the game against Villa were up, I was rather disappointed. Sure, he played quite well. But I have seen some SPECTACULAR debuts from Liverpool players, in which some new Liverpool players scored their first goal or at least won their first game. Lallana didn’t achieve either of those unfortunately.
Eventually, he was substituted as Raheem Sterling was chosen to come on and try and change the pace and perhaps even the result of the game, but it didn’t happen. Such a shame, I had been expecting so much more from Lallana… I can only hope the spectacular form I had wanted to see will arrive in future games.
Mario Balotelli had signed far quicker than Lallana did (there was far less waiting from the moment we had heard he was a transfer target for Liverpool), but there was still excitement buzzing around the many reds fans about his first home debut, we simply had to see what Super Mario could do in front of his new fans. Some people were predicting he could score a hattrick, while others predicted he would get sent off. Neither of those things happened.
Personally, I had predicted that he would score the first goal of the game, which also didn’t happen. His performance was not as Super as it could have been, but again, Aston Villa’s defense was really strong. They had plenty of men behind the ball at most times and our players were marked as tight as pair of Skinny Jeans. They also seemed to have taken note of how Chelsea play and used it themselves – the “parked bus” tactics which involve heavy defending and using midfielders as a second wave of defense. Not attractive football, but it does the job of stopping the opposition from scoring.
Villa also played quite dirty. Senderos, in particular, had to be told by the referee to stop kicking the Liverpool players. Balotelli spent most of his time on the pitch getting back up after Senderos and other Villa players were done fouling him. It disrupted the game and it disrupted Mario’s performance. He just couldn’t get anywhere near the goal without being fouled. His best attempts were long range shots he had made from outside the penalty area.
It just wasn’t working out and eventually in the second half, Brendan Rodgers had decided “enough was enough” and substituted Balotelli and Markovic (who had been quiet and also as tightly marked as Balotelli) for Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini… YES, I said it!
Borini, who has been the subject of much talk about transfer out of Liverpool (or will he stay and fight for his place in the first team?), finally got to show the fans and the manager what he could do… for about 25 minutes. He had to face the same tight marking that other players had but he managed to perform well for the short amount of time he had on the pitch.
I don’t see Rodgers ever choosing him as a starting eleven player (he would have had to come on and score at least once for that change to happen suddenly), but he could probably be of some use while Sturridge is out with injury and we are needing extra strikers to help out as he recovers.
Liverpool soon start their Champions League campaign as we go up against Bulgarian side Ludogorets (Razgrad) on Tuesday evening (7:45 PM kickoff). The squad need to train hard and make sure they’re ready for European competition once more. We cannot allow anybody to not try hard enough, they must give their all if we are to show the fans from all over Europe that WE ARE LIVERPOOL – 5 times European Cup Winners! Yeah, we’re the ones who came back from 3-0 down to beat AC Milan in the Champions League Final at Istanbul, remember us? We’re BACK and we want that shiny cup… we’re looking to make it SIX European cups won this season and we have some exciting new players just signed this summer to help us achieve this. WATCH OUT EUROPE!
KEEP THE FAITH, Reds! There’s a lot more of this season to come and we cannot lose hope, even after defeat. Remember… You’ll Never Walk Alone. We’re in this TOGETHER! WE ARE THE ANFIELD FAMILY!
[Written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so i was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.
I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet.