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Post Match: Sunderland 1 Liverpool 3

indianscouser

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What these past few seasons have taught us is that we have to keep our foot in the ground. Sturridge said perfectly when SSN reporter asked: " Are you title contenders?", DS:"one game at a time".
 

No Men in the Box Redux

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Great to be 2nd in the league after slipping up in recent weeks. I disagree with everyone who thinks the criticisms during the game weren't fair. I don't think we should be overly happy with the result. We were nervy all the way until Suarez's 2nd goal sealed the victory. And this is against Sunderland. Sunderland are rock bottom in the league and have the worst defensive and offensive record so this game was always a must win. The goal we conceded was disappointing both in the fact that Lucas and Gerrard were so deep and so lackadaisical about closing down the shooter and for the fact that Mignolet once again showed that he is prone to nerves and bad handling every now and then.

Overall though, I thought Lucas, Gerrard, Enrique, and Henderson were all pretty average if not poor. Henderson had great workrate but it was clear to everyone that he is clueless out wide. Lucas and Gerrard lacked energy in the second half and if it wasn't for the fact that we were playing the worst side in the league with no manager, we probably would have had to fight for the result a lot more than we did. I think the solution is clearly to shift Henderson in to the midfield where he belongs. Lucas is banned next game anyways so I think we will see that.

Positives: The back three looked immense. Special shout out to Kolo Toure. Moses again looked dangerous, tricky, and direct. But question marks over whether he should be played in the hole. Suarez and Sturridge again linking up to great effect. Thought Suarez needed to get in the box a little more to poach goals because Sturridge looked isolated quite often. Especially when Moses was substituted. But can't fault his two goals.

MOTM: Sturridge (and Kolo)
 

DeathOrGlory

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Pretty depressing in here so far lads...

The commentator said is best, we were extremely professional. Took the pressure very well, and executed the game wonderfully.
 

jabu

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hahaha im laughing so hard right now... playing like shit, but still three points, ill take it
 

MikeOscar

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The result is all that matters, let's not focus too much on the performance to avoid getting depressed. All I can say that it once again it was quite Hodgson-esque, disjointed going forward but organized at the back. Their goal was the consequence of an error from Mignolet and some shocking complacency from our defenders, both for allowing the first shot to happen and for not covering the followup.

The regression in performance over the summer has come as a big surprise for me. At the end of last season we were a far better team, yet for some reason we're better off in terms of results and league table. Of course part of it is down to the easy schedule with which we start off. Personally I'm really hoping we can sort our many and serious on the pitch issue's before the hard run of games starts in November. I hope the manager and players start acknowledging the problems, instead of trying to pretend everything is going fine. Because if they do, remain realistic and are prepared to work their arse off to improve, we might actually have a real chance on top four this season.
 

SirBillShankly

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Yay!! 3 points and we're all happy again. Good performance. 3 centre backs were solid, Mignolet outstanding again and Sturridge looking sharp.Happy days.
 

Herb

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Gerrard hung Lucas out to dry a lot today. Think we were a tad fortunate but overall deserved to win. Good performances by the three cbs and the two strikers but below par elsewhere. Will be interesting to see what we do against Palace with no Lucas, hopefully Allen is back by then.
 

RichLFC

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SoueysTash said:
It's got nothing to do with being a defensive coach or not, it's to do with what the players are being asked to do...ball at feet defenders are few and far between - with practise they'll get better. The 3 at the back formation plays to our squad strengths - good to see the manager has realised that. Considering it was only our second game of playing this formation - good defensive performance.
It's better than the four CB formation but the set pieces are just awful. Ad there is always a sense of panic when we dither around in front of our own penalty box

Played a poor side today so didnt hurt us as much as it could have done but haven't seen us look defensively at ease all year bar against Man U at home who have a naturally defensive manager themselves. Don't help our midfield can't retain possession either though

Suarez back in harness up top will definitely help though goals wise. May help calm jitters if he is banging them in at the other end I guess
 

indianscouser

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jabu said:
hahaha im laughing so hard right now... playing like shit, but still three points, ill take it
Playing shit? seriously? We were average. If you failed to notice, we tend to hang on to a lead now a days. And that's credit. not once, not twice, but so many times this season.
 

HAWKVOL

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ILLOK said:
Think you must have missed our goals then
I saw the goals....what's your point? Did Gerrard play a few Beautiful Long balls?......yes. it's the 5-10 yard pass in the middle of the pitch he seems to having trouble with that springs an opposition counter attacjk that he is then slow to get back and defend against. He looks a half step to a step behind most everything that's happening out there.....and I LOVE GERRARD.
 

SoueysTash

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RichLFC said:
It's better than the four CB formation but the set pieces are just awful. Ad there is always a sense of panic when we dither around in front of our own penalty box

Played a poor side today so didnt hurt us as much as it could have done but haven't seen us look defensively at ease all year bar against Man U at home who have a naturally defensive manager themselves. Don't help our midfield can't retain possession either though

Suarez back in harness up top will definitely help though goals wise. May help calm jitters if he is banging them in at the other end I guess
We were defensively solid against Manure both times we played one aside from one lapse.

Your original comment was that BR wasn't a good enough defensive coach which is bollocks... to be frank
 

EdWood

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Well we won again despite not playing well again, which has got to be a positive. All hail the SaS!

I'd love to see us having two good halves instead of just the odd 20 minutes. Tbh I think we need a few quality squad additions in January because an awful lot of players who've featured so far this season have looked distinctly average.
 

icemanwan

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Sturridge's goal seems to be controversial, however to be fair not one of the Sunderland players shouted for handball and it's one of those things that you notice only on slow mo. The beach ball incidinet at Anfield still the most controversial goal given.
 

104TOSH

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3pts is what matters.
Still looks like something is not quite right with the team, but, a win is a win.
Kolo again delivered a wonderful performance, as did Skirts and Sakho.
Obviously Sturridge and Suarez were both magnificent.
And players still to return from injury, Agger, Johnson and Courtinho.
 

alphakilo

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kipland007 said:
I'm not usually the biggest critic of Rodgers but this was a really poor performance for us, and I don't want to let 3 points gloss over that.

It's one thing to accept results when we're playing well, but our disorganization and inability to complete simple tasks (like hold on to the ball) is really troubling. As I mentioned in the match thread, it made no sense to me why Henderson was put out wide and Moses central. I think that was relatively clear to everyone that Henderson was largely ineffective out wide and Moses didn't help us take control of the game when we needed to. Both could've been much better used in the reverse positions.

Glad we switch to 4 at the back, but took far too long. If Rodgers didn't have confidence in Wisdom covering that position, we should've brought in cover. At the very least, I don't see why an injury should result in changing our back line, which is arguably the most important area NOT to change mid-season (especially since we hadn't conceded in our first 3 league games with 4 at the back). I'm not opposed to 3 at the back, and I would love to have a team that can handle both, but let's not change our defensive formation simply due to the personnel available.

As many have mentioned Gerrard and Lucas are very immobile at the back, but the 3-5-2 dictates that they need to shift out wide more which clearly isn't something they are suited to doing. Again, if Henderson is central I don't think this is as big of a problem, but when Moses was there (and generally pushing forward and not doing as much defensive work) it becomes a big issue.

On a positive note, we probably have the best strike partnership this season and I think if we can solidify our midfield/defense they'll win a number of games for us. Once Coutinho & Johnson return I hope we see more of a 4-3-1-2 with Henderson, Gerrard and Lucas covering the bulk of the midfield work and freeing up Coutinho to feed Suarez and Sturridge.
Don't think we ever strayed from 3 at the back. When Sterling came in he was clearly playing in a wing-back kind of position, pretty much mirroring Enrique on the other flank. In the last few minutes we did change our shape a bit, but it was in the midfield with Lucas sitting even deeper, Henderson-Gerrard-Suarez forming the next line, and Sturridge alone up top.

Where Moses and Henderson are best suited within that formation depends on what role they're expected to perform. For the wingback, I think Rodgers wanted someone who could track runs first and foremost, and do that consistently. Henderson and Enrique are brilliant at that. Henderson in the middle may have helped us keep the ball better, but would not have given us too much direct attacking play. And with our lineup, we were never going to go the possession route in terms of attacking play. That's why Moses in the middle makes sense to me.

As for the back line and the central midfield when in posession, there's not one way to do things. Yes, you could have a very compact defensive three with the central midfielders spreading wide, but you could also have two central defenders spread wide instead. That's what we saw: Skrtel sitting deep behind a very compact Lucas/Gerrard pairing, and Toure/Sakho pushing wide and coming forward with the ball when possible. I thought it worked out well for periods; we actually did keep the ball very well with the "tippy tappy at the back" during those periods.
 

RichLFC

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SoueysTash said:
We were defensively solid against Manure both times we played one aside from one lapse.

Your original comment was that BR wasn't a good enough defensive coach which is bollocks... to be frank
Set piece defending is consistently bad, it's a key component and its as poor as ever

Does and is getting more out of attacking players though though quality like Suarez is rarely kept quiet for long

Felt we were a bit Roy Evans like last year. This year is more Roy Hodgson. Fewer defeats as our forward line when players are fit has few problems knowing where the net is but distinctly limited at times. But maybe when specialists return and we decide who we want to play as our main CB pair it may look less scruffy

Set pieces though. They blow. Quality in the midfield would also help, all 3 of Lucas, Henderson and Allen have question marks and Gerrards not got the athleticism of old. Getting by there at best
 

JustHitMyHead

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I think it is wrong to write off our performance because we played a "poor" side. Sunderland played much better than a bottom of the table team and I think their interim manager should get some credit for that.

That we are disjointed is not a surprise:
  • Very new formation for us
  • 3 starters who are new to the team this year
  • Suarez just getting back

I'm happy and looking forward to what this team can do. We need reinforcements still and some of our existing players need to step up or get replaced... but this team has take a huge step forward from last year.
 

jabu

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indianscouser said:
Playing shit? seriously? We were average. If you failed to notice, we tend to hang on to a lead now a days. And that's credit. not once, not twice, but so many times this season.
i disagree, we were crap (hanging on to a lead against sunderland) a considering the opposition as well... but ill take the 3 points. but were way below average. if this is what our average looks like then im really worried
 

canucky008

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We don't look fluid and easy on the eyes.

It seems static and labored at times but it's October and were in SECOND place for gods sake

Who thought that was going to happen in August

Interesting that BR prefers to bring on Sterling instead of Wisdom for the RB

Any thoughts anyone?
 

Red Tiger

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Sturridge + Suarez = WOW

Skrtel and Toure quite good too.

I thought Lucas was one of our least effective performers, in keeping with the rest of this season. What's happened to him!!

I am still not convinced with this 3-4-1-2 to be honest.

Can't wait for Johnson and Coutinho to come back and revert to a 4-3-3.

But a good win overall.
 

Toro

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gb1986 said:
Well, if playing like this has us in 2nd place, imagine where we'll be when we start playing well haha
We didn't win 0-6.

Thus, I am very unhappy.

We're crap.
 

Red Tiger

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canucky008 said:
We don't look fluid and easy on the eyes.

It seems static and labored at times but it's October and were in SECOND place for gods sake

Who thought that was going to happen in August

Interesting that BR prefers to bring on Sterling instead of Wisdom for the RB

Any thoughts anyone?
I thought Sterling replaced Moses for CAM and then drifted on to right wing.
 

AnfieldCat

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I haven't got a lot of internet this weekend so I couldn't come on during the game and cheer and moan with you all but I listened to the match on 5 Live, was absolutely fuming when they scored so soon into the 2nd half and at that point I did expect to draw or possibly even lose knowing our 2nd half performances of late. Just really thankful for the win and the proof that hell yeah, SAS can play together!!
 

shootscore

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All in all a slightly nervy but extremely satisfying 3 points.
We have a mean counter attack.
Yuss!!!
 
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Important win to get the confidence back but we must follow this up next week against Crystal Palace. Still some concerns in the overall performance and the form of certain players but will leave that for another time. Anyone know when Johnson is coming back?
 

canucky008

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Red Tiger said:
I thought Sterling replaced Moses for CAM and then drifted on to right wing.
Seemed to me Sterling was playing next to Toure mirroring Enrique on the flank
Suarez moved on Moses's position leaving Sturridge up top alone for the counter attack
 

SirBillShankly

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canucky008 said:
Seemed to me Sterling was playing next to Toure mirroring Enrique on the flank
Suarez moved on Moses's position leaving Sturridge up top alone for the counter attack
What game were you watching? Hendo was on the right alongside Toure. Sterling came on for Moses.
 

WrongIslander

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Poor game from Gerrard and Henderson today, still don't see how people are saying Lucas was poor and a lot of the time he masked how bad Gerrard was.

I'm still not sold on Moses, he was excellent against Swansea but since then has looked average.

Sturridge and Kolo were excellent yet again.

At this point in the season I'd say our player of the year is a free transfer!
 

alphakilo

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canucky008 said:
Interesting that BR prefers to bring on Sterling instead of Wisdom for the RB

Any thoughts anyone?
My take is that, at 2-1, the game wasn't safe enough for us to shut up shop. We were taking a lot of pressure but still needed outlets to score on the counter. Sterling offered a pacey outlet out wide, on the side where Toure was also have an immense game. At the same time, Henderson offered an extra harrying body in the middle, where Gerrard and a tiring Lucas were not enough for wave after wave of runners. Two birds with one stone and all that.