Post Match: Sunderland 1 Liverpool 3

Doggie

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leopoldfrank said:
I don't know what people are talking about. I thought we reacted to the Sunderland goal really well. We kept possession so much better after that point. It was a bit nervy because of the scoreline but we were in control from that point and took all the momentum out of Sunderland's game. The only really nervy moment in that period was when Toure was off the field injured other than that I thought we controlled the game well and the goal was deserved. I don't think saying we played shit and won does the lads justice at all. Cheer up, ffs.
This.

We have our usual gathering of whining old women on here lol

Sunderland may have been bottom but they were clearly inspired and up for it. Best thing was our reaction to their goal - we matched their energy and pressing and eventually played them off the park - not sure how all the moaning groaning grandmas missed that, but no big surprise.
 

Bleeding Red

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Had to win, we did win, so no complaints. We all knew Sunderland would have a bit more gumption than they have done so far this season with Di Canio now gone, and so it proved, but the bottom line is they are a dreadful side who are certainties for relegation for me, and we had to put them away. A good, efficient performance, and we did what we had to. Pleasingly, the second half was actually better than the first today, and for the first time in a while we didn't just sit back and invite pressure. Them getting that early second half goal arguably gave the lads the kick up the arse to actually keep the damn ball a bit, and for the most part, it looked pretty comfortable.

Sturridge and Suarez look magnificent. I won't lie, I was concerned about how them playing together would upset the balance of the team, but looks like I can lay those fears to rest. Suarez's workrate looks the same as ever, and it really is like he's never been away. Brendan clearly wasn't lying about the intensity of his training, because you'd think he hadn't missed a single game. We get Coutinho back in, and that front line is going to be as good as any going in the land right now, and the best we've had since Stevie, Kuyt and Torres were in their pomp back in 08-09.

The defence looked good today as well, and Sakho looks like he's settling down after a nervy first game or two, which was understandable. Skyrtl looks reborn this season, and Kolo's a beast. Agger's got his work cut out to get back in the team right now. Gerrard also had his best game in a little while as well. He looked more energetic than he has done since he got back from England duty, and got forward more than he has done so far this year. Some of his passing was also sublime. Hopefully his mini-blip is behind him now. Hendo just put in the shift he normally does, and has pretty much turned into Kuyt re-incarnated, putting in a herculean shift wherever he's asked to do so without ever whinging or kicking up a fuss. Strange old statistics there as well, with his 1st, 50th and 100th appearance all being against his former club.

Either way, good to be back on track. Crystal Palace next, and needless to say, that's an absolute must win as well. We have the two worst teams in the league in consecutive weeks, and I know there are no 'gimme's' in the league, as the Southampton game last week and United and City's games this week have proven, serious questions must be asked if we can't polish these guys off. Sunderland and Palace are my certainties for relegation. Every other team in the League are more than good enough to punish us, United et all if anyone has an off day or isn't at it, but those two are just not very good, and no amount of endeavour should be able to make up for that. Just match them for workrate, and the rest should take care of itself.
 

Walter Sobchak

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slufsar said:
i dont know where to put this, but i noticed we play city and chelsea away in space of 2 days. thrusday and saturday. like, why? why has this happened? it makes it very hard for us and its completely unnecessary. not to mention the risk it involved for the players having to play two tough games with high intensity in the space of two days in the christmas cold.
The PL official site says you're right, Thursday 26th we play City, 28th we play Chelsea.

http://www.premierleague.com/en-gb/matchday/matches.html?paramClubId=14¶mComp_8=true&view=.dateSeason%C2
 

rab

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Tokyo_Red said:
I'd go back to 4-3-3 against palace. Toure replacing Lucas and give Stevie 60 mins in the hole before replacing him with Moses or Alberto. Let Allen or Henderson play where Stevie does.
Not sure Stevie has the energy to play as the most advanced of a midfield three and he struggled with that role the start of last season too. If we can rest him for Palace or at least not have him play 90 minutes I think we should. Could depend on the fitness of Allen though.
 

Arminius

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slufsar said:
i dont know where to put this, but i noticed we play city and chelsea away in space of 2 days. thrusday and saturday. like, why? why has this happened? it makes it very hard for us and its completely unnecessary. not to mention the risk it involved for the players having to play two tough games with high intensity in the space of two days in the christmas cold.
December is going to define this season. Of course everyone plays a lot of games through December, but in addition to the pair you note we also have the away game versus Spurs on Dec. 15.
 

Tetteh_Dalglish

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Canuck33 said:
A lot of people have been calling for a 3-4-1-2 for quite a while. Took him some time to figure it out on his own.
lol. A lot of people have been calling for a lot of things. We do have a few broke clocks.

I remember us playing 3 at the back last season a couple of times as well. But with Suarez suspended, we haven't needed to accommodate 2 strikers for a while.
 

Tetteh_Dalglish

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TrueRed1990 said:
Sturridge and Suarez look magnificent. I won't lie, I was concerned about how them playing together would upset the balance of the team, but looks like I can lay those fears to rest.

...

Either way, good to be back on track. Crystal Palace next, and needless to say, that's an absolute must win as well. We have the two worst teams in the league in consecutive weeks, and I know there are no 'gimme's' in the league, as the Southampton game last week and United and City's games this week have proven, serious questions must be asked if we can't polish these guys off. Sunderland and Palace are my certainties for relegation. Every other team in the League are more than good enough to punish us, United et all if anyone has an off day or isn't at it, but those two are just not very good, and no amount of endeavour should be able to make up for that. Just match them for workrate, and the rest should take care of itself.
Agree with a lot of your post. Highlighted those two points as I think that's worth pointing out as an area Rogers and his team are working on and deserve credit. Early on in his Liverpool career we were concerned that Rogers had one way of playing (tiki-taka lite) and was trying to shoe horn his players into that tactic rather than play to the strengths of his team. We've seen Rogers evolve since he has been here and his pragmatic streak has seen us adapting our tactics to get the best out of our players. Sometimes it has come in a reaction to adverse results or a half-time change, and well, we always knew there was going to be a learning curve. But it's one thing to say there'll be a learning curve and suggest a manager needs time to improve, and another to see him learning the lessons and actually making the changes those lessons indicate.

We were guilty of struggling to break down opponents because we'd pass them to death but not be able to score or break down the parked bus. We are now better at taking in pressure in away games and hitting them on the break with effective counter attacks.

We were once unable to grind out 3 points even after taking a 1-0 lead - often looking sloppy and fragile at the back. Well not all the sloppiness and fragility is gone yet, but we have more resolve and have done a better job keeping our leads and scraping out wins even when not playing at our best.

We looked weak in defense once Carra left, and we've identified at least 2 top CBs who have come in and made an almost immediate impact. Yes we still need to improve on set-pieces, and Sunderland got too many damn corners for my liking, but between Toure, Sakho and Skrtel we coped very well and didn't concede from any of the thousand corners they had. I was extremely nervous at each one.

We were all worried about how we'd incorporate Luis and Suarez into the first team and get the best out of both, and our system clearly lets us do that. It comes at the cost of being vulnerable to the overlap on the wings and, when we shift our AM or one of the CMs over to handle that threat, we looked a bit vulnerable in the center or to the big switch from side to side exposing the other flank. We'll need to address that in training or just know when to use this strategy and when to go back to a 4-2-3-1. (E.g. against teams like Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea, with strong fullbacks and strong midfields, we may be better served matching them in the middle of the park and not risking being caught 2 against 1 on the wing).

You pointed out the need to match teams for intensity, and that is crucial. We can do everything else right - tactics, personnel, whatever - but if we go to sleep on a lead or fail to start with the right hunger and aggression, we'll be caught with our pants down against these sorts of teams. Rogers needs to instill the "every game is a cup final" mentality. The league could be decided on goal difference, so each and every match could be the difference between 5th and 4th or 2nd and 1st.

But overall, I'm please Rogers and his team have identified the tactics and the personnel needed to improve us in the last 12 months. Since the January window we have reinforced our 1st team attack (Sturridge, Coutinho and Moses) and defense (Sakho, Toure and Mignolet), and deepened the squad (Alberto, Aspas, Ilori), while letting Ibe and Sterling continue to develop. The next area that obviously needs attention is the center of the park, and I'm confident they'll address it effectively if their transfer hit rate continues to hold up.

It's pleasing times. And not just because of the results. We are getting good results and our intensity has been fairly high when needed. There's still lots to work on and improve on so we shouldn't see people relaxing and getting comfortable. The competition for places should also keep everyone on their toes.

Very pleasing situation to be in.
 

Tetteh_Dalglish

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Borini's Knife said:
Great result, loving the effectiveness on the counter. Thought it was a strange decision to take moses out of the game for sterling. Moses i think played quite well through the middle and caused some problems on the break running at defenders. Henderson was poor and I would have made the straight swap for sterling. Paid off in the end I guess.

Sahko for me was an absolute beast and I think people are overlooking his performance in favour of Toure (who was also immense). Sahko absolutely dominated everything that came his way, future leader for me and a great buy. At one stage towards the end he out jumped alitidore to win a header I actually felt sympathy for him such was Sahkos dominance.

Great to have Suarez back, but Studge easily MOM and our player of the season thus far.
I thought it was very clever move because we needed to shore up the midfield where they were finding a bit of extra space at times. Moses did very well in possession and had a solid game, but he doesn't offer as much defensively as Henderson does.

This match report captured it well:
http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/liverpool/id/1696?cc=5901

Midfield continues to be a concern, as Sunderland found space to get long shots away far too frequently and the balance in the centre never looked completely right. Rodgers' decision to introduce Raheem Sterling at right wing-back and shift Jordan Henderson into the centre in place of Victor Moses was a shrewd one. It was brave, too, as with a 2-1 lead to protect the easy option would have been to send on the more defensive-minded Andre Wisdom, but to the manager's credit he recognised that Henderson was having a lot of joy down that right-hand side and was often the free man. Sending Sterling out there made sense, as did bolstering the middle of the park with the energetic Henderson.
 

Alex

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GoalRush said:
Can't get my head around the sunderlands 23 shots stat , we're they all being miss hit and going out for throws or something, I can barely remember half that amount.
it's probably the same guy who writes lucas' stats
 

mattyhurst

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Alex said:
it's probably the same guy who writes lucas' stats
Well the fact they only had 5 on target, 2 that happened at the goal it's not a great return whilst we knocked in 3 from 15 and 3 from 6 on target.

Most of there shooting was from long range even the goal came from a shot 25 yards out that rebounded.
 

koptician

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Jamie carragher: Arsenal have got the best midfield in the league, Liverpool have got 2 of the best strikers in the league, Chelsea have got too many big names in der team which can be a problem at times but they are strong!!!

Anchor: wat about United?

Jamie: Well City is above them that says it all.....

Gary Neville: But City lost to Villa and Cardiff as well!

Jamie: i meant Hull city!!
 

Quagmire81

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rab said:
You have to wonder what's happening with Gerrard. He played pretty much every minute of our league campaign last year and never once looked as jaded as he has the past few games. You could say it's his age catching up with him but we're only seven games into the season and he looks like he's running on fumes already.

I think when Allen, Johnson and Coutinho are back we'll see a return to 4-2-3-1 with Allen or Hendo in next to Lucas and Coutinho ahead of them to give Gerrard a break. Home games against the likes of Palace would be the ideal for Gerrard to start on the bench but with Lucas suspended and no sign of Allen returning I guess he'll have to play.

However we have to question why he seems to be lacking energy so early in the season and if it's a sign of his natural decline due to age we need to manage his game time better so he's fit and fresh for the biggest games.
Yeah Stevie looked really jaded when he pulled off that pass for Sturridge for our second goal. We surely don't need that type of play in the team.
 

slufsar

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Walter Sobchak said:
The PL official site says you're right, Thursday 26th we play City, 28th we play Chelsea.
That shouldnt be the case. Who decides this stuff? Is it impossible to get it changed?
 

nowthen

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Its a pity martin kelly isnt fitter at the moment. He could slot into that right wing back role in Glen Johnsons absence.
 

Arminius

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slufsar said:
That shouldnt be the case. Who decides this stuff? Is it impossible to get it changed?
The whole league is playing Thursday-Saturday. It is just we happened to get two top teams that is unique to LFC. If it changes, it will be the Chelsea game to the Sunday for TV - and that still leaves us playing the Wednesday on short rest. Granted, that would be somewhat better as that Wednesday is Hull at Anfield.
 

Quagmire81

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The only critic I could possible have after a 1-3 away win, is maybe the early sub of moses for sterling, that was a bit hazardous I think.

Moses did a great job in the AMC position, he picked up so many balls and hold on to it which had a positive effect on our play, we kinda lost that when he was taken off, it was like there was nonone to pick up the ball in the centre, hendo still positioned himself a bit out wide to help sterling get into the game, and stevie and lucas just can't both win the ball back and start an attack without help so late in a game.

It's a small thing, but I thought it was a bit silly to play with faith there, when it worked out so well with moses in there, and he didn't seem that tired to be need to be subbed. We fortunate killed the game in the end.

I like the 3-5-2 formation, cause it give us so much bite in attack, which is what wins you games.
Just Imagine if we had coutinho in there for hendo, some of those crosses would have result into a goal or two. Jordan's crosses are quite poor or atleast was in that game, and he had plenty of attempts to get some accuracy on just one of them. His workrate is admirable, but his end product not so much.
 

costared

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Obviously I hope this is not the case but we could see the same scenario with Kelly as we have with Lucas after his unjury. Often players fail to make it back to their best no matter how old they are or how hard they work or how good the physios are. It is just a fact of life.
Martin Kelly has always had a great attitude but he has had a few games with the U21's and a sniff at the first team without looking any where near top form.
 

silentio

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koptician said:
Jamie carragher: Arsenal have got the best midfield in the league, Liverpool have got 2 of the best strikers in the league, Chelsea have got too many big names in der team which can be a problem at times but they are strong!!!

Anchor: wat about United?

Jamie: Well City is above them that says it all.....

Gary Neville: But City lost to Villa and Cardiff as well!

Jamie: i meant Hull city!!
I think soon, there'll be enough to get a compilation of Jamie doing this to Gary Neville
 

mattyhurst

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Arminius said:
The whole league is playing Thursday-Saturday. It is just we happened to get two top teams that is unique to LFC. If it changes, it will be the Chelsea game to the Sunday for TV - and that still leaves us playing the Wednesday on short rest. Granted, that would be somewhat better as that Wednesday is Hull at Anfield.
It might snow?

Will probably move about due to television, won't be that beneficial regardless.
 

rab

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Quagmire81 said:
Yeah Stevie looked really jaded when he pulled off that pass for Sturridge for our second goal. We surely don't need that type of play in the team.
Don't need energy to ping the ball forty yards though do you? It could even be argued that he chose to hit that pass rather than bring the ball out himself because he didn't have the energy. If you actually watch that goal he's strolling out from defence and not really working to push forward or create an outlet for Enrique. Great pass none the less but you've not really got the point of the discussion.

I think it's obviously to a lot of people that the energy that became synonymous with Gerrard's game isn't there at the moment and perhaps it may have gone for good. Take a look at the chance for Gardner just before half time. Lucas comes out to press the ball, it's played square and Gerrard just stands off Cattermole giving him time to pick the dinked pass over the top. Why isn't he rushing out to press the man? Whether it's tactics or fitness something is wrong and that's a perfect example to highlight how those two are struggling as a pairing. One pressing and the other standing off just creates big holes and time and space for their midfield to play.
 

Nelson

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Great match for the neutrals, plenty of end to end stuff and I was really pleased to see the counter attack work well away against an oposition who likes to break forward quickly/lump it to the "big man" upfront. I thought our CBs all around we great.

Just a few observations since we switched to a more compact 3-5-2...

While I realise that we're short on attacking full back options with Johnson and Sissokho out and playing 3 at CB is a logical move regarding the quality/depth of those positions, it was obvious that we were very narrow at times and against opposition who would look to switch the play a lot more, I think we'll get found out unless Enrique gets back quicker and/or the midfield can close down counters more quickly. Jose has been a bit errant on his marking of late... I think our left flank will get exposed against the better passing teams.

That being said, joint 2nd!

Nice to see Luis on the scoresheet twice on his return, although I wish he'd trust his team mates a little more and keep posession to relieve the pressure, rather than try the spectacular at times. Especially when Lucas is looking a bit leggy. I guess it's just the player Suarez is... a really handful though for any defence. Sometimes the team could just do with a slower 5 mins of possession and establish a midfield platform to really kill games off when we have a lead. Like others, I can't wait to see him link up with Coutinho when he get's back from injury.

MOM - Sturridge/Kolo. Both fantastic for us this season already.
 

LeoT

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kingoftown said:
Hope this point hasn't already been raised, but do any of you think that if we stick with the 3-4-1-2 for an extended period of time, Rodgers might throw in Cissokho for Enrique? And no, I'm not completely rejecting him altogether, but I don't believe Enrique has exactly done enough to lock down that position.
I think Enrique has been absolutely solid so far this season.
He's done more than enough to lock the left back position down.
The man is strong as an ox, he's quick so he recovers possesion very often, he can dribble and cross well.
I can not remember him losing his battle with an opposing winger accross a whole game.
He can pass it long or short, and protects the ball well.

On the down side, his shooting is not all that accurate, and he is very left footed (probably even more left footed than Sakho).

There are very few left backs in the premiership with all of his attributes.
It will be intresting to see if Cissokho will be any kind of threat to him when he's back, let alone replacement.

Having said that, if Cissokho was an improvement on Enrique then we would be in a really strong place.
 

Quagmire81

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rab said:
Don't need energy to ping the ball forty yards though do you? It could even be argued that he chose to hit that pass rather than bring the ball out himself because he didn't have the energy. If you actually watch that goal he's strolling out from defence and not really working to push forward or create an outlet for Enrique. Great pass none the less but you've not really got the point of the discussion.

I think it's obviously to a lot of people that the energy that became synonymous with Gerrard's game isn't there at the moment and perhaps it may have gone for good. Take a look at the chance for Gardner just before half time. Lucas comes out to press the ball, it's played square and Gerrard just stands off Cattermole giving him time to pick the dinked pass over the top. Why isn't he rushing out to press the man? Whether it's tactics or fitness something is wrong and that's a perfect example to highlight how those two are struggling as a pairing. One pressing and the other standing off just creates big holes and time and space for their midfield to play.
I got your point, Stevie is old and over the hill and we really need to get rid. My point is, he insure us goals, which is needed to win. You rather want him to use his limited energy on chasing down players or to win us games?

I do agree with your point about him needing more rest, but to point fingers at small things he do in a game like that, is nitpicking and in light of his involvement in our second goal not really necessary at all.
 

costared

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rab said:
Don't need energy to ping the ball forty yards though do you? It could even be argued that he chose to hit that pass rather than bring the ball out himself because he didn't have the energy. If you actually watch that goal he's strolling out from defence and not really working to push forward or create an outlet for Enrique. Great pass none the less but you've not really got the point of the discussion.

I think it's obviously to a lot of people that the energy that became synonymous with Gerrard's game isn't there at the moment and perhaps it may have gone for good. Take a look at the chance for Gardner just before half time. Lucas comes out to press the ball, it's played square and Gerrard just stands off Cattermole giving him time to pick the dinked pass over the top. Why isn't he rushing out to press the man? Whether it's tactics or fitness something is wrong and that's a perfect example to highlight how those two are struggling as a pairing. One pressing and the other standing off just creates big holes and time and space for their midfield to play.
You do need some energy to knock a pass like that, you also need quality, he still has that and we would miss it were he not there. I also saw him making forward runs to take him to supporting positions around the edge of their box and winning balls in our own box. He does not do these things as quickly or as often as he used to but he still does them. Not the player he was but still worth his place moreso than your blue eyed boy who sadly has not been able to regain his form following injury and is very unlikely to do so.
 

rab

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Quagmire81 said:
I got your point, Stevie is old and over the hill and we really need to get rid. My point is, he insure us goals, which is needed to win. You rather want him to use his limited energy on chasing down players or to win us games?

I do agree with your point about him needing more rest, but to point fingers at small things he do in a game like that, is nitpicking and in light of his involvement in our second goal not really necessary at all.
Where did I say we need to get rid? I said we need to manage his game time to get the best out of him in our biggest and toughest games. Don't go twisting my words.

Closing players down is a vital part of our game plan. Press high and fast and don't let their midfield settle on the ball to dictate the game. Yes i'd quite like Gerrard to do it and if he doesn't have the energy to be doing it when we're still in the first half then yes i'd like to see someone in there who has the energy to do so.

The example I gave perfectly illustrated one occasion when he didn't do it and a chance was created as a result. It wasn't the only time, watch what he's doing for their goal. It's just as important he contribute defensively as it is he contribute in an attacking sense. It's hypocritical of you to point out one thing he did right but accuse me of nitpicking by pointing out one thing he did wrong but I could highlight other instances if you think im picking on him. It's also not a little thing, that one defensive mistake, without Mignolets exceptional save, would have likely seen us go into half time at 1-1 rather than 0-2. Huge change in the game right there.
 

koptician

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Quagmire81 said:
I got your point, Stevie is old and over the hill and we really need to get rid. My point is, he insure us goals, which is needed to win. You rather want him to use his limited energy on chasing down players or to win us games?

I do agree with your point about him needing more rest, but to point fingers at small things he do in a game like that, is nitpicking and in light of his involvement in our second goal not really necessary at all.
Fine, but then play him at AM as many have suggested so he can cause damage further up the pitch and less danger if his passes get intercepted...and he can stroll about conserving his energy without endangering our goal
 

rab

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costared said:
You do need some energy to knock a pass like that, you also need quality, he still has that and we would miss it were he not there. I also saw him making forward runs to take him to supporting positions around the edge of their box and winning balls in our own box. He does not do these things as quickly or as often as he used to but he still does them. Not the player he was but still worth his place moreso than your blue eyed boy who sadly has not been able to regain his form following injury and is very unlikely to do so.
I don't have a boy, I have a team. I don't care which players play as long as the sum of their parts is the strongest it can be. At the moment I don't think that's the case and the weakness comes from that midfield three. We don't have another DM to take Lucas's place which is why I think we should be looking to find who plays best alongside him with the idea of Coutinho as the most advanced.

We'll see what we miss when Lucas is absent from the Palace game. If whoever comes in to fill that spot makes the midfield work then i'll be happy. If we lose the control of midfield, as we have done most games this season then fingers will be pointed somewhere but it won't be Lucas this time. Then perhaps we'll start to really look at what's going on instead of using Lucas as an easy scape goat because some people refuse to believe Gerrard could be the issue.