Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sloppy Liverpool outplayed by Manchester City

It was a night to forget for Liverpool. They were wasteful, sloppy, slow, unconvincing on and off the ball, and were completely outplayed by the Mega-Bucks stars from Manchester City. As soon as City got their first goal, I saw no way back for Roy Hodgson's team.

I felt starting with Torres was a mistake, because one, he is clearly un-fit and unable to last a good 90 minutes, and two, when Liverpool need a goal late on, they have no-one of any better quality to bring on and change a game. If Torres had started on the bench, he would have been able to come on and have some impact against tired defenders. But starting with an un-fit Torres against top class and fit defenders - Torres couldn't get in the game.
There was a lack of spark and creativity in the Liverpool side, who lacked width, and despite Gerrards best efforts, the City defence were too much for one man. Joe Cole of course was missed after being suspended against Arsenal. His creativity, trickery and width, would have been greatly appreciated in a game where Liverpool looked similar to the failing team of last season.
No credit, however must be taken away from Manchester City's brilliance on the night. The young English players, watched by Capello's right-hand-man, Baldini, played magnificently, in Hart and Johnson. Adam Johnson was involved in everything. How ironic it is that he has been one of their cheapest signings but has made the biggest impact. He tore Liverpool's left-back to shreds, won a penalty, delivered some great crosses and had a few good shots. Hart too, is quickly cementing his place as number one for both club and country. Another solid display, in particular with a fine double save from Ngog and Torres to deny a Liverpool comeback. Dare I say it, but England's goalkeeping nightmare may have found a long term solution.

Two contrasting clubs in terms of their ownership. Manchester City are on the up, with billions of pounds to spend on anything they please, and aiming for new heights. Whereas Liverpool, have been on the decline from their glory days for a while, with the American owners plunging the club into masses of debt with the club with very little to spend on new recruits. With prospective buyers pulling out of deals to save the club, and teams around them getting better, Roy Hodgson has a big job ahead of him.