|photo by anyjazz65||via PhotoRee|
Our resident Liverpool correspondent, Scott, is going to have a hard time getting over this one:
It was the stuff of nightmares. You do so many things right but still lose, and emphatically at that. When Liverpool visited Old Trafford they brought an attacking intention that had the home side pinned back at the beginning. Even when things got a bit more even with the flow of the game, there were still large stretches when it was the visiting Reds who created the more and better chances. Unfortunately, as with every recipe, when one ingredient is left out it can wreak havoc with the final result. In this case, Liverpool left out the finishing, especially Raheem Sterling who was ubiquitous on the day but pathetic in terms of billowing the net.
Yes, Manchester United looked good at times and they are clearly a team in ascent as they cobble their newcomers into a functioning team, something Liverpool is still working on. But on the balance of the game, I would say Liverpool were the better side. They just couldn’t finish. Of course, that was not United’s problem as Philippe Coutinho let Wayne Rooney trot right by him to slot home just seconds after Sterling used David De Gea for target practice for the first of many times. Sure the Spaniard is big but the goal is a lot bigger and it’s not like he is magnetic (is he?). Mata then scores a goal that should have been disallowed due to offsides (in fairness to the refs, it was really hard to see the brush of Robin Van Persie’s hair even in slow motion) and what should have been a 2-0 advantage to Liverpool was, instead, a frustrating reversed scoreline.
Nor was it the day that would see Mario Balotelli break his league duck with Liverpool, despite coming on after the interval. Instead, it was the usual flashes of petulance and ball-control brilliance followed by a pin ball save by that damn De Gea. Then, it was Liverpool’s eagerness to fight back into the match that left them exposed at the back, again, allowing the third goal for a ridiculously unjust scoreline. Even so, if Dejan Lovren could have actually managed to clear the ball at his feet instead of teeing it up for the onrushing opponents, that goal could have been avoided.Much will be made of this defeat, which is a shame, in my opinion. They played better than they have at many times during the season and a 2-1 or 3-1 win would not have been an unreasonable outcome based on the game. Specifically they, again, created many opportunities to score and didn’t just shut down creatively when approaching the opposing penalty area. But, oh for some finishing….
This is farlieonfootie for December 15.