Thursday, 26 August 2010

Trabzonspor 1 Liverpool 2 - post-match thoughts

Never too keen to comment properly on matches when I've not watched it in the ground, so just a few bullet points on tonight.

  • Holding onto the 1-0 lead from last week was never going to be done with consummate ease, especially with a depleted squad travelling to a hostile atmosphere. We've never won in Turkey, unless you regard Istanbul as such.
  • With that in mind, it was a little perplexing to see an inexperienced right-footed 20-year-old play at left-back, especially when actual left-back Fabio Aurelio played just ahead of him in midfield. Once Kelly settled down, he looked as imperious as ever; there is a certain confidence he exudes on the football pitch, be it when he has the ball at his feet or staving off the attentions of the opposition player and ushering the ball out of play. He wasn't as productive with the ball as it was predominately on his weaker foot, but he looked like a fully-fledged left-back by full-time.
  • As obvious and cliché as it sounds, losing the first-leg lead so early was a massive blow - confidence plummeted from that moment and it took us an entire half to rebuild it. What would have been a defensive outlook from us manifested into sitting deep, playing safe balls and looking to spring N'Gog free; something which failed miserably throughout the first 45 minutes. As for the goal itself, Kuyt, Carragher, Soto and Johnson can all feel culpable in some way. I wasn't surprised to see Guttierez (known at 'that tiny no.9' last week to the Anfield faithful) score for Trabzonspor, he was impressive against us last week.
  • Second half was an improvement, although still operating nowhere near our full capability. N'Gog floundered between the sublime and the ridiculous, with his excellent hold-up play and perseverance tainted by profligacy in front of goal. One thing you can't fault him for is his effort - he and his elastic legs run the £1.5 million paid for him every time he strides on the pitch.
  • Trabzonspor shot themselves in the foot somewhat after about 60 minutes; they become anxious to get forward and commit which finally allowed Lucas (who had a poor game otherwise) to drive forward. If Lucas is to play alongside Poulsen this year, he needs to be allowed to get forward as much as possible; we looked more likely to equalise when he broke deep from midfield simply because there was another body in there.
  • Kacar's own goal was a fantastic advert of Glen Johnson's abilities when he is allowed to get forward, but it was again too much of a rarity. I can understand Roy wanting him to concentrate on his defensive ability but he does give an extra dimension, especially when two central midfielders sit so deep.
  • Pacheco had another impressive cameo and it was good to see him having a shot at goal which eventually led to Dirk Kuyt's tap in. I think, ironically, he could play the role Joe Cole is usually associated with. He seems to have that innate ability to ghost into space.
  • Not the best performance, but a very, very good result for a side without their two best players. All of this will be a distant memory tomorrow afternoon when I have Easyjet, Ryanair and other assorted airline websites open ready to book a trip to deepest, darkest eastern Europe.

No comments:

Post a Comment