Thursday, September 21, 2006

Slip up

Liverpool 2 - 0 Newcastle Utd

Another league trip to Anfield, another journey home without any points. Last night saw a mixture of the inevitable and the downright freakish condemn us to defeat on Merseyside.

It was inevitable that, having shown a strong interest in the player during the summer, Dirk Kuyt would open his Liverpool account against us. His goal coming after Xabi Alonso had played an excellent ball inside Babayaro, for Finnan to knock the ball across, and Kuyt to get to the ball ahead of Craig Moore, and knock the ball past Steve Harper.

The downright freakish being Alonso's second half goal from 60 yards away. Having won the ball from N'Zogbia, he hit a sixty yard shot which Steve Harper would have saved comfortably, had he not slipped and fallen. Instead he was left to flap a despairing arm in the ball's direction as it hit the net in front of the Kop.

The other moment of inevitability came after the match, when Craig Bellamy was apparently involved in a bust up in the tunnel with his former team-mates.

Sadly for Newcastle, the fluency which we displayed on Sunday was lacking, and Parker was overrun in midfield, as Emre, Duff and Milner were unable or incapable of giving him the support which he needed in order to get control of the game.

Defensively, we allowed Liverpool too many opportunities, with Kuyt and Bellamy both guilty of wasteful finishing, whilst Luis Garcia hit the post, having already been booked for the most blatant handball "goal" for twenty years.

At the other end, Martins was unable to get the ball long enough to run at the Liverpool defence, and Ameobi, putting himself about with no little effort, unable to fashion a chance worthy of the name.

The game also featured several penalty shouts, the two most blatant being a handball by Carragher, and a later one by Babayaro - neither of which were picked up by referee Mark Halsey. The Nigerian was perhaps lucky to still be on the pitch, having slapped Kuyt in the face in the first half (although once again Halsey didn't see the incident).

Looking forward, it's frustrating that we allowed a Liverpool side who have been struggling for form to get the win, and whilst we were largely second best it took a moment of misfortune for Steve Harper to give the Liverpool the points.

Other reports: BBC, Guardian


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