Monday, February 23, 2009

Liverpool 1 City 1

I spent some yesterday trying to establish if I thought it was a point gained, or two points dropped. On the whole though, being that there were far more positives to take from the game (and following a European game in midweek prior to the fixture), I'll definitely call it a point gained.

It was still frustrating however to not 'close out' a game having been in a winning position (something we have been poor at all season), but having allowed Dirk Kuyt (him again!) to equalise, we could have so easily capitulated and come away empty handed.

The fact that we didn't suggests (as has been widely mentioned today) a fortitude and spirit within the squad that belies the stories that some of the more mischief-making of the media have been peddling. Indeed, there were even hanes late on where we could have snatched victory ourselves but the unanimous verdict appears to be that it was an excellent performance from the side.

Pleasing displays? Robinho was impressive for me. Under criticism of late, he married both his unquestionable talent alongside a work rate that drew plenty of plaudits. He produed the moment of the match for me, a wonderfully perceptive pass to the on running Stephen Ireland - weighted with absolute precision, and such a shame Ireland could not apply the finish it so deserved. Moments in a game such as that are reasons why we watch football in the first place.

A trio of Hughes's January signings - Given, Bellamy and particularly de Jong - all shone yesterday, with Jack rightly highlighting de Jong's vital contribution. Their individual characteristics all shone through, and their influence since arriving provides evidene that Hughes could well be on the right path. Wayne Bridge less so however, and he appears to be taking more time to make an impact, but I don't think he is being helped by not having a consistent support on the left hand side. The return of Martin Petrov could be precisely what is needed for him to show his true worth.

All in all good day then. Anfield is a venue we rarely return with any success from, and although they were shorn of Gerrard and Alonso, let's not forget Liverpool stand second in the table and possess an excellent home record this season. Despite some doom and gloom still persisting, with twelve games remaining in the season, we are more than capable of putting the necessary run together to ensure a seventh placed finish, perhaps even threatening Everton's hold on sixth place?

We should also be able to draw plenty from the performance in terms of our upcoming second leg against FC Copenhagen this Thursday, where - in terms of maintaining momentum as well as success itself in the UEFA Cup - it will be so vital for us to progress through.

vote it up!

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