Monday, October 29, 2012
What an utterly breathtaking game between Liverpool and Everton over the weekend! Without the usual red cards and farcical refereeing decisions, it was refreshing to watch a Derby Day match where football actually took center stage.
Pundits are arguing that there was little technical quality in the game, but it did not matter one bit to me. The match had everything in it, pressure was high, the pace and tempo were ridiculously furious and Luis Suarez once more showed just why he is THE most electrifying footballer in the Barclays Premier League today.
Sure, El Pistolero may not be everyone's idea of a clinical striker but hey, there is no other player I would have on my side. He has the "samba-like" skills (just watching his numerous nutmegs on defenders), the unpredictability, frighteningly high energy and unquestioned workrate that no other player can compete against. To have scored six goals in a Liverpool side in which he fights ALONE every weekend against FOUR tough opposing defenders is a remarkable feat.
It's a shame he could not get that last-minute game winning goal for the Reds.
Raheem Sterling found himself one-on-one with Tim Howard and the wunderkind was caught in two minds, either to go for goal or to square it for Suarez. Any other experienced player would instinctively know what to do in such a situation but unfortunately for Sterling, this will prove to be another lesson in a very promising season for the youngster.
Buoyed by his excellent goal against Reading, Sterling lost his footing slightly in his excitement, and skewed his shot embarassingly away from the gaping Everton goal. Luis Suarez, in a good position, visibly angered by Raheem's selfishness, understandably told him exactly that. I am pretty sure that Sterling will pass the ball if he ever gets into those positions in the future.
While watching the game, I reminisced over Dirk Kuyt. How the Reds could have used the veteran Dutch striker in this game, he gets goals in big games. The times Suarez found himself all alone without any Reds support in the Everton penalty area alone were innumerable. A younger Steven Gerrard would've busted a lung and a gut to be at the end of a Suarez pass as the mercurial Luis beat one defender after another. Rodgers need to ensure that the midfield gets up in support of Suarez - something to work on in the training ground.
All in all, Liverpool is creating chances but not finishing them as they should. A top-class defender and a prolific goal scorer should remain the manager's top priority. The addition of the unsettled Daniel Sturridge could not come soon enough. Heck right now, even the erratic Theo Walcott looks pretty promising as Suarez' striking partner!
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