14 October 2006

Liverpool 1-1 Blackburn

Bollocks. No matter that Liverpool equalized to earn a draw, it was 2 points dropped, not 1 point gained. While it’s only October, Liverpool has dropped enough points as it is. Away games are one thing. While I expect to see improvement in the away form, it is an ongoing process. Home games are a completely different animal, and Liverpool has looked less ruthless and more vulnerable at Anfield this season, which is completely unacceptable for a supposed title contender.

I hope the defense enjoyed wherever they where when Blackburn scored, because they certainly weren’t at the game. Bentley got down Liverpool’s left flank with ease. The cross caught both Finnan and Carra out of position, and to help matters, Reina was off his line. Which makes Liverpool’s struggles all the more discouraging, as the defense carried the team last year, and has been such an utter disappointment so far this. Yes, Reina has been questionable at times this year, but he made some good saves today, and cannot be blamed for all the lapses occurring. I don’t know what it is, but nearly everyone in defense is not as good as than they were last season, and that must change.

It was nice, albeit surprising, to see Liverpool come out with the lineup I thought they would, as it hasn’t happened yet this season. And for the first 25 minutes, it looked to be going to plan. Liverpool hadn’t scored, but Pennant was terrorizing Blackburn down the right wing and getting in crosses to Crouch. Then, the Blackburn goal took the wind out of the sails. Instead of rallying, Liverpool rarely threatened, and Blackburn eased into the half with their lead.

It was better in the second half, substituting Garcia on helped to improve Liverpool going forward, and they created more chances. Bellamy finally got his first Premier League goal for Liverpool after a nice corner from Aurelio. But Liverpool could not break Blackburn down any further, ended up settling for the draw, and here we are discussing whether or not the league campaign’s over in October. It’s rash, it’s probably an overreaction, but it’s a valid question. So far this season, Liverpool has not shown they have the ability to be title contenders. Title-winning sides pick up 3 points, even when they’re outclassed and below par, as Chelsea did today at Reading. And to make matters worse, it’s last season’s strongest quality that is letting Liverpool down.

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