It is a depressing feature of supporting LFC this century (apart from 2008/09), that you can never be sure which team will turn up…The tactically brilliant team that can match any of the other top 4 teams (or 7 as it is now), and who will destroy lesser teams such as Fulham 5-2, or the aimless, wasteful team that will lose to bottom of the league teams such as Portsmouth 2-0…
The Fulham game was a case in point. The odds were heavily in favour of a Reds win against a team struggling to win anything…and therefore I was more worried about this game than the City game!
Admittedly, there were strange incidents that didn’t help LFC.
Senderos brought down Adams from behind just as he was clear on goal, denying him a clear goal scoring opportunity, on the edge of the box…Result? yellow card, and free kick outside, but could have quite easily have been red card and penalty. Not much in it, so there wasn’t too much debate, but another 50/50 decision not going our way.
Spearing had a very robust clearance adjudged as a straight red card, when it could quite easily have been given a yellow, or not even a foul. He got the ball first, and only connected with the opposition player after the player had jumped into his follow through. No intent, not intentional dangerous play. I would have given a yellow personally, even though the commentators didn’t even think it was a foul…but certainly not a Red…a 30/70 decision not going our way.
A wonderful chipped through ball was given offside against Suarez, when he was onside…another 50/50 decision not going our way. Another reason we should have a fourth official like in rugby.
We hit the woodwork twice, further increasing our unwanted record of most strikes against the post this season.
Dempsey tried to headbutt Bellamy and got away with it! Unless there was something happening before, it was unprovoked, and Bellers did very well to control himself. (When has anyone ever said that about Bellamy?) However, the ref decided to give them both a yellow, instead of Dempsey a straight red. Dangerous, and intentional foul play, and unsportsmanlike conduct, but only a yellow card? Another case of a fourth ref on a TV monitor being able to guide the ref to the right decision but Blatter refuses to move with the times unless he gets a bribe…so another 50/50 decision not going our way.
And the winner was then scored by someone who should not have been on the pitch.
When Jay Spearing was sent off, the ref was surrounded by nearly all the LFC players protesting the decision, including Pepe! I have never seen Liverpool players harassing a ref like ManUre players, and I never want to again, but I think it shows their belief that the card was harsh and inconsistent with his other decisions. In the aftermath of going down to 10 players, it was clear we had to pull off players not pulling their weight and substitute with players who could make a difference…and it was no surprise when Carroll was first to come off. The only question was why was he on in the first place. He made very little contribution and so we were playing with 10 men while he was on. Better to play with 11, and put Carroll on once we are winning.
And something that I have not mentioned yet, but have been swirling around in my head for ages, (ever since Jeff and I bitched about Gerrard taking corners while we watched LFC in the Warblers). We never score from corners! But now I have proof! (which I cant find now, but its all in Opta stats or Tomkins Times) Essentially, the average number of corners in a game is about 5 per team per game in the premier league. The conversion rate for corners into goals is about 8%.
The average number of corners LFC win per game is about 10, twice the average, and our conversion rate is about 3%, less than half. So we need 4 times as many corners to score a goal…yet Adams is supposed to be a set piece specialist!
This is probably not my best piece of analysis, or football journalism, but its all this game deserves! Not very happy at the moment!