A nil-nil draw wasn’t shocking. Maybe slightly disappointing, as once Torres and Gerrard hit the field, the balance seemed to shift back in Liverpool’s favor. I’m sure there will be an argument about starting them regardless of internationals played (considering they were spaced out just like league games), but I’m not up for another rotation discussion.
I have supreme confidence in Liverpool’s ability to break down a stingy Pompey backline, maybe even a few times. But, just in case, you may want to mentally prepare yourself for the possibility of a scoreless draw.
A point at Fratton Park is a respectable result. I know, we’re chasing a title, not respect, but I wouldn’t really label this as dropping points. That said, Liverpool are going to have to find ways to walk out of matches like these with the lion’s share.
Unfortunately, I’ve got to short on today’s musings as I’m entertaining out-of-town company. I hope you understand…
5 Questions Answered:
- Can Liverpool continue scoring and keep up the away successes? Sadly, no on both fronts. But, um, at least it wasn’t a loss?
- Will Carra suffer any lingering effects from his rib and lung injuries? Not by the looks of it.
- Can David James continue to repress his Calamity alter-ego? Liverpool didn’t give him a chance to. He really needed to be tested much much more.
- Will Rafa continue to stick with the 4-4-2 away from Anfield? Sure did and I see no reason to change. However, the starting personnel, on the other hand…
- Does anybody other than Bambi actually believe a preseason match halfway across the globe has any real bearing on Saturday’s result? Meh.
My thoughts on the match:
- Mike Riley is a cunt. The next time a Liverpool player gets a chance, they need to unleash a broadside with the ball right upside his cranium. I wonder if Riise could be that accurate? Six games in, the refs (or Turdbubbles, as he’ll be called around these parts from now on) have made their claim as one of Liverpool’s biggest obstacles for the Premier League crown.
- Momo seemed to have problems staying on his feet. At least, however, he was drawing fouls. But, it’s a nasty habit to pick up, son. Cut it out now.
- Whatever fouls Momo drew were canceled out by Crouch, who is physically unable to challenge a defender for a ball without putting his hands on their shoulders.
- I wonder if there’s a certain criteria for wearing the white socks with the red kit? Does the kit manager ask Rafa if they can or is it wholely Rafa’s idea?
- What to say about Pepe? While I was incensed with the linesman’s penalty call (for an Arbeloa shirt grab which had no bearing on the player’s progress or movement), my nerves were oddly relaxed when Kanu stepped up to the spot. With Reina, penalties are no sure thing.
- The more I think about the penalty call, the less outraged I am. The argument call be made that it’s encouraging to see the ref keep the defenders honest, but if you watch the replay of the incident, Arbeloa has superior positioning on **, who has no chance at receiving the ball unless Arbeloa misses it completely. The little Spainard had no chance at impeding **’s movement with a fistful of jersey.
- The first 15 minutes were spend almost exclusively in the Pompey half, but the home side were able to sort themselves out and get forward.
- Crouch is going to have to step up his efforts if he doesn’t want to play fourth fiddle. From being pushed off the ball like a second-grader to the incessant fouling on every 50/50 header, he’s clearly going to have to work harder to play and produce in this revamped Liverpool attack. Right now, he just gums up the works.
- Voronin almost scored on a lovely piece of work nine minutes into the second half. Taking a ball from Crouchie, he aired the ball into the box for himself and almost chipped James from 16 yards out, only to have the ball hit the crossbar on its descent.
- Torres for Crouch after an hour was a welcome move. Not a horrible 61 minutes for Crouchie, but more a passenger than a driver today.
- Why Glen Johnson thinks it’s alright to try and tackle the ball when he’s on the ground is beyond me. His incredulousness when Turdbubble showed him yellow was amusing — “What do you mean I can’t trip players dribbling by me when I’m lying on the pitch?”
- Stevie G entered the fray at Pennant’s expense. While a team like Pompey have to be somewhat happy not to see them in the starting line-up, how does it feel to see El Nino and Captain Fantastic trot out as subs when you’re fighting for a point?
- Gerrard immediately made his presence felt, striding onto to a ball and feeding it to Torres in the box, who wastefully skied it over.
- Portsmouth had their share of chances in the second half. I think Liverpool were lucky to dodge a few bullets.
- Finnan’s knee seems to be in fine shape.
- A problem with Xabi’s foot introduced Babel to the action for the last 13 minutes.
- Reina, by far, was the busier ‘keeper. Liverpool didn’t do enough to test James, lest give him the opportunity to gift us something.
- Voronin was inches away from slotting home an inviting Torres ball that went across the goalmouth. El Nino’s ability to seemingly create a quality chance where none looked to previously exist fills me unspeakable confidence over his future.