Gerrard rescues rocky Reds

2010-09-25 18:46

Liverpool - Steven Gerrard saved Liverpool from another embarrassing defeat as the Reds captain salvaged a 2-2 draw against Sunderland at Anfield on Saturday.

Roy Hodgson's side trailed 2-1 early in the second half as Darren Bent's double for Sunderland stunned the struggling hosts, who had taken the lead through Dirk Kuyt's controversial early goal.

The prospect of a third league defeat in six matches this season was looming large for Hodgson, who had been strongly criticised following Liverpool's dismal League Cup exit on penalties against fourth-tier Northampton in midweek.

But Gerrard levelled to leave Liverpool relieved to escape a traumatic week without another loss.

Hodgson freely admitted before the game that the loss to Northampton was entirely his fault because of how weak the team was that he had selected.

For the Northampton game, he replaced every member of the side that lost to Manchester United last Sunday in the belief his squad was still good enough to cruise past the Cobblers but it backfired badly.

Hodgson went back to his first choice squad for this encounter, while Sunderland defender Titus Bramble, who was arrested during the week on suspicion of rape, kept his place in the visitors' team.

It took Liverpool just two minutes to show their desire to erase that League Cup misery as Fernando Torres volleyed into the roof of the net, only for his goal to be ruled out for offside.

It set an early marker and just three minutes later Liverpool opened the scoring in bizarre fashion.

After referee Stuart Atwell awarded Sunderland a free-kick following a Raul Meireles foul on Bramble, Black Cats defender Michael Turner tapped the ball back towards his own goal as if to suggest to goalkeeper Simon Mignolet that he should take it.

However, legally speaking he had kicked the ball back into play, and Torres spotted his mistake, raced past him and gifted the ball on a plate for Kuyt to slide past the completely bewildered Mignolet.

Yet despite opening the scoring, Liverpool reverted into their shells as Sunderland attempted to rally through the hardworking Bent.

Gerrard's terrible header back towards Pepe Reina almost helped Bent find the equaliser as he gifted the ball to him but the Liverpool goalkeeper brilliantly tackled Bent to prevent a goal.

Reina was helpless in the 25th minute when Bent equalised from the penalty spot after Christian Poulsen handballed an Ahmed Elmohamady cross.

Liverpool did not possess the wit or vision to break down a Sunderland defence that often had five men in it.

That all changed straight after the re-start as Sunderland took the lead in wonderful fashion as Bent grabbed his second of the game.

Nedum Onouha delivered a brilliantly testing cross from the right and Bent got in front of Glen Johnson to send a diving header past the helpless Reina.

The goal gave Sunderland a massive lift while Liverpool simply became ever more disjointed and dispirited.

But after 64 minutes the hitherto anonymous Gerrard popped up to drag Liverpool level as he has done so many times in the past.

Torres crossed the ball from the right and after taking a slight deflection off Turner, the ball fell nicely for Gerrard to head past the wrong-footed Mignolet.

Liverpool then began to dominate and Johnson, Daniel Agger and David Ngog all had fine chances in a frantic last five minutes but a winner could not be found.


  • Red Devil - 2010-09-25 19:22

    Liverpool did not possess the wit or vision to break down a Sunderland defence that often had five men in it!!! Says it all doesn't it!!!Going to finish even lower on the log than last season. ('',)

  • Never Walk Alone - 2010-09-25 20:21

    What a cr@p performance ! We will be lucky to avoid relegation if we carry on playing like this. I have said it before and I will say it again Roy Hodgson WILL NOT save Liverpool or improve our chances of achieving top competition status - he has NO RECORD of achieving wins/results in major competitions - believe me this guy is a Benitez in disguise - no tactical acumen or the ability to get the players to play positive attacking football - however in his defense, it must be pretty damn frustrating trying to motivate a bunch of old and near over the hill players ! FFS I am having dejavue of Benitez all over again. The only positive thing that old Roy has done since he arrived at LFC is limit Lucas's appearances - for this alone I could tolerate him as manager for a few more weeks !!!! I know I will probably take flack from other die hard Pool supporters for my comments / observations - but fooking hell we are in more shite than we realise ! A sad season ahead for a once mighty club. Forget the excuses - until we get rid of the yanks and secure the services of a DYNAMIC manager - and purchase some talented experienced young players, we are going to be staring down the barrel of a gun for the rest of the season ! How the f@%$#K has such a great club managed to slide this low is beyond me. I can already hear some fans saying its still early days and we will improve - BULLSHITE - We were in a better position last season this time - and look where we ended up ! Have to start investing in serious medication for high blood pressure if this scenario continues !

  • dave - 2010-09-26 09:54

    Thank you Rafa you beauty! they should have kept you longer to cock it up forever! It will take more than 1 season to sort out all the kak with the owners management etc to get the club back to what it deserves to be.

  • TRUE Red - 2010-09-27 10:29

    We played well for the first 15 min & the last 15 min, everywhere inbetween, S'land outplayed us, at L4 ! Whenever we switch to 4-4-2, we look dangerous, and suddenly get back in the game, even the commentator said a few times this weekend "Liverpool look like a different team since switching to 4-4-2", so why not START with a 4-4-2 RH ? Why change after we are losing (3 games in a row now) & THEN we start playing decently !? Cole should be with El Nino up front, not on left wing - we have Babel & Jova for that role, so why bench them ? We did not deserve a victory, that's the truth

  • Shankly's Kin - 2010-09-27 12:22

    Team selection is baffling. Why play Cole on the left and Raul on the right? Both are central players. Why is Babel not starting? Imagine how potent a Babel/Torres partnership in a 4-4-2 could be? And if not playing him as a striker, at least use him on the wing. He can really give us some width which we are seriously lacking at the moment. Mereiles should have started alongside Gerrard, Poulsen should have been left out. Babel should have played on the right. @ NeverWalkAlone, Benitez was 100 times a better manager than this Roy.Your problem is that you do not look further than your nose. There were way more issues than Benitez that got us into this mess. This season may just make you have a greater appreciation for what the man did for our beloved club. Certainly looks like it's going according to script. I'd say a 10th place finish. Always knew a mid-table manager would get us to finish mid-table.

  • Deana Naidoo - 2010-09-27 12:33

    @Red Devil...Man Utd aren't doing very rather reserve your coments for the article on UTD's draw you a@@hole.....

  • Red devil - 2010-09-27 13:43

    @ Deana Naidoo-Once again you miss the point completely by going off the topic & focussing your fury & blame on everything but the issue at hand.If I may stray like you did I want to remind you to look mat the log & see where MUTD currently finds itself & where you plonkers currently are.So you sink to your gutter education once again by reverting to swearing.Well good luck to you because I think that you know already that you will once again finish behind MUTD & will once again be subjected to more abuse.Have a good day you plonker.

  • A(N)ON - 2010-09-27 13:50

    Hi Deana, Utd may not be playing at our best but look at the current log standings. Sheesh, imagine if we were at our best!!! Anyways, it sad to see the state of LFC football right now - I sincerely wish that they can get someone with KOP pride to salvage themselves - perhaps Kenny D or ...

  • pj - 2010-09-27 20:13

    You cant play Poulsen at this level,he is 2 leagues above his ability,so they only actually playing with 10 players at the moment,wake up Roy!!

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