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Liverpool 0 Manchester United 0 (Jan 17 2021)

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Report by
Dave Usher

 

I suppose we should be grateful we didn’t lose. We could have. Probably should have. They had the two best chances of the game even if we had most of the ball.

 

It was just a continuation of what we’ve seen over the past four games. West Brom, Newcastle, Southampton and now this. Very little difference as far as I can see. Klopp says differently and I'm sure there were things he seen that I didn't. Goals and chances were not among them though, I know that much.

 

I’m struggling with it. Not being able to go the game is really having an effect on me now. I hate this. It’s not enjoyable at all and it’s not just because we’re shite at the moment. Not having fans in the stadium is hurting us more than anyone and this game brought it home to me more than ever before.

 

The lads are in a bad run of form and you can see their confidence is at rock bottom. They need us. This is exactly the kind of occasion when the fans would normally get them through it. A packed Anfield, giving the team that extra push and boost of confidence to go and get the result.

 

They badly need us right now but there’s nothing we can do for them. They’re on their own. We just have to sit and watch on telly as a team that blitzed the league last season somehow finds itself not only behind both Manchester clubs and Leicester, but could quite easily be below fucking Everton if they win their game in hand.

 

It’s hard to process it and I don't know how we got here so quickly. This shouldn’t be happening but it is and unless the players come to terms with it and sort this shit out, things are going to get worse. 

 

I stressed all week about this game and I had absolutely no belief that we’d win it. Usually that’s a good thing. Any time I’d doubted this team they’d responded. The wins over the likes of Leicester, Spurs, Wolves etc this season were a big ‘fuck you, we've still got it’ to the doubters. This was different though. I knew it was going to be.

 

I had no confidence at all because of a) how we’ve been playing and b) because it clearly wasn’t just a case of us having a couple of bad games and knowing we’d just click back into gear. The game for that to happen was Southampton last week and it didn’t. That was a red flag and hinted at deeper problems.

 

We’d drawn with West Brom and Newcastle and ordinarily there’d have been a response to that. That’s what this team has done consistently these past few years. That response didn’t come though. We lost.  So there was absolutely nothing to suggest we’d get it right against United, especially with no fans there to will a result and performance from the players.

 

That’s why I say we should be grateful that at least we didn’t get beat. I half expected we would, so avoiding the loss is a small crumb of comfort to cling to, especially as the incredible unbeaten home record was extended for another game. It’s the only thing we can take from this really. 

 

What else is there? Nothing. It was the same old shit we’ve seen for probably half the games under lockdown. Loads of possession, hardly any chances and the opposition actually having the clearer opportunities. Rinse and repeat. This seems to be who we are this season. We’re a completely different team in an empty stadium.

 

I don’t know how we get out of this either. That’s the most depressing thing. The fans aren’t back any time soon and neither are the centre backs, which in turn weakens the midfield, impacts the balance of the whole team and has rendered us virtually impotent on attacking set plays. 

 

But the big thing, once again, was the lack of potency up front. We’re about as threatening as Sheffield United these days. That forward line is staler than a loaf of bread that’s been sat in the sun for six months. Opponents know how to stop them and, quite frankly, it isn’t even that difficult for them anymore. 

 

This is just a teaser, click here to view the full report

 

Please note that Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here. 

 

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Fair play to you Dave for still being able to write reports at the moment. You don't even have the luxury of ripping the ref because, as you say, he wasn't the reason for more dropped points.

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I feel like we got to rub their noses in it when we beat them at Anfield last season. Also, winning the league was the only good thing about 2020. Imagine lockdown without that joy.

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Agree with so much of that and being pissed off with Salah and Firmino and being torn about being critical after what they've done for us I can relate too. The other player thats so off form and is having an impact on our attacking play is Trent - not sure whats up with him but he looks goosed and his passing / crossing has gone to shit

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Agree entirely about our embarrassing title defence. But I think we were pretty shite for most of the last calendar year, so I'm not shocked by it.

 

You're right to criticise the front three. Two of them in particular. But I think Trent has been as bad as any of them and needs to get his act together, too...

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2 minutes ago, Mark M said:

Agree with so much of that and being pissed off with Salah and Firmino and being torn about being critical after what they've done for us I can relate too. The other player thats so off form and is having an impact on our attacking play is Trent - not sure whats up with him but he looks goosed and his passing / crossing has gone to shit

His defending is getting even worse, remarkably. He's comfortably the weakest link 1-5...

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Bang on as usual Dave. I share your pain as Im sure many others do too.

 

Totally agree about the front 3. It seems to me in that first season, Mo, Sadio and Bobby were all bezzie mates. Lots of laughs and shared moves, bit like 3 lads out on the pull. But then the competitive edge between them kicks in. So instead of all trying to pull birds together, individually they want to pull the fittest bird only for fittest bird, read the golden boot or move to Real Madrid, Barcelona.

 

Mo and Sadio look like they are playing for themselves now, not each other or the team. Love Bobby and it kills me to slag him but it's like playing with 10 men now with him. For a fucking Brasilian, he doesnt hit the ball sweetly. Maybe he senses the tension between Mo and Sadio and doesnt want to come between his mates and it's put him off his game?

 

Think you're right, the front 3 needs breaking up in the summer if this continues.

 

Something's deffo up with Trent. Dont know if it is personal, long covid or what. He doesnt look the same.

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Is having loved and lost worse than never having loved at all?

 

I wonder did having some fans back and then have them taken from us again have a huge detrimental affect? Klopps sanitised fist pumps at the end was the worse part of the whole day. He can't even hug his own players, subconsciously maybe they don't want to score because they can't celebrate anyway. 

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It is kind of worrying hearing  klopp and players talk about this situation like its luck, keep doing what we're doing and it will fall into place. Its not luck, teams know exactly how to play against us and are fairly confident our players can't shoot for shit  outside the box unless there's still a defender  alive now dumb enough to let salah run across him and left foot it. 

 

How many scuffed shots do we do. I reckon I'd have a better chance getting a hole in one using Stephen hawking's corpse as a club than our forwards have of hitting the target more than 5 times out of 10. That doesn't include scuffed pea rollers straight to the keeper.

 

Our forwards scored so many because we created so many chances, now we arent creating it hits home how unclinical they are, not just them the midfield are shit at striking the ball at the goal. We need a lethal finisher. This season a fit jota would be nice. Why the fuck did he play in that champions league game was it owner emphasis on revenue. Its hard not to get fed up mostly because its a hard time not to get fed up with pandemics and lockdowns. Ultimately this shit is as important as you allow it to be.

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Maybe it's because we seem to see the games the same way that I really like these reports. I laid into the front three on Twitter I'll be honest (no tags or @ to the players in my defence) out of sheer frustration. Bobby's game at Southampton should have been the start of a run of form, he's always been a streaky player. Instead he's back to being terrible. I said on there that if Salah wants to go then let him and got ripped for it but I honestly would. Mané offers more to the team defensively as well as in attack so like you I'll give him a pass but he looks out of sorts. They need a shake up, teams don't give them the space behind and crowd them in the box and that stops them in their tracks it seems. Jota's injury in a meaningless match is unfathomable. He got success because he offered something that other teams hadn't planned for. Minamino is a massive disappointment, Origi offers nothing so until Jota is back we're stuck with the three but I'd be looking to break up the band this summer and sell one or two of them.

The owners have a plan but we're in danger of this season spiralling away out of control and we need help right now. Preferably a CB to get the first choice midfielders playing in midfield. What you said about our title just being overlooked by the time crowds are back made me sad but it's true. If we don't start to score goals w'll be also rans. I am dejected and maybe over reacting but this is just shit.

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You look at the front three and the drop off over the last few games and it’s seems mad that they scored so many goals and literally ripped teams to bits over the last three years 

 

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His cameos don’t particularly warrant it, but I’d genuinely consider giving Origi a run of games, but only if this 4-2-3-1 is going to stick. 
 

I know he’s been dogshit but a while but we’re three and a half games without a goal and something has to give up front. We’re like a blunt instrument at the moment. 

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6 minutes ago, Stickman said:

You look at the front three and the drop off over the last few games and it’s seems mad that they scored so many goals and literally ripped teams to bits over the last three years 

 

As magnificent as they’ve all been for the club the numbers have been in a steady decline mind. 

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17 minutes ago, Crazy Dave said:

His cameos don’t particularly warrant it, but I’d genuinely consider giving Origi a run of games, but only if this 4-2-3-1 is going to stick. 
 

I know he’s been dogshit but a while but we’re three and a half games without a goal and something has to give up front. We’re like a blunt instrument at the moment. 

Origi looked interested yesterday. Which made a nice change. 

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Not a single dangerous free kick position

Not a single VAR review

Shaw tackling Salah in the box going to ground and Shitierney gives them a free kick!

all too slow, TAA losing the ability to cross the ball

Another mention to the "last kick" Free kick crying out to be dropped on the pen spot all rushing in, no he knocks it short for straight punt into the box. 3 fkin times now he has done that 2 corners and that.

Feels like something is going on in the background for so many to be so poor for so many games. 

Also last season we won tons of points in the last 10 mins. That now lack of belief that they will score goes hand in hand with the lack of confidence, i thought that Spurs win would push the belief back into the team

Its actually quite sad to see the lads like this, never mind our frustrations. As you say Dave this was supposed to be out time, i also thought get this one in the bag as well, we go back to the grounds level on titles with them, in the boss seat after all their glory years we were level with them, then rub their collective noses in their own shit.

Keeping the faith....

 

 

 

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Totally agree Dave I knew yesterday from 5 minutes in we wouldn’t score. I actually went and walked the dog on 84 as I couldn’t bear to watch if they scored ! It’s all totally depressing. Apart from the front 3 Trent is really bad I wonder like a couple of others if there is something going on with him outside football.

I don’t actually have any hope we will win on Thursday I’m expecting another 0-0 draw.

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I just can't watch us live any more, I get too angry. I watched the first half just before reading this - to find Dave had stolen my thunder, and mentioned all the stuff I wanted to say. The refereeing thing is just scandalous now. Tierney blowing up early is plain cheating, no other word for it. And the drip, drip of little decisions going againts us. Pogba flops to the floor under minimal,if any, pressure from Gini - foul. Shaw bundles Mo to the ground - no foul. Shaw's sliding tackle takes him into Sadio, who does literally nothing - foul. 6 fouls awarded to us, of which 2 were within 8 minutes. 4 free kicks in 82 minutes! In the last 7 league games, the opposition have had an average of 29% possession.......... yet have been awarded 60% of the free kicks. Apparently we just run round kicking people when we don't have the ball!

As for the offsides thing..... Rashford is 5 yards offside, but play is allowed to run on for another 10 seconds. Mane is inches offside - flag goes up straightaway. I fervently hope that in a match soon, not involving us, a player is many yards offside, play continues and some fucker (a Manc player) gets seriously injured.

 

The old adage used to be that class is permanent, form is temporary. I've seen our great teams from the sixties,seventies & eighties shake themselves out of this kind of malaise and come good. Thye didn't have this kind of unofficial handicap to cope with though.

 

Just checked - Mike Dean is ref on Thursday, unusually. Mason is VAR and Taylor is 4th official, so don't expect things to change any time soon.

 

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The front three have no competition, Trent and Robbo have no competition, they play week out, week in, they get tired and they lose their hunger and edge.  Our midfield is very weakened with Hendo and Fabinho at CB.

 

To defend a title you need a very solid squad. That cost money. The club has not handled this well in the last two transfer windows.

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It's very frustrating at the moment but we've been world, European and Premier league champions and the most feared team in the world. While this is a bad situation we're still in the pack and the team is too good to be written off so soon. Keep faith in them folks. 

We've been fucked over big time so we need everyone pulling together. 

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What’s shocking for me is normally I’d have lapped up all the post match stuff, online as well as on the tv, watched MOTD and watched all the chat this morning. I haven’t done any of it for this game, it’s just horrible.

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Totally spot on, Dave. The flaws are obvious to all, but it seems no one is trying to fix it, kinda weird, right ? 
 

I have no clue what the problem is. It tends to happen there is this kind of bad patch, and it goes as it came. I hope so , because I can’t see any golden sky anywhere....

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