Sunday, November 05, 2006

SCOUSE NOUS Liverpool 2-0 Reading

We are on the crest of a slump. This was a much better Reading performance than of late but the defensive-minded attitude which Coppell adopted took even more edge of what attacking sharpness we have at the moment. Lining up 5-4-1 with three ex-Brentford centre-halves up against many millions of pounds worth of striking talent probably best explains why Reading have now suffered four straight league defeats in succession.

We had the best of the opening exchanges - a nice move involving Glen Little, at the hub of everything we did do well in attacking sense, left Harper with half a chance to crash an effort at goal with was blocked by Carragher. For the third game in a row, however, Reading conceded within the first quarter of an hour and were left to chase a game. Gerrard made himself time to pick out Crouch at the far post. Hahnemann came to punch but was nowhere near, leaving the freaky England striker an easy knockdown for the dutch international KUYT. If you are going to line-up defensively playing one striker you cannot afford to concede a soft goal so early on, and equally you cannot afford to wait until midway through the second half to make a change.

Hahnemann made a very good save from a Hyypia header soon after, but it was apparent that Liverpool were causing Reading all sorts of problems from almost every set-piece they were generously awarded through the home-biased incompetence of Uriah Rennie - Floyd on Football would have preferred Uriah Heep as referee, who would perhaps have been marginally less villainous. Kuyt was left with guilt-edged free headers twice in succession at the end of a drab first half as messrs Sonko and Sodje seemed to get in each others way more often than not. Too many cooks and all that.

Too often in the first half Reading sat back and allowed Liverpool's midfield to dominate. As a Premiership midfield partnership, Sidwell and Harper had about as much credibility during the first half yesterday as Trevor and Simon. The second half, to our credit, was a vast improvement on recent showings. Glen Little created perhasp the best chance early on in the second 45 minutes as his centre found Hunt lurking with intent but sadly failing to bring the ball under control with the Liverpool defence looking nervous. A penalty shout soon followed as Sodje and Gerrard jumped together, the ball appearing to hit the hand of the Liverpool man. Freekick to Liverpool - natch. Hunt almost weaved his own way through the Liverpool defence with an industrious run and another generous decision in the home side's favour soon followed as Hot Chocolate reject Rennie whistled early on for a foul on Reina as a long throw caused enough panic for the ball to be bundled into the net.

A matter of moments after that it was 2-0. Another Liverpool corner found the head of Crouch, Hahnemann woefully failed to gather and 9 million pounds worth of Dirk KUYT shouldn't and indeed didn't miss when the ball was dropped at his feet. Horse, stable door, bolted - Coppell soon made a couple of attack-minded substitutes introducing Seol and then belatedly Oster but there was no real sign of a goal-scoring response and it's now just one scored in the last four league matches. The final throes of an improved performance and another loss were played out in drab silence which was disappointingly typical of Anfield all afternoon truth be told. Our friends adjacent to us in the Anfield Road End provided a little entertainment late in the day with a few gobby scousers aiming a few choice insults in our direction as they left early to steal our hub-caps. For Floyd on Football, ever willing to put a contrary opinion despite the intervention of a friendly steward, it was a case of You'll Never Talk Alone.

Reading: Hahnemann, Gunnarsson (Seol, 79), Shorey, Ingimarsson, Sonko, Sodje (Bikey, 69), Little, Sidwell, Harper (Oster, 87), Hunt, Doyle. Subs not used: Federici, Long.

Floyd's Favourite: Little. Our most creative outlet.


Blogger Bedders said...

fantastic pic! I am sure I sat amongst those guys. But have to say, while the performance was miles better than previous, we must find a goal soon.

Also full marks to the Liverpool fans who were in my mind some of the best natured and nicest we have met this season.

10:03 AM  

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