Lowton Okore Vlaar Luna
Bacuna Westwood Delph
Subs: Steer, Clark, El Ahmadi, Helenius, Herd, Sylla, Tonev
Johnson Toure Agger Enrique
Henderson Aspas Countihno
Subs: Jones, Alberto, Cissokho, Allen, Borini, Sterling, Wisdom
Hoping that we have some legs, after what has been a testing week! Looking forward to seeing Bacuna play, and hoping that Delph, Benteke and Gabby keep up their good form.. Feel that Weimann may score today....
Our defenders will have to be on it though, as Liverpool will have lots of movement and intricate forward play. We dealt with Chelsea, up to a point, so lets hope for more of the same....
Statisticians Opta: Only three teams (Liverpool, Chelsea & Man Utd) have scored more Premier League goals than Aston Villa in 2013. Revival.
... and nobody has scored more than Benteke in 2013!
We seem to be playing 442. Gabby is doing a job on Johnson and Andy is playing right up top with Benteke.
1st half very naive ! goal well taken but defence was shocking,are we sure that we are at home - cos Pool are making us look like an away team ! Guess who has done his home work better ? never rated Rodgers but he has got it right so far ! Good job Suarez is suspended ! Superb passing around the half way area but no midfield movement to supply forwards.
Benteke's had a header from a corner and Gabby just had a left foot volley go wide, but they're just half chances. We need something better than that.
Thought we'd scored then, Benteke should've buried that! Good save Mignolet
Ah well, We never really got going and Liverpool just controlled the game.
It has been a long week, with tough games, so i guess three points from the first three is not that bad.
Would i have preferred three draws? Probably, but things should pick up now as we have some real winnable games to come.
Thought we lacked any urgency at times, but that was probably due to the three games in a week thing more than anything else.
Lets just take it on the chin, and move on...
Three draws???? That's McLeish!!!! Or rather, it's what Mcleish would have aimed for, but got one at most. I think wins raise the spirits more than draws, and I think the Arsenal win still holds us in good stead. A least we're still in a reasonable spot in the table, got those difficult matches behind us, and don't have a negative goal difference.
Looking to the future, Rotherham coming up; I hope Lambert uses it to give more game time to the new players. To use the depth of our squad we have to get those on the bench up to speed, and Helenius, Tonev and Bacuna are all players we want a lot from. I could see a case for not playing Weimann today; he doesn't recover well from playing a close run of games, in particular his shooting goes off a bit, and maybe Tonev or Helenius could have started.
After Rotherham, a useful break. We should be back on top form. Of the next four games I think we need to target wins at Newcastle, Norwich and Hull, and get what we can out of Man C. Then there's another recovery gap before Spurs and Everton; we should be ready for them. From then on all the matches to the end of the year are ones we can win, bar Man U.
I think we've made the right start, in spite of the two defeats, and have every chance of getting a good run going. When was it last like this at the start of a season?
By the way, how did Okore and Bacuna do?
Okore was very solid, especially when the ball was on the deck - as it was most of the time. He made some cracking tackles, and won most the physical duels he was in, as well as keeping pace with the fluid movement of the Liverpool forwards.
You could argue he was slightly at fault for the gaol though, as he initially was marking/pressing Sturridge, but when the next phase developed, he let Sturridge cross over to Vlaar's side, seemingly without telling him, and thus Sturridge got free and they scored.
Bacuna was well off the pace, but did show some nice enough touches. He will need more games to get up to speed, so we cannot expect miracles to happen with him, or any of our new players just yet, sadly.
To be honest, most of the team looked lacking in drive and energy today, bar Delph - and even then, some of his passes were misplaced. To be expected really after what has been a pretty tough week.
I saw Bacuna got given the match sponsors Man of the Match which does not reflect how he played. I thought at least Delph, Okore and Luna played better than him.
It was a tough job for him against Enrique, but when he marked him he was all over him and not in the good way. He had his hands all over him when his body was in the wrong position so just asking for a foul. He had good intent in driving forward but often misplaced passes or lost the ball from his dribbles. It'll be good for him to get game time against Rotherham (hopefully)
Okore solid, anticipated the play well and didn't do much wrong. I know they picked up on his "marking error" for the Sturridge goal, but tbh I don't think he did much wrong there. He followed Sturridge to when he had the ball to about 30 yards out, then returned to his position at CB after Sturridge had passed the ball, Enrique's pass evaded Vlaar who perhaps oversold himself in going for the interception. When he made his run, Sturridge actually had gone past Delph. Also, the defence as a whole had gotten sucked across pretty bad, when Sturridge picks up the ball in the centre of the box the defender there is Luna.
Second half was pretty promising but just wasn't to be, but given our schedule in the first week, would I have taken 3 points from the first 3 games of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool? Most definitely!