COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY
Another ritual over for this season with the Blues left with no bragging rights, no points and no punch as our lovable neighbours complete a double from two games that should have seen the positions reversed but for some inexplicable performances that seemed to exude fear where non was visible to the onlooker.
A game that will laud Kuyt as the man of the match for Liverpool but from my seat their man of the match was Kyrgiakos who although sent off after a only a third of the game also took with him Fellaini, injured in his two footed lunge, which even with the introduction of Arteta cost us the best player on the field and with his departure an inexplicable lack of purpose descended on those left to battle on culminating in a game that saw us create only two realistic efforts on goal even though we enjoyed a man advantage. We just didn’t have the player to take on the Fellaini mantle
The game started in typical derby fashion and within seconds Carragher floored Pienaar, an obvious foul that the ref. Mr Atkinson let go, it set the tone for more over-physical stuff from both sides that ultimately spoiled the game as a spectacle. No-one likes to see an over fussy ref and good fierce tackles are the lifeblood of derbies but some of the stuff on view was over the top and due to the ref’s inexperience in such games his leniency saw the game get out of his control and culminated in red shown to a Liverpool player and the services of Fellaini denied to us.
In that first half Pienaar could have been sent off for one high tackle on Mascherano and Carragher was booked for a scything tackle through the back of Pienaar yet after all this it seemed petty when Kuyt was booked for a mere trip on Donovan. Among all this very little football broke out in that 45mins and chances were scarce, for the Blues Baines had a free kick tipped over and right on the half time whistle our best move of the game saw Donovan put in a cross that was headed back across goal only for of all people Cahill to get a header wrong and head over when well placed, maybe not the easiest of chances but for an exponent such as Cahill better could have been expected. Liverpool’s best effort of the half was a free kick from Gerrard that clipped the top of the bar.
Half-time and the chat, in-between exchanging insults with our cousins, was that against ten we should prevail.
The second half was most disappointing for all Blues assembled as we seemed clueless in how to break down two banks of four, instead we seemed more fearful of them getting a breakaway and that fear led to uncertainty in making passes in the final third which in turn led to errors that did indeed allow them to break. This they did and just 10 mins in forced a corner that Gerrard put in with pace but arcing straight to our keeper who seemed to no more than flap at it and the ball found the net via the head of the outnumbered Kuyt. The Reds were now encouraged even more and easily mopped up anything that we could muster,
Arteta was back to orchestrate but to me he looked well off the pace required in games such as this and ended up being nice and tidy but without the drive and presence of Fellaini which always seemed to give our opponents time to regroup and break and at times it was hard to tell which team was playing with ten men. One of these breaks saw Heitinga booked for a foul to halt a Maxi run which led to a free kick which Gerrard hit straight at Howard.
Our lack of threat led the manager to replace Saha and Osman with Yak and Big Vic, these two had little impact save for one trademark Yak turn in the box and an instant hit that the keeper did well to turn over but Big Vic’s sole contributions were of one delayed cross that could have brought us a chance instead of a corner and then picking a fight with amongst others Gerrard who was booked for his initial kicking of Pienaar which saw Big Vic also booked for his intervention.
5mins of added time was shown which saw no further invention from the Blues and in the last of the minutes added Pienaar added insult to injury when he saw red for a second caution when he jumped into Gerrard, considering what the ref had let go in the first third of the game he can count himself unlucky.
Overall a thoroughly disappointing afternoon which I thought was caused by our players getting caught up in the hype of a derby instead of concentrating on the joined up stuff, keeping cool heads and not allowing themselves to get caught up in a brawl. No doubt Liverpool set out to unsettle us, my gripe is we let them and never recovered. I can only hope Fellaini is not to badly injured as today he demonstrated just how much we need him. Arteta needs games to become the force he was. Pienaar will miss the next game but on his current form will not be that big of a miss. On looking for a MotM for the Blues all I can say is that Heitinga looked as steady and assured as anyone after the loss of Fellaini.
Wednesday will come quickly and the team will need to quickly put this local difficulty behind them and get on with the steady improvement they have been showing of late and let some joined up stuff resurface. Chelsea may look daunting from our standpoint tonight but no two games are the same and I expect a reaction.
See you there
UP THE BLUES
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1 Posted 07/02/2010 at 16:33:41
2 Posted 07/02/2010 at 18:19:14
3 Posted 07/02/2010 at 18:36:17
Pienaar’s was assault and a leg breaker. The more I see Fellaini’s one, the more it looks a shithouse challenge, the Greek lad hardly touches him, and gets sent off for probalby the intent of the two-footed challenge, but Fellaini stamps down on the lads ankle, it’s a fucking disraceful challenge. But, we have the hypocrites come on here and avoid mentioning Pienaar and Fellaini, and instead cry over how rough the redshite treated us.
4 Posted 07/02/2010 at 19:02:49
I think you three need to get a grip complaining about Fellaini's challenge... I think we’ve got more important things to worry about than suggesting our own players get extra bans.
5 Posted 07/02/2010 at 19:33:29
6 Posted 07/02/2010 at 20:10:13
I think trying to pin some blame on the reds for their challenges is a bit fucking embarrassing to be honest with you so I can see why its winding you up. I think we got beat as our tactics, as always, are utterly fucking predictable.
7 Posted 07/02/2010 at 20:53:17
Pienaar’s was out of character, and probably due to the fact that he was being kicked up in the air every few minutes. But it still deserved a red card. Fellaini’s was worse - just look at his eyes before he comes down on the Greek’s leg - he was never interested in the ball. The ref had a front on view of Kyriagos challenge and that is why he went off.
After that, Atkinson just looked to even it up - don’t they all - and that can be the only explanation why that horrible bastard Gerrard stayed on the park after his assault on Peanuts. His play acting after the Pieenar second yellow challenge sums him up. A complete low life who will eventually get his just desserts.
8 Posted 07/02/2010 at 21:14:05
9 Posted 07/02/2010 at 22:32:38
The loss of Fellaini was significant, as he can dictate the game; Arteta can’t. Play was too slow, this plays into their Euro style game which they excel at, we needed high tempo which Fellaini can do and Arteta can’t. Don't get me wrong, I’m not slagging Arteta off as he is good at what he does, but can’t dictate a game.
Finally Gerrard should have walked as well, so it should have end 9 v 7. Is it just me or does Saha not look arsed? been poor last 2 months for me.
10 Posted 08/02/2010 at 00:20:25
11 Posted 08/02/2010 at 06:21:34
Overall, we played thick football and, as Ken rightly points out, mostly over-agressive. Those tha weren’t running around like hotheads, looked like they were somewhere else - where the hell was Saha?
Nothing hurts more than losing to Liverpool - especially when they are so weak, - but they deserved to win because they played better than us and took their chance.
12 Posted 08/02/2010 at 10:41:45
Pienaar’s was the result of getting kicked 10 feet in the air every time he got the ball. He is about 4 foot 10 and six stone dripping wet and how he doesn't get injured more with the treatment he gets is amazing. He never went in with intent, more self preservation, it was not a leg breaker. Having said that, he should have gone. What he actually gets his second yellow for is a joke, Gerrard is a cheating scumbag for that (and other things).
Carraghers' in the first min was technically on the line of in the rules but it was brutal and needless and the intent to hurt Pienaar was there so booking for me that one, clatters him again later when he is booked so that would have him off (if it actually worked like that but you know what I mean).
Gerrard booked for going in with two feet on a Pienaar when he's already going down, coward. He also dived legs akimbo in the first half and play acted when Pienaar went off, so that's 3 yellow for him.
Still though I'm more gutted at our own failure to be able to break them down with a man extra. Still angry today about it!
13 Posted 08/02/2010 at 11:08:44
The fucker had just two stiches, so fucking what. Not going to keep him out is it?
14 Posted 08/02/2010 at 11:09:07
15 Posted 08/02/2010 at 11:27:11
16 Posted 08/02/2010 at 11:43:35
Yes, that’s what’s commonly know as trying to break someone’s leg.
It was a dirty derby - full stop...and we were as guilty.
17 Posted 08/02/2010 at 11:55:42
18 Posted 08/02/2010 at 12:19:38
It’s all a side point anyway from the big issue of us not being able to finish off a bad Liverpool team who were clearly there for the taking.
19 Posted 08/02/2010 at 17:02:41
20 Posted 08/02/2010 at 17:25:36
Secondly: I do appreciate your evenhanded discussion; I find it spot-on for the most part.
It’s great that the majority agree that Fellaini’s challenge on Kyrgiakos was worthy of at least a yellow. What i’ve not heard anyone mention here is that he very well could have been shown yellow (or worse) for kicking the ball into Kuyts’ face after he had gotten knocked to the ground.... that was pure thuggery .
Both teams should have been (at least) a man down. I am surprised you guys didn’t take better (any?) advantage.
21 Posted 09/02/2010 at 12:31:14
The feeling amoung every Blue I've talked to is that it was a missed opportunity to do them at their place. So, yes, they were there for the taking.
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