Liverpool reserves slump to another defeat

Posted by liverweb on November 4, 2008, 09:23:04 AM

Liverpool 1 Manchester City 2

The Reds were sent packing after another defeat in the league programme. The loss meant City had completed a league double over the Reds and frankly this has to be one of the dullest games I can remember for a while now.

The Reds got the game started on a quiet Warrington ground.

City took the lead after just eight minutes of the match. Benjani did well down the City left before cutting it back. The cross came in and Plessis ran across Huth and missed the clearance which fell to Marshall just inside the area and he swept it just beyond Gulacsi and in to the net.

On ten minutes Michael Ball was very lucky not to get a booking when he flew in two footed off the ground to fell Plessis. Pacheco hit the wall with the resulting free kick and a corner was won which City managed to clear.

The Reds were struggling in the game a bit to really get going. On twenty minutes they did create a really nice flowing move straight through the middle when the final ball through for El Zhar just favoured the keeper a little too much and the chance went.

City for their part were tracking the ball really well and making it hard for the Reds to play. At times they were just stronger when it came to winning the ball. Sometimes they were a little to strong and on twenty eight minutes Clayton picked up a booking when he clattered Pacheco late. That came just minutes after being warned about clattering Plessis so this was more a combination of fouls that counted against him.

Pacheco was next in to the book when he needlessly followed through in his man trying to block down a clearance. The lad had been taking a battering at times so I think this was just as much frustration but he certainly caught his man.

On thirty six minutes the next one in the book was Darby as the game got really scrappy. Darby slid in far to late on his man and he could have no objections as to his card.

On thirty nine minutes the Reds really should have done better when Pacheco sent Brouwer through but with what seemed a fifty fifty ball Brouwer wimped out of the challenge with the keeper outside of the box and the chance was cleared up. To me that is just typical of Brouwer when it comes to this sort of thing.

Nabir El Zhar dragged the Reds right back in to the match on forty three minutes when he finished off a great solo effort just as it looked like he had wasted the opportunity. He picked the ball up inside the City half and raced at their back line, jinking one way and then the other. Just as it looked like he was going to be closed down he slotted the ball past the keeper in to the bottom corner of the net.

City hit back straight away though through Benjani as the game suddenly burst in to life. McDermott spotted Benjani running in behind Huth and threaded a ball through. Huth tried to get back and slide the ball clear only for it to hit Benjani and head towards goal. Gulacsi pushed the ball wide but it just fell kindly for Benjani to slot in to the empty net. So straight after getting back in to the game the Reds were back behind again and sloppily too.

City made a triple switch at half time with Benjani, Ball and Vassell all going off. Williamson, Poole and Daly all came on to replace them and City got the game started again.

On fifty six minutes City should have scored a third when McDermott put a cross in and Poole somehow missed his kick and before the ball was fully cleared a shot came in from Logan which Gulacsi pushed wide for a corner which Mee headed over the bar.

It was a really dull match it has to be said. On fifty six minutes Huth sent a long ball forward for Pacheco who got to it but after cutting back and finding no-one in the middle he curled a shot high and wide.

A few minutes later and Brouwer found Bruna who took the shot on rather than finding Insua storming down the left. Having seen the shot he probably wished he had taken the pass on.

Darby went on a storming run on the hour mark whereby he raced straight at City but he was taken down twenty five yards from goal and Jay Spearing lifted the ball high and wide from the free kick.

At the other end on sixty four minutes Poole really should have scored when he was found unmarked in the area with the Reds looking lost at the back but he struck his shot wide of the target with Gulacsi just trying to make himself as big as he could.

On sixty nine minutes Brouwer was found in clear space in the box and typically of him he just hit the ball straight at the keeper and it went for a corner. It was just that time for composure and any decent striker would have reeled away to celebrate.

The Reds made a double switch on seventy one minutes with Mikel San Jose replacing Daniel Ayala and Vincent Weijl replacing Jay Spearing.

The Reds replaced Pacheco on eighty one minutes with Andras Simon as Gary Ablett looked to pick the Reds up a bit as it just wasn't happening at all for the Reds. In fairness nothing was happening at all really other than the fact that I was struggling to stay awake.

With five minutes to go McDermott picked out an unmarked Poole in the box and his acrobatic volley flew way over the bar which was a let off for the Reds. McDonald went in to the refs notebook a minute later when he won the ball ahead of Simon but the ref decided it was not only a foul but a yellow card.

There were three added minutes added at the end of the match and in the final one City went so close to a third when Poole went clean through after a mistake by Huth but Gulacsi stood up well and managed to tip the ball just wide of the target. Shortly after the final whistle blew and the Reds were left to trudge off the pitch to yet another defeat. They are really struggling at the moment and certainly missing Nemeth up front is making a difference as Brouwer is simply not good enough but there just doesn't seem that belief in the side at the moment.

MotM : Stephen Darby - extremely difficult to pick one but Darby was his typical consistent self who did very little wrong on the night.

Liverpool    Gulacsi, Darby, Insua, Ayala (San Jose 71), Huth, Plessis, El Zhar, Spearing (Weijl 71), Brouwer, Pacheco (Simon 81), Bruna

Unused Subs    Bouzanis, Irwin

Goal    El Zhar (43)

Manchester City    Johansen, Logan, Ball (Poole 45), Mee, McDonald, Clayton, Weiss, Marshall, Vassell (Daly 45), Benjani (Williamson 45), McDermott

Unused Subs    Hartley, Kay

Goals    Marshall (eight) , Benjani (44)

Referee    Mark Heywood

Venue    Halliwell Jones

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