Round Table Aston Villa 0 - Liverpool 1

Posted by archie on August 24, 2013, 09:11:36 PM

Six points from six, 2 wins on the bounce.

But is your glass half empty or half full?

This second game of the season took place with just over a week left in the transfer window (sorry mods  :P) and perhaps the way those games have panned out highlight the need for us to add extra quality before that closes.

First half Liverpool passed it well. Players showed up, kept it simple, crisp and looked confident to a man. Villa park had nothing to shout about as their team weren't allowed to be in it.
Stevie and Lucas were disciplined, reading the play well and making sharp tackles. In addition, the ability to turn defence into attack was impressive.

However, the game was passing Aspas by up top. He had a couple of heavy touches and took the wrong choice when in possession at times, which Stevie wasn't shy in informing him about early on. He was harshly booked imo as well.

Villa did get out of their own half before the half time and forced Mignolet into a smart stop.

As the first half drew to a close it emerged that both sides had had one attempt each on target, hmmmm.

Credit must be given to Villa second half, they looked sharper and hungrier. They began to pass it with more purpose. That said, they weren't carving out chance after chance.
As a result of Villa's increased purpose we began to look less composed with our passing and it resulted in our attacking game become increasingly disjointed.

Unsurprisingly, Liverpool became more nervous as the clock ticked down but that's to be expected surely? We are very aware how important each point is this season were we are up against teams who ultimately have a higher quality of squad overall, therefore won't be dropping too many points themselves. Expected maybe, but probably not accepted. Some other observers may think the second half was a disgrace. Tough yes, but I wouldn't go to those lengths as a description.

It became apparent that it was going to take a piece of quality to shape the final result of this game in either direction. It came not from a goal but from a strong sharp save from Mignolet at his near
post from Benteke.

Apart from that, Liverpool generally defended resolutely and as a unit.
We'd all like to see quality passing and attacking football for the full 90 minutes, but that's not how the game works is it?
It's just as important to defend well and grind it out when things don't go your way. Isn't that to be  admired as a quality of a good team? ( any luck that comes your way, don't be afraid to embrace it). I thought Toure got better as the game went on.

So there we are, who do we play next?

Nb: how could I forget the goal? Make no mistake it was of the highest quality. It will never win awards, they're reserved for well struck volleys outside the area. But who cares, Coutinho didn't provide the assist but he made it happen. And the control, use of both feet and clinical finish from Sturridge was first rate.

What else to ponder?

Mignolet - crosses and distribution, are these areas of concern?

For all the quality of our play (at it's best) are we creating enough chances?

For all the quality of our play, do we have the players to share the goals around?

Suarez, we really need him, don't we?

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