Liverpool reserves slump to second league defeat in a row

Posted by liverweb on October 8, 2008, 09:12:28 AM

Manchester City 1 Liverpool 0

The Reds reserves slumped to a second consecutive defeat away to Manchester City and put in another poor overall display.

City got the game underway at the City of Manchester stadium which was a late change of venue. The Reds gave a trial to young Abalimba from Southend.

As early as the first minute the Reds had a half chance when Abalimba was found in the box but he was bocked out trying to get the ball out from between his feet.

City were much the better side early on and after six minutes Kelly was forced to block a free header two yards out. On eleven minutes Gulacsi was forced in to what proved to be an easy save when Mee was given all kinds of space in the box.

Just two minutes later and the Reds were behind and it was all too sloppy in the box as well. A free kick was awarded on the City right and a small wall height wise was setup. These were easily lobbed, as was the first defender and when no one picked up the loose header on the box an overhead kick on goal was going in where Sturridge poked home from a yard out. The goal was nothing short of what City deserved in truth with the Reds just looking poor.

City had a great chance on seventeen minutes when the centre back found himself unmarked in the area from an uncleared corner kick.

Midway through the half San Jose picked up a booking when he went through the back of Sturridge. It was perhaps a little harsh to see yellow given that he did win the ball. Sturridge took the free kick from some thirty yards and beat the wall only to see his shot clip the top of the bar and go over.

The Reds were looking really poor on the night and a few times you looked around to see players with drooped shoulders. The passing game just wasn't crisp at all and the players didn't look as if they knew one another.

Just after the half hour mark Weijl got past Logan and he put in a decent cross from the left but it was cleared before it reached Ngog. A minute later and Ngog was put through the inside right channel by Spearing and he hit a great shot just wide of the target.

Pacheco sent a free kick well over the bar a couple of minutes later after he won the set play twenty five yards out.

The Reds managed to hold on until half time though and went in at half time just the one down. At least there was less for the reserves to get than the first team had given themselves at the weekend on the same ground. The side had to take a leaf out of the first team if they were to get back in to this as frankly they were poor.

The Reds threw on Gerardo Bruna at the start of the second half in place of David Ngog and he played just behind Pacheco.

City should have made it two just a few minutes in to the second half when Darby somehow managed to block a shot on the line and it fell kindly to Gulacsi after the Reds defence had been carved open again.

On fifty eight minutes the Reds did craft a good chance which Pacheco missed although the offside flag was also shown so the miss didn't count. The Reds were slowly trying to get back in to the game though as there passing game started to get going. We looked really lightweight through the midfield at times so passing had to be the way forward.

Abalimba nearly got in behind the back line on the hour mark when he linked with Pacheco but he just couldn't quite get to the ball before the keeper smothered it.

On sixty two minutes the Reds made a switch when Franciso Duran replaced the trialist Abalimba. It's been an absolute age since Duran has featured for the Reds so if nothing else just seeing him on the pitch was great news for the Reds.

He had a good volley wide of the target just four minutes after coming on when a corner conceded by City blocking a Pacheco shot wasn't well cleared.

Plessis had a shot on seventy minutes but it was all too easy for the keeper after a good passing move for the Reds which should have continued really with others in better positions.

On seventy two minutes City really should have scored again when Weiss, who I remember a couple of years ago at the academy and he was good then. Anyway Weiss went on a good dribble before feeding Logan who was charging past everyone to get in to the area but his ball across the area went beyond the far post and out for a goal kick.

The Reds somehow got away with a woeful back header off San Jose on seventy six minutes. He headed back where Sturridge was but Gulacsi did superbly well by standing up and deflecting the ball away for a corner. That corner gave City another chance but again Gulacsi was on form when he saved at point blank range.

On eighty minutes Weiss was booked when there was no advantage to the Reds after Weiss hauled Weijl back.

The Reds did try to get back in to the game but they just couldn't create that perfect opening and after a couple of added minutes the final whistle blew.

Overall the match was really disappointing from a Reds point of view as they just didn't look at all like a team and frankly on this form you have to worry about the season ahead.

MotM : Martin Kelly - stuck to his task well on the night and looked far more at home at centre back than his often used full back position. Peter Gulacsi also did well when called upon and kept the Reds in with a shout ultimately even though the goal never came.

Liverpool    Gulacsi, Darby (c), Insua, San Jose, Kelly, Plessis, Abalimba (tr) (Duran 62), Spearing, Ngog (Bruna 45), Pacheco, Weijl

Unused Subs    Bouzanis, Irwin, Ayala

Manchester City    Johansson, Logan, Mee, Berti, Williamson, Tsiatlis, Weiss, Marshall, Ball, Sturridge, Morris

Unused Subs    McDonald, Hartley, Poole, Obeng, Tutte

Goal    Sturridge (13)

Referee    D Handley

Att    234

Venue    City Of Manchester Stadium

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