Liverpool edged out Reading for their first 3 points at Anfield in the Premier League this season, with Raheem Sterling scoring the solitary goal of the game.
In my opinion, Brendan Rodgers put out the absolute best team that he had at his disposal. He retained the squad that drew against Stoke City 2 weeks ago bar one change, this being Brad Jones coming in for Pepe Reina.
The first goal is absolutely crucial. It could help open up the opposition, or it can open yourselves up and make you more susceptible to conceding a second goal. Thankfully, Liverpool managed to score the first goal thanks to a brilliant finish from a certain Raheem Sterling.
In my opinion, the Royals gave Sterling way too much room to roam around on that left flank. There were many times where he was in fact behind their defence with the ball, although the attack would stutter, reason being that he had to wait for teammates to get into the box and also because he had to cut in.
You couldn’t help but feel that he would be the man scoring yesterday, as he was busy in the opening exchanges – getting a few shots off – although he made some poor touches to let attacks peter out.
The first half saw lots of home possession, and the second saw a slightly more evenly contested game, as Reading had to come back in search of an equalizer.
In all honesty, Liverpool could have easily have had much more. (yeah, that’s pretty easy for me to say every week) Luis Suarez’s slight knock at the end of the first half could have affected his second performance – leading to a couple of terrible misses – and Sterling could have easily have scored a brace yesterday afternoon.
But all in all, a good performance from the men in red. No individual errors, a goal from our promising starlet, and all 3 points.
The Fringe Players Make Their Case
If anything, I think that injuries meant that the fringe players could really make the mark. In my opinion, Brad Jones provided a performance that could give Rodgers some food for thought, as he made splendid goalkeeping decisions – whether to come out or stay put – whilst also managing to catch rather than do a Reina-esque parry to keep Reading at bay. That was a really good performance from the Australian.
Martin Kelly’s and Jose Enrique’s persistant problems meant that Andre Wisdom could keep his place in the starting eleven, and whilst he did not have much attacking output, he managed to stifle out Reading’s attacking threats with well-timed tackles and confident clearances.
Sahin – perhaps the most dispensable of the 3 midfielders – showed why he deserves his place in the first eleven, making fantastic runs into the box and creating nuisance of himself whenever he could.
Suso was also impressive. Despite not creating clear-cut chances with quick through balls, he kept the ball really well for the Reds before being brought off for Jose Enrique.
He’s got good pace, Raheem, so once he’s on the inside he can break the line of the back four. We’ve been doing a lot of work on that on the training field but all the credit goes to him because he’s got to identify the moment to go in. It was a wonderful finish because he was going away from the goal, and he’s got a quick defender tracking him.
Brendan Rodgers, Post-Match Interview