Who plays without full backs, instead opting for a lineup that includes a defensive line of four centre backs? Brendan Rodgers has the answers. However, Liverpool can also complain about the decisions made by Neil Swarbick, not giving them a clear penalty in the first half after Daniel Sturridge was fouled by Dejan Lovren but because he didn’t dive, no foul was called.
Is it worth mentioning that Liverpool lost both matches Swarbick officiated them in last season? It means nothing, because those matches were lost (At Anfield as well, by the way) because of poor defending and finishing, which might be the main reason for their 1-0 loss against Southampton, but the lack of reaction from Swarbick does take the attention away from the bad lineup Liverpool played in.
Once again Iago Aspas showed he isn’t fit for the English Premier League, as he played in another position and failed to make an impression. The front line was often too alone, without full backs to join the attacks and overlap with wingers. Jose Enrqiue was fit to play (maybe not the full 90 minutes), but Rodgers decided he’ll try to invent something new.
The penalty on Sturridge wasn’t called, as opposed to the dives Ashley Young manages to get away with, because it’s not worth it under the current (no) replay-help rules to play fair. If you’re fouled, or even remotely touched, dive. Sturridge tried to get up right after he was clipped, so his case was doomed.
Liverpool should have played better and found the net during their pretty good first half, but as referees continue to make mistakes that cost teams titles, European spots, money and sometimes the managerial positions for those on the hot seat, Swarbrick and his mistakes shouldn’t go unpunished by the FA.