They’re going in the right direction, but the lack of another finishing leg next to Luis Suarez simply screams to the sky after each match in which Liverpool failed to score, or score enough. Brendan Rodgers had his team playing well in a fixture they lost, but he needed a bit more than that.
He needed a referee that isn’t consumed, like the rest of the official in England, with some kind of prejudice against his club, born from last season by Kenny Dalglish and Luis Suarez. If Jordan Henderson’s slightest of touches on a diving Clint Dempsey, a foul that led to a free kick and a goal for Tottenham, is in fact a foul in the eyes of the referee, than so was Moussa Dembele’s shove on Steven Gerrard in the box in one of Liverpool’s more dangerous attacks during the first half. Phil Dowd had the same angle on both occasion, but ruled differently. Only human, that’s what they say.
But Rodgers also had himself to blame, before we get to the lucky part. Raheem Sterling is a talented kid, but nothing will happen if he gets benched now and then. His complete confidence in his place in the lineup allows him too much room for mistakes that come from him not lifting his head up and refusing to play smart football.
The switching of Jose Enrique and Stewart Downing isn’t such a bad idea, as Enrique has proven to be a much more dangerous attacking player than Downing, especially with his physical style of striding into the middle, so far unnoticed on plenty of chances, but it leaves Downing to handle the likes of Aaron Lennon, which had a direct effect on Tottenham’s first goal via the tiny and speedy winger. It’s hard to believe Downing will suddenly develop the instincts of a left back at his advanced career stage.
But then we get to luck. Liverpool were the better side, and had plenty of chances of crossing the ball into and through the box. It just so happened that Tottenham didn’t have the misfortune of a bad bounce, except for the Gareth Bale own goal, with their players’ legs always in the way to result in a corner instead of a deserved equalizer by Liverpool. Unlike the early stages of the match, when a Gareth Bale free kick hit Jordan Henderson’s face, taking just enough of a swerve to send Pepe Reina in the wrong direction.
Aside from that, it was all Liverpool. When they focused on passing instead of long balls, the chances were quickly presented to them. Tottenham aren’t the best of defensive sides in the Premier League, tied for most goals conceded among the top 14 teams in the league at the moment. It’s a shame for Liverpool they make it easy for defenses to focus on just one man. Suarez had a couple of chances, but it was his passing that was top class on the night, creating certain goals for Jordan Henderson and Jonjo Shelvey, only to see them miss comfortable opportunities.
Good ability will get you results in the end, that’s what the theory says. The ships is stabilized for Liverpool, but not at a place they consider themselves worthy of. Lounging around the middle parts of the Premier League table isn’t an accomplishment for this club, it’s a failure. The problem is it’s hard to see what Rodgers can do to make this team start scoring, unless new players are brought into the mix.