Praesidium

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Liverpool 2-0 Sunderland

I only tuned in at half time (having been dining in college) and my first reaction - other than being possibly more relieved than disappointed to find the score of 0-0 - was surprise at seeing Mascherano deployed at right back. Obviously, playing Skrtel there against Boro didn't work. I was hoping to see Stephen Darby given his chance - but, apparently, after being told that he would play he picked up an injury in training. With all three of our right backs injured and Real Madrid in our next match, that could be a real selection dilemma for Benitez: personally, I'd be happiest seeing Jamie Carragher shunted over again (though there are some stories circulating that he's refused to play there, I think that's unlucky - more plausible is the story that he's feeling the effects of tiredness or illness).

Anyway, in so far as the matter in hand goes, this was a fairly routine win. Again, it seems that we struggled to convert chances - having about two dozen shots (half on target) - but it was particularly pleasing to see Ngog notch another. We'll need more from him, Kuyt and Babel if Torres continues to be dogged by injury troubles. It looks too late to catch United - they're still four points ahead with two games in hand - but we must aim to stay ahead of Arsenal and Villa and compete with Chelsea for second spot.

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