Reading 1-1 Liverpool

FA Cup 3rd Round
Saturday 02 January 2010 - 5:15 pm
Madejski Stadium
Reading1
1Liverpool
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35'Gerrard ⚽️
67'↔️ NGog off
79'↔️ Aurelio off
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Liverpool stumbled to a disappointing draw at the Madjeski Stadium against Championship side Reading.

After two consecutive Premiership victories, the reds were hoping to continue their good form, but despite a strong line up failed to impress in a tie that will now be decided in a replay at Anfield in 10 days time.

Injury to Glen Johnson forced a change at right back, with Stephen Darby coming in to the frame.  Steven Gerrard moved back to partner Lucas Leiva, and David N'gog's involvement meant Liverpool switched to a 4-4-2 formation.

Still missing Mascherano, the reds failed to get a foothold in the game.  And in the 24th minute Liverpool were undone by a set-piece. Again.  The ball was sent in deep and headed back from the line, allowing Simon Church the opportunity to bundle the ball over the line.

The reds stepped up their momentum and a tame shot from Steven Gerrard crept in to the corner of the Reading goal with 10 minutes remaining of the second half.  The goal owed more to Dirk Kuyt's excellent run across the ball, which distracted the keeper.

If Liverpool fans were expecting a second half improvement then they would be sorely disappointed.  The display was insipid.

Dirk Kuyt, Emiliano Insua and Fabio Aurelio all put in unacceptable performances but perhaps the worst was in fact the club captain. Capable of far more than he has shown in recent weeks his goal failed to hide another lack-lustre and below par display.

With Mascherano and Lucas in midfield the reds do at least look to have some solidity in central midfield, but as well as Lucas played - Gerrard failed to support the young Brazilian.  Torres and N'gog saw little service either from the captain or from Kuyt and Aurelio on the wings.

The change to 4-5-1 when Aquilani came on for N'gog failed to help matters and it was Reading who ended up pushing for the winner.

Liverpool clung on for the replay.  The reds have been notable for sloppy starts to cup competitions they have gone on to win - we can only hope this is a similar campaign.

Man of the Match: Lucas Leiva

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  • Imran

    We were fortunate to walk away with a draw but will surely win the replay.The passing was incredibly poor but thanks to “Superman” Gerrard we’re still very much in it.It’s frightening how much we depend on Gerrard and Torres despite having spent heavily on the likes of Aquilani,Riera and Babel!

    C’mmon lets here the excuses now!!!

    • BOBIESCOUSE

      Im sorry but the goal was the only thing that Gerrard did and it could easily have been deflected wide or given offside by the fumbling kuyt. He simply hasn’t performed this season ( not to say anyone has consistently apart from reina ) but unlike torres who was playing all last summer he has no excuses now he is back from injury and apparently fit.

      Yes were still in it and probably should do the job at Anfield however it shouldn’t have come to that against a very poor Reading side ! All i can say is it was good we were not playing leeds otherwise we would already be out.

  • Jack C

    (Lucas should not have been man of the match it should have been Darby.)We did ok but considering it was against reading we should have done better. It should have been 1-0 to us, Churchs goal was offside, you could even see the Liverpool players raise there hands when it went in, but anyway I just hope Liverpool do better against Tottenham.

  • Pete C

    Has Albert Riera died because he was impressive for me last season and would really be effective in situations like last night?

  • Kopite

    Lucas had an excellent first half, didn’t waste a single pass and at least tried to be a bit more expansive in his passing, playing some nice balls between defenders into feet and also good balls in the channels for the likes of Kuyt to run onto.

    Our biggest problem is that overall our players are not good enough. The standard of our ball distribution and ball retention was awful last night and as per usual we were a disjointed mess. A classic case of square pegs in round holes. Why do we persist with this pedestrian approach to the game? Clearly we struggle to break teams down with a patient measured build up of sideways passing. At times we resorted to lumping hopeful balls in the general direction of Torres. This is all Aurelio did for 90 minutes. If we play with no pace (in our passing) one good recognised striker (Ngog was very poor and unreliable) and no wingers capable of running the ball to the by line, how the hell do we expect to score? When we do get somone out wide into a decent position to cross, we have about 2 players in there. We need to flood the box with more red shirts if we want to score. Our attacking corners are awful and we dont seem to have anybody in the team that can shoot from distance.

    Clearly we have a confidence crisis. Rafa is a brilliant tactician in one off games, but his man managment skills are shocking. I ever those players needed a kick up the backside it was at half time last night. We should come out second half like men possessed intent on writing the wrongs of the first half. This is where the top managers come into their own. Our players were worse second half than first!

  • King sensai

    I agree Lucas was our best player apart from their goal him and Darby were very very weak at the far post!
    Overall we were crap but with better finishing should have won by 4-0.
    No further comment???
    THE MIGHTY REDS LFC

  • CulCul

    Also forgot to mention McAnnuff, said afterwards on the UTV coverage that he was a lifelone LFC fan. Thought he played well and could be worth a look at?

  • CulCul

    What about Stephen Darby, thought he was very good and his reading of the game was excellent.
    Would have liked to see Pancheo also, would have been a great game to test him in?

    The overall performance was poor, these are the teams we have failed time and time again to break down.

  • Lil Lee YNWA

    Once again Insua got found out again (cant defend and got no pace). Lucas is the only Brazillian who hasnt even got a 3rd or 4th touch never mind a 1st unlike all his international teammates!! Too many long balls all night, no pace on the flanks and no creativity again. Got to be worried Reading will be coming to the replay with a new manager and all fired up, seen this all before. Drastic actions needed now!!!

    • BOBIESCOUSE

      have to agree on Insua he has managed to get progressively worse this season and really is getting caught for pace and positioning , another one is skirtel ? why that lad cannot tackle without conceding a free kick or taking someones leg off is beyond me !

      When a game is tight or tension is high the last thing you want is someone who gives away free kicks like sweets …

  • Roy Kelleher

    Spot on with your analysis. One point I need to make is, why start Yossi on the bench again? He would be in my first 11 every game. Start him, then if we’re comfortably out of sight, bring on someone else. No point chasing a game as we seem to be doing more frequently this season.

    • Agree with you Roy.

      We can sort of understand the reasoning to start Aurelio on the left wing – he has been relatively good in a couple of recent games. We think Benayoun, who is better on the right, should have started instead of Kuyt.

  • Olly

    Lucas motm ridiculous he couldn’t keep the ball he was abysmal yossi did more than him in 12 mind

    • He was also voted man of the match in the forum by the Liverpool fans who watched the game. The most abysmal player out there was Gerrard who spent most of the game shadowing the ref. Him scoring doesn’t pull the wool over our eyes. It was like playing with 10 men.

      • BOBIESCOUSE

        Agree with you on Gerrard as he’s been doing that all season and REALLY has to buck up his ideas …

  • jason thomas

    Too many short lateral passing around the box,should have more shots on goal and test the keeper more instead of getting dispossessed due to a poor pass.Good breaks are wasted due to no shot on goal and waiting for support,only to find the other team have every player back in the box to defend.Every player should have a shot on goal every game if it goes in great,if it dont it gives you time to get back in possition.ATTACK – ATTACK – ATTACK ATTACK – ATTACK!

    • Yes. The number of times the cross never went in to the box, or a poor misplaced pass was chosen instead of a shot was far too frequent.

      • BOBIESCOUSE

        It’s due to negative tactical approach plain and simple ! i like rafa but no Yossi ?, no Babel, no Aquillani ? , Kuyt on the wing ? Have you noticed how we never flood the box on getting anywhere near it with crossing or movement ? Because of overcautious/ negative approach.

        From the off that suggests negative/ defensive mindset which filters to the players and allows reading in to the match. Don’t get me wrong the lads ( minus reina, darby, carra ) did nothing against a really poor side and rafa can’t be blamed for these shameless players lack of effort “AGAIN” but when you start like that against a side like reading who’v struggled just as much as us this season then people are going to ask were rafas balls are ? and the players…