Liverpool failed to land the Port of Rotterdam tournament in a game which yet again exposed our inability to convert chances, and ended with the reds picking up 6 yellow cards.
This was by far the reds most demanding work out of the summer friendlies – in fact it was hardly a ‘friendly’ at all. In some senses it was a sterner work out than both games in last years Champions League between these two clubs.
The reds unveiled the new European away shirt – Feyenoord playing in red and white shirts.
We had early chances to take a lead through both Gerrard and Kuyt before the game settled in to one with plenty of reds posession. It was all breaking down in the last third though as we failed to cut through the Dutch defence.
Liverpool should have taken the lead when Dirk Kuyt smashed a shot against the cross bar in the 15th minute – television replays showing the ball had crossed the line before it bounced out – the referee was unconvinced and gave the benefit of the doubt to the tournament hosts.
Feyenoord took the lead just before half time in their first real attacking move. After a quick break and a shot that hit the post the ball landed perfectly at the feet of Royston Drenthe (linked with the reds this summer) who had the best part of an empty goal to aim for. 1-0 Feyenoord.
After the break Liverpool continued their domination and after chances from Alonso and Voronin, it was Gerrard who powered in to the box and put the ball in the net.
There was still time for the referee to make it easy for Feyenoord when he gave them a penalty for handball – replays clearly showed that Arbeloa had headed the ball away. No problem though as Reina showed yet again why he is so important to the reds with another fantastic penalty save.
By now the yellow cards were being racked up, a tendency of both sets of players to raise their hands and push other players away.
Towards the end of the game a shove from Theo Lucius on Daniel Agger was met by a shove back in the face from Steven Gerrard. The player was lucky to escape without being sent off.
Problems up front we still may have – but Liverpool look meaner and more determined than they have in many pre-season’s before. Next up Aston Villa in the Premiership.
FEYENOORD (4-4-1-1): Ekramy; Lucius, Bahia, Vlaar, de Cler; Slory (D Buijs 46), Sahin (Bruins 46), van Bronckhorst, Drenthe; de Guzman (Hofs 79); Makaay. Subs: Timmer, Mols, J Buijs, Wijnaldum, Lensky, Biseswar.
BOOKING: Bruins and Drenthe (both unsporting behaviour) and Lucius (foul).
LIVERPOOL (4-4-2): Reina; Arbeloa, Agger, Carragher, Riise; Pennant (Torres 65), Gerrard (Sissoko 90), Alonso (Mascherano 84), Kewell (Babel 54); Vorinin (Benayoun 80), Kuyt. Subs: Martin, Finnan, Hyypia, Crouch.
BOOKINGS: Pennant and Carragher (all fouls), Kewell, Alonso and Gerrard (unsporting behaviour) and Babel (dissent).
REFEREE: P Vink.