Sunderland 1-0 Liverpool

Premier League
Saturday 17 October 2009 - 3:00 pm
Stadium of Light
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28' Kuyt
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Was the Beach Ball offside? TV Replays suggest it was.

Glen Johnson plays the LFC Beach Ball onside

Liverpool went down to their second consecutive Premier League away defeat with a 1-0 reverse against Sunderland who now move one point ahead of Liverpool in the league.

With Chelsea also losing earlier in the day the reds had a great chance to close the gap at the top.

Both Torres and Gerrard were ruled out through injury – and Mascherano and Insua only arrived in England late on Friday and were placed on the bench. Agger and Aurelio returned for Liverpool – Jay Spearing made his league debut and Ryan Babel was given another chance for the reds.

Liverpool started poorly, in their unusual kit of black shirt, gold shorts and socks.  And after only 5 minutes Liverpool were in bigger trouble going 1-0 down.  A Liverpool FC beach ball appeared in the penalty area and Darren Bent’s shot took a wicked deflection to wrong foot Pepe Reina. (Watch the goal here)

The players continued to under-perform.  Forgetting the ancient art of passing.  Babel, Johnson and Aurelio were especially wasteful with the ball.  Carragher – so often Mr Reliable down the years – has still to recapture any sort of form, and as Captain for the day did little in terms of his own performance to motivate the rest of the side.

The second half, as expected, Liverpool did spring in to life a little more – although Sunderland still had a few more chances to wrap the game up. Pepe Reina making a terrific save to deny a Sunderland 2nd.

As time wore on Liverpool pressed but just didn’t have the quality in the final third to break down what eventually turned in to an 11 man Sunderland defence.

Still early days, but Liverpool are now 7 points off the top of the table.  Next week’s game against Manchester United will have a lot riding on it.

Post Match Comments

Rafael Benitez

“It was a special situation, but we didn’t play well and so I don’t want to talk about that – we didn’t play well and we made some mistakes, we gave the ball away and we couldn’t take our chances.

“These things happen, it is a bad situation for us as it was in the middle and very influential but we didn’t play well and that is the main thing for me.”

(When asked if he thought the goal should have been disallowed) “It is a technical question, but if you look at the opposite and the ball went wide, then a goal would not have been given so on this occasion it has to be a goal and that is it.

“We have to do better if we want to win these sort of games.”

Teams and Match Stats

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel (Voronin 72), Carragher, Agger, Aurelio, Babel (Ngog 80 81), Benayoun, Leiva, Spearing (Mascherano 72), Kuyt

Unused subs: Cavalieri, Insua, Kelly, Riera

Sunderland: Gordon, Bardsley, McCartney (Henderson 46), Turner, Ferdinand, Malbranque, Cana, Reid, Cattermore (Zenden 58), Bent, Jones (Campbell 66)

Unused subs: Fulop, Nosworthy, Da Silva, Healy

Goals: Bent / Beach Ball (5)

Referee: Jones

Attendance: 47,327

Our Man of the Match

The only outfield player to emerge with much credit was probably Lucas Leiva. But for stopping it get much worse then Pepe Reina is our MOM.

27 comments on
Sunderland 1-0 Liverpool

  1. I dont believe big money signings were needed and there were plenty of bargains around this summer which would have added experience and depth to the squad.
    Here are some of my thoughts?

    Damien Duff (Fulham) £4 Million
    Richard Dunne (Aston Villa) £6 Million
    Michael Owen (Man Utd) Free Transfer
    Barry Ferguson (Birmingham City) £1 Million
    Sean Davies (Bolton wanderers) Free Transfer
    Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea) Compensation
    Gabriel Obertan (Man Utd) £3 Million
    Kyle Naughton (Spurs) £2.5m rising to £5m
    Niko Kranjcar (Spurs) £2.5m
    James McCarthy (Wigan Ath) £1.2m
    Kevin Doyle (Wolves) £6.5m
    Martins (Hertha Berlin) £8 Million

    £20 Million would have got us 5 to 7 decent squad players when we include the 2 free transfers.
    Image Owen, Davies, Kranjcar, Duff & Martins on top of the players we got? £14.5 Million would have kanded the lot and added some depth to the squad. All experienced and proven in the EPL

  2. Sorry Anfield online, the maths you quote that we pay this and recoup that is wrong. In the world on football economics 4 major factors play a roll in transfers.

    1) Transfer Fee
    2) Signing On Fee (generally 10% of transfer fee)
    3) Agents Fee (Another 10% of Transfer Fee)
    4) Wages
    5) Compensation if players is sold without requesting a transfer.

    I buy Player K for £17M and agree to pay him £80K per week for 4 years.

    Transfer fee: £17M
    Signing fee: £1.7M
    Agent fee: £1.7M
    Wages: £16M (4 years)

    Total cost of transfer £36.4M

    The majority of players signed by LFC in the 5 past years have no resale value. The example above could be representative of the Keane transfer for example. LFC potentially made a loss of £10M on this transaction because of compo owed to Keane for not requesting a transfer. Generally the selling club must make up the difference in wages between the two contracts.
    Alot of the players moved on have done so against there wishes so therefore hugh losses have been made and i think that as well as servicing bank loans LFC are also paying this difference on many players.
    This not only happened during Rafas time but possibiliy since the early 90s. this is what we are now paying for.

    • By your logic then the sale of Alonso must have netted us about £50M.

      £30M for the transfer fee and about £20M saved in wages.

      Liverpool purchasing players and then getting nothing for them may have been symptomatic of the Houllier era but certainly not the Benitez era.

      Alonso, Bellamy, Crouch, Sissoko, Leto, Arbeloa, Nunez, Kromkamp, Carson all examples of players who probably netted the owners (or RBS) about £50M in transfer profit when sold.

      My figures were correct. Rafa has spent £228M on transfer fees and sold players to the value of £144M. That is £84M he has allowed to spend on improving the squad in FIVE years. Since the new owners have come in Liverpool have handed approx £65M to RBS to pay interest charges.

      Whichever you look at it – at present – Liverpool’s yearly interest payments for our American debt is DOUBLE our transfer budget.

      • Yes Anfield online, you are right, but need to take a pay off from the Alonso fee also. He never came out and asked for the transfer, LFC or Rafa, engineered the sale.
        That £20M in wages could have gone on signing Owen, Davies & Neill. Could have done with them tonight against Lyon.
        We have no strenght in depth, Money and a manager with no vision.

        Would Paul anderson or Adam Hamill have been good enough to play tonight?
        I think so, alot better that Voronin or Ngog.
        Again they were sold for peanuts.

        Guthrie sold for £1M and replaced with Lucas £8M
        Degen has pulled £40K a week for the last season & half.
        Dossena is pulling another £60K a week.
        They would have taken air miles during the summer for Voronin.

  3. Full backing to Rafa, over the previous five seasons we have massivley over acheived in europe and have done very well to chalenge for the league on two occasions. he has bought his fair share of flops eg; Dossena, Voronin, Nunez, Pellegrino, Morientes, cavlieri, but the players he has bought that have turned into worl class players eg; Alonso, Reina, Torres have all been reasonably cheap. he cant get it right every week as with different opposition comes different strengths & weaknesses. get off his back come the end of the season you wil all love him. Y.N.W.A.

  4. imagine the feeling of that guy who travelled all the way to Sunderland to singlehandedly conceed the only goal!

    I’m interested to see if the next prem game against man u all the fans will have token gesture balloons and balls to rip us.

  5. Im not going to say that Rafa is blameless here ! He has made many questionable decisions over the course of five years. He is responsible for the loss of both Alonso and Keane which were big mistakes in my view.

    But it is important to see It’s not just one thing at work against us here ! it’s a culmination of error that runs through the entire club from the top to the bottom.

    Lets be clear that both Ferguson and Wenger have had total control over the running of their teams, academy’s, transfers for allot longer than five years and with allot less hinder and unrest ( look at what happened to Mourinio at chelsea when he wanted full control )

    Moores and Parry had control on transfers both budget and dealing ( Just because Benitez requested a player did not mean he got him, which was often the case im sure ) .
    As a result of their slow overcautious approach we missed countless opportunity to sign any number of top quality players even before Benitez. When he became manager he was always having to settle for third best and still dose today .
    When the Americans came in they allowed Benitez to bring in Torres as a means of appeasing us but they are just as bad as the previous lot for slowing the whole transfer situation down or not releasing funds which means another vorrenin instead of the next Messi and benitez ends up spending more spread out over time trying to plug the gaps when those substandard players don’t work ( it becomes a vicious circle ) .
    Im only saying this because i don’t know of many managers out their who would want , let alone be able to do this job under these circumstances and when a manager has to deal with all the problems a top four manager has to and then these clowns on top it has to be near impossible to compete . Y.N.W.A.

    • Absolutely spot on. I’ve been criticsed here for supposedly showing blind faith. People have even gone as far as suggesting that I must be related to Rafa because I defend him so regularly. I’ll be the first to admit that Rafa has made errors, but for me the biggest errors he makes are with team selections and with the way he sets up the team sometimes. The transfer thing is a red herring becuase as you rightly mention Rafa has been plugging gaps. The £200 odd million he has spent hasn’t been spent to construct one team. The money has come in dribs and drabs, with large amounts coming from sales Rafa has made himself. Between August 2004 and May 2007 Rafa had spent £83m and Ferguson had spent £64m. The reason I use these dates is because Aug 04 is when Rafa started and May 07 is when Utd won their first title since May 03. However, it wasn’t a fair race for the title in those first 3 seasons becuase Utd retained 10 players from their last title success in 02-03, so Fergie had a 10 player head start plus the £64m spent on new players. It would have taken more than n extra £20m to deliver the title.

      • Kev,i think you are suffering from blind faith.
        Rafa took over a team that contained players of the calibre of Gerrard, Cisse, Carragher, Hamann, Henchoz, Baros, Riise, Hyypia, Dudek, Finnan & warnock.
        To me thats not a bad start for any manager.
        The £200 odd million you speak about is infact £258M plus signing on fees (58 players) which must top another £30M and wages.
        Not one player came through or got a chance from the academy until Rafa took charge. Heighway won two youth FA cups since Rafa arrived and not one player could make the grade until he got charge of the academy. Testament to this is signing Dossena for £8M with Insua at the academy. if he was on top of his brief he would have known the ability of Insua and not signing Dossena.

        Can i ask you a simple direct question.
        If you bought LFC in the morning would you

        a) look for a new manager
        b) give Rafa another £100 – 150 Million to spend with his track record.

        I think there is a takeover on the horizon and the new boys have considered this question and their answer is A.

        • Rafa has spent £228M on players in 5 years and sold players to the value of £144M. A net spend of £84M in 5 years (an average of £16M a year).

          If you intend on quoting figures then at least let’s make them accurate.

          Also Rafa hasn’t ever been handed a proper war chest. Counting the total figure does not show how weak Liverpool’s spending power is. We may be able to move players in and out for £10M but we have only ever bought one £20M player. United must have bought about 8 or 9, as have Chelsea and now Man City.

          We’ve been forced to shop in the bargain bin all of the time.

  6. Hue
    I don’t know how much more money Benitez has spent than Wenger, but Arsenal were champions when Rafa joined us having won the title without losing a single game. It’s fair to say Wenger had a head start on Benitez becuase he already had a title winning group of players at his disposal come the start of 2004-05. It would make sense that Rafa has spent more money. He needed to. The point I’m making is that Arsenal have gone backwards in the last 5 years, going from invincibles to also rans regularly competing for 3rd / 4th place. This is despite having a group of players with both the ability and experience to win titles. This is also despite building a 60,000 seat stadium that should only increase their revenues and enable them to spend more. We’ve progressed in the last 5 years. We are a far better team now than when Rafa joined. We’re clearly one of the strongest teams in Europe now, our record in the CL over the past 5 years stands up against anybody’s and we’ve come closer to winning the league in 05-06 and 08-09 than at any other point in the last 20 years. Clearly we’ve gone forward, despite the constant shit in the boardroom.

    Forget that our name is Liverpool and just think about all of the things that are required to be a succesful team in the modern premier league. You need rich backers (Chelsea, Spurs, Man City) which we don’t have. You need to spend lots of transfers (In 5 years we’ve spent less than Chelsea, Utd, Spurs and Man City), you need to spend lots on wages (we spend less than Chelsea, Utd, Spurs and Man City). You need a big stadium capable of generating big revenues (Anfield is smaller than Old Trafford, Eastlands, The Emirates and the Stadium of Light). We’ve also had one of the worst sponsorship deals in the lge in recent years which we’ve just changed. In reality by todays standards we should only really be competing for 4th / 5th spot. We have no right to beleive we can win lges when so many clubs have clearly got more advantages than we have. Depite this we’ve over-achieved and come closer to winning it than at any time in the last 20 years!

    When he has spent larger sums he’s spent well. Will you argue against Torres, Alonso, Masch, Reina and Johnson? What about the bargains such as Agger, Skrtel, Arbeloa, Sissoko, Aurelio, Garcia. Those that are no longer with us have generally been sold on at a profit and in the main wanted to leave anyway (Crouch, Garcia, Alonso). Those that haven’t worked out have largely been cheap gambles when we’ve been unable to get our preferred target. We wanted Simao but were outpriced and got Pennant. We wanted Alves, but were outpriced and got Arbeloa. We wanted Barry but were outpriced and have kept Lucas whom surely would have been sold had Barry signed. We wanted Silva and Villa but can’t afford either of them. Do you think our squad, not to mention our lge position would be healthier if we’d added just half of those names?

  7. We can’t stop blaming the owners, the manager keeps making mistake after mistake, he has to go, I do wish that they had brought in Jurgen Klinsmann now. Benitez and his joke of a beard has to go

  8. Firstly Rafa is responsible for forcing Alonso out when he was obsessed in signing Barry ending up with neither!.Lets also remember that he got rid of Crouch,Bellamy,Garcia whilst wasting millions on flop signings like Babel,Riera and his personal darling Lucas!.

    He’s had both time and investment yet failed to deliver so surely his time is coming to an end because it also seems that he’s unable to motivate players.Certainly Moores,Parry,Hicks and Gillette are all responsible for bringing the club to it’s knee’s but two wrong’s never make a right so we must never be held to ransom by “if Rafa goes so will Gerrard and Torres etc” claptrap because no individual will ever be bigger then the club.

    If we need to take a few steps back before going forward then it’s all worth it in my opinion albeit it’s a risk but that’s football and life as a whole!.Rafa’s supporters will continue backing him until he takes us to the brink of relegation so please wake up and understand that blind loyalty is not the answer to our problems.

  9. I still believe we have chances.
    Did any one believed we would win the CL in 2005 and it happened
    I only wants to see that tempo end spirit in the squad. If that comes everything will be fine

  10. After yesterdays crap showing, Rafa needs to resign and head back to Spain on the next flight. His record shows £258M spent on 58 players and this is the best 11 he can put out. He is fast becoming the worst manager in our history. His signing have been crap and secong rate. It was plain to be seen that after last season we needed to build a squad. What did we get? Glen Johnston and an injury prone Italian. Alonso went the other direction. Dont balme the board or owners for that one. Blame Rafa, he treated Alonso with so much disrespect over the previous two years. There was great value to be had on free transfers this summer, Owen, Campbell, Davies and many fire sales at clubs such as Portsmouth, Middlesboro & Newcastle that we could have spent the Alonso money alot wiser. We could have added Owen, Davies, Kranjker, Martins, Taylor, Duff and Downing for £30M. Instead the great Rafa spent all his time argueing with the owners. Even Podolski left Bayern for £8M. He is fast becoming a disgrace and making LFC an embarassment.

    • Over the last two seasons Benitez has been allowed to spend just under £22M in total. If you think any manager in the world can turn us in to title winners with a budget of £11M a year then I’m all ears.

      It’s all very well naming all those free transfers but I’m fairly sure you understand they need to be paid a healthy salary. Under our debt-loving owners we cannot afford to have a reasonable squad with ‘talent’ on the bench.

      The club have no sizeable transfer budget – no margin to pay any more in wages so under the current owners we have very little chance, and probably the likes of Man City, Aston Villa and now even Birmingham will outcompete us in the transfer market.

      • Are you ignoring the £258M and 58 players already signed by Rafa in the last 5 years. This £11 net transfer arguement is played out. Prove in point that your arguement is flawed is the fact that you quote Villa. Did they not sell their cartain to City for £18M. They did not feel the need to go out and spend massive to replace him. Instead they bought squad players. I watched an interview during the summer with O’Neill. He speaks about building a squad, Rafa only speaks about the team. He has been so inconsistent. Plesis was the next great thing, then Lucas and now Spearing. Every position is the same, Finnan, Arbeloa, Johnston, Degen and some other spainish guy (Right Full). Up front we have had Bellamy, Crouch, Morientas, Keane, Torres, Vorinin, Babel, Ngog, Garcia. This is only three positions mentioned and covers only 5 years.

        Every good manager needs a vision, Rafa hopes that by signing more players than anybody else he will win the league. When he had a squad, he did not know what to do with it? Remember the famous rotation theory??????

        • Justify ‘ the worst manager in our history’ comment. So your saying that he’s been worse than Souness, Evans and Houllier, even though his percentage wins from league games is identical to Bob Paisley. Yeah Rafa must be awful. Despite the money spent, he’s still spent less than Chelsea, Utd, Spurs and Man City in the last 5 years. Only Utd and Chelsea have doen better in that time, but then those two clubs have done better than anyone sharing all of the last 5 titles. As for rotation, well Rafa actually rotates his team less than Alex Ferguson. When you look for flak to throw at our manager I suggest you look a bit further than the tabloids.

  11. The season is’nt lost yet ! Sure things are totally crap and our luck is so bad that i don’t think a blind three legged dog with no fur would touch us at the moment but it’s not over by a long shot . Look at the Chelsea result and tell me that they and the manc’s wont drop more point’s !

    For us to loose the way we did is shocking though and everyone at the club need’s to sort themselves out fast because weve got the week of or season now !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Y.N.W.A.

  12. The problem with the ball is a distraction. Early televised shots show it securely lodged at the back of the goal in the first minute. So how did it get back onto the pitch?

    Sunderland were a far better team all over the park. Sharper on the ball, and more determined to get it. far more imaginitive in attack, and far more determined in defence. And Sunderland had just as many players away for internationals.

    Liverpool were lucky it wasn’t 3 – 0, and had only one signifocant shot on target. Sunderland had 3 players taken off, two on stretchers. Not a tribute to the silky skills of the Liverpool team.

    • The infamous North East wind blew it back on to the pitch. Agree Liverpool were lucky not to lose by more – however some credit is deserved for the reds defence who stopped all three of Sunderland’s ‘clear’ chances from even getting a shot on target.

  13. Again it’s been proved that despite having spent millions on the likes of Babel,Riera and the usual suspects we’re mostly not much without Torres and Gerrard.All this is so upsetting seeing the season is so young but we’ve lost four games already so the Premiership is lost already.

    The beach ball was a sickener still the fact remains that we didn’t score and like i’ve mentioned many times we’re well-short of firepower because Voronin and N’go won’t get ten between them.We don’t have the backing of Chelsea or Man Utd but i still expect much better from our boys instead of rubbish like this where we’re defeated by a very average side.Surely many others are also getting sick and tired of our Spanish waiter of a manager who is still living of that win in Istanbul.

    • Couldn’t agree more Imran we are shocking again, how much longer can Benitez be allowed to continue. He is destroying our proud club. Time for him to go & good riddens as he is turning the real football fans away from Anfield with the 2nd rate players he is bringing to our club. Whoever takes over from him when the inevitable does eventually happen will have to start from scratch as bar Torres, gerard & on a good day Riena & Johnson none of the rest are worthy of gracing the LPool shirt !! Also if the season continues as its started Torres will be gone as he won’t wait forever to be challenging for medas & why should he. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET RID OF BENITEZ NOW & LETS TRY TO AT LEAST BUILD FOR NEXT SEASON

      • Is that what you really want to happen? Seriously, what manager will want to join us with no cash to spend a warring boardroom and the threat of selling its best players. Wake up. If we don’t find investment soon then Gerrard, Reina, Johnson Torres and Masch will be sold anyway. The situation is that dire. Much of our financial survival depends upon our performances in the CL.

        Rafa has qualified for the CL every year he’s been with us, which none of our previous managers have ever done and has over-achieved in the competition. If he goes we’ll make an inevitable step back. In todays football world that step back may be unrecoverable, especially if we’re forced to sell our assets. Take the blnkers off. It’s not about winning the title. Of course we want it, but the club has never faced such a dire crisis in its 117 year history. Survival is the priority here. Lets not for one second think that becuase ‘we’re Liverpool’ that we have a devine right not to go the way of Leeds, becuase believe me it can happen to us. Don’t doubt it. Rafa is not destroying our proud club. David Moores and Rick Parry have already done that when they were schmoozed into selling 117 years of history at the first whiff of a few dollars.

        Yes Rafa has made his mistakes but so do all of the top managers. Arsene Wenger has fewer trophies in the last 5 seasons than our very own Rafa Benitez and whilst Rafa has been with us, neither manager has lifted a title. Is Wenger pilloried for being hopeless, hapless and deserving of the sack? Seriously things will get worse if he goes. I hope it doesn’t take your wish coming true for you to see it.

        • Totally agree it’s not Rafa thats the problem here !, weve come further with him than any other manager for a long time and for everyone to single him out as the defining factor behind our downfall is unbelievably unrealistic and short sighted.

          David Moores, Rick Parry, George Gillette and Tom Hicks are the scum we should blame for the way things are, that and the players who are just not interested in making a fight of it this season.

          I mean it just really annoys me that they just don’t seem to be up for games from the off ?. This is the most concerning issue that there appears to be a real lack of desire or hunger to bleed for the shirt every game.
          The reason we were able to turn games around last season was sustained pressure throughout and were lucky if we manage 5 mins now and i refuse to believe it’s all because weve lost alonso so what is it ?
          Why have we all of a sudden forgot how to defend ? ( is it due to our more offensive style of play ?)

          Why arn’t we getting as much luck as we seemed to get last season ( is it down to the loss of Alonso ? or just players not performing ? )

          Why is this happening and how can we get back on track ? These are the questions that need answering and fast if we are to salvage this season and the future.

        • Kevin
          I can’t understand why u would blame everyone but the man in charge who has purchased all these ordinary players. As I said before bar the 4 players I mentioned earlier we have nobody of note. Our squad is so weak we are going to struggle badly this year. To compare Wenger & Benitez u have to take into account the massive difference in Budget both have had over last five seasons. If Wenger had the money Lpool have spent they would I believe have fared much better than we have and would be playing attractive football unlike us. Just think what we spent this season alone & we have gone backwards. Sure Aquilani may prove to be a good player ( if he ever plays) but what a ridiculous gamble it was to take on a player who is plagued his whole career by injury. Anyway League is aleady over for us & not even Nov yet !! Benitez has been given every chance & has blown it big time. He has arguments with every opposing manager he comes up against each week & lacks the class required to manage a big club like Lpool. He is way out of his depth & for the sake of LFC I genuinely hope this is the last season we have to endure him.
          Believe me I don’t enjoy saying these word about a Lpool manager but Benitez has brought us to a new low !!!!

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