So that horrible but somewhat inevitable first defeat of the season landed on us all at the Etihad last night. Speaking as part of the travelling Kop who witnessed the game; it wasn’t a nice feeling but you have to be philosophical about it. Sometimes you get beat in football. Simple as that.
I don’t particularly think we played poorly. That said; I don’t think City played particularly great. I think they were simply clinical in front of goal when the chances arose. Three points is three points whenever you play, but personally Id rather get defeats like this out the way in the early days of the season than at the business end.
I made reference last week in my post match blog about how the absence of a genuine attacking midfield presence who is comfortable under pressure and who can take and receive the ball in the final third hurt us. I think the same could be said yesterday which means that Lallana’s return to training is a most welcome site. Joe Allen had a decent game but he isn’t the player needed in that situation. I think once we get Lallana into that role we will start to see more fluidity and gauge a real idea of how we will fare this year.
Moreno looks a good player which is a positive to come from the game. Strong, quick, can defend and attack. Even more so positive was how he and Markovic linked well in the short period they had together on the pitch. Markovic looks a player who believes he is a world beater and his cameo excited me as to what may come with the hope that his belief becomes reality. A neat passage of play between Moreno and Markovic almost created what would have been a slick goal.
And I suppose that is it really. Like I said, we got beat, it happens. We move on to the next game now and a chance to bounce back against what looks like on paper; a resurgent Spurs team. We will of course have a certain Mr Balotelli in the midst and if ever there was a chance for a player to announce himself with a bang when it is needed, it is now; to help lift the (temporary) doom and gloom that invariably some Liverpool fans will feel after yesterday.
I made my feelings on Balotelli known on Twitter last week. Huge question marks stand over him from my perspective; I have doubts about his ability and I have concerns about his temperament and how that can affect the squad. BUT; Id be ecstatic if he proves me wrong and whilst he wears Liverpool Red he will have all my support. Come on Mario. Make us Dream.