Vital Football

Liverpool 4-1 Pompey

4 - 1


Sat 22-12-07, 3pm

Attendance: 43071


Pompey serves up Christmas turkey.

Pompey travelled to Anfield today looking to bounce back after the poor performance, and result against spurs, a tall order perhaps, but I was full of confidence after our recent results on road.

I was hopeful that we could nick a point, perhaps all 3, but it was clear that this would be an almost impossible task after the first half. We were awful, from the off it seemed that the players were resigned to defeat, no one wanted to play football, and attack the Liverpool defence. No player wanted to close down the opposition players, and nearly the whole team were making simple mistakes. It became so bad towards the half an hour mark, that we resorted to punting the ball up the field and hoping, praying for a blue shirt to latch on to it, this wasn't going to happen, as Carragher and Hyypia were dominant throughout the 90 minutes, aerially, and Benji just couldn't cope.

The game started with Liverpool piling on the pressure, Gerrard pulling the strings with Kewell and Torres tearing our defence to pieces. Every time we had the opportunity to break mistakes were made, tackles came in and the ball again was flashing past our posts. Liverpool were all over us. Campbell showed his age and Johnson his lack of experience as Torres took full advantage, and time after time latched on the Gerrard's ball and caused havoc. Ironically the first Liverpool goal came from a fantastic slide tackle from Distin on Torres in the penalty area, but the ball rolled to the left corner of the pitch were Kewell, with no pressure from a blue shirt, had time to loft in a ball to the edge of the box were Benayoun pounced and unleashed an accurate volley from 20 yards, which sailed into the bottom corner of the net.

Things only got worse, and three minutes later Liverpool doubled their lead when a Pompey player lost possession in the Liverpool half and a long ball forward to Dirk Kuyt, who crossed a ball in for Torres to find Distin's outstretched leg, which found the back of the net. Game over it seemed. The next 35 minutes, for me was the most disappointing thing about the performance. No passion, no closing down and no football. Niko and Benji tried the best, but with minimal service from the dreadful Diop, and the outplayed Muntari, no chances were being created.

Our one and only chance of the half came on the stroke of half time as Pedro Mendes had a trademark strike from 20 yards, only to see his effort skim wide.


The performance of the first half couldn't be worse Liverpool, I admit played some great football at times but we were woeful, shocking. The only player who showed glimpses of his self was Niko, but the rest of them were shocking. Our 4 -5-1 wasn't working, our midfield hadn't showed up and Torres was a different class. It could only get better, it seemed.


The second half was a slightly better Pompey effort, Utaka came off for Kanu and Johnson, who was injured in the first half was replaced by Lauren. We started playing football Kanu, who has a touch of God, held up the ball well and allowed Niko to work his magic down the left side. Diop got more involved and Muntari showed glimpses of his attributes. We were outplaying Liverpool, the fans got behind the team and I began to believe. Chances were being created and the passion was slowly creeping into the players. Diop wasted a chance as a shot from outside the box, from the outside of the boot went marginally wide. We continued to pass the ball round well and then the moment came. Kanu managed to find some space and whipped in a ball, which floated to the back of the Liverpool box to find Benji, who controlled the ball well, shimmered past a Liverpool defender and had the composure to smash the ball past Reina. The goal sent the fans into raptures and the confidence came back. We continued to play the ball about, but then our balloon was popped.

Mascherano played a ball for substitute Ryan Babel who's shot was parried by Jamo only to trickle to Torres, who carefully placed the ball into the bottom corner. 3 -1, game over!

This ended our hopes and the last minutes were a slow paced affair, with Liverpool undeservedly grabbing a fourth when Gerrard set up a ball to Torres on the edge of the area who thrashed the ball into the back of the net.


Well what can I say? We played like cavemen in the first half and this cost us, we didn't play to our potential in the second half really, but it was a good effort all things considering. 4-1 was a little cruel, but we didn't deserve anything from the game.

There were a couple of positives from the game, the substitutes played very well, Lauren in particular showed his experience and Kanu has the touch of a GOD! Seriously it's insane. Also watching Torres play, he is something special.


Jamo - 6/10 - Helpless, no mistakes.

Johnson - 4/10 - Run ragged by the best striker in the Prem, went off injured at halftime.

Distin - 5/10 - Not the Distin we no and love, unfortunate about the goal however.

Campbell - 5/10 - Showed his age.

Hermann - 3/10 - Awful, worst performance of the season from his point of view.

Overall, the defence didn't defend well, but they were up against Torres who was awesome. The midfield however didn't have many excuses.

Muntari and Diop - 3/10 - Very bad, Diop in particular should look himself in the mirror.

Niko - 7/10 - Good, not great but he didn't get much service, but when he did he managed to cope.

Utaka - 0/10 - Hmmm, Utaka's performance, the naught really is worthy of his performance. Didn't get a sniff.

Mendes - 2/10 - Couldn't handle Gerrard,

Benji - 8/10 MOM!! - Worked his socks off never gave in and a very well taken goal.

Kanu - 7/10 - Changed the shape of the game when he came on. Touch of god don't forget.

Lauren - 7/10 - Coped well against Kuyt and Torres perhaps secured a place in our side?

Taylor - 5/10 - No impact

Overall, we played rubbish. Yes, we did have a spell in the second half but no, really was the worst performance of this season. Perhaps a reshuffle of the team as well as using a player called DAVID NUGENT!! And playing 4-4-2!!


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Date:Saturday December 22 2007
Time: 11:42PM


crackin' report Gleamer - you wanted to write the report for this game fella and you did a fine job... its just a shame that the result couldn't have been better for us - if anyone else would like to write a report for a future game i would welcome this, just ask like Gleamer did and i will be happy for you too.
22/12/2007 23:44:00
again we didnt deserve anything like last week, but its not the end of the of the world is it and we will get back from this, liverpool won fairly, 4-1 was slightly flattering tho.
22/12/2007 23:46:00
Gleamer, great report. Agree with you, have always thought that Kanu possesses the touch of god. If Utaka seriously warranted 0/10, surely HR can see it too and drop him. Good job Gleamer.
23/12/2007 00:23:00
I agree with it all apart from the David Nugent bit. I'm sorry,I know a lot of you want to give him a chance but I really, really don't think he's got it in him. Ok you can say - 'give him a start and then you'll know' but the stakes are so high this season you can't afford to make mistakes and I really feel that's what Nugent is. I would honestly love to be proven wrong.
23/12/2007 00:32:00
Crackin' read Gleamer - I somehow knew that Utaka would get a low score from you though.. but from what I hear he deserved it. I know it's not the end of the world to lose to Liverpool away from home and I know we shouldn't expect to get anything from the big four but when you see/hear/read that the guys aren't trying or have seem to have given up before they've started it really winds me up. Although i'm not a lover of Kanu and will openly admit I'm his biggest critic but he did change the game today and then died after twenty minutes..he and Niko were the bright spots for me on a day when even the bright spots were dull... Things must improve not necessarily results (I can cope with losing) but the team need to show some pride and passion ........ I'd rather be at the bottom of the table and see us scrapping for every ball and really committed to the cause then see us 7th and looking as if we are not interested... Wake up Harry ... Your fans are begining to question you ...
23/12/2007 06:58:00
Nice one PG pity you have to pick today to write your debut report. Good stuff though and an interesting read. A similar performance against Arsenal on Boxing Day will see thee fans on their backs possibly but lets not forget we had won our last SIX away games.
23/12/2007 08:39:00
0/10 really was wat he deserved. I think he might of got the ball once. and lost it, he just wasnt in the game. he was just shut ouy by mascherano. mendes and muntari, well they were up agaisnt gerrard. bit dissapointed with diop, he constantly gave the ball away, and didnt look his demmanding self. like is said, lauren played very well, and i would like to see him occupy the right wing postion, even though he wasnt great last year, but he really was a tidy player yesterday.
23/12/2007 08:52:00
stillthewhizz, i still feel nuge has alot to offer, if 'arry wants him he should give the fella a chance if he doesnt then he should come out and tell us why... i see what you are saying with your argument but - and im not trying to get on the fellas back but 2 months of next to nothing i think warrant some questions being asked now! - can we not argue something about utaka? weve basically carried him for a couple of months now, almost playing with 9 outfield players, now that to me shows something is very wrong with the way 'arry is selecting some of his players, he has been given more than enough chances so has his selection not been a mistake several times? would it have been any worse to have played nuge...
23/12/2007 11:37:00
I'm starting to feel the Africans have got one eye on the ANC, Utakas performances have got cooler along with the weather, he is undoubtedly a quality performer on his day, but until the cup has run its course and the daisys start popping up I feel thats it from him for now.
23/12/2007 12:42:00
We have been constantly told about the great Pompey team spirit that exists. What has caused its disappearance. How long was Cambell's new contract?.
23/12/2007 14:00:00
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