London Saints

Liverpool Away Lost 4 – 0

The trip to Liverpool started badly even before the blizzards of Storm Arwen made for a challenging journey north: The Echo reported on Friday that McCarthy would keep his place in goal, despite Anfield being a ground where Forster has performed with distinction. To be fair, Shilton, Flowers and Niemi combined couldn’t have done much to prevent a one-sided half time score that left the game over as a contest. Saints lined up with three forwards and forced an early save, but we also had three centre backs, none of whom seemed able to stop Jota’s break from the resultant corner; eventually the ball ended up with Mané and Robertson, who crossed back for Jota to score with ease. The Reds soon had the ball in the net again, but Mané’s header was deemed offside, then Jota put them further ahead, legitimately this time, and again easily. No chance for the goalkeeper once more, nor when Thiago Alcântara fired a third after just 37 minutes, although plenty were at fault for giving the ball away cheaply. In fact there were problems all over the place in the back line of what has been daringly described as a 3-4-3 formation but was really five at the back, Peraud and Livramento clearly having primarily defensive roles – something that doesn’t suit Livramento who was totally at sea and lucky to survive the half time changes. Instead, off went Bednarek and Adams and on came Redmond (to help out Livramento) and Tella (who proved to be well out of his depth against this opposition). The flow of goals was stemmed, although a less intense Liverpool approach was more the cause than Ralph’s tactical genius. McCarthy helped by making a good save to concede a corner, but his effort to stop Van Dijk adding number four from the kick was as poor as the marking that had allowed VVD to get in the shot unchallenged. Adam Armstrong was overlooked in the half time cull despite missing a possible goal, and he was to spurn our best opportunity to reduce the deficit when Alisson Becker eventually saved at the end of Armstrong’s double chance; overall a hat trick of decent stops by Alisson, but we don’t have that sort of class in goal – or anywhere else for that matter. 

LSSC Man of the Match: James Ward-Prowse. With this sort of formation, a lot rests on Ward-Prowse and Romeu, who between them could easily share out the MotMs until the end of the season (or until Ralph can come up with something better). 

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