Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool played out a frustrating 0-0 draw with Sunderland at Anfield yesterday. The Reds failed to capitalize on the failings of their rivals, as they dropped two valuable points at home.
Liverpool had the chance to go level on points with Arsenal, who were beaten away from home, by an inspired Stoke City. However, a poor showing in front of goal meant that the Reds had to settle for just one point. The visitors showed discipline and organisation throughout the game as the home side failed to break them down time and again, despite having the lion’s share of possession.
The two sides played out a frustrating draw at Anfield and demonstrated a worrying lack of creativity throughout the game. Despite the likes of Coutinho, Lallana and Sterling being on the pitch, the home side never really managed to create a clear cut opportunity.
Despite spending around 50 million pounds on attacking midfielders like Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic, Liverpool have struggled as a creative unit. Disjointed attacks, improper link up plays and lack of incisive passing in the final third have been a key feature of Liverpool’s game this season.
Most of this has been down to the absence of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, both of whom excelled in their link up plays in the final third and world class movement to create space for the midfielders.
Sunderland highlighted Liverpool’s failure to replace, not only their top scorer, but also their most creative player apart from Steven Gerrard, despite spending more than a hundred million.
In the absence of the duo, Liverpool have missed an intelligent, mobile forward who can run in behind the defence, work the channels and bring others into the game. The likes of Coutinho, who displayed excellent passing and reading of attacks last season, has run out of options going forward, due to the static nature of Liverpool’s current forwards, Balotelli and Lambert.
Also the likes of Lucas and Henderson offered no threat going forward, making it easy for Sunderland to keep their shape and stick to their plan without being overloaded and pressed into mistakes. It was only when Steven Gerrard came on, Liverpool looked to create from the deep and forced the Black cats into mistakes and induced a bit of panic, in an otherwise comfortable Sunderland defence yesterday.
While a defensive midfielder remains top priority for the Reds in the transfer window, the team has been severely lacking in goals & creativity as well and Brendan Rodgers needs to address that area of his team, in order for his side to make top four.
Catch the highlights of the game here –