Sunday, December 23, 2007

Liverpool 4-1 Portsmouth

Liverpool romped away with this one in a game that a brief second half rally apart, was all over within the first fifteen minutes.

Liverpool, looking to get their Premier League form back on track, were straight out the traps, intent on killing the game off early doors and that is what they achieved. Benayoun volleyed home after a pinpoint cross from Harry Kewell after Portsmouth had again struggled to cope with Fernando Torres. Worse was to come a few minutes later when Distin got in the way of Sol Campbell's tackle on Torres and the ball cannoned off his shin into the net. Liverpool at this stage were all over Portsmouth with Kewell and Torres particularly dangerous. Portsmouth simply couldn't cope with Kewell's passing and Torres pace and invention. Harry Redknapp was scathing afterwards of his teams defending, however it has to be said Liverpool were playing some superb football and the best in the Europe would struggle with Torres in this form.

In the second half Portsmouth rallied briefly. Substitute Kanu showed a moment of brilliance with a superb pass to Benjani who turned inside the defender to shoot home with his right foot. However ten minutes later a Mascherano pass into the box had James and Distin all over the place and Torres stepped in to drill the ball right-footed into the corner. It really was game over now. Torres than added a fourth volleying home from a great Steven Gerrard flick.

Overall it was a good, verging on a great Liverpool performance. The feeling persists however that they are solidly a top three or four team, but not potential Premier League winners. Their last two home games really tell the tale. Manchester United relatively comfortably holding off the same team that blew away Portsmouth. They simply don't have quite enough to take points off the top teams, which is really the missing link in their Premier League quest.

Rafael Benitez will be feeling a happier man this morning but know the rumblings around Anfield mean he will be under pressure for a while yet. Jurgen Klinsmann seems to be lurking as an ever increasing shadow over Benitez and his comments about knee-jerk sackings appear to show he knows it.


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