Sunday, January 13, 2008

Premier League Results: Middlesbrough 1-1 Liverpool

Talk of title laughable as Torres keeps Liverpool in the top four
Liverpool's Premier League title hopes in all reality vanished about five games ago, but any lingering hopes were surely extinguished in this lacklustre draw. Yet again a moment of individual brilliance from Fernando Torres got Liverpool something from this game, his spectacular 70th minute drive rescuing a point for the Merseysiders.

Liverpool really are now playing like a team who knows it's manager has no future. The constant speculation, which has never really been dispelled by those at the top at Anfield, is undermining Rafael Benitez's reign. Death of a thousand cuts or dead man walking? Either way the season is unravelling and quick for Liverpool - if they don't start winning soon, the top four will become a struggle, let alone anything else.

For the first 70 minutes of this game and in the first half especially, Liverpool were outfought and simply didn't create anything. Benayoun, Voronin, Torres and Gerrard were all anonymous. It was only after Torres's goal that Liverpool came to life, and by the end Middlesbrough were hanging on. Liverpool fans can only wonder why it took so long for them to attack with urgency against a side they could clearly beat.

Clearly performances like this are simply not good enough to keep Rafa in his job and he knows it.


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