Under-strength Liverpool overcome below-par Bucharest
Written by Shaun Wares.
An under-strength Liverpool side, with the notable exception of Torres and Gerrard, faced a potential banana-skin in the form of Romanian outfit, Steaua Bucharest. An expectant Kop crowd anxiously awaited a strong Liverpool performance.
They didn’t have to wait long. An electrifying start from the reds saw Joe Cole, fast becoming a fans’ favourite, powerfully drove through the heart of the Steaua defence to slot home a well taken goal after just 27 seconds. A Bucharest defence caught napping early on stepped up their efforts as the Reds struggled to make an impact in the early stages and capitalise on their fine start. Steaua fans did not have to wait long for an equaliser, Kyrgiakos caught unaware in defence as Tanase levelled with a handsome chip.
Liverpool lost momentum following the equalising goal, Hodgson visibly frustrated as any meaningful threat from his side came from long distance if at all. Steaua might have considered themselves lucky to go in level at half time, Liverpool perhaps feeling the same.
Steaua provided very little threat for the remainder of the game, Liverpool capitalising with three well taken goals. Lucas, a second half sub, scored with a Gerard-esque effort from 22 yards, staking his claim for a starting place at the weekend. David Ngog continued his fine Europa League goal-scoring form with a clinically taken brace. A morale boosting performance from a second string Liverpool team will give the Kop plenty of reason to be optimistic about getting a result against Manchester United at Old Trafford this weekend.
However, with the loss of Mascherano in the summer, and worries over the fitness and form of Torres will leave Hodgson scratching his head. A reconstruction of the squad and mentality of the team is sorely needed to return the team to its glory days.
A decent Europa run and relative domestic success will be enough to secure his position for another season, but results are needed fast, and a seven point deficit between Liverpool and league leaders Chelsea will already have many fans and critics doubting. Myself included. Is Hodgson the man to engineer a Red Revolution? I doubt that very much.
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