Tommy Smith: Fiorentina defeat was a wake up call

By Tommy Smith on Sep 30, 09 09:28 AM in Columnists

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SO it's back down to earth with a very big bump for Liverpool. We were well beaten by Fiorentina and can have no complaints. They were better than us in every department in that first half.

We struggled to put any sort of possession together or mount a meaningful attack, while Fiorentina looked hungrier and sharper in the tackle and with their movement. It was hugely disappointing.

For me, we lost the battle in central midfield from first whistle. By the time we regained some control, they were 2-0 up, and doing what all Italian sides do when in front.

Defending.

Perhaps there was an element of complacency in the air after the big win over Hull. But we looked nothing like ourselves in that first 45 minutes, whatever the reason for it.

I don't wish to single out individuals on a night when nobody had a really good game. But with Lucas and Aurelio paired together in midfield, we just did not look solid enough.

It was also a night for me when we really missed Xabi Alonso's experience at European level. Add in Javier Mascherano's injury, which deprived us of a real tigerish midifielder with top international experience, and we looked vulnerable down the middle.

Thankfully this defeat isn't fatal but we'll have to buck our ideas up. The sooner we can get not only Mascherano back in, but also £20m new boy Alberto Aquilani too, the better now.

If there are any silver linings to a night of disappointment then it is that nobody should be taking anything for granted against Chelsea on Sunday.

It's a massive game at Stamford Bridge and one we can win. So if this serves as a bit of a jolt, then maybe it's ok.

But we cannot afford a repeat of the lethargy on show in the first half in Italy last night.

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