Mixed Emotions on Wearside

By Faith Fulcher on Sep 16, 12 02:24 PM in Fans

Yesterday's game marked the end of what had been a momentous week for Liverpool Football Club and for those who had campaigned for the truth around the Hillsborough Disaster.  A week which I have yet to write about, because there is so much yet to read and understand as well as the fact that I am still struggling with my own feelings of shock, anger and elation.


Throughout the game of course, once the truth was known, the response has been fantastic.  Clubs and their respective supporters have paid their own tributes to the 96 in many different ways, but to hear You'll Never Walk Alone being played in all the different stadiums, pulls at the heart strings and on behalf of most of you, I can only say thank you.


Sunderland Football Club, whose supporters had formed their own groups to help in the fight for justice, had all their stadium flags at half-mast and a message in support of the 96 was put onto their screens at the Stadium of Light before and during the game, so again I thank them for that.

The Liverpool team entered the stadium with 96 printed onto the back of their tracksuits which was a very fitting tribute.

 The game itself of course was expected to be highly charged and full of emotion due the events of the week, but once the teams arrived on the pitch, it began with a whimper.  It was of course also the first game for Liverpool after the international break and players such as Luis Suarez did not arrive back at Melwood until Thursday so did not have the benefit of a day's rest or indeed the training that was required before the game.

The question of course, was would this impact on the game and I suspect that we all have our differing views about this, but my own feeling is that yes it did.

 In the opening minutes it looked as though Liverpool would have the upper hand, when JonJo Shelvey picked up a wonderful move only to see his shot go wide.   There were also shots from Fabio Borini, that unfortunately amounted to nothing and it looked as though on a day, when Liverpool wanted to pay their own tribute to the 96, luck had deserted them once more.

So much so, that against the run of play, Steven Fletcher scored for Sunderland from close range. With Sunderland now in the lead, it seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Liverpool players and their lack of confidence on the pitch suddenly became very worrying.  The players and I am including Stevie G in this simply did not seem to know what to do.

The half was also compounded by the fact that Luis Suarez sent looking for a penalty and got himself booked by Martin Atkinson for diving.  Whether the card was correct or not will go down in football folklore as one of those 'hit or miss' mistakes as the replays on television later showed that perhaps there has been contact with the Sunderland player.

But Liverpool went into the dressing room at half time a goal down and that horrible feeling of deja vu was beginning to surface once again.  It certainly began to feel as though the season was going to be another one of those where we would struggle to reach the top four.  Being without a top class striker of course does not help and with no free agents coming in, it appears that we are going to struggle until the January window opens.

Now you could see Brendan Rodgers throughout the first half becoming very animated on the touchline and I have no idea what he said during the half time break but from the moment the second half kicked off, Liverpool were the better team.

They began to run rings around Sunderland so much so that it was just a pity none of the balls found the back of the net.  Glen Johnson and Stevie G both hit the post, which unfortunately has become part and parcel of Liverpool's game over the last twelve months. 

Raheem Sterling was again the most impressive player on the pitch.  His movement and his reading of the game is improving week in and week and I am sure that as the season progresses, he will find himself on the score sheet.   It was Raheem of course, having made one of what is now becoming his trademark runs, who fed the ball to Luis Suarez.  A ball, that eventually found the back of the net. 

Liverpool were now level with Sunderland and with twenty minutes left controlled the game, but the elusive winner did not arrive and the game finished with the score at 1-1.

One thing the game did prove was that Liverpool is still a work in progress under new boss, Brendan Rodgers and although the start to the season has not been as good as we hoped that it would, we the supporters have to patient.  There is no point in calling for Brendan's head because to be honest, due to our lack of action in transfer market, he is having to use the players he has and I suspect will also incorporate a few of the youngsters into the squad over the coming weeks.

Whether this will impact on our final standing in the league is too early to say, but and I may of course be wrong here, I simply cannot see us being any higher than sixth position.












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