Liverpool's New Star Shines Brightly
That shining star of course is young Raheem Sterling, who at 17 years of age scored a wonderful goal for Liverpool during this afternoon's game against Reading.
Reading of course were previously managed by Brendan Rodgers and replaced by their current manager, Brian McDermott, who saw his team promoted at the end of last season. That promotion at this point in time appears to have already run into trouble as they languishing in the bottom of the Premiership table. A table which, until this afternoon also showed that Liverpool are sitting in the fourteenth position. Liverpool are looking for their first win at Anfield since April and with a serious lack of strikers in the squad, it was anyone's guess as to where the goals would come from.
Now I know we have Luis Suarez but he is not a miracle worker which means that if any of the other players can score, then so be it. Today was one of those days when he needed help because for all the effort he put in, none of his shots found their way into the back of the net? Why this is only he can answer, but I put a lot of it down to him trying too hard due to his frustration. There was also the added exhaustion due to having to travel half way around the world to play for Uruguay. This meant that due to the journey back he did not have the recommended recovery time before the next game.
That aside, the match started with Reading appearing to be in control for the last ten minutes and it looked as though Liverpool were going to have yet another nightmare. This sometimes happens of course but once a team settles down, things can be turned around and today they were.
Suddenly the passing of the ball from the Liverpool players became the same passing that we witnessed since the beginning of the season. Reading seemed to have the stuffing knocked out of them and with their defence opening up Sahin and Luis Suarez both had shots at the goal. It was at this point it seemed that our lack of hitting the target was about appear once again. Sahin dipped a shot towards the goal and missed with Luis Suarez trying the same several moments later, although his shot went straight over the bar.
Raheem also tried to score from twenty yards out but at this point did not worry the goalkeeper. But with some fantastic play from the young man, as the clock facing the Kop showed that twenty nine minutes had gone, he showed what a fantastic player he is. Luis Suarez sent a ball through the Reading defence, which Raheem having timed his run correctly, picked up and sent it flying into the back of the net.
The sound coming from around the ground was fantastic and the lad deserves all the plaudits that he will get over the coming days. It also asks the question - have we seen a new partnership in the making between him and Luis Suarez. They picked up each other's moves extremely well today and on another occasion the goal tally could perhaps have been much higher.
Suarez himself as I have said was having one of those afternoons and sent a shot towards the goal - a shot that found the hoardings. He also had his fair share of run ins with the opposing team and referee Roger East. Roger East is one of those referees who have been promoted this season from the lower divisions and I guess he wanted to make a good impression. So much so, that Suarez having been brought down was rewarded with a free kick. Because of what has happened recently, with the noise that followed reverberating around Anfield, you would have thought that a wonder goal had been scored. Nothing came of the free kick unfortunately and the match continued with Liverpool still searching for that second goal. Luis Suarez was the man leading this search and found himself yet again the victim of a wrong decision by the referee and his linesman. No free kick was given and the first half finished moments later.
Suarez left the pitch with Dr Zaf close behind him, which led to everyone wondering if he would return to the pitch for the second half. He did although it was several minutes after the rest of the team and then proceeded to run of his dead leg. Meanwhile Raheem and Glen Johnson gave the Reading goalkeeper a fright by both coming close to scoring. Luis Suarez, having recovered from his knock, sent a ball towards the goal, but could not get past McCarthy.
It was shortly after this that Liverpool appeared to fall asleep. Our defence began to look rather rocky and Reading seized their first chance of the game. McCleary found a way past young Andre Wisdom but Brad Jones was on hand to make a wonderful save. Seconds later he had to do the same, again this time skimming the floor to ensure that the ball was stopped.
Whether this served as wakeup call is anyone's guess but suddenly Liverpool became the dominant team in the game once again. This time it was Raheem who passed to Luis Suarez but the shot missed the goalmouth once again. Martin Skrtel and JonJo who had come on to replace Suso aslo had shots at the goal but, it was not to be and the match finished with Liverpool getting their first home win by the small margin of one goal.
At the beginning, I said that Raheem was our shining star today, but there is someone else who I feel also deserves that honour. That is of course Brad Jones, who deputized for the injured Pepe Reina and had a fantastic game and to be honest at this point in time, I would play him rather than Pepe. Why because Pepe's form has dipped and watching Brad for a couple of weeks, may well be the wakeup call that he needs.