Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Rodgers must Address Reds' Defensive Mistakes

Liverpool boss, Brendan Rodgers, was unhappy with his side's defending in their 3-2 home defeat to Udinese in the Europa League - and for good reason.

It has been a theme of the Reds season so far that they have given away sloppy goals, and it was the case again on Thursday as first a slip from Glen Johnson helped the Italian side equalise at the start of the second half at Anfield, before Sebastian Coates scored an own goal to give the visitors the lead.

Liverpool could do little about the third goal but suddenly, after another impressive first half, Rodgers' side found themselves behind after the break in a game that sport betting pundits thought they should havesewn up in the first 45 minutes.

The Northern Irishman continues to watch as his side's defending lets them down, and did not mince his words after the 3-2 defeat, saying "We are conceding too many goals", before even labelling some of the play in their own half "lazy".

Despite a mixed start to his tenure, which has seen plenty of positives with the emergence of talented youngsters - Raheem Sterling, Suso, and Andre Wisom among them - Liverpool have now suffered three back-to-back defeats at Anfield in all competitions, and things clearly need to improve overall.

Going forward, there are plenty of good signs that Rodgers' passing and pressing philosophy will bear fruit, as the impressive 5-2 victory at Norwich last weekend hinted at but, even in that game, they conceded two poor goals from a defensive point of view.

There was much made about the Reds' tricky start to the season and it is true they should have more points on the board than five, with their performances in the six league games to date deserving of more.

When they have the ball, Liverpool look assured, bright, and inventive, with Joe Allen and Steven Gerrard pulling the strings, and Luis Suarez already on five goals for the season; it's when they have to defend that problems emerge, and Rodgers knows, so far, in that respect, they have fallen way below the standards expected.

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