Liverpool were dumped out of the FA Cup in pretty pathetic style as they were beaten 3-2 at Anfield by relegation threatened West Bromwich Albion. It was another indicator, if the loss against Swansea (which I luckily didn’t have to report on due to site maintenance) wasn’t enough, that this team is nowhere near capable of achieving what we want to achieve this season.
The game started about as well as it could with Liverpool grabbing the opening goal in only the 5th minute. Mohamed Salah had been through on goal and shot straight at West Brom keeper Ben Foster before the ball rebounded back to the waiting feet of Roberto Firmino who confidently lifted the ball over the keeper to make it 1-0 to the Reds. This was exactly the start we had hoped for after the hugely disappointing loss against the league’s bottom side on Monday.
Then it wasn’t.
Not two minutes after Firmino’s goal the opposition were down our end of the pitch and Jay Rodriguez was thumping the ball into the back of the net to level the scores. It was a sucker punch.
A sucker punch that would eventually lead to West Brom going 2-1 up only 4 minutes later as Emre Can didn’t do enough to stop the ball going out wide where Trent Alexander-Arnold didn’t cover the cross which lead to Rodriguez somehow ending up with a free tap in. It was woeful defending all round and thoroughly demoralising for every single Liverpool fan watching it. Things hadn’t changed. The same mistakes and bad defending was happening even with £75m Virgil Van Dijk in at centre back.
Things could have been even worse for Jurgen Klopp’s men as referee Craig Pawson ruled out a Craig Dawson (lol) goal for offside after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) showed that Gareth Barry was in an offside position and was interfering with play by obstructing goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. It was a let off that’s for sure.
VAR also took centre stage a short time later as Salah was pulled down as a cross was put into the opposition’s box and, after a very lengthy delay, a penalty was awarded. Firmino stepped up and, after 3 minutes of waiting, promptly hit the crossbar meaning the entire situation was for nothing. That was the moment we could have gotten the upper hand as it would have brought the scores back to level terms. As it was it just got worse.
West Brom eventually got their deserved third goal as Craig Dawson was left completely unmarked in the left back area of the pitch and he was able to drill the ball across the box where it was bundled in by the hapless Joel Matip. Where was our left back for the day Alberto Moreno you ask? Oh he was just chilling in the centre mid position, nowhere near where he was meant to be. 3-1 down at half time to the second bottom team in the league. Sound.
The second half started just as badly and continued in thoroughly uninspiring form. Talking of uninspiring. Three subs were made in the second half by Klopp. Three subs at the same time to try and salvage something from this mess. Those three subs? Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Danny Ings. Those were the only options we had. I mean we played better when they came on and Salah managed to get a goal to bring as a semblance of hope but I think we could have brought some people on from the crowd and we’d be playing better than we had been before.
The simple fact is that our squad is nowhere near strong enough to challenge for anything and if the Liverpool hierarchy (including Jurgen) think it is then we have serious issues. Reinforcements are needed with the £142m we got for that guy we sold but they are almost certainly not going to be bought in this window. Maybe the penny will drop at some point but it will be too late and we’ll have to deal with the players we have for the last months of the season…joyous times.