Another trip to Anfield, another insipid performance, another defeat and once again, Liverpool's title hopes inflate beyond logical belief. One win and they believe they can challenge for the title. 97 minutes in which they played decent football against a team that was ill-equipped to deal with the form, fitness and physical strength they play with. Undoubtedly, the ref made some strange, and downright wrong decisions. Carrick was unfortunate not to get at least a free kick, if not a penalty, when Carragher brought him down on the edge of the area. In the lead-up to Torres' well taken opener, Scholes was no doubt fouled on the half way line, and Edwin van der Sar's propensity to sink to his knees instead of diving for the ball is disheartening.
More worrying, is the selection of Scholes and Carrick in the heart of midfield. Sir Alex got the selection completely wrong. Scholes and Carrick are both great passers, need time and space in the centre of midfield to find people all across the park, neither are good great under pressure, but operate efficiently when they have a partner doing the ugly work, of pressurizing the opposition and regaining possession, beside them. There in lies the problem of not having a defensive minded, pressure absorbing midfielder who can match the strength and pressure of the opposition, and give back more than he can get, while playing within the spirit of the game.
Darren fletcher was once again noticeable by his absence, Hargreaves is still missed, although we hope for not too much longer, Gibson doesn't seem to be getting a chance to impress, although i do suspect that away at Anfield would've been a bit harsh on the young man. Why Anderson was overlooked is beyond me, Sir Alex's tinkering didn't work this time, and until we can get all our players in a modicum of form, tinkering is really only disruptive.