match: it was okaaaay considering this is the first match of the season. the first half was much better than the second. but ‘pool being ‘pool, they did not kill off the game when the door was wide open for them to. again, chances were left begging and it was inevitable that villa will squeeze one in albeit via the penalty kick. in the second half, possession was regularly lost in midfield, the attackers seem wayward in the shooting and defenders were left scrambling for the ball. it’s a blessing that gerard scored, but how many times does ‘pool have to depend on him?
players: of all the lot, riise, alonso and sissoko were utterly disappointing. riise seems to be the weakest link in my opinion. he’s very one dimensional and tends to run one on one without much direction and purpose. the only salvage he has is his powerful left foot, but how it was being utilised was much disappointed. alonso meanwhile was slow and keeps loosing possession. in the second half, he lost his positioning and the distribution was bad. sissoko being the sickoko, looks subdued and cannot keep possession of the ball. especially in the later stages of the game when his defensive duties are mostly anticipated of but disappoints by giving the ball away far too cheaply.
of the players that caught the eye, ryan babel it is. he’s strong, quick and has a footballing brain. it’s a surprise that he did not start the game and must or should start the next one with riise going to the bench. torres was unlucky but he’ll (hopefully) get there. too many shots but only 2 on target.
funny quip: heard from the presenter “that’s why defenders hate attackers because they’re very sneaky…”. d’oh!
match rate: 6.5/10