In front of a loud pro-Liverpool crowd, Liverpool fell 2-1 to Roma at Boston’s Fenway Park last night. Liverpool were second best on the night as the team is having trouble adjusting to Brendan Rodgers passing philosophy.
Rodgers’ game plan is based around his team holding on to possession and they simply weren’t good enough at doing it against Roma. Time and time again it was carelessly tossed away and they were punished.
While I am sure that Rodgers will point to the fact that he has had only a handful of genuine first team players at his disposal on tour and that most of those involved last night won’t be anywhere near West Brom when the Premier League campaign starts on August 18.
But that ignores the fact that in a week Liverpool has a Europa League match and most of those who played last night against Roma will be expected to play in the first leg at least. And that is a little worrying.
Roma had the better of the early going and created the game’s first real opening as Panagiotis Tachtsidis shot straight at Peter Gulacsi.
The Reds quickly grew into the contest and came close to taking the lead when Sterling was denied from close range by Romanian keeper Bogdan Lobont. Liverpool was soon back on the defensive however, as Gulacsi had to be called into action to turn an Osvaldo effort round the post after a fine break from the Italians.
Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey was at the center of the majority of Liverpool’s attacks in the first half, and the 20-year-old almost netted a spectacular solo goal as he beat several Roma defenders before his shot was tipped away by Lobont, Eccleston followed up but his strike flew high and wide.
Liverpool continued in the ascendancy and fashioned the best chance of the opening period as Alberto Aquilani’s through ball over the top found Joe Cole, the former Chelsea man showed great awareness to try and chip the ball over Lobont from long range but his effort bounced off the top of the crossbar.
Despite a high number of substitutions during the halftime interval the game continued to be played at a surprisingly fast tempo, and the deadlock was nearly broken three minutes after the break when substitute keeper Brad Jones produced a fine save with his feet to deny Tachtsidis from outside the box.
14 minutes later, the Serie A side did take the lead as American international Michael Bradley turned smartly inside the box before firing a low shot past Jones and into the bottom corner.
Roma’s advantage was quickly doubled as a fine move was finished off by Alessandro Florenzi, who rolled the ball into an empty net after latching onto a flick from Erik Lamela.
The Serie A outfit appeared to be cruising to victory, but 10 minutes from time Liverpool gained a foothold in the contest as Adam fired in from the edge of the box after collecting a pass from Daniel Pacheco.
That goal proved to be little more than a consolation however as the Reds were unable to mount any kind of an incisive attack in the closing stages, sending Liverpool to their first defeat of the preseason.
image source: empireofthekop.com