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ricardo

Ricardo's report v Liverpool

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The mild weather returned just in time to postpone the appearance of the the thermals pants for a further week. AN rung a raft of changes and signaled a very positive line up with the inclusion of Naismith, Redmond, Dorrans and new fullback, Pinto as City kicked off towards the River End.It was a lively and competitive start from both teams with City just edging it possession wise although twice from good positions the final ball failed to pick out a yellow shirt. There was little of danger from Liverpool until the 18th minute when City''s soft centre was cruelly exposed as Milner''s pass left Firmino in the clear to tuck the ball past Rudd for an undeserved lead. They almost made it two moments later when the centre of defence opened up but fortunately Brady got a vital touch to save the day.City still looked lively and some good passing movements involving Naismith, Redmond and Hoolahan gave every reason for optimism and as we approached the half hour a free kick from the left was smuggled clear for a corner. The Liverpool defence failed to clear the danger and when the ball was headed back into the mix Mbokani was there to cleverly backheel the ball passed a bemused Mignolet.City were now back in the ascendancy and with the crowd onside they picked the Liverpool defence apart with some deft quick passing. Another attack down the right saw Wes slip Naismith in on the angle and the little scot made no mistake with a hard low shot across the keeper and into the far corner.At the half I think we were all happy with the way things were going and the talk around me was that the points were there for the taking. Within five minutes of the restart that should indeed have been the case as City earned a penalty when Naismith was brought down. Even then it took two bites at the City forward before Lee Mason pointed to the spot. Wes calmly put City two clear and it should just have been a matter of being careful and seeing out the game. Unfortunately this is Carrow Road and the easy way has seldom been our style. Within a minute the ball was in the City net as Liverpool surged down the right and Henderson converted easily without a defender in sight.Liverpool now assumed the ascendancy as City started to look edgy and ten minutes later a City attack broke down and Liverpool swept forward down the left. Bassong was drawn out of the middle and Firmino was left totally unmarked when the cross came in and he skilfully jinked the ball over the advancing Declan Rudd to draw the scores level. Olsson and Jarvis came on for Redders and Wes but the writing was already on the wall and when Martin, not for the first time, needlessly angled a weak back pass that left Rudd totally exposed, that sinking feeling became reality as Milner made no mistake and  accepted the gift. If we continue to play like this we will almost certainly be relegated.From then the game seemed done and dusted as City failed to make much impact but suddenly as the game entered injury time it was as if the ghost of Justin Fashanu appeared and a free kick from the right was lashed home by Bassong from 20 yards. Those who will recall that long ago game will remember that it didn''t end there and might son''s words of "this isn''t over yet" proved cruelly prophetic. City failed to clear a Liverpool cross properly and Lallana stubbed a shot into the ground that spun wickedly over everyone and into the far corner.You couldn''t make it up. Somehow City had snatched an unlikely defeat from the jaws of an unlikely victory. The truth is that they chucked this game away with ludicrous defending. We all knew it was our Achilles heel and the annoying thing is the length of time taken to address the problem. Teams that concede the most goals are invariably relegated. Look at the table tonight and you will see where this season is going.It isn''t often that I feel truly gutted when coming out of CR, but today was certainly one of them. Mbokani my MOM but to be honest I''m far too depressed to take it any further.[:@]

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Thanks Ricardo.
Hopefully Klose will be up to match fitness for the remaining games.  Pinto looked a bit cavalier to me and also needs to settle.
If we don''t fix the soft centre then yes, we are going to be staring at 18th or worse.  I think it will be fixed.

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[quote user="Fuzzar"]Thanks. I feel we could do with a second new centre back if we''re going to survive.[/quote]The absence of Tetty made a big difference IMO.

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Spot on report, and yet after all that and today''s results we are somehow still out of the bottom 3 until tomorrow at least!

Think Naismith could be a good leader on the pitch.....will need that in the run in.

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My wife is training to be a psychotherapist, but she cannot treat people she knows, unfortunately, as I need therapy after what I have just witnessed.

Did Alex tell them not to bother with defending today, and to just score more goals than Liverpool?

The positives? Well Big Dave and Naismith looked like they had been playing together for months. So that should be a singular "positive".

Can''t think of another one.

Pinto looked like one of my old tractors - faster going forwards than backwards.

When the team was announced i said that we were lightweight - unfortunately i was right.

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It''s becoming pretty apparent that Neil likes to set up his teams to attack; defending is not a priority. Hence playing Brady at LB & buying Pinto, a RB better at attacking than defending.

Unfortunately when you''re on a limited budget you need a Sam Allardyce/Tony Pullis type manager in order to survive.

Some of our touches were wonderful in the first half, & the energy & intent was too much for Liverpool. It was a joy to watch.

But we simply have to have a better organised defence. With Tettey & (hopefully) Klose in the side things may be better.

Glorious & heartbreaking to watch! We''re not finished yet. But it''s going to be a, yet another, heart attack season!!

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I just can''t see how we can survive. I usually am quite upbeat about our chances but looking at the remaining fixtures I can''t see where the required wins will come from.

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[quote user="hurricane"]Think Naismith could be a good leader on the pitch.....will need that in the run in.[/quote]The "run in" has already started and we''ve already wasted 2 games without Pinto & 1 game without Klose.

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Thanks Ricardo - it worries me to hear you so downbeat.There were some positives going forwards especially but I think a lot will depend upon Klose being as good as we are obviously hoping. I don''t think that would have let in five if Tettey had been fit though. The two of them could make the centre of defence look much stronger.

I know that he attracted a lot of positives, but Pinto worried me a bit defensively and you could suggest that he could have done more for two of the goals - seemed to me to be in the wrong place. Having Wisdom at right back as well might strengthen us defensively and with the better options we have going forwards with Naismith, I remain confident.

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I''m a pretty positive chap and am certainly a positive poster, but I''m afraid there is something seriously wrong when we concede the number of goals that we do, blaming Russ, believing Klosse will somehow put it all right is not realistic.

It''s a structural problem within the team and a mental frailty within the squad, I''m worried after today.

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Well, that was an emotional roller coaster....and I was only listening on the radio!  Goodness knows what it must have been like at the match.  Thanks for the report Ricardo, at 4-4 it would have been a fitting result for such a match,  that last goal was just too much! 

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A fitting result would have been a City win , Liverpool were utter cack untill Russ decided to give them a hand , 3 very big points just handed away .

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Ricardo brings a sobering reality once again with a good report .

This must be one of the few threads not to degenerate into the usual slanging match .

I think most of us felt like we had won again when Bassong scored , lalana scoring was just too much to take . I can''t even write what I feel , even this morning 😣

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Good report Ricardo and echoes my feelings, we needed more bite/muscle in midfield. Turning to the Klose question, I do not buy the fitness arguement one bit, the guy is a professional athlete, it is madness to leave a specialist CB on the bench. Naismith has not played for a while, signed after Klose but was picked and played like he has known Mbokani for weeks, yet we went with a player who is not a Premiership quality CB, madness I tell you, absolute madness.......

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[quote user="ron obvious"]It''s becoming pretty apparent that Neil likes to set up his teams to attack; defending is not a priority. Hence playing Brady at LB & buying Pinto, a RB better at attacking than defending.[/quote]I think this is the way AN is approaching things. I''ve been scratching my head in several games as to why we''ve not been a lot tighter and looked to play on the break, where you''re less likely to get punished for losing the ball.We''re almost doing the opposite, ie we''re the ones getting sucked in and hit on the counter after giving the ball away cheaply. If you''re bad at possession, then an offensive strategy can at times prove to be suicidal.

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I''ve slept on it and can''t really say I feel any better about it. I''ve read all the excuses and tried to find a positive but I still feel like a giant hand has reached inside me and pulled my guts out.

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[quote user="ricardo"]I''ve slept on it and can''t really say I feel any better about it. I''ve read all the excuses and tried to find a positive but I still feel like a giant hand has reached inside me and pulled my guts out.[/quote]

Feel exactly the same Ricardo. I was at the game, the feeling of utter dejection at the end was palpable. A friend of mine brought his young daughter and she was in tear''s, I was doing well not to shed a few myself if im honest. I pray the players can somehow pick themselves back up and go again, but its going to be a tough ask.

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