With Brendan Rodgers returning to Liberty Stadium with his Liverpool side, it was bound to be a fierce encounter – sadly, this one never lived up to the hype. Both sides enjoyed almost an equal share of possession, but none looked to take the game to the opposition. Defences on both ends were left untested for long spells, chances that were flowing for both the sides at regular interval were never given the deserved final touches and it was rather fitting that the game ended at 0-0. It was only the substitution and the countdown to the final whistle that created few chances for the Reds in the closing stages, yet the limited striking options were always going to find it difficult to find the back of the net.
What Michel Vorm has brought to this Swansea side in this past one and a half year in the Premier League is bags of inspiration with his ability to turn down the best of attempts from the opposition striker. So it was always going to be difficult for his German deputy, Tremmel to live up to those high standards. Yet Laudrup could not have any complaints from whatever he has seen of the former Salzburg goalie, who looked in fine form tonight. His saves, particularly in the opening phase were crucial in keeping the home side in the game. And for as many points Vorm may have earned in front of goal during his spell for the Swans, Tremmel should certainly be proud of making a significant impact in the few chances that have come his way this season.
This was always going to be one of the stories of the game, with both the managers emphasizing on creating opportunities on the wings. But both the sides struggled to manage enough finesse inside the box. Schechter and Sung-Yueng were never a part of the game as they wandered across the park without posing any threat to the Liverpool defence. Liverpool on the other hand, had Enrique and Sterling doing all the running on the flanks but none of the central players ever made much out of the numerous chances served inside the penalty-area. With games like these becoming a recurring theme for both the sides, Laudrup and Rodgers would certainly look for potential goal-getters in the market, come this January.
If lack of attacking fluency could dishearten the Danish manager, there was also a reason to feel optimistic about the future as the Swans looked pretty assured in defense for most of the game. Laudrup knew that Liverpool will be a tough assignment, but the way Chico and Ashley Williams took control of the situation must have been delightful to watch for the fans. While the centre backs looked determined in intercepting the ball, the wing backs were quick to track back and be available whenever the Reds looked to dominate on the wings. With the defence being criticized for their recent run of mediocre results, Laudrup can take a lot of positives out of today’s game.
One couldn’t blame a lot on the tactical front as Rodgers is seen doing everything possible to get all the three points. Probably the board and even the fans now understand that with the current squad strength, Rodgers is doing the best he can to thrive in two competitions. Rodgers is still trying to work his way out until January, when the owners should be supporting the Irishman in recruiting players that could get some much needed goals for the side.Published 25 Nov 2012, 23:28 IST