Liverpool's performance against Villa was awful. We had a good twenty minutes but after that we seemed to lose our way and I just felt things might go against us as the game started to settle. Villa were working hard to get us out of our rhythm and it was working well as many of our steady performers were having a hard time keeping hold of the ball.
Torres was given a torrid time by the defence and how the ref missed three clear fouls on him is beyond understanding. One of these was a clear elbow to the back of the head which was missed. These things change football matches and we have not been on the receiving end of much luck so far this season.
Yossi missed a decent chance to put us ahead after 30 seconds. Later in the match, Torres, Gerrard and Yossi all had chances to score, the easiest of the chances falling to Torres who hit a horrible shot. Torres had a nightmare first half.
Of course, Lucas will get a lot of the blame in this game, for giving away a silly free kick and then heading the ball into his own net, but he was far from our worst performer. I do think he is too similar to Mascherano and that is why the balance of our team is off.
It's not so much that we are missing Alonso but that we just don't have anyone who can pick out a killer pass except for Gerrard and he is playing too far up the pitch at the moment. I think it's time to move Gerrard back into the centre of midfield for a while.
Villa's two goals could have been avoided; more terrible defending in injury time after the ref missed another foul further up the field. We went into the break 2-0 down. Friedel had a great game in stopping most of our attacks but our little left-back Insua did a great job of pulling the ball over for Torres to make the game 2-1.
I felt we might just sneak a draw in this one. Then up stepped Gerrard who made a rash tackle to give away a penalty, capping off one of his worst performances in ages in a red shirt. He had two great shots, but other than that nothing he did came off. I sure hope and believe he will bounce back.
The season not over yet, but having must win games as early as August can't help ease the pressure on the players, manager and supporters.