Liverpool’s woes pile up after another home defeat

Wednesday, 9 December 2009 ·

They say the rain brings out the gloomier side of our nature as human beings and, amidst the rain falling steadily over Anfield, the gloom deepened that much further as Fiorentina came from behind to seal victory in the final minute.
This was the third occasion in this campaign Liverpool have conceded costly late goals and the excuse of
injuries is one that cannot be made as a hungrier and more creative Fiorentina, themselves decimated by injuries, crafted the better chances during a dull first half. However, against the run of play, and with their only shot on target Liverpool took the lead just before half-time. A wonderful cross from a free-kick by Steven Gerrard was met with a glancing head by Benayoun that just evaded the outstretched hand of Sebastian Frey.
But all eyes were on debutante Alberto Aquilani who displayed some nice touches and a few wonderful passes to give the impression that once fully match-sharp, he will be a useful addition. The first twenty minutes, his touches found Liverpool players in space but a lack of physical presence and intelligent movement up front prevented Liverpool from unlocking the miserly Italian defence.
After the break Liverpool had plenty of chances to increase their lead with both Agger and Dossena unable to get their heads to teasing crosses, which they really should have done better with. As Fernando Torres, darling of the Kop, was getting ready to come on, Liverpool’s attack broke down and the Italians carved Liverpool open with a lightning quick counter that saw the ageing Jorgensen clinically finish beyond the helpless Cavalieri.
In truth, the second half was a much more interesting affair with both teams pushing forward and creating chances, Liverpool slightly edging those chances until a mistake by the young right-back Stephen Darby let in Vargas to cross for the unmarked Gilardino to tap in at the far post in the final minute of injury time to leave Liverpool staring at an unseeded place in the much-maligned Europa League.

Graham Matheson

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