Liverpool 1 Sion 1: Three talking points
Three talking points as Liverpool can't beat Sion in Europa League
More pressure heaped on Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers will point to the pivotal Merseyside derby against Everton on Sunday, but resting seven players from a team who won last time out only looks wise if you win the game. Liverpool – despite taking a fourth-minute lead – couldn’t. His side have now gone seven games without a clean sheet. Rodgers described the result as disappointing yet Liverpool supporters will probably describe the performance in more profane terms, and rightfully so. This was yet another lacklustre display against a side lying fifth in the Swiss league, hardly a European powerhouse. The Reds’ recent record in European competition now reads won eight, drawn nine, lost eight which sees them ranked 42 by Uefa prior to this result. Should Rodgers fail to inspire Liverpool to a win over their local rivals on Sunday, in his own words, he better get the crash helmet ready. In hindsight he might think he would have been better off playing his strongest line-up save for Daniel Sturridge who’s needs wrapping in cotton wool.
The fringe players aren’t good enough
Considering the amount of money the Fenway Sports Group have pumped into Liverpool, they would have rightfully expected a victory over a team who lost at home to FC Vaduz at the weekend. Teenager Jordon Ibe excluded, Liverpool’s fringe players don’t appear to be up to the task in the Europa League. Joe Allen has been a major disappointment since his move from Swansea. Jordan Rossiter, although younger than Ibe, doesn’t look like a Premier League standard player, if anything he reminds me of Jay Spearing. Divock Origi looks very raw and while there is potential there, it will take a lot of time to harness, and time is something Rodgers is rapidly running out of. Quite why Jose Enrique has been entirely frozen out at Anfield remains a mystery, but considering the dearth of full-backs currently in the Liverpool squad, perhaps it would have been clever to at least name him in the Europa League squad. Alberto Moreno still looks lightweight and is probably fortunate to remain at the club.
The reliance on Sturridge for goals
Apart from last weekend’s 3-2 win over a very ordinary Aston Villa side, Liverpool have not managed to score than one goal in any of their fixtures so far this season. A fairly damning indictement on the start to their campaign on all fronts. Of the three goals in said victory, two were scored by Sturridge. The England striker is a class act but it’s universally known that he’s made of Weetabix. Christian Benteke, a £32msinging from Villa, has at least got off the mark which is more than can be said for Roberto Firmino, but the over reliance on Sturridge for goals is a concern for the Liverpool faithful. Danny Ings will chip in with a few, Lallana only seems capable of scoring in Europe and one of every 30 of Philippe Coutinho’s long rage efforts might fly into the top corner, but it won’t be enough to challenge the established top four. Rodgers somehow needs to inject confidence back into his troops and a comprehensive win over Sion would have been a good start. Unfortunately he played a weakened team, much like Arsene Wenger did a day previously, and it backfired on him too.