Friday, 3 August 2012

FC Gomel v Liverpool

August 2nd became the start of a new era for Liverpool with Brendan Rodgers steering the reds to their first competitive win of the season at the first attempt. The win came courtesy of a surprising yet stunning goal from Stewart Downing, who was panned by many including myself last season for failing to live up this his hefty transfer fee.

 Last night's game saw him switch from a traditional left wing to the right playing where Dirk Kuyt had made a name for himself and Downing didn't disappoint. Gomel themselves are already well into their season so their match fitness was higher than the Liverpool squad who only got back together fully last week in between the Roma and Spurs friendlies.

Even though they may not be first team regulars this season, Brad Jones, Raheem Sterling (came on for Joe Cole on 22 mins) and Martin Kelly performed well in a mixed side and it was nice to see Joe Cole back on the European stage.

The main positives is that it was a win away from home meaning the advantage of an away goal and a clean sheet (not a regular feature in 11/12). Personally I would have liked to see Aquliani and  Carroll but for some reason they do not feature in Rodgers' plans and instead Borini and Joe Allen (talks in progress) will form as replacements.  Borini in what I have seen so far does have the skill to spice up the attack but the aerial threat that Carroll used to good effect last season and in Euro 2012 and may be missed in future.

Final score FC Gomel 0 Liverpool 1