Hearts 0-1 Liverpool – Reds Smash and Grab

By Jonathan Carroll

An own goal by Hearts defender Andy Webster ensured Liverpool would take a slight advantage back to Anfield in the final game of Europa League qualification next Thursday. In a largely disjointed display from a team showing several changes from the one that lost to West Brom at the weekend, Brendan Rodgers will count himself lucky to be ahead at half time in this tie.

Liverpool looked nervy early on with Hearts playing a high pressure game. Jay Spearing and Jamie Carragher gave the ball away too easily in dangerous positions. Jonjo Shelvey also failed to really stamp his mark on the game and with more signings imminent, Shelvey could be on the outside looking in.

On the positive side Raheem Sterling was a threat all night. On twenty-eight minutes he cut in from the left and unleashed a stinging shot that was well saved by MacDonald. Fabio Borini was picked out by Henderson from out right but the Italian failed to make contact with an inch perfect cross. Right on the stroke of half time Sterling picked up possession on half way, went by two defenders and laid the ball on for Borini with only the keeper to beat. The Italian smashed his shot off the post much to the frustration of Brendan Rodgers on the sideline.

The second half saw few clear-cut chances but Sterling was by far the best player for the away side. Stewart Downing came on at left back for Jack Robinson and seemed somewhat comfortable attacking from that position. Joe Allen also replaced Jay Spearing in an attempt to possess the ball better.

A good delivery from Martin Kelly on the right was missed by Borini but turned home by Webster off his shins. The goal gave the Redmen some much-needed breathing space in what was a close affair for most of the ninety minutes. Hearts would press late on with Callum Patterson testing Pepe Reina in the closing stages.

It is hard to judge this Liverpool team, namely because of all the changes made to the starting eleven but also because this Rodgers team is a work in progress and will be for some time. The squad clearly lacks depth and Liverpool supporters should temper their expectations in relation to overnight success. In order for Rodgers to get the players he wants, and not at exorbitant prices, who are of quality and want to come to a team with no Champions League football, that will take time. Not to mention getting everyone on the same page regards movement off the ball etc. With that all said and done Liverpool should have enough quality to easily take care of Hearts in the return leg at Anfield in a weeks time.

Heart of Midlothian

  • 01 MacDonald
  • 03 Grainger
  • 04 McGowan
  • 05 Barr Booked (Robinson – 87′ )
  • 06 Webster
  • 26 Zaliukas
  • 33 Paterson
  • 07 Templeton (Driver – 79′ )
  • 10 Taouil
  • 09 Sutton
  • 18 Novikovas (Carrick – 84′ )

Substitutes

  • 21 Enckelman
  • 19 McGowan
  • 29 McHattie
  • 11 Driver
  • 08 Robinson
  • 12 Smith
  • 37 Carrick

Liverpool

  • 25 Reina
  • 05 Agger
  • 23 Carragher
  • 34 Kelly
  • 49 Robinson (Downing – 62′ )
  • 14 Henderson
  • 20 Spearing (Allen – 67′ )
  • 26 Adam
  • 31 Sterling
  • 33 Shelvey
  • 29 Borini (Morgan – 90′ )

Substitutes

  • 01 Jones
  • 16 Coates
  • 38 Flanagan
  • 19 Downing
  • 21 Lucas
  • 24 Allen
  • 50 Morgan
Referee: Meyer
Attendance: 15,965
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This entry was posted in Europa League, Match Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , by Jonathan Carroll. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jonathan Carroll

I’m a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Born and bred in Ireland I played Gaelic football and soccer while growing up and attended the prestigious Colaiste Ide in Dublin to prepare for a soccer scholarship to the USA. I played soccer at Thomas University in Georgia and was made team captain in my junior and senior years. I was honored to become an All-American in those same years. I graduated in 2007 and coached high school and collegiate level soccer programs incorporating year round strength and conditioning techniques with great success. I moved to Boston in 2011 and went on to work at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning. I am currently the head strength and conditioning coach for the Boston Wolfe Tones Gaelic football team. Qualifications: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA) USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach FMS Certified United States Soccer Federation “D” License Football Association of Ireland Certified

3 thoughts on “Hearts 0-1 Liverpool – Reds Smash and Grab

  1. Pingback: Premier League opener at Anfield: Liverpool v Manchester City | The Red Letter

  2. Pingback: Liverpool hosts Hearts, plans closeout of Europa group stage place | The Red Letter

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