John Aldridge: Liverpool FC's lack of fight at Stoke so tough to stomach
WATCHING Audley Harrison in the ring on Saturday night reminded of Liverpool's performance at Stoke a few hours earlier. They both barely threw a punch and were soundly beaten. The Reds were outfought, out-battled and out-manoeuvred. We all knew what to expect from Stoke and it was always going to be difficult. They are big, strong and direct. Tony Pulis got his tactics spot on as in the first 20 minutes they were in our faces. You've got to stand up to that but we didn't show enough fight. In fact we looked intimidated by them and took our second half performance from the Wigan game into Saturday's match. We didn't get the ball down and play. Instead we lumped aimless long balls forward to a lone striker who was getting bullied. Unsurprisingly the ball kept on coming back. It was amazing to see Stoke winger Jermaine Pennant playing for throw-ins. I wouldn't want to play out wide for Stoke. But they play to their strengths and fair play to them because from one of Rory Delap's long throws they got the breakthrough. Liverpool's away form is a major problem. It was poor last season and we've carried it on into this season with just five points out of 21 picked up away from Anfield. Of course Roy Hodgson's away record when he was at Fulham wasn't the best either.
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