Posted by Barrie on Saturday, 19 December 2009

Portsmouth Add to Liverpool's Worries

Troubles continue at Liverpool after they suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Portsmouth today.

In today's early kickoff, Liverpool started the brighter team but didn't take advantage by scoring and allowed Portsmouth to grow into the match halway through the first half.

On 34 minutes Liverpool paid the price as Nadir Belhadj struck a sweet shot to give Portsmouth a 1-0 lead. Things got worse for Liverpool on half time as Javier Mascherano was sent off and injured in a bad tackle. A red card may have been harsh but he looked far from comfortable leaving the pitch and may have picked up a long term injury.

Rafael Benitez stuck with him and Lucas, two holding midfielders in the starting lineup against the team bottom of the league and whom they should be attacking. Yossi Benayoun was left on the bench until early in the second half while big summer signing Alberto Aquilani was left out with a reported calf strain.

Liverpool created little throughout the match as their long ball style didn't affect the Portsmouth defence. Portsmouth with Asmir Begovic in goal today kept just their 4th clean sheet of the season and move level on points with West Ham before the 3pm kickoffs and can move up to 19th if West Ham lose at home to Chelsea tomorrow.

Liverpool are 5 points behind Aston Villa in 4th, whom have a winnable game at home to Stoke from 3pm and Arsenal host Hull in the evening kickoff. If both teams win as expected, Liverpool will be 8 points off a Champions League spot after Rafa Benitez guaranteed a top 4 spot earlier this week.

Can things get any worse for Liverpool this season? Now losing to the side bottom in the league, it's 7 defeats in 18 league games for them this season.

Portsmouth, with their transfer embargo have given themselves a massive boost for avoiding relegation with this result. However if they can't sort themselves out financially players may need to be sold in January, wages may not be paid and then the side will surely fall apart.

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