Ah, yes... a win and a goal from Torres. What could be better? For starters, the entire first half could have been better. In fact, let's pretend that the first half didn't happen at all because some other team wearing our kits showed up and attempted to play football.
Sami Hyypia's first couple of touches made it look like Sunderland had twelve men on the field. Thankfully, his nerves soon calmed and gave way to a decent performance. Damien Plessis started in the midfield, looking incredibly lost and awkward. He was substituted straight away after the half due to a mystery injury. The injury, no doubt, involves his rear orifice and one of Rafa's shoes.
Xabi Alonso took the place of Plessis and the momentum began to turn. The reds began making short, quick passes and created opportunities. At one point, Alonso caught Sunderland keeper, Craig Gordon, off of his line and launched the ball Beckham style over halfway across the field. Unfortunately, the shot was just wide. A pity because Gordon didn't have a clue where it was.
In the 83rd minute, Alonso showed his quality when he served an excellent ball to Torres who took his first shot on goal and made good on it. Keane had been taken off at this point and could only watch as his new striking partner let him know that he now has some catching up to do. So far, the duo seem a bit awkward and have not learned the habits of each other. At one point, Torres and Keane practically ran into each other while trying to go for the same ball that would have been a great chance for one of them.
Kuyt continues to give it his all, but has become too unselfish as he gave away a great opportunity on goal by passing to Alonso who did not have a clear shot. Dossena seems to be settling in nicely, but like many others, needs to learn that movement creates chances to pass and score. There were too many players remaining stationary in the center when they should have been pushing out to get a pass and make a cross. Hopefully, this lackluster display was the result of first game jitters and the kinks will be worked out before the next. After all that, we at least came out with a good result.
Man of the Match: Xabi Alonso
How bout we DON'T sell him?