Whose fault really was the Liverpool horror pass?
Kolo Toure placed his hands on his head and looked around, a flabbergasted look smeared on his face, but the 32-year-old defender found no magic genie to undo what he’d just done.
With one swipe of his foot, the Ivorian gifted the ball directly into substitute Victor Anichebe’s lap, and West Brom stole two points from Liverpool’s hopes of reaching the top four.
But was it all really his fault?
Brendan Rodgers says no. In the video above, the Liverpool manager comes to the aid of his defender, and declares that “he probably shouldn’t have received the ball in the first place, there was no space to receive it.” He even went so far as to say “I’ll never criticize a defender who has the courage and bravery to accept and receive the ball.”
Courage and bravery! I wasn’t aware that receiving the ball at the feet of a professional soccer player took courage and bravery, but sure.
In all seriousness, that would seem to heap most of the pressure on goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who had moments earlier rolled him the ball, causing two West Brom attackers to immediately close Toure down.
Another player who could be in some hot water after a review of the tape is Reds on-loan left-back Aly Cissokho, who stands statue-still on the touchline as his man rapidly closed down Toure.
Ultimately though, the pass has to be originated, and that it was from the feet of Kolo Toure. With the defender panicking at the sight of a double closedown, he played the ball across the penalty area, something players are taught at the youngest of ages never to do.
There were many better options, including playing the ball back to the goalkeeper, to Cissokho who was left all alone on the left touchline, or at the very least to Gerrard directly next to him instead of all the way across the back line.
Either way, it’s frustrating for Liverpool that one mistake at the back can have such harsh consequences, but such is life in the English top flight.