Rodgers out after 1-1 with Everton
Defensive woes crop up again
(Romelu Lukaku 45+1)
(Danny Ings 41)
The exit door looms large.
For weeks, Brendan Rodgers has tried to ignore the growing talk of the sack.
What he needed was a Merseyside Derby win to perhaps buy himself some more time, and possibly restore the confidence among the club's owners of his ability to take the club forward.
And that he failed to do.
A 1-1 result against Everton at Goodison Park in the first Premier League meeting between the two city rivals of this season yesterday was hardly a disaster, but it did little to help his plight.
There remains a sense of inevitability.
The Liverpool manager wears the look of a man staring up at the gallows.
We've seen such a face before. Andre Villas-Boas at Chelsea, David Moyes at Manchester United and more recently, Dick Advocaat at Sunderland, just before their respective tenures were cut short.
If Bosnian news outlet Pravdabl is to be believed, Rodgers' fate was already sealed before the 42-year-old Northern Irishman led his players out into the Liverpool sunshine yesterday at Goodison.
Apparently, former Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp, along with his assistant Zeljko Buvac, a Bosnian, will take over at Liverpool.
Rodgers' future overshadows everything at the club, and that tells you how precarious his position is.
Admittedly, he did manage to harness a tenacious showing from his charges against Everton, as the Reds came out with all guns blazing.
With a 3-4-1-2 system, they forced the hosts on the back foot and briefly threatened a return to the sizzling football last witnessed two seasons ago.
Their doggedness was personified by striker Danny Ings, who battled on despite picking up an early injury.
The young Englishman's persistence paid off in the 41st minute.
Left unmarked during a corner, he headed in the opening goal to hand his side a much-needed shot in the arm in these desperate times.
The revival, however, was short-lived - five minutes, to be exact.
A vulnerable backline has been at the heart of Rodgers' problems this season and his inability to turn things around returned to haunt him, for the umpteenth time.
Emre Can, operating on the right of a three-man defence, lashed a wild clearance straight at teammate Martin Skrtel, and the loose ball fell perfectly for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku to thunder home the equaliser.
From then, it could have been anybody's game, as both teams spurned goal-scoring chances.
Liverpool had goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to thank for the point, while Everton defender Phil Jagielka clocked in a similarly outstanding shift for Roberto Martinez.
Liverpool, to their credit, at least matched their opponents' intensity.
But their deficiencies were brutally exposed once more.
Their poor defence threw away the lead, and the lack of creativity hampered their efforts in going for all three points.
His critics will say that Rodgers has been given ample time to set things right, and he has failed.
Dead man walking?
- EVERTON: Tim Howard, Tyias Browning, Phil Jagielka, Ramiro Mori, Brendan Galloway, James McCarthy, Gareth Barry, Gerard Deulofeu (Aaron Lennon 60), Ross Barkley, Steven Naismith (Arouna Kone 79), Romelu Lukaku
- LIVERPOOL: Simon Mignolet, Emre Can, Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner, Lucas Leiva (Joe Allen 79), Alberto Moreno, Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings (Adam Lallana 76)
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