Five things learned from Liverpool's loss to Newcastle: Moreno, Rodgers & Sterling feature

Liverpool Supporters

Five conclusions from another lifeless performance from the Reds. Were there any positives?

Rodgers isn't watching the same game

After Liverpool's latest Premier League loss, boss Brendan Rodgers gave a familiar take on proceedings.

"We were punished for a mistake and that is what cost us the game. We passed the ball well," Rodgers told BT Sport after the game.

"The options in front of the ball were good but we probably lacked that little bit in the final third of the field. We did not create as much as we would have liked."

Granted, he is right about the Reds' lack of ability in the final third. But passing the ball well? It seems the Northern Irishman's failure to see his side's issues could be Liverpool's biggest worry of all.

Moreno's fatal flaw

Interestingly, though, despite another lifeless performance from Rodgers' men - barring a reasonable spell in the second half - it was, once again, only one individual error that lost Liverpool the game.

And, surprisingly, that error came from one of their better performers. Alberto Moreno had a good game overall but casually controlled the ball inside his own penalty area, thereby allowing Newcastle United to score their winner.

It's not the first time Moreno has done so this season and it is proving his fatal flaw. Is it Rodgers' style of play or simply the left-back's Spanish upbringing? Rule no.1 of defending: never do that, always clear the ball to safety.

Width is a positive?

It is becoming more and more difficult to single out positives from increasingly poor performances from Liverpool but, against the Magpies at St James' Park, their use of width certainly was one.

Moreno got forward well out wide and even Mario Balotelli showed glimpses of life when he pulled wide right. The Reds need to exploit the wings more often if they are to add any sort of dynamism to their play.

But not with Sterling

For Raheem Sterling, however, this was yet another Premier League game in which he was wasted by his manager. Why does Rodgers insist on playing the 19-year-old so far wide that he can't have any influence on the game?

Sterling should be played in the no.10 role, where he can force something out of Balotelli and create chances for others. His lack of impact was evident today because he was so far out in the corner.

What's the solution... a fire-sale?

Game after game, there appears to be no sign of improvement from Liverpool. Since the first day of the season, when they narrowly scraped past Southampton, the Reds have not found one iota of rhythm or cohesion.

What's the solution? At the moment all Liverpool fans can do is wait for Daniel Sturridge to get fit.

Apart from that, there are very few ideas. Nothing seems to be working tactically or on the training pitch, while criticism keeps flowing in Rodgers' direction about the Reds' summer spend. Should they simply get rid of those that are failing in January and go again?

Who would buy them, though, and are Rodgers and co really capable of identifying adequate replacements?

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