When Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers named his starting line-up against Manchester United, there was a notable absence.
The absence of a striker.
Daniel Sturridge is out injured, of course, but £16m summer signing and fit-again Mario Balotelli was left on the substitutes’ bench for Premier League clash at Old Trafford.
Rickie Lambert, signed from Southampton for £4m, is not having any fitness issues, but he, too, started the game on the bench.
Raheem Sterling was supposed to spearhead Liverpool’s attack, and although he had chances, his inexperience of playing as a striker showed.
Balotelli came on at half time, but Liverpool still lost the encounter 3-0, thanks to goals from Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie.
Queens Park Rangers duo Joey Barton and Charlie Austin were watching the game and, like everyone else, they were surprised at Rodgers’s tactics of playing without a recognised striker.
Liverpool lack of a top class striker has never been so obvious. Could be going in at half time talking about a completely different score.— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) December 14, 2014
The difference today has been top quality players in offence. United had them. Liverpool didn't. Both teams a shadow of what they once where— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) December 14, 2014
No striker in the pitch paying the price big time— Charlie Austin (@chazaustin9) December 14, 2014
Given Balotelli recent struggles and Lambert not really being a top-class striker, Rodgers made that bold move perhaps, and he paid the price.
Maybe next time Liverpool will have a striker in the line-up, even if he is misfiring…