Rodgers says Reds lack creativity

LONDON • Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers admitted he will have to find a solution to his team's scoring woes after they were outplayed in a 1-3 defeat by bitter rivals Manchester United on Saturday.

Liverpool have found the net just three times in their opening five English Premier League games and were largely toothless in the defeat at Old Trafford.

Rodgers' side struggled to create chances against a resolute United defence and seemed to lack midfield creativity or forward movement. A stunning late overhead kick from Christian Benteke was the only bright spot for the visitors from an attacking perspective.

The Liverpool manager felt his side were overly keen to get the ball forward to the Belgian target man and were guilty of being too direct.

"Over the first five games creating goals is something we need to look at," Rodgers told Sky Sports. "It is too easy sometimes for us to go direct to Christian Benteke, who was excellent today. Technically, we need to be a lot better."

Liverpool have now lost back to back games, after a 0-3 home defeat by West Ham United before the international break. They have won only one of their last eight away games in the league.

It is a wretched run that will concern Rodgers, who came in for heavy criticism from Reds fans after a woeful finish to last season.

"You are never happy when you lose a game - especially to your rival," he added. "The only positive for me is that we had a defeat here last year and we got better.

"The key for us is to initiate a game and create chances. That is something we need to be better at."

But Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher pointed the finger at Rodgers, questioning the manager's tactics and formation.

"I don't understand this obsession with playing 4-3-3," the former defender told Sky Sports. "There isn't enough support for Benteke.

"Rodgers has come to the club playing 4-3-3 and it didn't work.

"The great season they had (in 2013-14) was with two strikers and how he got them into the team. It is down to the manager.

"They have got a lot of strikers, no wide players, and he continues to play 4-3-3. They have no wide players - they have only got Jordon Ibe." REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2015, with the headline 'Rodgers says Reds lack creativity'. Print Edition | Subscribe