A few weeks ago, I was roundly told where to go by many a Liverpool fan for asserting that my club Hull City were beaten by Fernando Torres and a lucky Steven Gerrard, not by their glorious Liverpool team. Liverpool's game today at the Stadium of Light makes me believe it even more.
Liverpool set themselves out pretty much the same as when Gerrard and Torres were removed against the Tigers at Anfield last month. Sunderland were not Hull City, who had just been roundly beaten by Torres and a fluky Gerrard goal so it was a different game.
The Liverpool defence were fodder under Darren Bent's relentless attacks, with his striking partner Kenwyne Jones. Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, and Johnson could not cope with the quality in-front of them.
However, it was a stroke of luck that gave Sunderland the lead as a crisp strike from Bent deflected off a Liverpool supporters ball that was on the field. The ball deflected past Liverpool stalwart keeper Pepe Reina, probably the best player for the Reds.
Reina managed to stifled so many strikes and the whole of Sunderland and Steve Bruce must have been wondered just how they managed to only be one goal up as the game drew to the end of the half.
The second half proved to be no better for Liverpool who again stripped of Torres or Gerrard had no bite up front which allowed Sunderland to get fast breaks through the Liverpool midfield. Andy Read and Lee Cattermole were relentless and cut Liverpool to pieces on numerous occasions.
Unfortunately for Sunderland, Cattermole who had played so well had to leave the field due to an injury but still Liverpool couldn't break Sunderland down. Michael Turner was marshaling the Sunderland defence magnificently. Anton Ferdinand was certainly feeling the benefit of Turners experience and was playing superbly.
In Injury time Craig Gordon saved Sunderland from disaster with two fantastic saves from a Dirk Kuyt strike and David N'Gog that were probably Liverpool's best chances on goal.
Was this what Liverpool fans have to look forward too without their talismanic players Gerrard and Torres? A good team but toothless, leaderless and without Gerrard's remarkable luck. Rafa Benitez should be getting really worried about his job.