All things considered I thought this was a pretty decent performance.
I said going into this game, to come away with a point would have been a very good result and if it hadn't been for a momentary lack of concentration just on half-time, that would probably have happened.
Rodgers went with a 5-3-2-ish formation with Flanagan and Downing occupying the flanks, while Conor Coady was handed a senior debut anchoring midfield. The opening 15 minutes or so gave cause for optimism as the Reds looked confident in possession.
The home side looked as lethargic today as they did at Anfield and Brad Jones had nothing to do in the opening half hour. In a quiet first half the best chance fell to Jordan Henderson in the 20th minute. Adam Morgan played him in with a clever ball on the edge of the box but Henderson opted for the cut back to no-one in particular, as opposed to shooting himself.
I say "shooting himself" as that's what a lot of Liverpool fans would like Jordan to do at this point, preferably with a sawn-off shotgun. I was one of his staunchest supporters last season and while I still believe he has a decent career ahead of him, it's clear for all to see now that career will not be at Anfield.
A substitution from Hiddink on the half hour mark saw things improve a little for the home side, with Gonzalez blazing over and Brad Jones tipping over an Eto'o drive after Andre Wisdom had been badly caught out.
It was with the last kick of the half that Anzhi went ahead. Traore, presumably on purpose, flicked the ball around a flat-footed Coates and lobbed the onrushing Jones from the edge of the box. It was another poor piece of decision making by Jones although the big lump did finish it nicely enough.
This presumably would have completely changed Rodgers' half-time speech as up to this point his side were doing ok. Coady was solid in the centre and Morgan looked much improved to his last senior performance. Granted there was very little penetration but up to a point the football was good.
Anzhi improved a little in the second half but they never looked particularly bothered about putting the game to bed. They had their chances through Traore though, who headed abysmally at Jones in the 75th minute and then missed the target completely when in on goal three minutes later.
Predictably the Reds had no proper attacking threat to get back on level terms. Morgan was strangely substituted for Pacheco which meant there was no one getting into the right positions in the box. Suso came on and looked majestic for half an hour playing in a central role, which is where he should always be. He just glides past defenders at times and really is a joy to watch.
It was his shot that was spilled by Gabulov with 15 minutes to go, only for someone masquerading as former professional footballer Joe Cole to waste the rebound. That was about the height of our chances in the second half as it fizzled out into a tame home win.
I'm not going to lose sleep over this result but it must be disheartening for the players to have lost as many games as we have done at this stage of the season. If a couple of wins could be cobbled together it would do wonders for the confidence.
Jonjo Shelvey was excellent, particularly in the first half as he looked to take the initiative. It's a tough call between him and Sahin at the moment as they're very different footballers, but both add real quality when they play. At present Steven Gerrard is the odd man out.
It's Chelsea up next and my main concern lies at left-back. Assuming Glen Johnson is fit he must start on the right as Wisdom simply doesn't offer enough in an attacking sense. Similarly I think Downing should start at left-back because Enrique offers absolutely nothing in the final third. At least Downing has scored a couple of goals this season. No, really – he has!
Suarez could have a field-day against David Luiz and company on Sunday, but equally our backline will likely be given a battering by Chelsea's attacking riches. There's no question there will be goals in this one so we have to hope that a little luck swings our way at the right time.
Subs: Pacheco for Morgan (61), Suso for Coady (61), Assaidi for Cole (77)
Unused Subs: Gulacsi, Sama, Wilson, Robinson.