There are times in football when you have to admit you're team weren't good enough and last night was one of those occasions.

The performance was unacceptable, Liverpool dominated the ball for large periods but in all honesty Reading deserved to go through, they created some fantastic chances and on another night the scoreline could have been much worse.

It seems depressing to say but with Liverpool suffering their 12th defeat of the season, Wednesday's uninspiring performance was not a shock. Countless times this season Liverpool have put in displays that have lacked quality, ambition, creativity, urgency and fluency.

God only knows what new signing, Maxi Rodriguez, was thinking as he watched on from the stands, probably in disgust I would imagine.

The difference from the second half of last season to the first half of this is almost astronomical. Liverpool couldn't stop scoring last season and yet now the team looks devoid of any ideas. To be truthful Liverpool never looked like scoring after Reading's second, Benayoun's chance summed up the night, it was a golden opportunity that lacked any conviction.

It is hard to fathom why things have gone so terribly wrong for Liverpool this season, the team needs the more senior players to step up and take control of games but yet Steven Gerrard, the man who has bailed Liverpool out on so many occasions over the years, looks not even 50 per cent fit and the energy and lung-busting style we are used to seeing seems to have all but disappeared this season.

Inevitably the calls for the manager's head will start ringing again after Wednesday's game but Benitez must be given at the very least till the end of the season to show some turn around in the club's fortunes.