In the first half alone, the Reds were hit by the loss of a deflected goal and injuries to two defenders. Smalling feels the way his team regrouped and then levelled through Robin van Persie’s 12th goal of the season merited a better outcome than a first-ever defeat at the Britannia Stadium.
“I thought we dominated for large parts of the game and on another day the chances we had might have gone in,” said Smalling, in a post-match interview outside the team bus.
“It was massively frustrating. Their first goal was one you can't do much about but we came out of the second half and got ourselves back in the game.
"After we got the equaliser, I thought we'd go on and maybe score two or three because that's what our play deserved. But a wonder-strike from Charlie Adam set us back.
“We pressed for the whole second half, we had a lot of the ball but it wasn’t going for us. Even at the end when Wayne’s free-kick was tipped onto the post, it just wasn’t our day.”
Smalling isn’t asking for sympathy, however, even if other examples of bad luck in recent games can be cited. Instead, he’s hoping the pendulum will soon swing the