Maxi Nets A Hat Trick In 5-0 Rout
Can't remember what game it was, think it was a terrible footy game on the Gamecube but i finally got to mimic the Japanese sounding commentator... "Joh-Coh-Gohlll!" ...
After recent fixtures against the Midlands side it was looking as though this one could be tough for Liverpool. The refreshing resurgence since the arrival of manager Kenny Dalglish has still seen us falter on a few occasions and Birmingham were ready to try to cause an upset.
An emphatic performance from Liverpool though saw them embarrass Alex McCleish's side in a 5-0 win without Andy Carroll who was in the stands and also minus a goal from Luis Suarez who put in more of an assisting role for a superb 90minutes.
It took just shy of 7 minutes for Liverpool to add a spark to the game. A stinging effort from Jay Spearing was parried away by Ben Foster only to come out into the path of Maxi Rodriguez, the Argentine made no mistakes and sent the ball into the Birmingham net.
Jay Spearing was yet again another representative for the Liverpool youngsters and another great performance from the midfielder has left most fans forgetting who Steven Gerrard is... Who needs the number 8 when you've got a little firecracker like Spearing running around ay?
Joining Spearing once again were Jack Robinson and John Flanagan, the clean sheet speaks for itself and the starlets were once again not phased by the size of the task in front of them.
The Reds were on the attack again when the ball landed conveniently after an attempted interception in midfield at the feet of Luis Suarez. A pacey run saw him reach the danger area in no time but his shot was saved by Foster. Once again the Birmingham keeper appeared to be having a bit of bad luck though when the ball again splayed out with Dirk Kuyt on the prowl.
The Dutchman did extremely well to even get the shot on target after having to angle his body with the ball behind him. A sweeping effort sent Liverpool 2-0 ahead.
Pepe Reina was relatively untroubled in the midst of all the Liverpool action. Some half chances from Ridgewell and an attempt that flew over the bar from Craig Gardner were the only real threats from the Midlanders.
Jack Robinson even had a pop at goal from a fair way out but unfortunately had to watch his effort go wide. Foster who would have been happy the chance wasn't on target was shortly after substituted due to injury and replaced by Colin Doyle.
Half time and no changes from either manager meant it was all systems go for the second half. For a slightly absent Birmingham side Keith Fahey had obviously used the break to his advantage and attempted to lift his side, several attempts from the midfielder temporarily troubled the Liverpool defence but before long the Reds were back in control.
Just after the hour mark and a preoccupied Stephen Carr who was more interested with Dirk Kuyt played Suarez onside and allowed a ball from defence to find its way to the number 7's feet. For a player not on the scoring side of things yesterday he didn't half put some work in for the side.
A lovely weighted cross sent over perfectly to an awaiting Maxi in the box meant the number 17 was able to hit it first time, scoring his second and Liverpool's third.
We were sailing, i know Birmingham aren't always a brilliant side but as mentioned before, we'd struggled against these a good few times but we were made it look easy yesterday.
McCleish after the third goal with no reply thought David Bentley may add something to the game for his side, Bentley replaced ex Arsenal player Alexander Hleb.
Maxi Rodriguez I'm sure couldn't believe his luck when with 20 minutes to go he scored another for the Reds and completed his first hat trick for the club. A shot originally from himself was saved, then took a deflection and came back out to him, he calmly slotted it low to the right of goal.
Birmingham who had toiled throughout the 90 minutes to get on the score sheet finally introduced in my opinion their ace card; Kevin Phillips. With only ten minutes left i think Alex McCleish missed a trick in failing to bring him on earlier.
Jonjo Shelvey was also brought onto the field of play at the same time, he replaced Jack Robinson.
Phillps in the short time he was on the pitch troubled Reina twice in quick succession but still the side from the Midlands were unable to find a consolation goal.
Liverpool made another substitution in the dying minutes after bringing on Joe Cole who replaced Raul Meireles.
Cole has been getting some stick from some of the fan base and ok he hasn't really been up to scratch or working off his massive wages but i think some people are being far too harsh. Cole may have added some questions to some critics after scoring Liverpool's 5th goal of the day in what was now an absolute rout.
It wasn't a spectacular goal but the winger could finally celebrate in style after his shot beat the keeper at his near post.
Maxi got an ovation from the Anfield faithful after Dalglish replaced him with Ngog with 2 minutes left to tick down.
A fantastic display once again and a real team effort. People keep talking about Dalglish and his ability to unify the players, well they aren't wrong. The celebrations and smiles are great to see and in a season where we could well finish 6th who knows the amount of grins we'll be seeing come next season with a fresh start.
Yet more encouraging displays from youngsters Robinson, Spearing and Flanagan (plus Shelvey's appearance) only back up Dalglish's choices to filter through and give the youth a chance. For a few seasons a lot of fans have been calling for this to happen, the mixture of the manager and the current league situation mean not only can we afford to risk the shake up but we can still supply valuable experience for this lads who will surely turn into stars, hopefully here at Anfield.
Let's not forget we're still mathematically in a race here so here's to the continued great form and goalscoring and a win over Newcastle next weekend.