The Liver Bird  

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Carroll Converts In Baggies Win

Adam takes the penalty...
Charlie Adam and Andy Carroll sent Liverpool to a 2-0 win on Saturday at the Hawthorns. A penalty decision for the Reds got them under way and a goal just before half time ensured the three points.

West Brom were pretty absent throughout the 90 minutes and for a side who have been in great form of late after winning two local derbies, they certainly didn't have much to show for it.

The penalty decision at 8 minutes annoyed West Brom manager Roy Hodgson and so too the home fans. Without beating around the bush, i thought it was a penalty, none of this "it was harsh" nonsense, i just think it was a penalty. Suarez was tripped and i don't really see what people were complaining about but to be honest, even if the penalty wasn't given, what were West Brom doing to change their fortunes? Nothing.

Charlie Adam stepped up to take the penalty and confidently put the ball past Ben Foster to send Liverpool ahead.

In a game which didn't include Gerrard or Carragher, eyebrows were raised before kick off, more in interest than anything and boy did the defence do itself proud in the absence of the stalwart. Agger throughout the match was solid.

Liverpool's second came just before the whistle. A sublime ball played by Lucas met Suarez who then set up Andy Carroll. It was a good finish from the Geordie and fantastic to see him score, it feels like Suarez and Carroll are really gelling in their partnership up front now which is great for the club going forward.

The second half saw more chances from Liverpool and yet another case of hitting the woodwork. For West Brom, they were still pretty quiet but Tchoyi created some chances for the home side.

Luis Suarez was replaced with Craig Bellamy late on, the Welshman's 250th Premier League appearance. He didn't put one in the net but must have been pleased with his teams performance at full time.

A nice comfortable win for the Reds and with Chelsea and Man City up next i think we need to get used to the fact that things won't be that comfortable in the coming weeks.

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Friday, 28 October 2011

Can Liverpool Start Taking Their Chances?

Will Roy have a case of facerubitus on Saturday?...

It's West Brom on Saturday for Liverpool, the Reds return to see Roy Hodgson as he looks to continue building his start to the season. West Brom are currently 12th in the league with Liverpool in 6th.

Injuries for West Brom mean that one of their star men; Shane Long will be unavailable for kick off on Saturday. The striker picked up a knee injury recently and is expected to be out for a fair few weeks.

Liverpool once again don't really have any injury worries but Luis Suarez did pick up a slight knock in the Carling Cup midweek so he may not be risked by manager Kenny Dalglish.

The last fixture between the two sides was in April of last year. Roy Hodgson got the last laugh over the club he'd left just months earlier in a 2-1 win for West Brom. Prior to this, we had to go back all the way to 1981 to find a West Brom win over the Reds at the Hawthorns.

The two goals scored by West Brom in their win last year are the only two goals Liverpool have conceded in their last 11 games against the side, quite a feat.

Every Liverpool fan will surely have spotted the agonizing collection of missed chances of late for the Reds and will be hoping that tomorrow is the start of a turn around. As many critics are saying, if Liverpool hadn't of hit the bar or the post so many times this season, we would have been higher up the table.

Stat Sandwich

  • If Craig Bellamy is involved on Saturday it will be his 250th Premier League appearance.
  • West Brom have only scored 3 goals at home this season, the joint lowest tally in the league.
  • Liverpool have only kept 2 clean sheets so far this season.
Going on the results of years gone by before the 2-1 defeat and on the fact that i am hoping we finally start converting our chances I'm going to punt for a 2-0 for Liverpool. I may have to put a quid on that too this time! Last match preview i predicted the right score and never had a cheeky punt! Haha.

Enjoy the match folks!

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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Suarez Brace At Britannia

Suarez celebrates...
Liverpool have booked their place in the quarter finals of the League Cup after Luis Suarez put two goals in the Stoke net. Manager Kenny Dalglish was visibly delighted at the result and clearly the Reds are taking this competition very seriously.

The Liverpool team saw a lot of changes from the eleven that started against Norwich but the likes of Reina, Carragher and Suarez still made the start. Tony Pulis also fielded a strong side in what was set to be a good battle.

The home side were first on the score sheet but it took nearly 45 minutes for either side to score. Liverpool had a fair few chances coming from the strike partnership of Suarez and Carroll, particularly when the pair had shots in succession. Carroll was denied by Sorensen and Suarez couldn't quite get his effort on target after the rebound.

Stoke however took their chance via Kenwyne Jones. A poor mistake from Coates, despite his best efforts to get back and redeem himself meant Walters was able to whip a cross in. Jones connected and put the header past Pepe Reina to put Stoke ahead.

Half time saw Liverpool take the booked Jamie Carragher off and replace him with Martin Skrtel. Stoke made no changes.

It didn't take long after the restart for Liverpool to find their equaliser, and what a goal it was!

Luis Suarez received the ball outside of the area and nutmegged Shotton. Taking the ball just inside the box, the Uruguayan hits it first time and the curling effort sweeps it's way round Sorensen and into the net at the far post. A truly sublime goal.

Stoke were unable to find another goal before the number 7 was at it again. The clock on 83 minutes, Liverpool were searching for a winner and Suarez was the man.

A beautiful ball from Jordan Henderson was met by Suarez, his header went straight past Sorensen and into the back of the net. Celebrations were led by Kenny Dalglish i think, his face was a picture! Brilliant to see.

Stoke brought on Peter Crouch in the dying minutes, much to the dismay of a vociferous Stoke crowd. Some tentative moments with Liverpool having to deal with corners and throw ins though were seen out and the Reds were into the quarter finals!

There were some decisions within the game that Tony Pulis wasn't very happy about post match, which is a shame really because i like Pulis, he's one of few managers i respect and i feel he was just being a bit of a sore loser last night. I think the referee made the right decisions on the incidents Pulis brought up and to be honest, Suarez was the difference between the two sides and i still feel whatever the referee did during that game, Suarez was out for revenge after the loss earlier in the season.

The draw for the next round is on Saturday and the 7 other sides joining Liverpool are Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Blackburn, Cardiff, Crystal Palace and Arsenal.

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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Stoke In League Cup For Liverpool

Will Bellamy start?
Liverpool make a second trip to the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday night for their latest Carling Cup tie. After shots galore at the Stoke goal earlier this season, Liverpool failed to come away victorious with Stoke taking all three points.

Liverpool are lucky enough not to have any injuries to worry about and Lucas is also available again after being suspended for the Norwich game. For Stoke there are doubts hanging over Pennant and Woodgate. Higginbotham, back from a long term injury though is predicted to start to help get some game time under his belt.

The last time Liverpool met Stoke in the League Cup was in 2000. The Reds put eight goals past a stunned Stoke side with Robbie Fowler getting a hat trick in the process.

After the last Carling Cup game against Brighton, it was clear to see manager Kenny Dalglish was not going to take this competition lightly. Most big clubs at these stages like to play their fringe players but the King had no intentions of doing this at all. His point was made clear when Pepe Reina, a man who during the Rafa years always saw a rest in the League Cup was chosen to start by Dalglish.

Stoke as we know is a tough place to go and after their 1-0 win in September they will be brimming with confidence. It could have been an easier tie for Liverpool, most certainly but I'd like to think we have learnt our lesson.

After missed chances at the Britannia and more recently against Norwich and Manchester United being the story of the game for the Reds, I'd assume and hope that on the training pitch this week, Steve Clarke and Co have been working on how to convert those chances into valuable goals.

My prediction for tomorrow is a 2-1 win for Liverpool, I'm not 100% confident i must admit but I'm hoping that the change of situation in an exciting cup game will be enough for us to edge it on Wednesday night.

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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Missed Chances Leave Liverpool Disappointed

Grant Holt celebrates the Norwich equaliser...
Similar to the Stoke game and the draw with Manchester United, it was yet again a story of missed chances for a frustrated Liverpool side. Norwich fought hard, particularly in the second half and were spurred on by their goal but despite over 20 attempts at goal and 11 shots from Suarez alone, Liverpool couldn't find a winner.

A starting line up which saw Bellamy start and Carroll left on the bench was an interesting selection from manager Kenny Dalglish. Many fans were excited to see how this set up would work and why not try it against Norwich at home?

It didn't take long for Dalglish's decision to pay dividends after Craig Bellamy got Liverpool a goal just before the half time whistle. The Welshman had a bit of luck after his effort took a deflection before hitting the back of the net.

The goal was deserved looking back on a decent first half performance from Liverpool with two attempts hitting the woodwork. We couldn't get comfortable though as Norwich proved to have different plans for the second half.

An important substitution for Norwich just before the hour mark would change the game for the Canaries. Paul Lambert who has done a fantastic job with his side could see there was some confidence building and his decision to bring Grant Holt into the mix was a good one.

Just a couple of minutes later the striker had found an equaliser for his team. A bullet header whilst being contested by two defenders and Pepe Reina was the factor that found Norwich their goal. I'd struggle to find a scenario where that goal would have been prevented.

If it wasn't for Pepe Reina soon afterwards, Liverpool could have found themselves a goal down, the Spaniard made a superb save to keep the Reds in the game.

The dying moments saw Norwich just slightly lose their concentration, as Liverpool were awarded several corners on the bounce.

Andy Carroll could do nothing but plant his face in the grass after missing what appeared to be a brilliant chance to turn in a header and sending the ball wide, followed by a brilliant stop from John Ruddy to keep out a very lively Suarez, it just didn't appear to be Liverpool's three points to take.

An extremely disappointing result and everybody knows we shouldn't be drawing with Norwich at home but the feel in the air that it's the end of the world just has to stop. There's people already throwing away the hopes of fourth place and because of what? 29 missed chances against Norwich to get three points?

People just need to calm down i feel, no it's not acceptable but there were plenty of positives to take from that game and namely the fact that we are creating so many chances game in, game out. If we converted a higher percentage, we'd be laughing. I'd rather be faced with the rather difficult problem of ensuring we begin to take our chances compared to the immense problem of having to figure out how exactly to create attacking threats.

The chalkboard below presents what i am trying to point out. We all know Manchester United can make something out of nothing. They too were under the cosh against Norwich at home, but as we all know, after years under Fergie, that side have learnt how to take their chances.

Less chances in the match but still a large sum, United managed to convert two of their shots. Liverpool however with more attempts only converted one. The basis of a quality side is there, all that's required i feel is hard work, to make this chalkboard into one with more goal events on for the Reds.


Next up for Liverpool is a tie in the cup against Stoke, which i am expecting to be a difficult one, then it's West Bromwich Albion.

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Friday, 21 October 2011

Canaries Come To Anfield

Grant Holt is a goal threat for Norwich...
Liverpool welcome promoted side Norwich City to Anfield this weekend as the Canaries look to continue their  decent start to the season. Norwich are currently 9th in the table whilst the Reds are in 5th.

There aren't many injury worries for either side but there is a doubt hanging over Zak Whitbread for Norwich. The defender is back in training but has only just recovered from a hamstring injury. For Liverpool we have no injuries at all but Lucas Leiva after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Manchester United will have to sit this one out.

The last time the two clubs faced each other was in 2005. Liverpool came away from Carrow Road with a 2-1 victory. The last time Norwich notched up a win at Anfield was in 1994, a slim 1-0 win saw the Canaries walk away with all three points.

Liverpool i think most will admit have been looking very lively of late. The draw with Manchester United didn't reflect the efforts of Dalglish's side in a game where if chances were taken it could have been a totally different scoreline. The win over Everton was an important one and Luis Suarez was able to show off his skills against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

I think if this fixture was at Carrow Road at this point of the season then Norwich might be able to give us a run for our money but with us being at Anfield i can only feel condfident.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool have only let 27 shots on target from the opposition so far this season, that's the joint best in the league.
  • Norwich have conceded in every league game so far this season.
  • If Liverpool win, it will be their fifth in a row against Norwich.

Enjoy the match folks!

P.s. Completely off topic, and if you follow me on Twitter you'll already know. Basically i've had fantastic news about a second job! I'm not guaranteed hours but have been called in to start after half term, this added to my job at the Molineux, plus all my college work that is slowly starting to come in will mean that posts could and probably will appear at strange times.

I will try my utmost to keep to my usual schedule of the previews at least a day before or earlier and the reports being no later than a day after but i am just apologising in advance for any of the events that may unfold now that i am an even busier bunny! Haha. YNWA.

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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Rangers Result & Deal With Nacional

McCulloch scores (Image source

The friendly with Rangers on Tuesday night ended in a 1-0 loss for Liverpool. Kenny Dalglish's side just couldn't find the back of the net in the match at Ibrox.

Liverpool didn't go easy on Rangers and players such as Charlie Adam, Andy Carroll and Glen Johnson were just some utilised by the manager.

Lee McCulloch scored for the home side in the first half which secured Rangers the win by 90 minutes. Doni who let the goal in was the only injured party for Liverpool after he suffered a dislocated finger, but the goalkeeper managed to get some good game time in and this will surely be valuable for a player who has to face facts that Reina will long be the first choice.

In other news, Liverpool are close to reaching a deal with Uruguayan club Nacional. The deal would mean Liverpool could have first pickings on the clubs young players that come up through the academy.

I personally think this is a fantastic move, we know Suarez and Coates both came up through the Nacional ranks and what's to say their isn't more talent hiding in their academy?

Uruguay is a footballing nation and I'd describe the Uruguayan footballers as an untapped resource. Many football fans have known Diego Forlan for a good while but now that Suarez has burst onto the scene in the Premier League, people are standing up and taking notice of the South Americans.

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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Hillsborough Debate & Rangers Friendly

A landmark day in the fight for justice when this evening Hillsborough was debated in the house of commons. A truly moving and inspirational opening speech by Steve Rotherham was applauded by the house and families watching in the gallery.

The home secretary has promised to release the files without making any changes to them and handing them over to the panel and the families. These groups will then be able to decide whether information will be taken out, i.e. medical records etc that would be no benefit to the public.

It's been 22 years since that fateful day in April of 1989 and nobody has ever given up hope on finding out the truth.

MP's from all over the country stood up in the house of commons this evening and made it clear that they all wanted the same thing, for the families to finally step that little bit more closer to the truth and to justice.

Here's hoping that once the panel have sifted through the masses of new information, the report that is released will finally help us all understand what happened before, during and after the Hillsborough disaster.

~Justice For The 96~

In other news for Liverpool a friendly with Rangers is due to take place tomorrow at Ibrox. Even though it's a friendly and quite clearly Dalglish won't be starting his regular players, it could be interesting.

Charlie Adam who is familiar with Rangers however said he is "...looking forward to it." and that "'s not very often you get the opportunity to go back and play against your former club."

As you can probably understand with friendlies, there's not as much to write about but I'll probably get up some sort of round up after the game.

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Sunday, 16 October 2011

Reds Take One Point From United Game

Gerrard celebrates...
Liverpool were forced to settle for a draw against Manchester United on Saturday with captain Steven Gerrard converting a fantastic free kick in the process. Manchester United found their equalizer with ten minutes left on the clock courtesy of front man Javier Hernandez.

Alex Ferguson obviously thought it would be better to leave Wayne Rooney on the bench for this fixture. After his Dad making the headlines and him tragically (note the sarcasm) missing 3 games in the World Cup, for some reason that means he can't handle 90 minutes. 

Liverpool took this as a positive but it appeared Manchester United had a bit of a game plan in place. They certainly seemed more happy in keeping out attacks than they did pushing forward anyway.

For Liverpool, Steven Gerrard made the start in midfield and Luis Suarez was opted on his own up front with Andy Carroll on the bench. I was very pleased with the starting eleven and it felt good knowing we had everybody fit and so plenty of options on the bench.

From the onset it was clear Manchester United were not going to concentrate on the attack but more so on the defence, it was a very negative set up from Ferguson who had left a lot of his starters on the bench. This however didn't stop United getting the first real shot at goal.

Evra delivered the ball and Phil Jones connected, a poor header though was sent wide and Liverpool remained out of danger.

During the first half the the stats on screen showed that United edged the possession, for me that was quite surprising because Liverpool were working hard and it looked like United couldn't keep hold of the ball. On the Guardian's chalkboards it says Liverpool made 13 interceptions in the first half so clearly the lads were getting stuck in.

Luis Suarez who was the sole man up front for Liverpool had a speculative long range effort go wide not long after United's chance. The game was slowly beginning to open up but with United acting so defensively it was taking a lot of effort.

Charlie Adam saw a shot blocked by Evans in the run up to half time but the ball came back out to an awaiting Suarez. Unfortunately all the Uruguayan could do was send the chance straight at De Gea who made the save. At the time it felt like we wouldn't get another chance as good as that and looking back, if we'd have converted i think we would have won with ease.

Liverpool were fantastic throughout the 90 minutes but i just felt as though we went too long without scoring for a side providing so much pressure. We all know what Manchester United are like, just that one chance and they'll change a whole game, whether you think you deserve to win or not.

Into the second half and Steven Gerrard paired with Charlie Adam in the middle of the park was continuing to be an impressive partnership. Jose Enrique is another player who had a cracking game and the work rate of Dirk Kuyt should surely be noted.

The Reds however needed a goal to back up all their efforts. United were struggling to break through in the small bouts of possession they maintained but Liverpool just couldn't seem to find the end product.

Rio Ferdinand got himself booked just after the 50 minute mark after a challenge on Suarez. Contact was made, Suarez made a meal of it but it was definitely a foul, the booking was perhaps a bit harsh however. Shortly after this incident, Lucas Leiva who had also been cautioned was replaced with Jordan Henderson.

It was Ferdinand who found himself in trouble again with 20 minutes left on the clock after a challenge on Charlie Adam. The referee was slightly inconsistent i thought because after concluding it was indeed a foul surely Rio should have been sent off?

Steven Gerrard stepped up to take the free kick from outside the area. The captain who made his first start in 6 months made sure this one counted and with a sweet ball sent his attempt through the wall and into the back of the net.

A sliding celebration complete with badge kissing and the reminder of it being his fifth goal against United was fantastic to see.

A double substitution after the goal saw Nani and Rooney entering the fray. I watched the match in a pub in town and all the United fans were doing was yelling for Rooney to come on.

It was the third substitute of Hernandez though five minutes later that would spoil the party for Liverpool.

The Mexican headed home from close range after a corner and grabbed United their equalizer. Some people are saying United didn't deserve to score, although i was absolutely gutted, like i said earlier, i just feel if we'd have taken our chances, then we would have had that cushion to keep us in the game.

With time left on the clock still to change things though, both sides suddenly were on the hunt for a winner. Liverpool arguably having the better of chances to collect the three points with a dipping effort from Henderson saved by De Gea. Followed by a header also from Henderson that was sent just over the bar.

I think Dalglish in his post match interview described it brilliantly, the fact that we're disappointed with a draw with Manchester United shows how far we've come. Annoying to only pick up one point after all our efforts but we shouldn't feel too hard done by.

Next up for Liverpool is a friendly against Rangers at the Ibrox and then Norwich come to Anfield.

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Friday, 14 October 2011

United, Bring It On!

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has a fully fit squad to choose from for the big game against Manchester United on Saturday. It was a fruitful affair last time for Liverpool as Dirk Kuyt put a hat trick past the Red Devils at Anfield. 

This game requires no build up, win, lose or draw it is always an exciting clash and Alex Ferguson has been quoted this week saying "I have always considered it to be the game of the season in English football." 

Since Dalglish has been in charge, excitement levels have been higher in general but even more so when these sort of fixtures come around. Kenny of course is no stranger to intense matches and he's certainly no stranger to Fergie's mind games.

Confidence is the key for Saturday, we know United have had the better start to the season but Liverpool haven't faltered much, even in the loss against Stoke we bombarded the goal with shots and were unlucky.

Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll are two players who will be looking to be in receipt of a vociferous Kop End celebration and i will be very surprised if neither of the lads put one past De Gea.

In terms of who should start against Manchester United i think we are all expecting the captain to be back in the midfield. I can't wait to see our famous Gerrard back to his best making Fergie's boys panic.

As for the rest of midfield i must say, no offence to Jordan Henderson but we need to start Kuyt in my opinion. His work ethic and passing is something that's invaluable in these sort of games, not to mention the fact he put three past them last time!

All in all, i honestly think we're in with a very good chance of taking all three points, i just hope the lads play with purpose from the off.

Manchester United are without Tom Cleverly and Rafael Da Silva for the game whilst Vidic and Smalling are both doubts. As mentioned in the opening, Liverpool are in a fantastic position with no injuries at all.

Liverpool have won their last three matches at Anfield against United. The away side only managed to score twice in that time.

Stat Sandwich
  • Dirk Kuyt last season made himself only the second player to get a hat trick against Manchester United.
  • Wayne Rooney has failed to score in his last 6 Premier League games against Liverpool.
  • Steven Gerrard has scored 4 goals against Manchester United, 2 goals shy of Robbie Fowler's record.
It's just over a year since John Henry and Co bought us and i think everyone will agree things have been getting steadily better ever since, so what better way to celebrate than with a win against Manchester United?

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Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Games Gone By: Manchester United 1 Liverpool 4

It was a bright March morning two years ago when Liverpool fans were rising and preparing for the massive game against Manchester United. The trip to Old Trafford, the pub or even to the armchair is sometimes a nervy experience before games like this but the excitement and adrenaline always prevail.

My morning back in March 2009 consisted of me getting ready for work and having to pull myself away from the television and the ramblings of the sexist dinosaur, ahem I mean Richard Keys.

The games preceding the Manchester United fixture in March saw Liverpool beat Sunderland 2-0 and lose to Middlesborough by the same scoreline. But a brilliant 4-0 win over Real Madrid just four days earlier helped the Reds' confidence levels.

 A season in which Rafael Benitez had helped fuel a title challenge meant the Manchester United result mattered more than it had done for a long while.

After the regular build up and mind games from the Manchester United camp, Liverpool quietly kept themselves to themselves as they perfected Benitez's crafted instructions on the training pitch.

When match day came, nobody could have predicted the outcome.

Manchester United got themselves on the score sheet first with a Ronaldo penalty. It shouldn't have, but just the sight of United scoring a penalty at Old Trafford and so early against us made most peoples hopes drop almost immediately. We all knew the lads would fight on but when United take the lead at home, the levels of work and concentration required are immense.

It was a shock then when just ten minutes later, Fernando Torres left Vidic flat on his face and slipped one past Van Der Sar to put Liverpool level.

At the time, Vidic was talked about as one of the best defenders in the league, some still argue his case now, but that day in March 2009, he was made to look a complete fool.

The Reds were now oozing with confidence and a typical Gerrard run into the box saw him upended by Evra. As the captain stepped up to take the penalty, everything fell silent.

The number 8 converted and celebrated by running to the nearest cameraman and kissing the screen.

The away end had gone berserk! I was in an executive box, a man and his grandchildren had kindly allowed me to stay in the room and watch the penalty, can't deny i had a spring in my step handing out the rest of my betting slips that afternoon.

This was fantastic, the perfect time to take the lead just before half time and it felt like we had the upper hand over Fergie's boys.

The second half took a lot of time to unfold and the pace of the first half was missing but it was Liverpool again who would liven things up this time with the skills of Fabio Aurelio.

Steven Gerrard was literally ragged down by a useless Vidic, he was absolutely terrible that game, how people try to make excuses for him I'll never know but the defender was sent off for his rash challenge.

Fabio Aurelio, the sneaky little Brazilian was chosen to take the free kick outside of the box on the right hand side. A lovely curled effort saw him send the ball home from 25 yards, the Reds were now 3-1 up at Old Trafford and still with fifteen minutes left on the clock.

Stoppage time for Manchester United is usually something that is welcomed but the tables were turned in March 2009. A goal kick from Pepe Reina managed to reach to Dossena who had made a successful run, without hesitation, Dossena saw his chance and with a cheeky lob made it 4-1 to Liverpool.

I couldn't believe my eyes, we'd absolutely embarrassed them, they'd scored a penalty and barely threatened us all game. The lads and Rafael Benitez had figured out how to crack the Rubik's Cube, not whilst comfortably at home on the sofa, but hanging upside down from the shed door frame.

I can't remember the last time a team played so well at Old Trafford and that game will forever be up there with my favourites.

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Monday, 10 October 2011

Liverpool V United In Pictures

Just to get you in the mood for this weekend's clash with Manchester United here are a few snaps from past clashes.

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Sunday, 2 October 2011

Carroll Scores In Derby Win

The Merseyside derby was once again packed full of twists and turns as Liverpool eventually walked away with all three points. The Reds managed to put two past a ten man Everton side with Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez getting themselves on the score sheet.

Early proceedings saw Luis Suarez denied by a good save from Tim Howard and Everton's Louis Saha unlucky on several occasions. It was pretty level pegging but already the tackles were flying in.

The first real incident involved Jack Rodwell. Referee Martin Atkinson believed the foul on Luis Suarez was so bad, it deserved a straight red card.

From the way Suarez hit the deck, it looked a lot worse that it was and after looking at the replays, Everton certainly had a case. In my eyes in wasn't even a foul, a warning would have sufficed. A red card for such an incident is quite shocking but i can't say i was too bothered at the time.

The thing is, even if Rodwell was still on the pitch, it was too early to tell which way the game would swing and i wouldn't have been surprised if there wasn't a sending off at some point afterwards anyway but it was a bad decision.

Now with ten men, the Toffees has to remain focused, it would be too easy for them to just give way and to be fair to the home side, they played well in the run up to half time.

Liverpool were also having a decent game and searching for a goal to break the deadlock. Suarez was looking the most lively with a shot going wide just before what would be a big decision for the boys in red.

Martin Atkinson awarded a penalty just before half time after a Jagielka challenge on Suarez in the box. This time, Atkinson got it spot on and thankfully Liverpool had a decision go their way for a change this season.

Dirk Kuyt, the man who is on 49 Premier League goals for Liverpool stepped up to the penalty spot. The shot from the Dutchman was a good one but Tim Howard had other ideas and with a brilliant stretched save prevented Kuyt from getting to 50.

Tim Howard minus obviously the two goals was a force to be reckoned with for the majority of the match, at stages it felt like nothing was going to get past him.

A slight set back after failing to convert the penalty meant the paced slowed a bit for Liverpool. By the hour mark, the manager decided to liven things up with a double substitution, Steven Gerrard and Craig Bellamy came on in place of Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing.

Although neither of the subs were really involved with the first goal, the changes must have helped somehow as ten minutes later the Reds put one in the net.

A lovely piece of play involving Enrique, Kuyt and Carroll. Enrique makes a run into the box and puts a ball in, Kuyt quickly decides to get out of the way and ducks to allow the ball to fly over his head, awaiting in the box is Andy Carroll who confidently puts the ball into the bottom right of goal.

His first goal of the season will surely help him on his way, he's been looking sharp for a good few games now and it's great to see him get off the mark this season.

Immediately after the goal, Liverpool were caught off guard, a counter attack by Everton nearly saw them get an equaliser. A livid Pepe Reina shouts at his defence after saving a shot from Tim Cahill.

It was Everton themselves who gifted Liverpool with their second goal, Distin set up Suarez after a mishap and the Uruguayan was quick to react. An easy typical finish from the number seven who secured Liverpool the three points.

Both sides got stuck in today and of course Everton fans will continue to moan about the Rodwell sending off but Liverpool i feel can be proud of that 90 minutes, a good performance in a big fixture and both strikers grabbing a goal.

Next up for the Reds is another big game as Dalglish looks to ready his lads for Manchester United's visit to Anfield.

My mouth is watering already for this one!

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