The Liver Bird  

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Make Shankly Proud

It's the big one on Sunday, the bitter clash with Manchester United, the perch thieves. This game needs no introduction really but I'm going to give you one anyway in this match preview. Sunday's fixture is made even more special as the great Bill Shankly would have been 100 years old this Monday. It's said too often but they seriously don't make managers like him anymore or even men for that matter, he truly was and always will be a legend at Liverpool Football Club and here's hoping the Reds can pull a massive win out the bag for his memory this weekend.
It probably shouldn't be as there are more iconic ones but this is my favourite image of the great Bill Shankly.
Image: donegalsubbuteo.webs.com
Injuries for Liverpool mean they are without Coates, Allen and new signing Cissokho. There is also a massive doubt hanging over Kolo Toure though being the machine he is don't be surprised if he starts! Suarez again is obviously also missing. For United they are unable to call upon Rafael, Hernandez and Nani, some key names especially for a fixture like this.

The last time the two sides met at Anfield was in September last year. As with every tie between the two sides there was goals and excitement. Jonjo Shelvey was sent off with 5 minutes of the first half left then Steven Gerrard found the back of the net in the 46th minute. Despite being down to 10 men Liverpool had the upper hand shortly but it was always going to be a difficult task to hold out Manchester United for 45 minutes and Rafael and van Persie scored for the away side sealing victory in the 81st minute from the penalty spot.

The most recent tie between the two sides was in January this year with exactly the same scoreline as the Anfield clash. This time United took the lead after 19 minutes via van Persie and then scored again in the second half through Vidic. Daniel Sturridge found a consolation goal for the Reds but once again Liverpool had lost to United.

Of course looking back over the history of the results Anfield has usually been kinder to us in this clash and so it is always nice to face United in front of the roaring Kop.

The Reds have a 100% record in their opening to the Premier League season  whilst United have a slight mark on their form after drawing with Chelsea. The big problem for Liverpool though this week has been trying to ensure fitness is at a high enough level. Things didn't go according to plan in their midweek match with Notts County in the League Cup and as a result the Reds ended up playing extra time with the likes of Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge playing throughout the whole game!

Stat Sandwich

  • If Liverpool win it will be the first time since 1994 that they've won 3 opening league games on the trot.
  • United's 0-0 draw with Chelsea ended their run of 82 league matches with goals in them.
  • Daniel Sturridge has scored 8 times in his last 7 league matches.

For me even with the mishap midweek we have a real chance here to collect 3 points and be (albeit probably temporarily) top of the table. The main problem is keeping van Persie quiet and if we can do that I honestly feel we have enough in attack to win the game. Moyes has never won at Anfield as we all know but of course, he's never been with United. This is a simply massive fixture though, in games gone by the dressing room would have had the powerful sound of Alex Ferguson in it if things had taken an early turn for the worse at Anfield but this time out it's Moyes, would he be able to spur on the troops at a packed Anfield when the Reds are up via a Sturridge goal? Maybe I'm clutching at straws here (yes I am) but the fact is, things are different and even if in some peoples' opinion the difference is only slight, Liverpool still need to capitalise on that and be confident going in to this game. I seriously believe we can have them on Sunday and I don't know about you but I'm mega excited for kick off!

Tweet us your score predictions and goalscorers and I'll RT some on The Liver Bird's brand new dedicated Twitter account. If you're not already following, get on it - @_TheLiverBird

As always, enjoy the match folks!

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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Complacent Reds Fight Back In Extra Time To Win 4-2

Liverpool found themselves on the ropes on Tuesday evening after a solid first half performance quickly deteriorated when Notts County found themselves two goals to level the game up in the second half. Two excellent goals from Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge in the first 45 minutes looked to have already bagged a confident Liverpool side the win but with complacency setting in Notts County were rewarded for their hunger and pushed the tie to extra time. With 3 injuries for Liverpool and all their subs used, after Kolo Toure went down the Reds were left with 9 men, thankfully though another goal from the brilliant Sturridge and an awesome solo goal from Jordan Henderson ensured Liverpool would progress to the next round.

Image: straitstimes.com
With Manchester United to face on Sunday many fans were surprised by the strength of the team fielded by Brendan Rodgers, I found it admirable that the boss was taking this competition seriously but I was also assuming that the likes of Sturridge and Gerrard would leave the field at some stage, this didn't happen though. I was in such a dream world last night that I even tweeted before extra time suggesting we take them off now, completely forgetting that we'd already used our 3 substitutions! At times this game really was a nightmare but then it goes to show that the League Cup isn't always a snorefest as some would suggest.

A total of 28 shots from Liverpool indicated that they should have comfortably had the tie wrapped up early on but the woodwork was hit on several occasions and chances were sometimes wasted.

It didn't take long at all for the home side to get the scoring underway when Raheem Sterling took on the County defence with real confidence. His finish was also enviable and it was brilliant to see Sterling back in the starting line up.

Shortly after the goal for Liverpool, things began to take a turn for the worse when new signing Aly Cissokho appeared to twist his ankle. He tried his best to stay on the field but the injury was too painful and so he was replaced by Daniel Agger. Despite the early forced substitution Liverpool still kept their momentum.

For the remainder of the first half the Reds retained the majority of possession, creating chances but failing to convert (Agger heading against the woodwork was a notable point) until Daniel Sturridge found the back of the net with another fantastic goal. A perfect ball through from captain Steven Gerrard allowed Sturridge to comfortably finish with a powerful strike, his signature dance followed and had nearly everyone in Anfield smiling as the Reds looked as though they were going to turn this into a rout.

The second half would prove very different for the home side though and it was Notts County who were first on the score sheet this time. A free kick from Mark Fotheringham found its way on to the head of Manny Smith who headed across goal to find the head of Yoann Arquin who rose well to put the ball past a slightly delayed hand of Simon Mignolet.

It was quite evident that if County did manage to find a goal then they would relish the excitement. It's perhaps a bit cliche to say but the smaller teams in this competition will always have that underlying hunger and so to have scored at Anfield with 30 minutes of full time left it was clear Notts County were now going to capitalise on this situation as much as they could.

Shortly after the goal another injury for Liverpool meant that Joe Allen had to be replaced with Jordan Henderson entering play. At this point most fans were still assuming the last substitution would see Sturridge leave the field in preparation for Sunday's clash with Manchester United but this wasn't the case. Luis Alberto was the last change, he was replaced with Coutinho at just after 70 minutes.

As the second half went on Liverpool had lost nearly all of their hold on the game, Notts County had increased their possession stats and in turn increased their confidence, they certainly felt as though they could find an equaliser whilst at this stage the Reds seemed happy to try and keep hold of the 2-1 lead and get this game done with. With 7 minutes left to go though Notts County had their efforts rewarded. A well worked lead up to the goal saw a cross reach Adam Coombes who struck past Andre Wisdom and Simon Mignolet to level the game. The Reds now had extra time to contend with if they couldn't find a late, late winner.

Efforts from Sturridge, Agger and Gerrard were not destined to change the scoreline and so Liverpool were now faced with another 30 minutes of football, with a practically full strength side and with Manchester United looming in their heads for Sunday.

Let's face it, this wasn't an ideal situation but you can't fault the game, it was exciting and it was refreshing to see. Liverpool once again I must note were very tenacious, they were a team, just as they should be and one positive that has been evident throughout all Liverpool's fixtures so far this season is their togetherness and determination to get things done. For me, at this moment in time, I couldn't give a toss how we go about doing it, as long as we get the result, and we did.

Shortly into extra time cult hero Kolo Toure was taken off the field on a stretcher after sustaining a groin injury. I really like Toure and it was gutting to see this happen I just hope both himself and Allen and Cissokho can return to fitness quickly though it looks quite bad for Kolo.

With 10 men left and the majority of extra time left the task had become even harder for Liverpool but they never gave up and eventually that man Daniel Sturridge found the back of the net once again. Sturridge put enough power on his diagonal strike to force the County goalkeeper into a mistake, the ball should have been stopped but instead it was allowed to trickle into the net. Liverpool had now regained the lead and surely they wouldn't let this slide?

To further stamp their authority and prove their Premier League class the Reds finished off the night with a cracking solo goal from Jordan Henderson. I've said many times on the blog that Jordan has bags and bags of potential but I wish he wouldn't hesitate as much and stick to his original decisions, well he didn't soddin' hesitate last night did he?!

After picking up the ball from Ibe in midfield Jordan ran directly at the encroaching County back line, with a sublime little slip of the ball through the defender's legs he then reconnected slotting the ball round the keeper and into the back of the net, all in the blink of an eye. Bloody brilliant!

Liverpool had now cemented their place in the next round. It may have been untidy but it was a win and that's all that matters. Both sides also had penalty claims to contend with which I failed to mention (busy game) but the referee was having none of it from either side though I feel both had cases.

Liverpool have their name in the hat but will it be detrimental to their flowing league start? I personally take the attitude that to be a truly great team you have to be ready for every eventuality and I would usually stand by this notion but with such a thin squad I do feel that we could have coped yesterday with a few more changes but then I'm no Premier League manager am I? (Thank god!) I honestly think though that on Sunday we should be fine, nothing has really changed, keep Van Persie quiet and take the game to them, it's at Anfield, the 12th man is well and truly behind us and we can take them. As for the probably missing Kolo Toure I don't have any fears, Skrtel for me is still a top class defender, he may have had a few mares at the end of last season but he knows what he's doing and he's experienced against Manchester United.

Get your money on a Sturridge scorecast, that's all I'm saying!

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Monday, 26 August 2013

Can We County On A Win?

Haha, that pun in the title is terrible! Anyway... Liverpool welcome Notts County to Anfield on Tuesday evening as they look to progress to the next stage of the Capital One Cup. After two wins on the trot in the Premier League the Reds are in some good form but I'd be surprised if the same XI featured in the league will start on Tuesday.

Arquin is County's joint top scorer at present...
Image: thisisnottingham.co.uk
Notts County are struggling with a few injuries at the moment. They are missing their captain Dean Leacock, they are also without Sheehan and Showunmi and Danny Haynes originally had a hamstring pull but it has since been redescribed as a knock and so it's unknown as to whether he will feature.

For Liverpool they are without Sebastian Coates who looks as though he may be out for the whole season and they are of course still without Luis Suarez.

The last time the two sides met was way back in March 1992. Liverpool won that game 4-0. To find a Notts County win we have to go all the way back to March 1956 when Notts County got the better of the Reds in a 2-1 win.

Form for Liverpool indicates a positive result for the Reds and when coupling that with the fact Notts County have lost all 4 of their league games so far this season, you have to predict a Liverpool win. Of course, anything can happen in these sort of games and with it still being a mystery as to who Brendan may start you never know what the final score will be. I'd personally like to see a few of the youngsters fielded on Tuesday night, I think it would be worth while playing Cissokho for the majority of the game too.

My prediction for this one is 2-0 to Liverpool, I just can't see Notts County breaking through our defence, especially not at Anfield. Enjoy the match folks!

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Sunday, 25 August 2013

Another Sturridge Stunner Gives Reds Another Win

Liverpool lined up at Villa Park on Saturday evening looking to notch up another win in the league. After Daniel Sturridge's first half goal their prayers were met and the Reds had won two on the trot in the Premier League for the first time in 5 years. A solid first half from Liverpool saw them dominate in possession but momentum was lost slightly in the second half. Thankfully Simon Mignolet was on song when called into action and it was a good result for Brendan's side who would have probably lost or drawn a game like this last season.
Image: itv.com
It was the same starting XI from the Stoke game chosen by Brendan Rodgers and the travelling Kop would have been very much looking forward to the link up play between the likes of Coutinho, Aspas and Sturridge again. In defence cult hero Kolo Toure was once again paired with Daniel Agger.


It was a calm and composed start from Liverpool who had a large quantity of possession for the majority of the first half. There appeared to be a man free to pass to each time a red shirt was looking, not only this but if Villa did get the ball, play was closed down quickly and possession was restored in no time. It was brilliant to see such a calculated system because we all knew we had to be weary of Villa's counter attack and Benteke especially. Liverpool though had things covered, creating pressure whilst both in possession and out of it.

Liverpool's only goal of the game came just after the 20 minute mark and no matter how many times you watch this one on replay you'll never get bored. A lovely ball from Enrique was left by Coutinho who must have heard a call from Sturridge running into space behind him, taking on the defence with some lovely touches, it looked as though Daniel had taken the ball too far but with a lovely toe poke high into the net, he'd stunned the Villa fans and put Liverpool 1-0 up in supreme fashion. It was a simply sublime goal, I've brought it up on several occasions on Twitter but I seriously never understood why a few fans were so adamant they didn't want him in the side, he's been fantastic so far and can only get better in my opinion. Even with pressure on his shoulders from the absence of Suarez, he's playing brilliantly.

Late on in the second half Villa finally had some attempts, Simon Mignolet parried away a Benteke chance with 5 minutes left on the clock and there was also an effort from Weimann but Daniel Agger read it well. Unfortunately for Villa after playing so well against Arsenal and Chelsea they were looking very drab for the first half of this fixture, Liverpool were very much in control but surely Villa would come out in the second half with some fire in their bellies.

The second half saw Villa a lot more present in the game and Liverpool began to lose momentum. Luckily though the Reds never lost their concentration and the defence was solid and confident. Steven Gerrard also I feel needs to be praised for Saturday's performance because he ended up playing a very defence game and made some great blocks and last minute calls to help his side remain ahead.

Just before the 70 minute mark Liverpool introduced their new signing Aly Cissokho, Iago Aspas left the field. The man on loan from Valencia lost the ball in his first moment of the game but on the whole he looked pretty promising.

With 5 minutes left on the clock Villa's star man Benteke nearly spoiled the Liverpool party when a headed ball fell to him perfectly, thankfully his compatriot Simon Mignolet was once again extremely alert and made another good save to keep his side's clean sheet. There was also a penalty shout for Liverpool late into the game, I personally didn't get a good look at the replays but it looked as though they were lucky to me, thankfully the decision didn't matter too much though.

I thought on the whole this was another positive performance for the Reds. I mentioned it on Twitter after the Stoke game when I returned home that these are the sort of fixtures Liverpool would have been losing and drawing last season, it's perhaps a bit cliche to say this but it's true, in games like this last season where Liverpool were losing their legs a bit you would see us making silly mistakes but we didn't here, we remained composed and got the job done. It may not be terribly exciting but I'd take ground out 1-0's all season! It was the smaller teams that were stumping us before, the big teams we always seem to play well against but if we can get these sort of results against the other sides as well then for me that is a real plus. I still hope we can bring in a couple more faces before that transfer window slams shut though!

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Friday, 23 August 2013

Reds Look To Continue Winning Start

Benteke is the man to watch...
Image : skysports.com
Firstly, if you're wondering where the Stoke match report was, hopefully you saw my Twitter/Facebook updates explaining that I was abroad and hence the missing post. I've only ever missed two in total since I've started this blog and so hopefully you can all forgive me!

I did however watch the match in a Celtic bar in Tenerife and I was very pleased with the overall performance from the lads. The first thing I thought at the final whistle was "that was exactly the sort of game we'd have lost last season". It was just fantastic to see such a tenacious team performance and it was clear that the team felt very together after celebrating the awesome double save from Mignolet, what a legend he is! As for the front three of Sturridge, Aspas and Coutinho, some of the play coming from them was pure class, Aspas and Coutinho especially seem to be working up a good partnership and I was very excited by their first Premier League match together. Sturridge's goal too was superb! I didn't realise immediately that his powerful strike had also gone through the legs of the defender, just brilliant! Overall I thought the Stoke game served us fans with a fair few positives, one thing that did worry me though was the quality of the bench, we definitely need to sign some more players before this window shuts and at the moment I'm not too confident we will. Anyway... on to the Villa match preview...

Liverpool are off to the Midlands on Saturday evening to face Paul Lambert's Aston Villa, with a win over Arsenal under their belts but a loss at Stamford Bridge it's been clear from Lambert's side's performances that they could well turn out to be the most improved team by the end of this season, of course it's early doors yet but they seem to have renewed confidence, even in the face of such a difficult starting group of fixtures.

Injuries for Aston Villa mean there are doubts hanging over Nathan Baker and Chris Herd but otherwise they have full use of their squad. Liverpool are obviously without Luis Suarez who is serving a ban and Sebastian Coates recently picked up a bad knee injury in an international for Uruguay, he could be out for some time.

Aston Villa fans breathed a sigh of relief when the boss managed to keep hold of Benteke and the forward has already scored three times in his two games so far this season.

The last time the two sides met was in March last year, Benteke was on the score sheet that day and so was Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard who converted from the spot. The fixture previous to this match was slightly embarrassing for Liverpool with Benteke once again on the score sheet, finding the back of the net twice and Weimann scoring a third goal for Villa. Steven Gerrard found a consolation goal late on for the Reds.

Stat Sandwich

  • If the Reds win this fixture it will be the first time in five years they have won their opening two Premier League games.
  • Villa have failed to keep a clean sheet in 24 matches.
  • Liverpool had more shots on goal last weekend than any other side in the league, a total of 20.

I think this fixture could be tough for Liverpool and I fully expect Aston Villa to score and probably first, however if the Reds can show the same effort and never say die attitude they did at Anfield against Stoke then I can see them coming away with all three points. My prediction for this game is 2-1 to Liverpool with Coutinho scoring for the Reds. Enjoy the match folks!

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Friday, 16 August 2013

Liverpool Start The Season Against Stoke

Greetings from Tenerife!
The Reds look to get their Premier League season underway on Saturday at Anfield when they face Mark Hughes' Stoke side. If you're reading this that means my scheduled post has worked and I'm currently sitting on a beach in Tenerife, sorry to rub it in! Haha. For this reason as you can probably tell this match preview is a bit thin on the ground compared to my usual posts but I didn't want to miss it completely so this was typed up on Monday 12th August.

We all know how Liverpool's pre-season went with 6 wins out of 7 and only 2 goals conceded. For Stoke, their pre-season has also gone pretty well, they lost just one game on their American tour, beat Wrexham and picked up a draw against Genoa.

With Tony Pulis out the door many people are suggesting that Stoke's well known style of play has been filtered out under Hughes but I'll make my own decision on that when we see them in the league. If this is true though expect some more attacks at Anfield from the potters as opposed to a parking of the bus.

For Liverpool they are obviously without Luis Suarez (if he's even still here?!) but this is the perfect chance for Daniel Sturridge to step up. I really like Sturridge and feel he can become a prolific scorer in this side. With the flair of Coutinho and Aspas too and the security of new Vice Captain Daniel Agger with Kolo Toure at the back, I feel this should be a win for Liverpool.

I'd usually provide you with a stat sandwich here but considering this has been typed up so early I'm afraid I have no worthy stats today!

My prediction for this one is 2-0 and wherever you are watching I hope this is a successful start for the Reds!

Enjoy the match folks.

P.s. The Stoke match report I am gutted to say will be missing from the blog as I don't return from Tenerife until the 21st but after that everything will be back to normal I can assure you!

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Sunday, 11 August 2013

Reds Put 4 Past Valerenga But Lose To Celtic

Liverpool fans at the Dublin decider...
Image: liverpoolfc.com
By the reaction on Twitter after Saturday's loss to Celtic you would think the world was about to end! And yes, whilst the performance was poor I can't be the only one requesting the drama queens to calm their passions. I love Twitter I really do but sometimes it just does your nut in! Unsurprisingly the reaction to the 4-1 win over Valerenga was a lot brighter on social media.

Suarez was left out of the Valerenga group that travelled to Norway, apparently due to injury but we all know better than that and John Henry certainly made the club's stance on Luis Suarez a lot clearer after the Norway trip.

It was a young side fielded by Rodgers in Norway but he also made 10 changes at half time. It was an easy win for the Reds who had goals from new signings Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas whilst Raheem Sterling and Martin Kelly also joined the score sheet. The first goal conceded in their pre-season also appeared in this game for Liverpool as Gonzalez found the back of the net for Valerenga in the first half.

In terms of the Celtic match there is little to report other than a rather dire display with the added magic of Coutinho and a lively Daniel Sturridge who entered the fray. An offside goal from Kolo Toure also confused the masses as official Twitter accounts and even the stadium announcer were convinced it was a goal, unfortunately for the Reds it wasn't and Balde's goal early on was the only goal of the game.

With pre-season over and Stoke up first in the Premier League for Liverpool, some people appear to be reading too much into the pre-season results, if I've learnt anything from pre-season I've learnt that it's not exactly Mystic Meg's crystal ball and in fairness we haven't done at all bad. For me last season one of the big problems was consistency if we can solve that problem we're already half way there but it's not as simple as that is it? We also need a few more names in before the window closes in my opinion as we're thin on the ground when we look at the subs bench. Coutinho and Aspas have impressed me the most this pre-season and I'm looking forward to seeing them start the league campaign.

In terms of that man Suarez I still don't know what I want, part of me thinks flog him, get rid! Then the other part thinks if he apologises, knuckles down and helps us challenge for the Champions League instead of just looking for a free ticket in, then maybe, just maybe I'll be ok with that.

What did you make of Liverpool's pre-season?

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Sunday, 4 August 2013

Captain Fantastic In Olympiakos Testimonial Win

Guard of honour for Gerrard...
Today saw our Captain Fantastic finally step out at Anfield through his guard of honour to play his long awaited and much anticipated testimonial game. The opposition carefully selected after that monumental night "ohhhhhh you beauty", the stage was set for a wonderful day at Anfield to mark the career of one of the most loyal, genuine and talented men in football; Steven Gerrard.

With training photos leaking the day before showing Jamie Carragher and Robbie Fowler, there was sure to be a nice little treat for the sell out crowd. It was always in Gerrard's interest to keep this clash as a proper pre-season game but with the addition of the recently retired Carra and God... Well, that was more than enough cherries on top of the cake.

I was lucky enough to be able to be present at Gerrard's testimonial and had a fantastic seat on The Kop in Block 304. I've never had chance to watch a game from The Kop so far and so you can imagine my excitement for this one. It may have been a friendly but it was a brilliant atmosphere on the whole.



Steven Gerrard of course got a standing ovation and an ear drum bursting round of applause when he entered the field. I seriously felt proud to be present for this man's testimonial, they just don't make them like him these days.

As far as the game went it was a decent friendly, Olympiakos weren't as threatening as they could have been but they had their moments and it was nice to see the well known Saviola appear for them. The bundle of Olympiakos fans who were present at Anfield too were also great sports!

For Liverpool they started without Suarez, Carragher or Fowler, though we knew Fowler wasn't going to be able to last for too long with his new belly! Haha.

It was Joe Allen first on the score sheet for the Reds, a missed chance minutes earlier that he scuffed high meant he needed to redeem himself and he certainly did after an Aspas assist allowed him an easy tap in. Allen had Liverpool in the lead.

Half time was reached without any more goal action but I'd learnt one thing from the first half, Kolo Toure is a beast! I've never seen him live, I obviously know he has real presence and power but he's soddin' massive! I was impressed with his performance.

In the second half the Anfield faithful had to wait until just past the hour mark to see Luis Suarez. The media made a big deal about the reception Suarez would get but us Liverpool fans, we're not fickle. Where's the sense in booing your best player and encouraging him to probably go on his way? Oh no, we showed that lad just where he is, where he's playing and what he'd miss. To thunderous cheers and applause Suarez entered the field and from The Kop I joined in with everybody else and belted out his song, to make sure he knows we just can't get enough. I've since seen videos of Suarez taking a long hard look at The Kop after coming on and I'm sorry, if he doesn't stay after that reception in a testimonial for Steven Gerrard then he can jog on as far as I'm concerned, good luck finding that kind of support ANYWHERE else.

Jordan Henderson also entered play replacing Joe Allen at the same time as the Suarez substitute, Luis replaced Aspas. Also subbed was Kolo Toure who made way for the stalwart Jamie Carragher, Jamie was cheered each time he touched the ball and a rendition of "team of Carraghers" was sung proudly.

Jordon Henderson though was the man taking all the focus, I'd barely sat down from the whole Suarez cheering when Henderson with his first touch of the game had smashed the ball into the back of the net, brilliant stuff! I really like Jordan and you can really see his improvements as time goes on, if he can keep working on his hesitancy as well I will be mega impressed.

Suarez played his usual game with pace and trickery but his real ambition lit up when Robbie Fowler was introduced to the game just after the 70 minute mark. Fowler's first move was to get stuck into a tackle which he won but then ended up falling over and doing a backwards gambol haha! Suarez seemed more determined to set Fowler up than to get on the score sheet himself but despite the sheer brilliance of watching God play there just wasn't going to be a goal.

Most of you will know that the reason I support Liverpool is because of my older brother supporting them when I was little, Robbie Fowler was his idol and he's gonna be well jealous when I tell him tomorrow I got to see him play!

With 5 minutes left on the clock Brendan Rodgers made the substitution that saw Jay Spearing replace Steven Gerrard. A rapturous applause and several chants of "Steve Gerrard, Gerrard!" saw the captain leave the field. It was such a superb day at Anfield and one I will never forget!

Most importantly though it's yet another pre-season win and another clean sheet for Liverpool. Here's hoping as a team we can do Gerrard proud next season and justify that loyalty he has showed the club.

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