The Liver Bird  

Monday, 31 March 2014

Reds Keep The Dream Alive

We are top of the league, say we are top of the league! ...

Oh yeah, I'm supposed to be rounding up the match aren't I? The beauty of running an informal blog means you can sometimes start a post in full on fan mode though! What a fantastic performance from Liverpool on Sunday as they put four goals past an extremely lacklustre Tottenham side. With Liverpool knowing they could take the top spot at the end of this fixture, Anfield was absolutely electric.

Brendan Rodgers made just the one change to his side deciding to field Raheem Sterling instead of Joe Allen creating an even larger attacking presence for the Reds.

As seems to be a trend for Liverpool, the game quickly got off to a great start as the Reds created problems in the box for Spurs. A lovely pass from Coutinho to Sterling allowed the youngster to run down the right wing, Glen Johnson then with a perfectly timed overlapping run received the ball from Sterling and whipped a cross into the danger zone. A then bumbling Kaboul managed to turn the ball into his own net and Liverpool had taken the lead.

Less than two minutes in and already a goal up, things really were looking positive for Liverpool who were playing with such confidence that Spurs just didn't appear to be able to cope. Tottenham looked lacking in both desire and ideas and it didn't take long before a slip up from them allowed the Reds through on goal again.

Dawson who had only just entered play made a snappy decision to quickly pass back to Kaboul who had Suarez on his tail. The Uruguayan of course won the ball and after a bursting run completed his attack with a wonderful finish from a tight angle placing his effort low to the right of goal.

His celebration was brilliant and if Anfield wasn't loud enough already, the decibels rose once again after this one as the dream began to seem like a reality. There's still a long way to go for Liverpool of course there is but with the title in their hands and in the form they are in... why shouldn't we believe?!

Shortly after our second goal Spurs created one of their only chances of the game, a decent shot left Skrtel having to throw his body in the way to keep Liverpool out of danger.

Towards the end of the second half Sterling nicked possession and put in a cracking cross to Luis Suarez who was in acres of space. His resulting header had enough power and accuracy and looked certain to find the back of the net but a fantastic save from Lloris denied Liverpool a third before half time.

The second half started well again for Liverpool who were in such a buoyant mood it was hard to believe they were playing against a side who were pushing so strongly last season for the Champions League.

Firstly a quality one-two with Sturridge and Sterling left the latter through on goal, whilst most would have expected Sterling to take on the chance himself he decided to pass to Henderson on his left who unfortunately sent his effort way over the bar.

A few minutes later though and Liverpool had scored their third of the game. After a break all the way from defence via Flanagan he eventually passed the ball to Coutinho who broke through to leave himself with enough space to have a pop, another great finish left Coutinho celebrating a goal that he fully deserved. He's been playing extremely well lately in my opinion and it was brilliant to see him get on the score sheet!

3-0 up and getting almost bored of the lack of return from Spurs, Liverpool well and truly had this one in the bag. Chants of "we shall not be moved" began to ring around Anfield as the fans got more and more excited at the prospect of that elusive Premier League Title.

The game wasn't over yet though. At one stage Daniel Sturridge nearly got himself on the score sheet with some lovely trickery and a somewhat cocky back heeled shot, his effort was saved by Lloris though who had definitely prevented Spurs from conceding 6 or 7.

With 15 minutes of the game to go Luis Suarez was fouled close to the box and with Steven Gerrard now off the pitch it was left to Jordan Henderson to step up. After sending the ball into the box his effort eventually found its way through two Liverpool players and a Spurs defender and into the back of the net. A stunned Henderson assumed somebody must have got a touch but Luis Suarez who could have made it to 30 goals was first to point to Hendo to tell him it was in fact his goal.

After the nervy end to the Sunderland game some critics began to question whether Liverpool had the bottle but after this performance they have definitely quietened down.

I asked you for your thoughts on the game on Twitter and here are a few of the replies I got...

Next up for Liverpool is West Ham away. I did try to post a few notes around the place a week or so ago because there will be a match preview for this fixture but the match report will be missing as I am in Budapest! I hate missing previews or reports but I don't believe in working when you are on a holiday or break and I'm sure you can all agree with this. So be sure to check out the preview, spare a thought for me too as my flight takes off as soon as we kick off, it's going to be agony not knowing what is going on!!!

Normal service will be resumed for the simply MASSIVE City game.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Can Liverpool End March On A High?

Liverpool welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Anfield on Sunday as they aim to collect a more convincing win after a somewhat nervy 90 minutes with Sunderland midweek. After confidently beating Spurs on their own turf, Brendan Rodgers will surely have faith in his side to seal the deal in the reverse fixture this weekend.

Liverpool are still in a strong position injury wise with just long term absentee Jose Enrique missing. Spurs on the other hand have a few injury worries with Adebayor and Dembele both being subject to late decisions and Capoue and Lamela out.

Tottenham are currently placed 6th in the league on 56 points. The London side have had a tough run in of games recently losing to both Chelsea and Arsenal on the trot but picking up a win against Southampton at White Hart Lane.

Liverpool are still sitting nicely in 2nd and as I write this there is a potential for us to go top tomorrow as Chelsea are having a bit of a mare (this surely can't last?!). No matter what happens in that game though, the challenge remains the same for Liverpool who need to keep the pressure on and collect three points. Liverpool haven't lost in their last 12 games and that loss came at the hands of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The last time the two sides met was of course the 5-0 win for Liverpool back in Decemeber, it was an emphatic performance for the Reds. The last visit to Anfield for Spurs also ended in a loss with Liverpool winning that game 3-2, Suarez, Downing and Gerrard were on the score sheet that day.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool have only lost one game at home in all competitions so far this season.
  • Spurs have not lost a game from a winning position so far this season.
  • Liverpool have scored before half time in a record 21 games.

I asked you for your score predictions for this one on Twitter and here are a few of the tweets I received.

I'm strangely less nervous about this game than I was for the Sunderland one. I have no idea why but I feel more confident against the bigger teams I think they way they have to play enables us to fully punish them with our attack, something that didn't happen perfectly against the five strong defence of Sunderland.

However I am of course still nervous as this is a massive game, my punt for this one is 3-1 Liverpool.

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Nervy Finish But Reds Grind Out 3 Points

It was a nervy ride to say the least on Wednesday evening as kopites everywhere tried to stay calm whilst Liverpool ground out a 2-1 win over Sunderland. After a heroes reception before kick off with the fans welcoming the team bus outside Anfield, the game generated the atmosphere of a European night and with the tension that rose throughout the 90 minutes it certainly did feel like it.

The game started slower than expected for Liverpool who were creating chances but perhaps struggling a bit with the five across the back fielded by Gus Poyet. Some poor crosses and passes from Glen Johnson too also led to early frustration, it just wasn't his day at all on Wednesday night!

Eventually though the pressure applied by the Reds came good when a last ditch challenge from Vergini saw Suarez taken down. In my opinion Vergini was very lucky to remain on the pitch, it was a bad challenge and I also felt he was last man with Suarez otherwise clear on goal. I definitely feel there was a case and he must have been relieved to only see a yellow at that stage from referee Kevin Friend.

Whenever we gain a free kick it's always Suarez and Gerrard hovering around the ball but after Suarez had been fouled I honestly thought it would be him taking this one, however it was the captain who took his chance with the set piece. And what a lovely free kick it was, Gerrard's effort swung high into the top right of goal leaving Mannone with no chance.

It had taken longer than perhaps most fans were expecting but the Reds were now in the lead and at a great time with only seven minutes of the first half left.

After a slow first half the second half began with complete contrast. A goal within just three minutes put Liverpool 2-0 up in the game. Daniel Sturridge after being set up by Jordan Henderson saw a chance to place a shot neatly around the keeper, it was a lovely finish. The goal also took Sturridge's tally to 20 in the league, along with Suarez's 28 this is the first time a Liverpool side has seen two players score more than 20 in the league for 50 years!

With spirits now high and a two goal cushion, it felt as though Liverpool had already secured those vital three points but after a double substitution on the hour mark from Gus Poyet, things would quickly begin to change. Adam Johnson and Ki Sung-Yueng were put into the mix.

Fifteen minutes later the two would combine. In another incident that would highlight the delicacy of Liverpool's defence, a corner from Adam Johnson found its way to the head of a clear and in space Ki who finished with ease to put his side back into the game.

After conceeding Liverpool also made a change replacing Daniel Sturridge with Raheem Sterling.

Despite still being in the lead and at home you wouldn't have guessed it in the dying moments of this game for the Reds. Sunderland were applying good spells of pressure and one attack even consisted of an effort smashing off the bar (though we also achieved this). It was extremely nervewracking, knowing how much these three points meant and also knowing the we would have the crap ripped out of us for failing to beat Sunderland at home, it really was horrible to watch!

However slowly but surely the Reds remained in control long enough to see out the game and thankfully collected all three points to put them just one point behind leaders Chelsea!

I asked you for your thoughts on the game on Twitter and here are a few of the tweets I received.

Next up for Liverpool is Spurs on Sunday!

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Reds Back At Anfield For Sunderland Tie

Liverpool are back on the hallowed turf of Anfield on Wednesday evening as they prepare to face Sunderland. After a thoroughly exciting if somewhat worrying tie with Cardiff at the weekend, the Reds will be looking for a smoother win this time out.

Good news for Liverpool as Brendan Rodgers has no new injuries to contend with. In the Cardiff game he opted to start Coutinho instead of Sterling and it will be interesting to see which of the two he chooses to start in this clash.

For Sunderland they cannot field Fabio Borini as he is ineligible being one of our players on loan. They are also missing Alonso who is serving a suspension and out with an ankle injury is Steven Fletcher.

Sunderland are currently 18th in the table and they are in the midst of a bad run of form too, losing three out of their last four games. Liverpool on the other hand still find themselves in 2nd chasing Chelsea whilst hoping Manchester City will slip up at some point too.

The last time the two sides met was in September last year. The game ended well for Liverpool with Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez on the score sheet in a 3-1 win. Sunderland's last visit to Anfield also ended badly for them with Liverpool scoring three goals again, this time with no return. The black cats however have had some better times on Merseyside with a 1-1 draw in 2011 and a 2-2 draw in 2010.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool are the top scorers in the league this season so far with 82 goals.
  • Sunderland have scored 26 goals this season, two less than Luis Suarez alone.
  • Daniel Sturridge has scored in 17 of 22 league games so far this season.

For me, this is another one of those games that makes you nervous even though you know full well that you should win the game. Sunderland have also been pretty poor of late and if we did lose at home to Gus Poyet's side, it would be a travesty.

I asked you for your score predictions for this game and here are a few of the tweets I received.

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Suarez Hat Trick In Cardiff Win

It certainly wasn't plain sailing for Liverpool on Saturday as they conceded an early goal from Cardiff making it much more difficult for themselves. Things never seem to be simple with Brendan Rodgers' side though, the way in which Liverpool play is always calling for risk but the plus side is the Reds know that they will score more goals. It's a gloriously exciting yet dangerous way to play football, especially at this stage of the season but it worked on Saturday for Liverpool.

Brendan Rodgers made only one change to the team from the Manchester United game, opting to replace Raheem Sterling with Philippe Coutinho.

Whilst on paper this game should have been a simple win for Liverpool, many fans appeared to forget that Cardiff were fighting for their lives and they would definitely get some chances on the counter attack. Unfortunately for Liverpool, these chances cropped up sooner than expected and with a less than alert defence the Reds conceded their first goal just eight minutes in.

A poor pass from Joe Allen sent the ball to Fraizer Campbell in the box, he then set up Mutch who with a composed finish put his side in front. It was a shock to say the least and whilst disappointing, as a Liverpool fan this season, you knew the game was nowhere near over yet.

On the back foot for a while Liverpool were beginning to make a few silly mistakes and were struggling to keep the ball. Social media was screaming at the likes of Allen and Henderson but it was far too early to start shouting the odds in my opinion.

At 16 minutes some good pressure from Liverpool led to an equaliser. An assist from Glen Johnson allowed for an easy Suarez tap in and the Reds were right back in the game. The fun didn't last very long though with Fraizer Campbell just nine minutes later finding himself weaving through our defence and with another good finish Cardiff had retaken the lead from a somewhat dumbstruck Liverpool side.

Once again, it was frustrating, very much so but there were still goals in this game, especially for Liverpool and whilst panic did begin to set in, we knew there was plenty of time to sort this all out.

Late in the first half Liverpool once again managed to get themselves back level. A Coutinho corner originally led to nothing but when the ball came back out to the Brazilian his resulting cross was just right for Skrtel to stick a leg out and convert Liverpool's second of the game. I went mad for this one, it's the first game I haven't been able to watch this season so I had it on five live, was going mental because I was just so glad we were back level then I realised that I'd had a quid on Skrtel anytime too, only won 8 quid like but yer know, it all helps! Haha.

Going into the second half the Reds had done well to finish the first half level with their opponents, it would have been much more of a struggle had Cardiff been in front.

Seven minutes into the second half and in an almost action replay Philippe Coutinho once again stepped up for a corner, this time a free Martin Skrtel was able to get his head on the cross and score again to put Liverpool into the lead for the first time in the game!

I love it when Skrtel celebrates because he seems to react exactly as the fans do... by going ape shit!

The momentum kept flowing for Liverpool when three minutes later they were attacking the Cardiff goal again. This time the partnership of Sturridge and Suarez was in full force with a sublime back heel from the former to the latter resulting in a lovely finish from Suarez. Now 4-2 up, the worries of the first half appeared to have melted away, the Reds were in full force now and it still felt as though there were goals left.

At 67 minutes Raheem Sterling replaced Philippe Coutinho. Whilst I did feel as though Sterling should have entered play I think it's important to highlight the fact that Coutinho got two assists in this tie, he's not always the most productive of players and can sometimes be a bit below par but he did well on Saturday.

At 74 minutes Daniel Sturridge wanted to get in on the action. Once again working with his partner Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan did all the hard work and placed a perfect ball across goal to Sturridge who tapped home his effort with ease. Now 5-2 up the travelling kop was absolutely buoyant. Chants of "we're gonna win the league, we're gonna win the league" were ringing out and everybody was well and truly back in hysteria mode.

A consolation goal for Cardiff appeared ten minutes later, there were many shouting the odds over clean sheets and goal difference but in my opinion I couldn't care less about that at this stage of the season. Our goal difference is already the second best in the league, we score bags of goals too and I don't think it's gonna come down to goal difference this year to be honest. For me all that matters is those three points! Cardiff's third was scored by Mutch after the ball was headed down by Kenwyne Jones. It was another simple finish.

Finally in stoppage time Liverpool converted their 6th of the game via Luis Suarez. A clearance from Skrtel flew all the way to the Uruguayan who was strong beating the Cardiff defender, his continued run enabled him to be one on one with the keeper, after some teasing he eventually slotted the ball home completing his hat trick and sealing Liverpool's all important three points.

I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received, thanks to all who replied!

Next up for Liverpool is Sunderland on Wednesday night, our game in hand is vital if we're going to keep this pressure on for the title.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Friday, 21 March 2014

Reds On A Roll

Liverpool travel to Wales on Saturday on the back of a brilliant win at Old Trafford. Brendan Rodgers' will be aiming to keep the moment going and avoid a slip up at Cardiff as the Reds aim to keep the pressure on in their ever more serious title challenge. With Chelsea also hosting Arsenal this weekend, it could be another interesting weekend for Liverpool.

Liverpool are in very good shape injury wise this week with just Jose Enrique left out with that long term injury. For Cardiff they are unable to call on Hudson and have doubts hanging over both Taylor and Turner and so Solskjaer may select his team late on.

Cardiff are currently 19th in the league on a worrying 25 points. Luckily for the Welsh side there are teams around them also struggling and so all hope is not lost. With 52 goals against though Solskjaer's team will struggle to keep out the Liverpool attack this weekend.

The Reds are currently sitting pretty, second in the league with a game in hand which is to be played against Sunderland. Just four points behind Chelsea, Liverpool have a tally of 62 points and will be looking for a Chelsea slip up this Saturday along with their own three points.

The last time the two sides met was in December last year, Liverpool picked up all three points in a game that ended 3-1 via a Luis Suarez brace and a Raheem Sterling goal. The game before that one was of course the league cup final in February 2012 which Liverpool won on penalties.

Liverpool's last few trips to Cardiff though in the 50s and 60s did not end well with the Reds losing 6-1, 3-0, 3-2...

I would usually have a stat sandwich here but this preview is a bit early and so the stats bods are not out yet. I did however remember to ask you for your score predictions this week and here are a few of the tweets I received.

I always get nervous when we're playing so well and I just end up waiting for a disaster, I'm getting that horrible feeling for this Cardiff game however I know that Liverpool should collect all three points.

Despite feeling this horrible sense of dread I'll still be having a punt on probably Suarez 2-1 tomorrow maybe Skrtel anytime too, that seems to be a favourite of mine at the moment after recently winning with it.

Either way let's hope Liverpool can keep the title hopes alive and here's hoping for a favourable result in the Chelsea game!

Enjoy the match folks!

Labels: , , ,

Monday, 17 March 2014

Penos-A-Plenty In Old Trafford Win

Liverpool walked away from Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon having collected all three points scoring two penalties and one goal via Luis Suarez from open play. The Reds were awarded three spot kicks but it could have been five or six in a game that saw some controversial decisions mixed with a truly poor performance from the once exuberant Manchester United.

Brendan Rodgers had clearly put some thought into his starting line up for this one, opting once again to include Joe Allen in the midfield in order to help protect the back four. The added bonus for Liverpool too was that both Lucas and Sakho were back on the bench. A forward three consisted of Sterling, Sturridge and Suarez (complete with knitted boots!)

The game got off to a good start for Liverpool who immediately sprung into action when a Henderson pass reached Daniel Sturridge, unfortunately his resulting shot went wide. Neither side to begin with was maintaining possession long enough but this perhaps worked in Liverpool's favour as they took their chances to break via interceptions.

Another early attack saw a ball from Flanagan reach Luis Suarez, a run into the box then saw the Uruguayan challenged by Fellaini. There were several fans asking the question of Suarez to go down and I do feel on this rare occasion he was being too honest as I feel there was something in it. However I wasn't too disappointed that it wasn't awarded what with a massive portion of the game left to play.

Later in the first half an incident occurred involving Rafael and Steven Gerrard, Rafael was booked for his poor scissor challenge on the captain but it was the moments that followed that left Liverpool fans fuming.

A lovely cross from Sturridge found its way to Luis Suarez in the box, as he began to fluster Rafael and make his way towards goal, Rafael absolutely blatantly batted the ball out the way. The penalty was awarded but Rafael after just being booked minutes earlier escaped a second yellow which I felt was a shocking decision. He should not have been on that pitch and even though Liverpool didn't end up needing any extra help, playing against 10 men at Old Trafford would have been a huge bonus.

The resulting penalty was taken by Steven Gerrard, as cool as ever he stepped up and placed the spot kick to the right of goal. Liverpool were 1-0 up.

Up until this stage Manchester United had created nothing, Mignolet had not been called into action once until with two minutes left of the first half Wayne Rooney sprung to life. A stinging effort was saved by the superb reactions of Mignolet who must have felt relieved to have cleared that potential danger.

I can't stand Wayne Rooney for a multitude of reasons but in fairness to him, he was the only United player on the pitch yesterday that appeared to have any fight or urgency.

The second half didn't take long at all to get underway when only seconds in Liverpool were awarded another penalty! This one for me was a definite, Phil Jones completely clattered Joe Allen out the way and off the ball, it was a shocking decision from Jones to do that so early on in the second half but it was clear from some of the decisions that the United players were making meant they were struggling to deal with the waves of attack from Liverpool.

Steven Gerrard stepped up once again to take the penalty and in an almost action replay he slotted home to the right of goal again to put Liverpool 2-0 up.

Shortly after the Liverpool penalty this time there were shouts at the other end. A potential hand ball from Glen Johnson left the United players screaming and if I'm honest I think they could of had a case. However it was not as clear cut as the Rafael hand ball earlier on in the game.

The next penalty incident came when Wayne Rooney decided to throw himself into Martin Skrtel OUTSIDE of the box, there were several United fans in the pub I was in going absolutely mad for this one but no way in hell was it a penalty.

As United struggled to create anything Brendan Rodgers and his boys continued to boss the game, it's a very long while since I've seen a team of ours play that well at Old Trafford and despite the fact we'd scored from penalties, United looked lost. They were never going to get back into this game no matter what decisions did or did not go their way in my opinion.

The next moment in the game to note was a retrospective yellow card for Vidic after a challenge on Luis Suarez, initially this appeared to be less than problematic for United but that would soon change.

Vidic was then involved in a penalty decision after what looked like a challenge on Daniel Sturridge, the penalty was awarded to Liverpool and Vidic was booked for the second time giving him his marching orders however the replays were not a nice sight.

For me, there's no bones about it, Sturridge dived, it's unlike him and I don't condone it but then Steven Gerrard missed the spot kick anyway sending his effort off the post and so for me justice was done. Ok, United were left with 10 players but I'm sorry, as I've said several times, they ALREADY should have only had 10 men on the pitch so for me the missed peno and Vidic going off just levelled things out.

Just when you thought there had been enough penalty decisions in this game, Daniel Sturridge was once again challenged in the box, this time he was taken down by Michael Carrick and this time for me it was a definite penalty but was it given? No. Do you hear us droning on about it? No. Whereas almost every United fan I know at the moment appears to only be able to remember that Sturridge dive from the whole game... weird that.

Shortly after this decision, De Gea was called into action when some Luis Suarez trickery left the defense dumbstruck, it was a quality save from De Gea to deny Liverpool a third.

At 83 minutes Daniel Sturridge was involved in an attack once again, his shot however found its way to Luis Suarez who with a lovely finish sent his effort around De Gea and this time found Liverpool's third.

By now the away end at Old Trafford had gone absolutely mental and they continued to do so all the way to the final whistle.

The amount of times we've had to sit through losses to Manchester United, it was so refreshing to beat them on their own door step and in style. A lot (not all) of Manchester United fans just seem to think they have the divine right to win, especially when playing us and it's soddin hilarious that we're now a massive 14 points in front of them. Oh well, good luck with The Chosen One n all that... hahahaha.

I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received.

Next up for Liverpool is Cardiff away.

P.s. Just a pre-warning I didn't realise but I'll be on a flight to Budapest when we kick off against West Ham in a few weeks and I don't return home until the Wednesday. For this reason there WILL be a West Ham match preview on the blog but the match report will be missing. Apologies! Normal service will be resumed for the City game!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Friday, 14 March 2014

Confident Liverpool Aim To Take Advantage At Old Trafford

Liverpool travel to Old Trafford on Sunday as they prepare to face old rivals Manchester United in an important Premier League tie. A trip away to United would usually pose some concern for Liverpool fans but with the way this season has panned out so far the majority of the fear has been dismissed and Brendan Rodgers must feel his side can get the better of David Moyes' boys this weekend.

Injuries for Liverpool have improved somewhat with Sakho and Lucas back in training, it's unknown whether they will feature on Sunday though. Manchester United are also in a relatively strong position with Nani, Evans and Hernandez all newly fit and available.

The Reds currently find themselves 2nd in the league, 7 points behind Chelsea but with a game in hand. Manchester City also have 3 games in hand however Liverpool have the advantage of facing both Chelsea and City at Anfield later in the season, thus adding great importance to this clash with Manchester United.

Moyes' side are currently sitting in 6th place on a lowly 48 points. They are also a massive 11 points off Liverpool and it's hard to remember the last time the tables had turned so drastically in the run up to a tie at Old Trafford. It's always a brilliant fixture when we face United but with all the additional aspects this season it is set to be one tasty game and it could be extremely fruitful for Brendan Rodgers.

The last time the two sides met was in September last year in the league cup, United knocked us out winning the game 1-0, a reverse of the scoreline Liverpool notched up at Anfield in August when the two sides met in the league. Daniel Sturridge scored that day.

Recent records against Manchester United haven't been brilliant for Liverpool and the last win for us at Old Trafford was that momentous 4-1 rout in 2009. Despite the poor form against the Devils the Reds always put in a good performance, it's always an intense game with chances being created from both sides and I feel this time out United are going to need more than the Theatre of Dreams to wake them up from their nightmare.

Liverpool have been superbly strong in attack, defensively we haven't been perfect and whilst Rooney and van Persie are bound to cause problems the Reds have benefited from a longer break this week allowing my preferred duo of Agger and Skrtel to hopefully work hard on their partnership, I hope it will be these two in the centre back pairing on Sunday.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool are unbeaten in their last nine league matches.
  • Robin van Persie has scored six times in his last seven starts against Liverpool.
  • The last time the Reds collected five wins on the trot in one season was in 08/09.

I usually ask for your score predictions and I really wanted to hear them this week but I've been away on a field trip in Dorset for five days and so I never got chance to ask, apologies!

It's set to be a brilliant game on Sunday and as for my punts, I'll probably have a Luis Suarez score cast of some sort but I'm also feeling a daft scoreline, I'm feeling confident haha! Keep an eye on my tweets on Sunday, I'll let you know all my bets.

Lastly before I go if you haven't checked them out before take a look at the brilliant "The Redmen TV" it's uncensored Liverpool FC television and it's hilarious! Here's a little preview of the sort of stuff they do.


(Twitter: @TheRedmenTV)

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!


Labels: , , ,

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Dare To Dream?

Liverpool sent out a very clear message to the teams around them on Saturday as they confidently beat Southampton 3-0 dealing with regular pressure from the away side's attack yet maintaining a clean sheet. Reds fans may wish to distance themselves from the thoughts of an elusive title but the fact is we are four points off the top with ten games to go.

Brendan Rodgers decided to drop Raheem Sterling for this fixture, instead opting for Joe Allen in the hope that the extra protection would aid a somewhat shaky defence. It was evident Raheem would still feature at some point in the game though.

The game started well for Liverpool who were quickly causing problems via the partnership of Sturridge and Suarez. A break saw Daniel Sturridge through on goal and whilst he would usually attempt the shot himself, this time he decided to pass to Suarez, an interception from the Southampton defender though denied the Reds a very early goal.

Shortly afterwards, at the other end of the pitch Southampton found themselves questioning the referee. A challenge from Flanagan on Lallana in the box was a risky move for Liverpool but I do feel it would have been harsh had the home side been given the spot kick.

At 15 minutes, Liverpool were off the mark. Some clever play from Suarez allowed him to pick up a throw in and break into action. A pass to Daniel Sturridge was then returned and with a bit of a lucky deflection off a Southampton player Suarez was through on goal and able to finish low to the left of Boruc.

Southampton may have been down but they knew they were not out. Liverpool have conceded plenty of goals lately and the likes of Lallana and Rodriguez were doing their best to put their side on the score sheet. Lallana in particular came very close when an effort of his came back out off the post to the relief of the Liverpool defence.

The pressure was certainly present from Southampton but Liverpool were dealing well with it. I also feel Skrtel had a good game, too often is he highlighted for his mistakes and so I feel it's important to make note when he puts in a good 90 minutes on the whole.

Another problem for Liverpool arose when a shot from Rodriguez left Simon Mignolet having to make a cracking save. Mignolet had kept the Reds in the game for sure there, if Southampton had found an equaliser, who knows what could have happened.

Early in the second half Brendan Rodgers decided to bring on Raheem Sterling for the rather ineffective Coutinho. He had a bad half in my opinion and was losing possession far too often. It was a good switch for me and it also meant the protection from Joe Allen was still present.

What I didn't expect was Raheem Sterling to get involved so quickly. Just one minute after his introduction, Sterling had scored Liverpool's second. A lovely pass from Steven Gerrard found its way to Luis Suarez, his run into the box and pin point pass to an encroaching Sterling then allowed the youngster to complete the move with a nice finish. The Reds were 2-0 up, just what they needed after seeing the earlier slip up from Arsenal and with only half an hour to go you had to feel Liverpool could hold on to all three points here.

Some continued pressure from Southampton left Liverpool still needing to stay alert for the remainder of the game but the Reds also had chances of their own including a long range effort from Steven Gerrard that forced Boruc into a save.

The three points were sealed though in stoppage time when Fonte took down Luis Suarez in the box. A penalty awarded to Liverpool was taken by Steven Gerrard who placed his spot kick high into goal.

It was a strong performance from Liverpool to keep out the Southampton attack but also score three goals. Liverpool haven't performed well at St Mary's for a while and it's games like this that show real title intent.

It's very hard not to get excited at the moment because we're in a superb position and we also have to face City and Chelsea at Anfield, we have no other competitions to worry about either and with Suarez and Sturridge up front you can't write us off.

I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received.

Next up for Liverpool is Manchester United.

Labels: , , , , , ,