Sterling Start To The Season
Brendan Rodgers got his team off to a winning start on Sunday afternoon as Liverpool eventually got the better of an effective Southampton side. An opening goal from Raheem Sterling was soon cancelled out by a creative Southampton goal. Daniel Sturridge though was present for Liverpool late on to seal all three points.
Rodgers selected new signings Manquillo and Lovren to feature in defence for Liverpool with a front three of Sturridge, Sterling and Coutinho.
The game started steadily for the Reds who built up play to some half chances. The first real effort came from Daniel Sturridge who from a long way out saw his strike fly just high and wide to the left of goal.
Capitalising on this positive play though Liverpool soon found their opening goal. Some hard work from Jordan Henderson to regain possession allowed him to find space. Spotting Raheem Sterling, Henderson then made a sublime long range pass which the youngster was able to latch on to. One on one with the keeper, Sterling slotted his effort past Fraser Forster to put Liverpool in front.
It was a cracking goal for Liverpool and with Luis Suarez still fresh on everybody's mind it was nice to see that the flair was still present in the side.
After the goal Southampton appeared the more determined side for a long period and it was Koeman's team who looked more likely to find the next goal of the game.
A Ward-Prowse free kick late in the second half forced Simon Mignolet into action and shortly afterwards a great effort from Schneiderlin forced Mignolet into yet another full stretch save.
With Liverpool still ahead going into the second half, it was hoped the Reds could regain control of the game however Southampton had no plans of giving up and at 55 minutes undid a Liverpool defence who looked pretty solid up until this stage.
The link up between Tadic and Clyne was fantastic, a back heel from the former to the latter completely beat a lackadaisical Liverpool defence and Clyne converted with a top finish.
Southampton now back in the game looked a very dangerous outfit, they may have been missing key players sold mainly to us but Koeman had done a great job setting up his side with some of his new signings also shining through.
For Liverpool's signings things were also going pretty well, Manquillo performed well in his Premier League debut, stemming a lot of action from the left hand side of Southampton whilst Lovren appeared to pair well with Martin Skrtel who also had a good game.
Shortly after scoring it was almost deja vu for Liverpool when Tadic and Clyne paired up again to break down the defence but thankfully the danger this time was cleared.
At the other end Liverpool who had now brought Lambert into action created a chance for the ex Southampton man but his effort wasn't accurate.
A stint of Liverpool pressure though eventually provided Daniel Sturridge with the opportunity to win the game for the Reds. A cross into the box from Jordan Henderson eventually fell to Raheem Sterling who flicked the ball on to Sturridge. A rather simple finish that he made look difficult saw Sturridge tap the ball to the right of Fraser Forster and into the back of the net.
There was late drama for Liverpool though in the midst of celebration as Schneiderlin smashed an effort off the crossbar having been tipped on to it by top class reactions from Simon Mignolet. The rebound then fell to Shane Long who completely misplaced his header.
It was a tough, tough game for Liverpool and whilst the start of the season is always difficult there were definitely areas noticeable that could do with improving. However, Sterling and Sturridge were on the score sheet and most importantly Liverpool collected all three points.
I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received.
@LFCKirstyLFC I thought the new guys had very good debuts. Manqullo solid, Lovren assured, Lambert changed the game.
— No Locals Blog (@NoLocalsBlog) August 18, 2014
@_TheLiverBird #lfc we won tho imo didn't play well but a win is a win :) 2 great goals SAS :) we will improve tho think we need a striker
— Lisa Southgate (@lfclee2011) August 17, 2014
@LFCKirstyLFC the more clinical team won. Great performances from Manquillo, Henderson and Sterling. Allen looked stronger today too.
— Mark Shannon (@Cricketdel) August 17, 2014
Next up for Liverpool is a huge tie against Manchester City!
JD Score Predictor
You may have noticed on here or on Twitter that I've set up a score predictor league. If you haven't joined but would like to, you still can! You will have missed the first week of scores but JD just gives late comers the average score from the whole league to start you off with so just follow this link - http://predictor.jdsports.co.uk/
And join my league:
League name - The Liver Bird
Password - 5times
Top of the league this week is actually one of my mates from home which is bloody annoying! Haha
Josh with his team "Brurgh" ... brilliant name. Is top of the league on 18 points with the Chelsea game tonight still to come.
Hilariously, I am 50th out of 58 in my own league... I told you I was crap at this!
Here's hoping I can do better next week.
Any questions about the league, just drop me a tweet - @LFCKirstyLFC