Liverpool FC 2015/2016 Season Review

The 2015/2016 season saw the Reds swap Brendan Rodgers for Jurgen Klopp and reach two finals in the process. A great start from Klopp in such a short space of time very nearly paid off with some silverware but the team couldn't quite find fifth gear in both the League Cup and Europa League finals. Finishing 8th in the league however on a total of 60 points was below par for the Reds, we can only hope a summer of signings will improve things for next season!

August

Liverpool kicked off the season against Stoke, looking to improve on their embarrassing loss at the hands of the Potters at the end of the previous season. A 1-0 win thanks to a wonderful late strike from Philippe Coutinho was a perfect start for the Reds under Brendan Rodgers. A week later another 1-0 win for Liverpool followed against Bournemouth.

Image via empireofthekop.com
Towards the end of August the Reds lined up against Arsenal and collected a 0-0 draw, it was the final game in August though that really riled a lot of Liverpool fans. A 3-0 defeat at Anfield at the hands of West Ham was embarrassing to say the least, it was the Hammers first victory at Anfield since 1963, there was nowhere to hide for Brendan Rodgers. The manager was soon under pressure after tactical issues and putting players out of position.

In the news...
- Debris found on Reunion Island is confirmed to have been from Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 that went missing in March 2014.
- Cilla Black dies at the age of 72 in Malaga, Spain.
- A cameraman accidentally runs over Usain Bolt on a segway at the 2015 IAAF World Championships.

September

September began with a clash with Manchester United, it's always a tough fixture but losing 3-1 at Old Trafford was not the best result for the Reds, the only saving grace was a bicycle kick from Christian Benteke that led to the consolation goal.

Image via mirror.co.uk
The following three games in September included our first Europa League game, a Premier League game and a third round game in the League Cup. Each match against Bordeaux, Norwich and Cardiff ended 1-1 and the Reds had to resort to penalties to get through to the next stage of the League Cup.

Things were not going well at all for the Reds, perhaps expectations were too high, perhaps the football just wasn't exciting enough, whatever it was, Brendan needed help and fast. A 3-2 win over Aston Villa at the end of the month looked like a potential turning point but October would become crunch time for Brendan.

In the news...
- NASA announces liquid water has been found on the planet Mars.
- A British Airways flight bound for London from Las Vegas burst into flames on the runway.
- Jeremy Corbyn is elected leader of the Labour Party.
- An 8.3 magnitude earthquake hits Chile.

October

October would include seven fixtures for the Reds but it only took two results for the sacking of Brendan Rodgers. The first game against FC Sion once again led to a rather dire 1-1 draw. The second match of the month was against Everton, the Merseyside Derby also ended in a 1-1 draw and while most were frustrated with the result and the performance, not many actually thought it would be the end of the road for Brendan Rodgers. With a suitable break in the football calendar though the owners deemed it the perfect moment to bring the new man in and Jurgen Klopp turned up to L4 shortly afterwards.

Image via mirror.co.uk
Klopp's first game against Tottenham Hotspur away from home ended 0-0, not exactly the exciting German start Liverpool fans were after but nevertheless it was a difficult fixture. A 1-1 draw against Rubin Kazan was followed by a 1-1 draw with Southampton but the Reds did pick up an important victory in the League Cup thanks to a Clyne goal against Bournemouth.

October ended in brilliant fashion when the Reds battered Chelsea on their home turf. A brace from Philippe Coutinho and an 83rd minute goal from Christian Benteke sealed the deal. This was the first real glimmer of the high intensity football that Jurgen Klopp intended to bring to Anfield.

In the news...
- Hurricane Patricia located off the western coast of Mexico becomes the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere with winds of 200mph.
- A flight en route to St Petersburg from Sharm el Sheikh crashes in Sinai Egypt, 217 people lost their lives.
- Lewis Hamilton wins the formula one world championship.
- China ends its one child policy.

November

In November Klopp steered his side to two important wins in the Europa League group stages over Rubin Kazan and Bordeaux. In the league a 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace frustrated the hell out of Jurgen Klopp but a win over Swansea and most importantly a 4-1 win over Manchester City made November a pretty successful month.

Image via telegraph.co.uk
Along with the Chelsea game, that Man City result was for me one of the best moments of the whole season. The match once again put on display Klopp's style of football, even though this wasn't necessarily the team he wanted you could see exactly what he wanted to build and it worked superbly. I will also never forget this game because I was already elated at the fact we were battering City but then Skrtel scored at 81 minutes and won me £40 in the process, I was well happy!

In the news...
- Attacks in Paris France co-ordinated by terrorists led to 130 deaths after a concert hall, restaurants and the Stade de France were targeted.
- World leaders gathered for historic climate talks in Paris.
- A Russian warplane is shot down by Turkey after it allegedly entered Turkish airspace.

December

Over the festive period Liverpool had two cup games. A 0-0 draw with FC Sion secured the already known, that the Reds were through to the next stage of the Europa League. In the League Cup quarter final, Klopp's side lined up against Southampton. I don't think anyone was expecting to win that game 6-1, it was yet another phenomenal result under Jurgen, especially considering at the start of the season we had to rely on penalties to even progress! A hat trick from Divock Origi also highlighted his rise to first team status as the young Belgian captured the hearts of the Anfield faithful.

Image via liverpoolecho.co.uk
In the league the Reds miraculously managed to beat Leicester 1-0, I still don't know how we did that after the stupendous season they ended up having. Wins over Sunderland and Watford were also recorded but Liverpool did lose 2-0 to Newcastle and could only manage a draw against West Brom.

In the news...
- Jimmy Hill - football player, trade union leader, manager, television presenter, assistant referee... passes away aged 87.
- Tim Peake became the first British man to board the international space station.
- The first reusable rocket returns from space orbit.

January

January was another packed month for Liverpool as we entered the FA Cup. The month unfortunately started with yet another loss to West Ham. A 1-0 win over Stoke followed in the league and then a 2-2 draw with Exeter in the third round of the FA Cup signalled a replay. In the safety of Anfield the Reds won the return fixture 3-0.

Back in the league the Reds drew 3-3 with Arsenal which was slightly annoying cause I'd bet on 4-4 at 500/1! We lost again to Manchester United but in perhaps the weirdest game of the whole season beat Norwich 5-4 in an enthralling game for the neutral.

Image via skysports.com
In the League Cup semi final Jurgen Klopp's side lined up against Stoke, in the first leg a 1-0 win for the Reds created a nice boost however a goal from Arnautovic in the second leg levelled the tie. The Reds had to rely on an agonising set of penalties to secure their place in the League Cup final. After just three months, Klopp had already steered his side to a chance of silverware.

To end January the Reds could only manage a 0-0 draw with old foes West Ham in the FA Cup fourth round.

In the news...
- The World Health Organisation announces the outbreak of the Zika virus.
- David Bowie loses a private battle with cancer and passes away aged 69. Alan Rickman and Terry Wogan also pass away in the same month.
- Taiwan elects its first female president.

February

February was an exciting month for Liverpool fans as we all prepared for the League Cup final with Manchester City on the 28th. We had a few league games to get through first though, a Europa League clash and another FA Cup tie with West Ham.

Perhaps predictably, Liverpool crashed out of the FA Cup when West Ham recorded their third victory over us this season. I never realised until this season how much I bloody hate the Hammers haha!

In the Europa League, Klopp travelled back to Germany where his side picked up a 0-0 draw. The return leg at Anfield against Augsburg ended in a 1-0 win for the Reds who once again secured their progress.

Image via mirror.co.uk
In the league it was a mixed bag for the Reds, a loss to Leicester was followed by a 2-2 draw with Sunderland but Aston Villa proved to be the perfect remedy on Valentines Day. The struggling Midlands side were battered 6-0 by the Reds and even better for Liverpool fans, it was six different players on the score sheet.

Then came the final. It was a valiant effort from Liverpool who somehow managed to get back into the final on 83 minutes thanks to the magical Coutinho. Fernandinho had scored on 49 minutes and in all honesty it just looked like it was going to be one of those games where the Reds just couldn't break through, the Coutinho strike ensured Klopp's side deserved to continue to fight but the steam had just ran out by the time penalties came around.

Spot kicks are horrible to watch as we all know but Liverpool tend to have a pretty good record, I was convinced we would nick it but it just wasn't to be. Annoyingly, things would turn out far better for the Reds in March!

In the news...
- Famous steam locomotive The Flying Scotsman returned to the rails.
- Syria peace talks are opened mediated by the United Nations.
- The Denver Broncos win the Super Bowl.

March

On the 2nd of March Liverpool once again lined up against Manchester City, this time however we beat them 3-0. Bloody annoying! Why the hell couldn't we have just done that in the final?! Football eh?! It was another great win for the Reds this time with Milner, Firmino and Lallana on the score sheet.

A win over Crystal Palace and a loss to Southampton completed the league fixtures in March but no Kopites were really that bothered by the league at this stage because we had drawn Manchester United in the Europa League.

Image via mirror.co.uk
I could not believe it, I was in University and my brother rang me saying we'd drawn them, my brother being the type of person to just say something like that just to wind me up I didn't actually believe him at first, he couldn't convince me of the truth it was only when I double checked online that it sunk in. This game was MASSIVE. Manchester United may have many digs at Liverpool but one thing they do not have is the upper card on European prowess, we simply had to win this clash, there was no alternative.

The first leg at Anfield couldn't have gone better a straightforward 2-0 win with goals from Sturridge and Firmino. Despite the lead, the Reds knew the game at Old Trafford would be no walk in the park. A slight scare from Martial when he scored on 32 minutes thanks to a penalty was quickly cancelled out thanks to Philippe Coutinho once again on 45 minutes. Liverpool had knocked United out of Europe, just brilliant!

In the news...
- Johan Cruyff the legendary Dutch footballer dies aged 68 in Barcelona, Spain.
- Barack Obama becomes the first sitting US president to visit Cuba in 88 years.
- Google's artificial intelligence program AlphaGo beats professional Go player Lee Sedol.

April 

By April, the ever decreasing dream of somehow managing to sneak into the top four had all but disintigrated, nobody really cared about anything now other than winning the Europa League however the Reds only went and drew Borussia Dortmund.

Liverpool actually did ok in the league in April, a 1-1 draw with Spurs aided Leicester's title hopes, this was followed by a 4-1 win over Stoke and a huge 4-0 win over Everton in the Merseyside Derby. Everton were absolutely tragic in that match, it's one of the most one sided Merseyside derbies I've ever seen. A 2-1 win over Bournemouth and a 2-2 draw with Rafa Benitez's Newcastle completed the league results for April.

Image via empireofthekop.com
Back in the Europa League nobody in football really expected Liverpool to get past Dortmund, they were huge in Europe and while there is always a glimmer of hope for the Reds in Europe it somehow felt like the end of the line. A decent 1-1 draw thanks to a goal from that man Origi in Germany set Liverpool up pretty well for a magical night at Anfield but nobody could have predicted the night that was in store.

The Reds were 2-0 down at Anfield after just nine minutes, with two away goals under their belts the Germans had dumbfounded Jurgen Klopp's side. It was horrible to watch but as Liverpool fans we know better than to just give up, we've seen more miraculous things happen in Europe.A goal from Origi on 48 minutes started the wheels in motion but Reus spoiled the party on 57 minutes. Liverpool had been 2-0 down and 3-1 down in a quarter final, for any other team at any other ground that would have been the end of it but this is Liverpool, this is Anfield and this was not over.

Coutinho popped up yet again to save Liverpool when they needed it most on 66 minutes and ten minutes later Mamadou Sakho had somehow managed to find the back of the net. The disbelief sets in, you look around at the other fans in the room and ask yourself "No? Surely not, we're not gonna do this?" you can't quite allow yourself to believe but deep down you know all it takes is a corner, a penalty, a stinging shot from outside the box. There's minutes left, an age in European football, could it happen?!

Yes it could, Dejan Lovren 90+1. An absolute corker of a header sent the Kop end wild, unbelievable, just unbelievable. Somehow Liverpool had done it again.

After all the glory it felt like the Reds were invincible, when we drew Villarreal in the semi final most fans felt confident however the very late 1-0 defeat away from home frustrated the hell out of me. I was unhappy with Klopp's tactical decisions particularly towards the end of the game and I could see them nicking a goal late on however the second leg in May would prove I had nothing to worry about.

In the news...
- Twenty seven years on... JUSTICE FOR THE 96.
- Cesare Maldini, a legend of italian football, one of the best defenders the game has seen dies aged 84 in Milan, Italy.
- The flame for the 2016 Olympic Games was lit in Southern Greece.

May

Let's face it, May was never about the league but once again Liverpool ended the season in a steady fashion a loss to Swansea was a bit of a blip at the start of May but a 2-0 win over Watford and two 1-1 draws with Chelsea and West Brom would finalise the league campaign.

On the 5th May Liverpool lined up for the second leg of their semi final against Villarreal. An own goal on seven minutes settled the nerves for the Reds and Daniel Sturridge and Lallana would find goals later on in the game. I also won £41 thanks to Sturridge first in a 3-0 win and so after all that worry it actually felt like a pretty successful night. The Reds went through their strides with relative ease and they were now ready for anything in the final, at least that's how it felt.

Image via skysports.com
Thousands of Liverpool fans descended on Basel on the 18th May and thousands more travelled to Liverpool, their local pub, wherever they watched it Liverpool fans were in unison, we'd seen heartbreak in the League Cup final but this was our chance, this was going to be Jurgen Klopp's first piece of silverware.

I felt confident going into the game, Sevilla are no mugs but after knocking out Manchester United and Dortmund just to reach this bloody final, we weren't going to go down without a fight surely?! How wrong I was.

Unfortunately despite a glorious opening goal from Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool just absolutely crumbled in the second half. A goal from Sevilla after 17 seconds caught the Reds off guard but for a multitude of reasons the Reds were never going to create a comeback that night. Key players went utterly missing, the final ball just wans't there, arguably some refereeing decisions did not go our way, whatever it was, we lost. It was gutting to see and to be honest I don't think even now I am fully over it, our season depended on that night, the only shining light is that over the season we have seen what Klopp could provide and what he wants to create. Knowing he's at the helm and with the prospect of a busy summer in the transfer window is quite exciting to be fair.

Roll on 2016/2017!

In the news...
- Egypt air flight 804 crashes in the southern Mediterranean en route from Paris to Cairo, 66 people were on board.
- Leicester City lift the Premier League title.
- Football remembers the 39 tifosi who lost their lives in the Heysel Disaster in 1985.

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