The Liver Bird  

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Five Things We Learned From The Etihad Win

1) We can defend

Granted, we conceded after just two minutes but on the whole, Liverpool put on a strong defensive performance. Yes there were a few errors and Karius shouldn't have punched on a couple of occasions but against Man City, at the Etihad, in a semi-final? I think we should be proud to concede just the one.

Over the two legs, the Reds have shown that they can, in fact, defend and the likes of Robertson and Trent double A have been absolutely brilliant.

Image via The Belfast Telegraph

2) We missed Hendo

Henderson is one of those players who you only really appreciate once he's gone. He brings a certain calmness to the side and during the first 45 minutes yesterday I felt like we really missed him.

It will be a positive to reintroduce him to the side for the semi-final. Gini did ok but I just feel as though Hendo adds a bit of balance, it's a weird one because I'm the first to admit I will often be slating Hendo in some fixtures but really he brings more to the side than you realise.

3) Mo Salah is unstoppable


I've genuinely run out of words and paragraphs to explain how good this guy is. He makes things look incredibly easy, that goal last night was by no means a simple one. Mane did well to cause the situation but to have the composure to net that and dink it in too? Stunning.

He's an absolute god.

4) Dejan Lovren played a pivotal role


Lovren is not necessarily a player you would focus on after Tuesday night's result but having read a piece in the Independent today it is clear that he played a pivotal role.

When heads were dropping and frustration began to show early on in the game, including a disgruntled Virgil van Dijk, it was Lovren who stepped in to pull the lads back together.

Shouting at his teammates to keep their heads he did more than he can ever imagine by taking the step to calm the team down. It reminds me of players like Gerrard and Carragher, sometimes you need a player to step up in a big game not just in terms of their play on the pitch but to speak to the team. Fair play Dejan.

5) Firmino worries Mo may have turned into a statue


And finally, I can't stop laughing at this video of Mo celebrating. Firmino looks as though he's trying to figure out if he's still alive or not haha.


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Thursday, 5 April 2018

Stunning Liverpool Beat City 3-0

A Champions League quarter-final tie at Anfield against the impressive Manchester City was never meant to be so straightforward. The Reds produced one of the best performances I've seen from a Liverpool side in a very long time, completely and utterly flummoxing City both in attack and in defence. 

Image via The Guardian
It was a stunning effort from Klopp's side who got off the mark inside 15 minutes thanks to their Egyptian king. For me, it was never in doubt that Salah would find the back of the net and his goal would prove to be a catalyst for Liverpool in the first half. 
The Anfield atmosphere was electric, an intimidating place at the best of times, on a European night I would not want to be walking out of the tunnel into that cauldron. 

A second goal for the Reds followed at 20 minutes after a stunning strike from Oxlade-Chamberlain. It was a cracking effort from the ex-Arsenal man and Vincent Kompany's reaction along with Pep Guardiola' said it all, this wasn't going to be City's night, not even close. 

Just after the half hour mark Sadio Mane found Liverpool their third, a lovely timed cross from Salah was finished with a great header from Mane. The Reds were up 3-0 with the second half still to come, phenomenal. 

Away from the goals which didn't increase, defensively the Reds should also be praised, the relentless Andy Robertson put in a fantastic display but it was Trent double A who really shone for me. He had his work cut out up against Sane and prior to kick off I was genuinely quite concerned but the youngster dealt with him superbly.

I always had the confidence that over two legs we could have City but never in a million years did I think we'd be 3-0 up in the first leg. That clean sheet is a sublime bonus, City have to find three goals at the Etihad to even get a sniff while keeping the likes of Mane, Firmino and Salah all out? 

I don't buy that we won't score at the Etihad I just don't. Liverpool have created a massive headache for Guardiola and I genuinely don't think they know what's hit them. 

Simply awesome. Roll on Tuesday night! 

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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Anfield Awaits

Liverpool face Manchester City under the Anfield floodlights on Wednesday evening for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final. A draw against an English side is seen by many as a curse but the game is sure to be an enthralling affair whatever happens.

Image via thisisanfield.com
City are flying high at the top of the Premier League with the Reds being the only team to beat Guardiola's side. Both managers lead two awesome sets of attacks and both would also admit to defensive issues but who will walk away victorious?

Realistically, Liverpool need a solid win at Anfield to get the job done in this tie, going to the Etihad with a draw or a loss would create an extremely difficult scenario. Not an insurmountable one though, we've all seen Liverpool perform miracles in Europe.

Injury news means Klopp is unable to call upon Joel Matip who is now out for the remainder of the season, the game also looks to have come too early for Emre Can. For Manchester City, the big news on Tuesday was the announcement that Sergio Aguero will also miss the game.

There aren't many matches where the build-up to the clash itself is enough to give you goosebumps but reading some of the quotes and opinions today, it has really made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Klopp has asked his side to "write our own history" and if anybody is capable of doing so, it's Liverpool. The Reds seem to find power in the places where most teams have caved in and given up, how many times have you watched us in Europe make it through in impossible fashion?

I honestly feel as though we can take City over two legs. Ideally, I would have preferred the second leg at Anfield but in Europe with 180 minutes to play, I always favour our boys, whoever the opposition. The Reds have shown they can beat City already this season and the open style of play will work to our advantage, Salah is bound to find the back of the net I just hope that the occasion forces some stellar performances from Lovren and van Dijk.

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching, pop back to The Liver Bird on Thursday for a match report!

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