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Showing posts with the label Champions League

Five Things We Learned From PSG

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1) Daniel Sturridge is still a top class striker
Prior to the match having seen the starting line up, I was all over Sturridge to grab Liverpool a goal. So convinced was I that I popped a quid on a Daniel Sturridge 3-1 scorecast (close to winning bloody £35 quid!).
On Twitter though I was met with an interesting reaction, I was being too optimistic with the scoreline, Sturridge would never score etc. I think sometimes fans forget how prolific Sturridge has been in his career, give him an opportunity like a night under the floodlights against PSG and he will make you proud.
I was elated to see him dancing in front of the Kop after a cracking header.

2) PSG aren’t actually that good?
Supposedly one of the best teams in the world I think PSG put on display some of their weaknesses on Tuesday night. Yes, they have some superstars in the team but they left masses of space for Liverpool to attack and for me lacked in intensity when out of possession.
Their style may work week in, week out in the …

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW: Liverpool FC

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Liverpool have just learned their fate in this season's UEFA Champions League as the Reds were drawn from Pot 3 into Group C. The draw, as always, has produced some tasty ties and Jurgen Klopp's team have been left with a strong group of teams.

Headed up by PSG, Group C is completed by Napoli, Red Star Belgrade and of course Liverpool.


It's a tough group, there's no hiding from that but the majority of groups were filled with tricky opposition. I personally think we'll be ok. Those three sides are going to be bricking it as much as we may be. The prospect of Anfield is a frightening one for any visiting club whatever your calibre in Europe.

I am confident that the Reds can pick up maximum points at L4 but the trip to PSG and more so actually Napoli concern me slightly. Napoli have always been a very good side and to add to that they now have Carlo Ancelotti at the helm, a manager who I very much admire.

We all know what PSG have to offer but I have to admit I'm not…

2017/2018 Liverpool FC Season Review

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World Cup fever may have set in but in the breaks between matches, here's my review of Liverpool's 2017/2018 season if you fancy a quick read.
August 2017 - October 2017Liverpool opened the 2017 Premier League season by battering Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield. It was an extremely dire performance from the Londoners but the game allowed Jurgen Klopp to get off to a winning start.

Unfortunately for the Reds, Liverpool's August form would not run into September. This time, it was Klopp's side on the end of a battering when Manchester City put five goals past us at the Etihad.

A 2-2 draw with Sevilla opened up what would turn into a superb Champions League campaign but the Reds also crashed out of the League Cup, losing away to Leicester.

In October, the Reds had a bit of a case of the draws once again after a 1-1 with Newcastle and a boring 0-0 with United. The Reds did, however, put seven past Maribor in the Champions League but also lost 4-1 to Spurs in possibly the worst game of …

Real Madrid Await...

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Liverpool have made it to their first Champions League final in 11 years. A competition that resonates with the L4 postcode, the Reds should never have been missing for this long. Yes, losing 4-2 isn't exactly the best way to secure your place but Klopp's side had done most of the hard work in the first leg and still managed to put two past a Roma side who hadn't conceded a single goal at home in the Champions League until Wednesday night. 
Liverpool's first goal was a lovely composed finish by Sadio Mane. Scoring after just nine minutes it was a perfect start for the Reds but it didn't quite take the wind out of the Italian's sails as they were gifted a goal off of James Milner's face shortly afterwards.  A second goal for the Reds followed at 25 minutes, this time a header from Gini Wijnaldum. He doesn't score often but he deserved the header and it was great to see how much it meant to the midfielder. 
Roma had to wait until the second half for an equal…

When In Rome...

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Don't do as the Romans do.

The Italians know how to defend, but despite having a three-goal lead Liverpool should not take a leaf out of their book on Wednesday night. The Reds would have every right to play this cautiously but for me, the answer is all out attack.

Roma's two away goals late on at Anfield last week added a few nerves in many fans hearts, it's amazing the difference a couple of goals can make. Should we be fearful? Certainly, we shouldn't take Roma for granted but at the same time, we have Salah, Firmino and Mane at our disposal.
I say we net a few more and put this game to bed, don't even give the Italians a chance to settle or grow into the game. Roma have played brilliantly in the Champions League this season, phenomenally well when you think they pushed Barca aside but could they deal with a 6-2 or 7-3 aggregate? I don't think so. An early goal from the Reds could really take the wind out their sails.
Liverpool suffered a blow after Alex Oxlade-…

Five Things We Learned From The Etihad Win

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1) We can defendGranted, 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.

2) We missed HendoHenderson 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 …

Stunning Liverpool Beat City 3-0

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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. 
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'…

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Anfield Awaits

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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.

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 announcem…

Mané Spreads The Love In Portugal

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Liverpool won their first Champions League knockout match for nine years on Wednesday evening as Sadio Mané led the way on Valentine's Day.
Husbands, wives, partners and more were left with the difficult choice of ditching a nice meal to watch the footy on Wednesday but the lads certainly made sure the risk paid off supplying a 5-0 for the onlooking Kopites.  Mané grabbed the first goal of the night when a powerful effort was poorly dealt with by the Porto keeper. 
Salah followed four minutes later with an audaciously confident effort. The composure from the Egyptian in order to lift and head the ball away from the keeper before finishing was just phenomenal. He's an absolute god. 
Porto failed to look convincing on their home turf with just a few minor examples on show of their known capability. Sometimes teams just struggle to deal with the constant attack from the Reds and this was certainly the case on Wednesday evening. 
At 53 minutes, Mané had scored again, this time goalkeep…

Five Things We Learned From Spartak Seven

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1 Attack is the best form of defence? To think I was actually nervous before kick off? After watching us crumble against Sevilla even at half time after three goals went in, I still felt nervous. The Reds though proved that sometimes attack is the best form of defence and boy do we have some attack. 
Some of the link up play between the forwards was stunning let alone the actual goals. It's fair to say that Spartak offered little in attack but why would they when they've had the stuffing knocked out of them?
The confident win puts Liverpool safely into the last 16 and bodes well for our match against Everton at the weekend. 

2 Coutinho will be missed A hat-trick for the Brazilian, although his final effort was helped along the way. Earlier this season the folk on Twitter were going mental at Couts, some of them even begging for him to be left to rot on the bench. 
I understood the anger and frustration but you can't leave this man on the bench, he truly is a magician. I just hop…

Reds Throw Away 3-0 Lead

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Only Liverpool could let a 3-0 lead slip like that couldn't they? In the grand scheme of things the draw probably won't even matter but it's not the point is it? The Reds are so unbelievably weak at the back and facing a distinct lack of leadership I just don't think we have enough in the attack to carry us through the season. 

The game started phenomenally well with a goal inside just two minutes from Bobby Firmino. Swiftly followed by a beautiful header from Mane, Firmino then found Liverpool's third and final goal of the game at the 30 minute mark. 
Back in the dressing room at half time Klopp must have been over the moon. Comfortably winning and knowing his side were not only top of the group but that they would go through with a game to spare. All we had to do was see out the match. 
There's no denying that Sevilla were always going to come out second half with a bit more gusto but there was no excuse for Liverpool crumbling like they did. 
It may seem like I&…

Champions League: Sevilla V Liverpool

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Liverpool travel to Spain on Tuesday evening as they prepare to face Sevilla at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuan in their penultimate Champions League group game. The Reds are currently top of the group on eight points with Sevilla following closely in second on seven points.

Jurgen Klopp's side collected a 3-0 win over Maribor in their last outing in Europe thanks to goals from Mo Salah, Emre Can and Daniel Sturridge. Mo Salah is having an absolute stormer of a start to the season and if he features on Tuesday night I'd be banking on him to find the net.

Prior to this season, Sevilla and Liverpool have only crossed paths once before, that was in the Europa League final of 2016. How do the Reds weigh up against Spanish opposition in general though? Liverpool have met Spanish opposition on 24 occasions since 2000. During that time the Reds have lost eight, drawn six and won 10.

A win on Tuesday means the Reds will qualify for the knockout stages with one game to spare. Injuries have take…

Kop Art

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So the folks over at Art of Football were kind enough to send me a couple of prints to review and I'm chuffed to pieces with what came through the post last week.
Everybody has one of those moments in football that they will never forget and for many a Liverpool fan from a certain era, that moment came on a May evening in 2005. The Champions League in Istanbul is by far the most iconic moment of my time so far as a Liverpool fan, we've had our moments in other cups and there's even been a title run under Brendan Rodgers but nothing comes close to the victory that Rafa Benitez miraculously steered his side to in Europe.
These prints capture the excitement and the nerves of that night with great simplicity. 

Captain Fantastic

One Night In Istanbul
The prints come beautifully presented, are reasonably priced and would make a wonderful gift for any football fan in your life. I'm already considering getting the fella one of his idol Steve Bull haha.
Need to get myself some nice f…

Five Talking Points From Moscow

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1) One of those days... again?  How do you have a front line consisting of Salah, Firmino, Mane and Coutinho yet fail to be clinical? It's amazing isn't it, you're sat there thinking "you know what would be perfect here? An in-form Peter Crouch." Ok maybe that's a slight exaggeration but you get the jist, this side needs a true finisher. It's ridiculous and it makes zero sense why we should struggle in front of goal but Liverpool definitely need to work on nailing home a result. 
We were all over Spartak for the majority of the game and some of the chances were agonising to watch when they failed to pay off. Part of me felt as though having Sturridge on the field helped with the more direct opportunities but then even he fluffed a couple of options. 
It's just so frustrating because while this was definitely "one of those days" you can't keep having "those days" and certainly not in the Champions League.  2) Karius should have got …

Reds Travel To Moscow

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After an eventful 3-2 win over Leicester in the league on Saturday, Liverpool travel to Russia on Tuesday evening as they prepare to face Spartak Moscow in the Champions League. 
Despite winning the league last year Spartak haven't started in great fashion with just one win from their last seven matches in all competitions. 

Liverpool don't have any fresh injury woes for this fixture and for the first time ever, Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino are all available at the same time. Their Russian counterparts are without Luiz Adriano. The manager may also have to rethink his starting XI if captain Denis Glushakov remains out.
The last time the two sides met was in October 2002. Again in the Champions League, the Reds got the better of the Russians over two legs winning 3-1 away and 5-0 at home. 
Michael Owen scored a hat-trick in Russia while Heskey (x2), Cheyrou (remember him!), Hyypia and Diao scored at Anfield. 
The Reds may be struggling defensively at t…

Five Things We Learned From The Sevilla Draw

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1 Same old defence Liverpool just can't seem to get out of this defensive rut, I don't even know what the answer is other than perhaps a complete rethink of tactics and training which seems very rash but the Reds need some kind of defensive intervention. 
Dejan Lovren on Wednesday night should have easily prevented Sevilla's first goal but it's not even just him, the whole back four is a strange and disjointed set up at the moment.
It just doesn't seem to click, even things like solid first time clearances are lacking and the amount of times Liverpool get caught on the second ball? Shocking. Must do better.

2 The attacking line is mesmerising  While the defence is something we'd all like to forget about the attacking line is something to be proud of. On some of the counter attacks yesterday, watching the likes of Mane, Firmino and Salah stream forward was mesmerising. Any side facing that coming at them is going to have issues but frustratingly, Liverpool didn't…

Liverpool V Sevilla [PREVIEW]

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Liverpool enter the Champions League group stages on Wednesday evening for the first time since 2014. The Reds' three year absence has felt like a lifetime to most fans and after a favourable draw in the group, all eyes are on Jurgen Klopp's side to open up our European season in a winning fashion.

Liverpool are no strangers to Sevilla having faced them extremely recently in the 2015/2016 Europa League final. This is however the only time that the two sides have met. Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring on the night but the Reds ended up losing the game 3-1.



Team news for Liverpool means that Philippe Coutinho could feature for the first time since the whole Barcelona saga unfolded. I for one can't be arsed with holding a grudge, I'm perfectly happy for him to feature in the side, frankly it would be a waste not to use such a talent. Hopefully if he does start he can find the back of the net.

Thankfully for the Reds Sadio Mane will also be available, his red card picked up…

Hoffenheim Result, Champions League Draw And The League Cup

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So firstly, at 4:15am this morning, or some ungodly hour close to that, Liverpool drew Leicester away in the League Cup. Whilst we should care, none of us really do at the moment because we're all still hyped about the Hoffenheim win. 
The Reds' 4-2 (Agg 6-3) victory over the German side means they have secured their place in Pot 3 of the Champions League draw which will take place by the time I have uploaded this post to blogger (don't worry I'll add commentary at the end). 


As for last night though? What a game! Liverpool looked at their fluid attacking best with solid performances from the likes of Can, Firmino and Mane. 
The only problem for me, without trying to go on a negative here, is that it's no surprise we played so well at home in the second leg where Hoffenheim simply had to play openly. 
The Reds play perfectly in these sorts of situations, when teams aren't afraid to attack and leave space or when they simply have to go all guns blazing to have any c…