Posts

Showing posts with the label Christian Benteke

Final Home Game Ends In A Draw

Image
Liverpool's last game at Anfield this season ended in a 1-1 draw thanks to a last minute equaliser from substitute Christian Benteke. A cross from fellow sub Sheyi Ojo created enough danger for keeper Begovic to palm the effort unsuccessfully clear of goal leaving an awaiting Benteke to head home for the Reds.

Weakened Team? As often happens, I completely missed Klopp's presser this week and so I was unaware of his plans to field a full strength team until I saw the team sheet earlier this evening. I can see the theory of wanting to play the same side and giving them a run of games to prepare them for the final next Wednesday but I honestly expected to see a weakened team for the last match at Anfield.

I guess I'm just one of those fans that can't get the thought of an horrific injury out of my head, the last thing I wanted was to see was somebody like Daniel Sturridge collapse in a meaningless game against Chelsea. Some may disagree but I seriously did not give a crap…

Last Minute Spot Kick Gives Reds Three Points

Image
Liverpool left it extremely late on Sunday to beat Alan Pardew's Crystal Palace but a last minute penalty decision allowed the Reds to score a winner via Christian Benteke and walk away with an important three points.

It was an interesting game in which Klopp's side appeared to dominate the first half yet conceded almost immediately in the second. The goal from Ledley caught the Reds off guard and gave Palace a huge boost after struggling underneath mounts of Liverpool pressure in the first half. Jurgen Klopp could only watch on as things went from bad to worse when James Milner left the field after picking up a second yellow card at 62 minutes for a silly challenge and was given his marching orders.

At 72 minutes Roberto Firmino brought cheer to the travelling Kop when he made the most of an error by goalkeeper Alex McCarthy. Firmino had actually been pretty quiet up until the goal but his presence in the starting line up had been justified. The real shock for Liverpool thoug…

Reds Dealt Hammer Blow In Cup

Image
Knocked out of the FA Cup in the final minute of extra time, it's a tough way to go out but the Reds only have themselves to blame after missing chance after chance after chance on Tuesday night. Luckily there was nothing too exciting on display as Jurgen Klopp had been instructed to remain calm following an operation to remove his appendix. Liverpool however did look positive initially but things began to crumble as West Ham grew into the game, despite playing for 120 minutes, the Reds just never really found a way back.

West Ham Volley The Irons found the back of the net at the perfect time as Michail Antonio struck a wonderful volley on the stroke of half time. There was little Simon Mignolet could do and it was a well deserved goal for West Ham who had been building pressure on the Liverpool defence.

As with several games this season, Klopp's side once again had failed to capitalise on some positive play, it wasn't as though we were lacking in chances, we just cannot s…

Five Things We Learned From The West Ham Draw

Image
One: The Reds are dire in front of goal. A snore draw in the FA Cup with West Ham on Saturday evening once again highlighted a now desperate need for a prolific goalscorer. In a match that Christian Benteke started, the Belgian failed to stamp a mark on the game and when faced with promising chances was incapable of finding the back of the net. He's clearly low on confidence and the Reds just can't afford to waste chances at the moment.

You have to feel that including Daniel Sturridge in Saturday's team would have solved some of the main problems because the possession levels and pressure on the ball were fine, even the defensive display was relatively strong, we just can't bloody score! Waiting for the Sturridge return though and then pinning all our hopes on his ability to remain fit? It's just not a long term option is it.
Two: James Tomkins isn't as hard as I thought he was. Tomkins is in his 8th year as a West Ham player (including a short loan spell to D…

One Shot On Target Was All They Needed

Image
Manchester United walked away from Anfield on Sunday afternoon with a vital three points after somehow beating a Liverpool side who had bossed the majority of the game. It was the Reds who were creating the majority of the chances but United needed just one on target to convert via Wayne Rooney and send a strong message to Jurgen Klopp.

In a game that saw goalkeeper David De Gea win man of the match it is no wonder that so many Liverpool fans are utterly frustrated with the result. You can call me bias all you want but I'm sorry, United did not deserve to win that game, I'm not sure they even deserved a draw yet they walked away victorious, which leaves you asking questions about your own side.

Jurgen Klopp obviously hasn't had time to put a stamp on this side yet so this is by no means a dig at the manager but surely the owners must start looking at this team and start supporting the manager financially because this squad just isn't good enough.

There were flickers i…

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Manchester United

Image
Liverpool welcome Louis van Gaal's so called army to Anfield on Sunday afternoon in what is sure to be a heated clash between the two sides. United have somehow managed to remain in the top sector of the table for the majority of the season despite some questionable performances, at the time of writing the devils remain above Klopp's side. After a hard fought draw with Arsenal though, can Liverpool get the better of Manchester United on Sunday?

Injuries

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are still unable to call upon forward Daniel Sturridge. Martin Skrtel also remains on the sidelines and although Dejan Lovren appears to be returning to fitness, the game will come too early for him.

For United, they are without Schweinsteiger who has a knee injury, Michael Carrick is also unavailable while Phil Jones will be subject to a late fitness test.

Previous Meetings

The last time the two sides met was in September last year, the game at Old Trafford wasn't exactly one to remember for…

Allen Nets Equaliser In 90th Minute

Image
Liverpool versus Arsenal is rarely ever a dull game, even in clashes where no goals are scored both sides always manage to put on a show and it was no different on Wednesday night. The six goal thriller was end to end in the first half with the Reds perhaps faltering a bit in the second, Klopp's side didn't give up though and it was Joe Allen at 90 minutes who scored an equaliser to ensure both teams walked away with a point.

It was Roberto Firmino who was first to score in the game, the Brazilian has had performances called into question of late, looking somewhat lacklustre without his compatriot Philippe Coutinho. The number 11 though made sure he took his chance on this occasion as Petr Cech failed to completely deal with a shot from Emre Can, the ball splayed out to Firmino who converted to put Liverpool into the lead.

It was a brilliant start for Klopp's side and I think it's fair to say not many expected Liverpool to take the lead. However, predictably, the lead…

MATCH PREVIEW: Exeter V Liverpool

Image
Liverpool will make their best effort to show up at Exeter's St James' Park on Friday evening as manager Jurgen Klopp continues to try and find a functioning and fit starting XI. Since the league cup clash with Stoke on Tuesday the Reds have seen their players drop like flies with no fit centre backs resulting in Ilori called back from loan and most recently, news today filtered through that Jordon Ibe is the latest to succumb to the hamstring curse.

Injuries

To go into detail, for the first time ever I will resort to a bullet pointed list for our injuries. The Reds are unable to call upon;

Jordon IbeDejan LovrenKolo TourePhilippe CoutinhoMartin SkrtelMamadou SakhoJordan HendersonDivock OrigiJordan RossiterDaniel SturridgeDanny IngsJoe GomezJon Flanagan
Unbelievable. On the other hand Exeter are looking a lot healthier with David Wheeler being their main injury concern, the midfielder suffered an ankle injury recently. Doubts also hang over the fitness of Noble and Ribeiro.

Prev…

MATCH PREVIEW: Stoke V Liverpool

Image
It's a big game for Liverpool on Tuesday evening as Jurgen Klopp takes his side to the Britannia for the first leg of a league cup semi final against Stoke. The Reds of course were beaten by West Ham at the weekend and confidence is running low at the moment around L4.

Injuries for Liverpool mean Daniel Sturridge will still be unavailable after apparently suffering another setback during recovery. According to Jurgen the forward was unable to attend one session and he would rather wait until Daniel has strung together some full sessions before risking him for a start.

Liverpool are also without defender Martin Skrtel and both Milner and Henderson in the middle of the park. For Stoke they are looking relatively strong with just Muniesa and Ireland unavailable to feature.

The last time the two sides met was back in August of 2015. A single goal from Philippe Coutinho was enough for the Reds to get the win during that fixture. Most Reds however will remember vividly the final game o…

Hammers Complete Double Over Reds

Image
Slaven Bilic's side got the better of Liverpool at Upton Park on Saturday afternoon via goals from ex Red Andy Carroll and Michail Antonio. Jurgen Klopp watched on as his side struggled to create any concrete chances in front of the West Ham goal and whilst some will argue a refereeing decision may have aided the home side, Liverpool certainly did not deserve to get anything from the game.

Christian Benteke led the line for Liverpool and he quickly came under fire from pundits and fans alike during the game. I said as soon as we were interested in Benteke that there was no point buying him because we didn't have the right players to work for him, to add insult to injury his price tag was £32.5 million, I knew it wouldn't take long before fans turned and blamed him for all our issues but the fact is, it's not all his fault.

Our team on Saturday just felt completely disjointed. The flashes from Coutinho and Firmino are predictable at times and sides like West Ham just a…

MATCH PREVIEW: West Ham V Liverpool

Image
After victory over Sunderland on Wednesday evening Jurgen Klopp's side face West Ham on Saturday for their first fixture of 2016. The Reds will face tough opposition from the Hammers who are just one point behind them in the league.

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are unable to call upon James Milner, Martin Skrtel and Divock Origi. It also looks as though the knock Jordan Henderson picked up against the Black Cats will keep him out of this fixture. Positively for the Reds though, Daniel Sturridge should be available for the clash.

For West Ham, the game comes too early for the likes of Jelavic, Moses and Reid who have returned to training but are unlikely to feature. Manager Slaven Bilic will be pleased however with the return of Payet who has been out for two months.

The last time the two sides met was in August last year when Brendan Rodgers' side fell to a 3-0 defeat. Philippe Coutinho and Mark Noble both saw red in that fixture too. Our last visit to Upton Park also end…

Benteke Strikes Again

Image
Liverpool picked up all three points at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday evening after Christian Benteke found the back of the net less than a minute into the second half. It wasn't a straight forward performance from the Reds but Klopp's side did enough to get the better of the Black Cats who managed three shots on target.

It was a very mixed game for Liverpool who began in a lively fashion and almost got themselves on the scoresheet when Roberto Firmino had to watch a cracking effort hit the post early on. It was a stunning save from Vito Mannone and proved Sunderland were up for a fight.

Benteke was rather quiet in the first half, suffering in my opinion from a lack of supply. For me, the only person really searching to come to the forward's assistance is Jordan Henderson and he had to leave the pitch during the second half. I don't have an injury update on the captain but I hope it's not too serious!

It was Jermain Defoe and ex Red Fabio Borini who went close…

MATCH PREVIEW: Sunderland V Liverpool

Image
Liverpool travel to the Stadium of Light on Wednesday evening as they aim to collect another win following victory over Leicester on Boxing Day. Jurgen Klopp has apparently had a "man conversation" with Christian Benteke so we can only assume that this will result in the big Belgian featuring up front for this one.

Other team news for the Reds sees Jordon Ibe available after recovering from a short illness. Still out are James Milner and Martin Skrtel while Divock Origi remains a doubt. Daniel Sturridge feels ready to feature but the manager has clearly stated he will not be rushing the striker back to the starting XI.

For Sunderland, Younes Kaboul is unavailable due to a hamstring injury and there is a doubt hanging over John O'Shea. Overall Sam Allardyce has a relatively strong squad to choose from.

Sunderland are currently sitting 19th in the league having lost their last four fixtures. They have won just three games this season, victory over Newcastle, Crystal Palac…

Benteke Goal Seals Win Against Leicester

Image
The Reds became the first side to prevent Leicester from finding the back of the net on Boxing Day as Jurgen Klopp's team walked away with all three points thanks to a Christian Benteke strike in the second half. In a game that most Liverpool fans were concerned about, the Reds actually looked confident against Ranieri's league topping side and ultimately deserved the win.

Klopp had opted to start a striker this time out which was refreshing to see because I personally think playing without a natural forward has been troublesome of late. I would have preferred to see Benteke chosen but it was Divock Origi who was given the chance to lead the line with Lallana, Firmino and Coutinho all in support.

Early in the first half it was Lallana and Emre Can who both ruffled Leicester's feathers after the former hit the side netting and the latter saw a stinging effort saved. Shortly afterwards, Origi made a decent break controlling the ball well in the box with pressure from the Le…

Reds Through To Round Of 32

Image
After a somewhat bizarre opening goal from visitors Bordeaux, the Reds managed to seal victory at Anfield on Thursday evening and have secured their place in the last 32 of the Europa League in the process. The evening opened with bad news though after it filtered through that Daniel Sturridge would be sent for a scan on a foot injury in the morning.

The first half for Liverpool didn't get off to a magnificent start when a lapse in concentration from Simon Mignolet led to a very questionable headed clearance. Luckily Kolo Toure was around to help clean up the mess and the visitors failed to capitalise on the situation.

Christian Benteke had a brilliant game which began with a strike at the side netting, quickly followed by a goal that was ruled offside. The forward was unlucky, mistiming his run slightly but the link up play between himself and the likes of Ibe, Milner and Firmino meant he'd surely get on the scoresheet.

Just after the half hour mark Bordeaux found themselves…

Reds Give Chelsea A Fright

Image
So, if you didn't know, on Saturday morning I travelled all the way up to Liverpool from Wolverhampton, just so I could watch the soddin' match! Wolves were playing Birmingham and even my favourite pub in town wasn't going to be showing the Liverpool match so I ditched my home town and travelled north.

Whilst I'm so glad I acted upon my sometimes questionable impulse, I also ended up regretting it somewhat because going all that way but not really being able to celebrate a 3-1 win over Chelsea with anyone you know... Bit naff! Haha.

Jurgen Klopp started the game without a recognised striker as Roberto Firmino had to take up the position. It wasn't that surprising that Christian Benteke was left on the bench but it definitely felt like we were going to need him.

It took just four minutes for Chelsea to get on the score sheet and I immediately began to regret travelling to Liverpool. Mourinho looked smug as hell, the whole of Stamford Bridge were acting like it was …

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Bournemouth

Image
Liverpool welcome Bournemouth to Anfield on Wednesday evening as they aim to progress through to the next stage of the League Cup. It was far from plain sailing for the Reds when they eventually got the better of Carlisle earlier in the competition via a penalty shootout so it would be nice to see a smooth ride for a change.

It will be interesting to see whether Jurgen Klopp utilises this fixture to test out the talent of his youth or if he uses the opportunity to notch up his first win as Liverpool manager. A strong starting XI however would still not guarantee Liverpool victory, with Premier League opposition to contend with and a team that are still finding their strengths under the new boss the Reds need to start scoring goals and winning games.

Injuries for Liverpool mean the manager is unable to call upon Rossiter, Gomez, Ings, Henderson and Flanagan. It also looks as though Daniel Sturridge will remain on the sidelines which is a worrying prospect for Liverpool fans. The retur…

Benteke Scores In Yet Another Draw For The Reds

Image
It was another draw for Jürgen Klopp on Sunday as Liverpool let a late lead slip in a 1-1 draw. It was a relatively drab performance from the Reds and it's clear as day that Klopp will be unable to really stamp his mark on this team until he reaches the January transfer window.
The manager opted not to start Christian Benteke or Roberto Firmino and it's understandable that he didn't wish to risk two of his key players but Liverpool struggled to create a presence from the off due to a lack of quality. A few half chances in the first 45 from the likes of Milner and Coutinho were little to grasp hold of, it was just lucky that Southampton hadn't really found a strong footing either.
Milner to be fair to him was one of few players showing any real intent but captaining a team with Origi as your main striker is never going to prove fruitful in my opinion. The forward had less touches than both goal keepers in the first half and whilst some of this may boil down to a lack of s…

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Southampton

Image
It's Southampton at home for Jurgen Klopp's team on Sunday but will the boss be able to get the better of Ronald Koeman's side? The Reds still have injury worries to contend with and a lack of confidence in front of goal whilst Southampton can recall some top performances of late including a recent win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Injuries for Liverpool are still creating a bit of a problem as it looks as though Daniel Sturridge may be unavailable. The forward had to undergo another scan on his knee and it's not clear whether he will make the bench. Positively, Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino are back however Danny Ings and Jordan Henderson are both out long term.

For Southampton, they may have to assess the fitness of Jay Rodriguez late on after he suffered a knock. It looks as though Stekelenburg has recovered from a back problem though so Koeman will have his usual keeper in place.

Southampton at the time of writing (Saturday games not finished) find them…

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Aston Villa

Image
As the plot continues to thicken around the managerial future of Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool simply have to collect all three points in order to take some pressure off the boss and in order to get themselves moving in the right direction in the league.

The Reds have picked up some additions to their injury list recently after Roberto Firmino and Dejan Lovren both came off during the League Cup clash with Carlisle. Also unavailable is Christian Benteke who is nursing a hamstring problem.

For Aston Villa, they have suffered a blow after Agbonlahor picked up an injury against Birmingham. Also potentially unavailable is Adama Traore who may not make the start and a doubt hangs over the fitness of Idrissa Gana.

The last time the two sides met was in the FA Cup semi-final last year. I was so annoyed at the end of this game and I still can't ever support a decision to bring on Glen Johnson when you're 2-1 down in a semi-final?! Villa of course won the game and Christian Benteke was o…