The Liver Bird  

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Liverpool 1 Wolves 0 / Four Things We Learned From Liverpool's 2019

I haven't blogged in two months... what an absolute shambles.

I've been stupidly busy and tied up with switching jobs etc and I guess I'm learning that blogging is something I adore but that it's ok to blog less frequently.

Anyway, I figured what better way to round up Liverpool's 2019 than with a post after just watching us beat my future husband's team haha.

The Reds managed to get the better of Nuno's side with a slim 1-0 victory at Anfield on Sunday evening. While I feel Liverpool commanded the game in terms of possession and playing the ball out from defence, I don't feel we were entirely in control.


A weakened Wolves side after their emphatic win over Manchester City still posed a real threat for Jurgen Klopp's team and were, as predicted, difficult to beat. Sadio Mane celebrated his goal for a second time after the smiles were initially cut short when VAR was called in for a handball decision. It clearly hit Lallana's shoulder and so the goal was awarded.

However, the real controversy happened just before half time when Neto scored for the visitors. He received some stick online for an over zealous celebration but he had netted what he believed to be his first goal in the Premier League. That was until the tape measure was brought out again.

I understand the offside rule, if you're offside you're offside end of. However, the offside rule was introduced in a time before VAR, in an attempt to prevent goal hanging and to decrease the advantage of the attacker but I ask you this since when did being offside by an armpit give any sort of advantage to an attacker??

Offside I don't believe was ever meant to be studied and measured to the millimetre and if VAR is here to stay (I personally wish it wasn't but that's another story) then perhaps the offside rule needs updating.

Nevertheless, Wolves may feel hard done by, I've felt the same with similar decisions earlier this season, but rules are rules and that's what VAR is following so the goal was correctly ruled out.

As for all that talk about Virgil potentially hand balling, he didn't so just don't even start with that.

As the second half played out and Wolves brought on the 100% pure muscle Adama Traore some significant chances were created but Nuno's side just couldn't seem to convert.

All of this means Liverpool at the time of writing after collecting another three points, sit unbeaten at the top of the table, 14 points clear of Manchester City and 13 points clear of Leicester... I'm not saying it.

So, what have we learnt from Liverpool's 2019?

1) Tenacity, we do not know when we are beaten

It wasn't so long ago when I would watch Liverpool go down in a match or spend half an hour at 0-0 and look as though they had no route through. I've always believed in my side but it's only really in 2019 that this side that Klopp has built has made itself truly formidable.

Teams have thrown everything at us, from England, from Europe, from the World, but they can't stop us. The chips can be down and the tiredness setting in but this team will never give up, a late goal will come, there's sheer belief that we will be victorious.

It's so refreshing to see.

2) Champions of Europe, Champions of the World

A year ago it was heartbreak, I spent the majority of summer 2018 hoping Ramos gained a career-ending injury and at the time, despite knowing how good we were, just couldn't see us getting to the Champions League final again.

But we bloody well did and we did it in style. That match against Barcelona (other than the 2005 final in Istanbul) is the most exciting and ridiculous Liverpool game I have ever watched in all my life. Absolutely phenomenal and again proving we just don't know when we are beaten.

The Champions League win was nothing short of what Liverpool deserved after finishing so agonisingly close to winning the Premier League title.

More silverware followed as Adrian the hero in goal helped us lift the UEFA Super Cup and then we travelled to Qatar in December and just casually became literally the best team in the world.

3) A team of stars

In years gone by Liverpool have never been short of stars, there's always been one or two diamonds within the team. Think of your Gerrard's, Torres', Suarez's. What hasn't happened for a very long time though is for Liverpool to have a team full of stars, players other clubs are desperate to have and that fellow professionals rate very highly.

In 2019, Liverpool had seven players on the finalist list for the Ballon d'Or and let's face it, the only reason Virgil van Dijk didn't win is because he's a defender and apparently if you don't score goals you don't deserve awards in football.

4) Use of the squad

Klopp has found a way to bring in star quality, retain star quality and keep that star quality happy, even when they're sat on the bench. This may not seem like a skill or a lesson learnt but for me 2019 showed how important the ability to rotate and utilise the squad was and Klopp is a master at it.

The prime example for me was Divock Origi, at the start of last season, I genuinely had forgotten Divock was even on our books. By mid-2019 I was considering tattooing his name on my arm haha.

A squad player who often was found sitting on the bench yet on every single occasion he was called into action he gave his absolute all. He was pivotal in Liverpool's 2019.

Roll on 2020. Have a bloody fab new year all!

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Saturday, 10 August 2019

Alisson Injured In Norwich Win

Liverpool made a solid start to their 2019/2020 Premier League campaign on Friday night as they opened up the season with a 4-1 win over Norwich. An own goal began proceedings but goals from Salah, van Dijk and Origi quickly followed in the first half. The Liverpool supporting Norwich forward Pukki did find a consolation in the second half but despite a valiant effort from the away side, they could only find the one goal.

Image via sports.yahoo.com

The big news from Liverpool's perspective, aside from the emphatic win, was the injury to goalkeeper Alisson Becker. The golden glove winner went down after taking a goal kick in the first half, appearing to clutch his calf. Second choice keeper Adrian who only arrived at the club this week looked shocked that his chance to play in front of the Kop had already arrived and he received a rapturous welcome from the Anfield faithful.

Divock Origi's cross was turned into the net by Norwich's Hanley after just seven minutes and despite a bright start from the visitors, this moment did somewhat take the wind out of their sails. Klopp's side capitalised and Mo Salah found the net with a lovely angled finish, followed closely by a classic Virgil van Dijk header. Origi scored the fourth and final goal for the Reds who entered the second half with the same tempo but couldn't find the net again.

Pukki's goal was deserved for Norwich who had stuck to the football that had served them so well in the Championship. Scoring bags of goals but also conceding a lot too on their way to the Premier League, it could have been easy for the Norwich manager to attempt to play tactically but they didn't. The Canaries came to Anfield and attacked, which is more than you can say for most teams, so full credit to them.

After the Reds threw down the gauntlet, all eyes were on rivals Manchester City. Many have predicted that this season will once again be a two-horse race and Pep Guardiola's team certainly responded. A 5-0 victory over West Ham, with a load of VAR coverage thrown in, provided the Sky Blues with an immediate response to Liverpool's result.

A win produced an almost perfect start for the Reds but the Alisson injury news has added a bit of a downer. The latest seems to be that the Brazilian could be out for up to 4-8 weeks, Liverpool are apparently looking at signing Lonergan on a free transfer to play the second keeper to the promoted Adrian as our third choice keeper Kelleher has a broken wrist...

I mean what are the chances of your star goalkeeper getting a pretty bad injury on the opening day of the season? I'm not usually a downbeat person and would usually be the one saying all sorts of positive things here but I genuinely am concerned by this, Alisson is such a huge factor in our attempts to chase that elusive Premier League title.

Adrian is a top keeper and with van Dijk in front of him I don't doubt that he can assist the Reds in their hour of need but I am praying that Alisson's injury resolves itself as soon as possible.

Next up for the Reds is Chelsea in the Super Cup.

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Sunday, 2 June 2019

In Madrid, We Won It Six Times

Saturday 1st June, not a date a few weeks back I thought would be important to Liverpool but after the Reds overturned a 3-0 deficit against the mighty Barcelona, June 1st became vitally important.

As a Liverpool fan from Wolverhampton whenever the lads get to a final I always try to travel up to Liverpool so I can soak up the second best atmosphere. Obviously, Madrid would be the dream but that's practically impossible for somebody like me so Liverpool, a city I love so dearly is ALWAYS the next best option.

Last year for the final I booked a hotel after the final whistle of the semi-final first leg but this year we couldn't do that so we had to draft in the fella to be designated driver. I always knew there was a positive to him being a Wolves fan haha. But seriously, massive thanks to the fella!

So it was set, me, the fella, me brother and my mate Reece would all travel up for the final again. Last year we watched at Camp and Furnace but again this year I was a bit slow on the uptake and tried for two weeks to find a ticketed screening somewhere, eventually I got us tickets at Mulholland Diner which to be honest isn't your most obvious place to watch the match but I knew that anywhere you watched in Liverpool would be awesome.

Travelling up I opted for honey JD and coke in a water bottle to settle the nerves. It's weird since we drew Spurs in the final I immediately felt more nervous, more nervous than I think I would have been if it were Ajax. I think it was just the element of English and well-known opposition, we'd finished so far ahead of Spurs in the league, this would be a disaster if victory went to the London club.

Arriving in Liverpool about 1pm after blasting out Si Senor on repeat for the dying moments of the journey, I was super excited now but we still had hours until kick off. 

We started at The Richmond Hotel, the rain had finally died off so we stood in the street enjoying a cider. Reece gave another Liverpool fan a leg up so he could stick his ALLEZ ALLEZ ALLEZ flag in the sign of a closed down shop. It was a good atmosphere and you could feel the tension building. 

To ease the nerves yet again I then had to go for a food stop. Those who follow me on Twitter will have seen the jacket potato saga unfold. On the fridge in our new flat we have a meal planner and the week of the Barcelona second leg I'd written "jacket potatoes" for tea that night and next to it "Champions League, need a miracle!". Of course, that miracle went on to happen and I had convinced myself it was because of the jacket potatoes.


I knew on Saturday I would have to have one so we made a pit stop and I tucked into mine about 3 in the afternoon. 

Next we popped over towards the docks and had one at the pumphouse, I like the beer garden here so it was nice to have another bevvie and enjoy the view. Eventually, we started heading towards Mulholland as we were allowed to enter from 6pm and I wanted to make sure we watched the build up etc. On the way we went to see the madness of Concert Square, there must have been thousands crammed in singing and chanting, just a brilliant sight. A bit further down the road, some lads were playing football in the street until one of them kicked it onto a shop roof... a chorus of boos followed. 

While trying to get to Mulholland we decided to go around Concert Square just to make it a bit easier and I'm glad we did because that's when we stumbled on Slater Street. I've been to Liverpool a hell of a lot over the years but for some reason I'd never been in this area, we stopped for some drinks on Slater Street at a bar that had a table right on its frontage, as the afternoon went on Slater Street got more and more full.


It was bloody brilliant here, the chants began of Si Senor, You'll Never Walk Alone and Virgil van Dijk. Flares were let off and the Don't Buy The Sun flag made an appearance. It was such a great atmosphere and I was chuffed we'd stumbled upon it. 

Then it was pretty much time to go to Mulholland. It was definitely a bit of a strange place to watch the football but there was a good atmosphere and we also got a free drink ticket which was a nice touch. I managed to get a good spot right in front of the big screen with a good portion of side space for drinks haha.

Earlier in the day, I'd purchased a Jurgen Klopp mask and I'm so glad I did because it went down a treat in the streets and in the pubs.

Kick off drew closer and closer and all I kept thinking was Liverpool thoroughly deserve to win this cup, after the season we'd had I just couldn't face losing to Spurs.

The big news team-wise was that Firmino started for us and Kane made the start for Spurs and before you know it, it was time for kick off.

I'd barely had chance to settle the nerves before Sadio Mane had won us a penalty with a handball from Sissoko. To be honest I thought this was quite a harsh decision but did I care? Not one bit.

I'd opted for my purple Liverpool shirt this year on purpose because it's the one I have with Salah on the back. Watching him go off in tears last year was heartbreaking and I wanted this final to be a special one for him, hopefully with a goal. As he stepped up for the penalty I knew he wouldn't miss and Mulholland went mental at the fact Liverpool were already 1-0 up after just two minutes. 

The early goal was massive for the Reds and most would have thought this would be a boost for Klopp's side to quickly find the net again but quite the opposite happened. Liverpool struggled to maintain possession against Spurs and the London side looked the more effective in the first half, the score remained 1-0 but I felt extremely nervous for almost the entirety of that match.

Substitutions for Liverpool meant Firmino was replaced with Origi and Wijnaldum replaced with Milner (Gomez also appeared very late on). 

I have to confess that right at the start of this season I genuinely forgot that Divock Origi was still a Liverpool player. He'd failed previously to really make a mark on the side but this season he's been an absolute revelation, the goal against Everton alone was enough to add him to the folklore but his inspired performance against Newcastle which could have proved vital and his two goals in the inspirational win against Barcelona have cemented the fact that Origi is a force to be reckoned with.

When he entered play on Saturday you just had the feeling he would have a say in this final and at 87 minutes he found the back of the net. A low and powerful shot was too much for Hugo Lloris and the goal had all but ended Spurs' dreams.


The final whistle blew and I screamed my head off in Mulholland, it just felt like a justification of this team and the manager's efforts during 2018/2019. I fear that a loss in this final could have been extremely damaging but the sheer delight on everyone's faces when Jordan Henderson lifted that trophy a few minutes later shows to me a team that is utterly unified. Why would you leave this side now? And why would you not want to come and be a part of this story?

A sixth European Cup for the club means Jurgen joins an elite list and whatever happens, he will be remembered forever. Simply superb.

Due to having a designated driver we had to head back home from Liverpool on the night but the walk from Mulholland to Lime Street Car Park was just brilliant. I wore my Klopp mask most of the way, holding up six digits and dishing out high fives. Singing ALLEZ ALLEZ ALLEZ as hundreds of fans filtered out into the street.


I'm gutted I can't be there for the parade but I'm about to watch on TV. Just a world class day for me yesterday and may we have more of those to come!

I bloody love you Liverpool!!! #6Times 

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Wednesday, 8 May 2019

The Miracle Of Anfield

Liverpool are in the Champions League final. I've had to start this blog post with that sentence because I still can't quite believe it. Liverpool, a side who last week were written off by the footballing world, have overcome a 3-0 deficit to beat Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield in what is arguably the greatest comeback in the sport.

Image via The Express
Those who read my blogs or follow me on Twitter will know I'm quite a rose-tinted fan, I'm the one always searching for a positive or something to cling on to, even when the chips are down. On Tuesday though, not even I seriously thought we could do something about this semi-final. I held on to a glimmer of hope and kept saying "you never know" but I never truly thought we'd be able to prevent Barcelona from scoring and find the net on enough occasions to make Madrid.

The only way we could do it, if we were going to complete this miracle, was to find an early goal I knew that much. So we did, Divock Origi the absolute hero latched onto a ball splayed out from the Barca keeper after he attempted to save a Henderson shot. Divock netted after just seven minutes and Liverpool had immediately laid down their intentions on this match.

Anfield was absolutely buzzing, what I would have given to be there, the atmosphere on a European night at that ground is unrivalled on a night like Tuesday. Say what you want but no team wants to come to Anfield for a European game, not even Barca who are 3-0 up in a semi-final.

The early goal seemed to stun Barca, their players looked deflated instantly, despite the fact they still had a two-goal advantage and an away goal on their part could change everything. They'd rested all XI players in their last league match and had the likes of Messi and Suarez to call upon but we made the Spanish side look bang average.

Liverpool continued to play calmly in the first half, creating chances and raising the heartbeats of Kopites all over the globe, but it wouldn't be until nine minutes into the second half when the Reds found themselves a second. 

Gini Wijnaldum with a powerful shot in the centre of the box fizzed one home for the Reds having only just entered play. The Dutchman replaced Andy Robertson who picked up an injury during the first half.

Gini is one of those players that everybody loves but he's not really known for scoring goals. He changed that on Tuesday evening against one of the best teams in the world because just minutes later, he scored again.

A lovely cross from Shaqiri on the left was placed perfectly for Gini who rose with a powerful header to take the game to 3-0. Absolutely phenomenal. At this point I'm not afraid to admit, I was basically crying with joy. I could not believe what I was seeing. Over the years I've watched Liverpool pull off some astonishing results but surely to god we couldn't find our way to this year's Champions League final? Surely heartbreak was awaiting.

I tried to calm down, I was shaking like a leaf and was screaming, literally screaming like a child at every goal. This game was insane but even with the Reds now 3-0 up and shooting towards a raucous Kop End, it would only take a goal from Barcelona to spoil the party. Barcelona, one of the best teams in world football.

The thing was though, Barcelona were far from the Barcelona we know, as mentioned previously, even after the first goal they looked utterly deflated. At 3-0 it started to look like they'd ran out of ideas, the pressure of the Anfield atmosphere along with the high intensity of all of our lads was just too much for them to deal with, they didn't have a second to breathe or even think straight.

Then, a twenty-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold walked over to the corner, a scouser through and through, at Liverpool Football Club from the age of six. He drops the ball down in the corner, casually starts walking away as if Shaqiri's going to take it but he's spotted Divock, he knows he's free. A quick return to the corner flag sees him whip the ball into the Belgian who finishes perfectly in front of the Kop. Barcelona caught with their pants well and truly down.

At this stage I'd gone wild, I mean I was already pretty wild for the three previous goals but this was the point when I actually, truly thought we could be in that final in Madrid. The sheer audacity of Trent to even try that?! 

I watch most of our matches with me fella but as you all know he's a massive Wolves fan (bit awkward next week!!!) so while he enjoys watching Liverpool with me, he doesn't really care about results. For some reason I just resort to attacking him in these massive games. Jumping all around him, ruffing up his hair, punching him in the arm, slapping him on the legs hahaha it's the adrenaline, I have to release it somehow and he's just there or sometimes it's me brother haha!

I genuinely at points on Tuesday night felt like I was about to faint, what I was witnessing was so special and the reactions to each goal just got bigger and bigger and bigger. Just a phenomenal evening of football.

The final whistle about 15 minutes after Liverpool's fourth confirmed the fact that nobody could quite believe: Liverpool would be 2019 Champions League finalists.

I spent the majority of the following day at work in a daze with a Barry White tone to my voice from all the screaming. Even typing this now at 8:30pm on Wednesday evening, I still can't quite believe it but I am massively excited.

Whatever happens on Sunday now, we have a final in Europe to look forward to and I can't say that's something I was expecting.

The Miracle of Anfield.

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Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Wolves 2 Liverpool 1: My Nightmare In The North Bank

Well, it's the morning after the night before as I type this and I'm still not quite sure why I voluntarily put myself through that match sat in the home end...

As you all know by now I'm surrounded by Wolves fans in my life so for a laugh and to ensure I took a chance to see us in the flesh (I don't get to go to matches very often) I figured I'd sit in the north bank with me fella and me brother. What an ordeal that was. 

Image via Independent
When the team sheets came out it was clear that Nuno had decided to go for it with Wolves after he named a very strong XI with perhaps the keeper Ruddy being the main notable change. Liverpool, on the other hand, had started a very weakened team but even with the changes, I was looking at names like Shaqiri and Sturridge thinking yeah, we have enough to cause concern here against a strong Wolves side.

That isn't how it panned out though. The game started badly for the Reds as Lovren had to be subbed off after just six minutes with an injury, this adds even more to our growing defensive absentee list. The only saving grace was that 16-year-old Ki Jana Hoever was brought on in his place and the youngster did extremely well. 

The first half was absolute crap. Both teams were unable to really string anything of importance together and to be honest, I was struggling to see where a goal was coming from for us, it was a very poor first half from the Reds. 

At 38 minutes Wolves found an opening goal thanks to Jiminez. I didn't actually see this goal because all the Wolves fans stood up as he was running freely at the box and I refused to as I didn't want to be associated with them lot once they started inevitably celebrating... 

It was a great time to score for Wolves but Liverpool for a short while made me think we might be able to get back into the game when we found an equaliser not long after returning from the half time break. 

It was a lovely strike from Origi right in front of me. I couldn't really celebrate properly so I was sat in the middle of me fella and me brother elbowing them constantly with a big grin on my face. 

Even with the goal, I still wasn't sure the Reds had enough in them to see this one out and I knew Wolves still had fuel in the tank. 

Bad times...
A wonder strike from Neves put Nuno's side back in front at 55 minutes and deservedly so. The pace in which Wolves regained the lead I think was just too much to deal with for an already struggling Liverpool XI. 

Klopp full on went for it with about 20 minutes remaining, bringing on both Salah and Firmino. I was extremely happy to be able to see them both but not even their magic was enough to find a goal to keep Liverpool in the cup. 

On the whole, am I disappointed? A little bit but not really to be honest. I always want to chase silverware but Wolves were deserved winners last night. I'm mainly disappointed because being from Wolverhampton I'm not gonna live this down now. On the flip side though, Liverpool will not have as many games to contend with and this could be our best ever chance to win the league. All I care about now is us beating Brighton!! 

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Monday, 3 December 2018

REPORT: Liverpool 1 Everton 0

I've seen some Merseyside derbies in my time but that could quite possibly be my favourite ending ever, you just couldn't make it up! After a battle between the two sides over 90 minutes it was the forgotten Divock Origi who found himself in the right place at the right time to take all three points for Liverpool. 

I have to hand it to the Toffees they look a far stronger side under Marco Silva and they held their own at Anfield for the majority of the match. Liverpool have improved vastly in defence compared to last season and that showed when Alisson was forced into a close-range reaction save, stopping Andre Gomes' header. The danger wasn't quite clear but Joe Gomez's quick thinking ensured the Reds cleared it off the line. 

Image via Sky Sports
Annoyingly for Liverpool, while their defence is ten times better their attack seems to have gone a bit quiet over recent weeks and for me, this isn't necessarily to do with the forward players. I'm not sure what other people's opinions are but for me, it feels like the link between defence and midfield and midfield to attack is somewhat lacking at the moment. There's a lot more side or back passing and no real cutting edge balls through, this was also the case when Henderson was on against PSG so I'm not really singling out players, just the midfield as a whole feels like it could click more. 

Don't get me wrong players like Fabinho for me are proving their worth, he did very well breaking up play on Sunday but I just think we need a midfield that is more positive with the passing. I feel like that improved slightly once Keita came on. 

The Reds had some chances, mainly half ones and mainly from Sadio Mane but it never quite felt like we would actually win this match. I was preparing myself for a draw and the pain in seeing us go further behind Man City but a free kick in the dying moments would change all that. 

Due to be taken by Trent I am sure Virgil was shouting up the pitch asking Alisson to take it. The keeper ran to the free kick spot and rolled it forward to Trent who then flung it into the box. Sat in the pub next to an Everton fan who was screaming for the whistle all I kept thinking was surely we can't score here, surely it's over. 

A header found its way out to Virgil van Dijk who absolutely spooned his effort to get the ball back into the box but the height on his miss hit meant Jordan Pickford would have to make a decision. As the ball came crashing down onto the bar, Pickford appeared to try and catch it instead of turning it over the bar for a corner. Meanwhile, Divock Origi was already in position and as the ball fell on the right side of goal the Belgian headed home to win the Merseyside Derby in the 96th minute. Absolutely crazy!

I was screaming my head off, of all the people to score the winner it's Origi, nobody's seen him for about two years apart from the odd cameo. What a man. 

Did we deserve to win? No, but the fact is, you play to the end and if your chance arises ensure you take it. 

Klopp running on the pitch was absolutely hilarious people having a go can say all they want. He didn't jump in Silva's face he ran to his keeper. It's a natural reaction in a game that already means so much let alone when the three points means your side remains latched on to a title race. 

All I keep thinking is Man City must be well pissed off. Hahaha. 

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Sunday, 14 May 2017

Five Things We Learned At London Stadium

1) Playing two strikers can actually work

I've been saying for months now, Liverpool should not be afraid to field two strikers. For me, the whole season we have faced sides such as West Ham and failed to break them down with our Plan A. I love Jurgen Klopp but I think most of us would agree that he can be a bit stubborn at times. On far too may occasions this season Klopp has decided for whatever reason to field the same tactics and an extremely similar team against sides who are determined to make things difficult for us.

Image via Liverpool Echo
Teams like West Ham all season have been more than happy to sit back and allow Liverpool to keep possession, fail to score due to a lack of ideas and a lack of directness and then simply hit us on the break.

In my opinion, having a true striker like Daniel Sturridge on, even better in a front two gives us a much greater chance of breaking down this kind of opposition. Yes it took a significant proportion of the game to take effect on Sunday but it is not a coincidence that game ended 4-0 with both strikers on the score sheet and a brace from Philippe Coutinho.

Playing two strikers not only offers the side more options in the box it also creates a totally different issue for the opposition defence, while West Ham's centre backs are busy with eyes on Sturridge and Origi it gives players like Coutinho the freedom and space they need to really punish.

It's a bit late in the day now but I can't help but feel that if we'd of at least tried this set up, even for half an hour during some of the games we've struggled in, things could be so different right now.

2) Sprinkle of luck

It's not often Liverpool get a bit of luck, it certainly doesn't feel like we have this season but the Reds had two dashes of it on Sunday. First of all when Ayew missed an absolute sitter, he literally just had to tap it into an open net from about a metre out but some how failed to find goal.

Secondly, Liverpool could have found themselves facing up to a penalty after a potential hand ball in the box from Wijnaldum. Gini himself looked guilty as hell as he turned to the referee to check the decision, thankfully for us the whistle did not go.

3) Daniel Sturridge is back

Sturridge has come under a lot of stick recently from some sections of the Liverpool fan base and I personally have never been able to understand this. Yes he is very injury prone but on his day Daniel Sturridge is still one of the best strikers in the league.

Off the pitch he is a lovely guy and it's clear he just wants to strive to do his best for our football club. I was so happy to see him actually start on Sunday and if I wasn't so skint this month, I would have had money on him to find the net haha. His goal set up by a killer pass from Coutinho was brilliant. The striker timed his run perfectly to remain onside and was calm as ever as he took the ball around the keeper and finished.

I'm not sure what the future holds for Sturridge but it seems like he wants to fight for his place and I for one would still love to have him at Anfield.

4) Coutinho at his best

It was no surprise Coutinho was handed man of the match after a brilliant assist and two goals of his own. As mentioned previously, Coutinho is at his best when he has that bit of freedom to work his magic. Playing strikers today in my opinion is what allowed Coutinho to shine and he did not disappoint with two great goals.

5) The Reds can grind it out

Finally, Liverpool showed that they can grind it out when they need to if they really work at it. It hasn't happened on many occasions this season but the Reds proved at the London Stadium that they can stick it out. For the majority of the first half the Reds looked completely out of it but lifted by the Daniel Sturridge goal late in the first half and boosted by regrouping, it was clear they meant business in the second 45.

A ruthless start to the second half of the match left West Ham pretty much dumbfounded and with a second goal under their belt at 57 minutes the Reds went from strength to strength.

_____

I don't know about you but I was really nervous for this match and I have now screamed myself hoarse yelling at four goals, in particular at Sturridge's opener. All Liverpool have to do now is beat Boro at Anfield, surely to god we can do that?! One more game.

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Sunday, 2 April 2017

Five Things We Learned From The Merseyside Derby

1.The Reds still have it

The 3-1 win over Everton on Saturday afternoon showed that the Reds haven't lost it. When push comes to shove Liverpool have one of the most exciting attacks in the Premier League and while there have been some lacklustre performances of late against smaller sides, this victory highlighted all the positives.

Image via Peter Powell/EPA (The Guardian)
As a Derby it had everything you would expect: goals, crunching tackles and heated moments from players, managers and fans. A cracking performance from Jurgen Klopp's side has put them safely in the mix for the top four. 

2.Anybody seen Lukaku?

Genuinely, did he even do anything? For a top goalscorer who believes he deserves a better deal than Goodison Park he's going to have to prove he can perform against top opposition to convince everyone. 

He went completely missing on Saturday, utterly silenced by a combination of Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and the tenacious Lucas Leiva. 

3.Great goals 

The three goals from Mane, Coutinho and Origi were all fantastic. An almost solo effort from Sadio started by his own movement and ending with a strike through the legs of a blue shirted player gave Liverpool the lead. Perhaps an element of poor positioning from the keeper but I still feel it was a good goal. 

Coutinho's was just the typical go to Philippe goal. His pace and skill flummoxed the Everton defence creating enough space for him to swoop his shot into the back of the net. Classic Couts. 

Finally there was Divock. Only introduced due to an injury to Sadio Mane, the Belgian didn't waste any time stamping his mark on the game and on yet another Merseyside Derby. It was a wonderful strike to cement Liverpool's three points. 

4.Lucas proving his worth 

I've said it numerous times on this blog but I bloody love Lucas. He may have his faults and he may not be quite the player he once was but Saturday's game once again proved he is a reliable old stalwart that is fully capable of having a huge impact on what is essentially one of the biggest games of the season for the Reds. 

Lucas has no trouble dealing with players like Lukaku and the heated nature of a Derby along with its crunching tackles and mind games plays right into the hands of the Brazilian. If there's anyone who knows how to wind the opposition up and play right on the wire when it comes to putting in a challenge, it's him. 

5..Who the hell is Jan Kluitenberg?

Finally, who's is joker then ay? Absolutely horrified by Klopp having a chat with the fourth official he took it upon himself to jump up in the dugout and gesture to Jurgen Klopp to calm down. 

Clearly worried Ronald Koeman can't fight his own battles he simply had to step in. What a div. Klopp wasn't arsed.

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Sunday, 29 January 2017

Hungry Like The Wolves

So, yesterday was perhaps one of the worst matches I have ever had the misfortune to watch as a Liverpool fan, a Liverpool fan who hails from Wolverhampton. For those of you not following my Twitter updates throughout the day, this post should give you an idea of how I was feeling from kick off to the final whistle.

I arrived in the pub about an hour and a half before kick off, sat square in front of the big screen with my Liverpool shirt on I was soon joined my my fella, my brother and my brother's best mate, all in Wolves shirts. Full English downed and smiley pre-match photograph taken, I was feeling relatively positive prior to kick off.

After seeing that Jurgen Klopp had chosen to start Firmino, Wijnaldum and Origi I was pleasantly surprised. I expected it to be an even weaker side than the XI he chose to start. What I didn't expect was us to be in dire need of the likes of Coutinho and Sturridge within 45 minutes.

Wolves scored before the first minute of the game had even played out. I don't think anybody in the pub (hoards of Wolves fans included) would have seen that one coming. Then on top of that, the goalscorer was Richard Stearman who I happen to know isn't actually all that good and hadn't scored in three years. My only reaction at that stage was laughter, I was laughing my head off. Yes, there were questions of offside but the fact that Liverpool had given so much freedom to Stearman from that free kick was embarrassing. I was laughing because it was terrible but also because I never seriously thought we wouldn't get back into the game, there was 89 minutes to go, re-focus and find the net I thought but of course, that didn't happen.

Wolves were set up perfectly for this game and manager Paul Lambert must be praised, it was no coincidence they were so lethal on the counter attack and his team selection along with his tactics absolutely flummoxed his old friend Klopp. The work rate of players like Dicko allowed the Midlanders to fight hard and hold up play when required. Defensively they were solid and with the pace of Helder Costa at their disposal for their many counter attacks, the Reds just had no clue what had hit them.

At 41 minutes Wolves found a second goal. At this point it wasn't funny anymore. The whole pub including my fella and brother were going crazy, I had a bit of an outer-body experience at that point, just wishing I could be transported elsewhere. Horrible. Absolutely horrible. I had no excuses in my tank, I had no faith that we could actually get back into the game and I was desperate for us to resort to calling up Coutinho who realistically we shouldn't have even needed.

Half time
Without sounding offensive to Wolves, they are a side lulling around in the bottom half of the Championship at present, they shouldn't pose any massive threat to Liverpool, not at Anfield but they were a force to be reckoned with and one of the main reasons for that in my opinion was their hunger and desire to get through to the next round.

Liverpool just did not look arsed at all. The only player on the pitch who showed any glimmer of passion was Woodburn and let's face it, the responsibility of grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck and trying to turn around Liverpool's fortunes should not fall to a teenager.

Wolves' goalkeeper used to play between the sticks for bloody Telford and yet we didn't even trouble him. When Origi did finally find the back of the net at 86 minutes he didn't even look bothered. There was no urgency, no nothing. Ok, the pressure was heightened and there was one moment where it looked as though the Reds could have scraped a draw but it was nowhere near good enough.

For me also a key point to note was that it was no coincidence Origi scored from a well crossed corner. There is no point whatsoever in playing the likes of Origi and/or Sturridge if you aren't going to use wingers or full backs to whip in crosses for them to get on the end of. After about 20 minutes yesterday, maybe even less than that it should have been apparent that we were not going to be able to walk this ball into the net. Whenever our lads got anywhere near the 18 yard box they were instantly out of ideas, balls through the middle were being sniffed out by the Wolves defence and when possession was lost the away side would hit us hard on the break.

I don't think we should be afraid to resort to route one tactics and more wing play/crosses if that is what is required. At times it almost feels as though Klopp can't bring himself to instruct his side to play that way and whilst that is admirable, the reason people like Jose Mourinho nab points when they desperately need to is because they aren't afraid to resort to those tactics.

Full time...
At full-time I was utterly speechless. I wasn't even angry I was just embarrassed. Sat in a pub in the centre of Wolverhampton with no real answer as to why we were so shite. Unbelievable. We can take nothing away from Wolves, they thoroughly deserved that win but the sooner they get knocked out and I can start laughing back, the better.

Next up for Liverpool is Antonio Conte's Chelsea and if the Reds get anything less than a win on Tuesday night, we are in big trouble.

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Thursday, 12 January 2017

First Leg Loss

It was a dire performance from the Reds at St Mary's on Wednesday evening as they failed to find the back of the net against an inspired Southampton side.

A strong team put out by Klopp was unable to produce any real efforts leaving the Saints keeper with nothing to do all game. In contrast, Liverpool's man between the sticks Loris Karius was arguably the only player worthy of praise on the night. He pulled off two or three superb saves to prevent the Southampton damage increasing.

Image via Irish Mirror

Daniel Sturridge, a player you can usually rely on for a pop at goal was extremely quiet yesterday. His highlight perhaps running around the field with a handwritten note from Klopp trying to show it's hidden message to Adam Lallana. In fairness to Studge I don't think it was entirely his fault, he was extremely poorly served last night. For me, we should have brought Origi on sooner. I've said it a million times but in games such as that of Wednesday night I honestly feel when plan A hasn't worked, why not try the two up top for 20 minutes?

Coutinho obviously helped but being rusty from injury it was always going to be a bonus if he did manage to sprinkle some of his Brazilian magic. A solid 20 for Origi and Couts on for about 10 would have been my preferred option.

Despite all this, Southampton's early goal is just that, one goal. I don't care who you are or what team you support, 1-0 over two legs means jack all. The objective remains the same, go out and win. You'd be a fool to back against Liverpool at Anfield in a semi-final.

Roll on Manchester United.

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Sunday, 18 December 2016

MATCH PREVIEW: Everton V Liverpool

There's nothing like a festive Monday night fixture against Everton to get you in the Christmas spirit is there? After a solid win over Boro the Reds will feel more confident going in to this game but the Toffees won't have forgotten Liverpool's recent slip ups against Bournemouth and West Ham.


Both managers have some big decisions to make in terms of their line ups, namely the goalkeeping issue for Jurgen Klopp who opted for Simon Mignolet against Boro. Everton are unable to call upon Jagielka who is suspended and both Bolasie and Besic are out long term. For Liverpool, Can and Matip remain doubts while Coutinho and Sturridge also remain out of action.

This is the 227th Merseyside Derby and Everton have failed to pick up a victory in the last 12 meetings. The last time the two sides met was in April this year, an emphatic win for the Reds saw goals from Origi, Sakho, Sturridge and Coutinho.

The last fixture at Goodison was a bit more subdued as the game ended 1-1 with many frustrated at the lack of excitement during the game. To find the last time the sides met for a December fixture we have to go all the way back to 2005. The match at Goodison ended 1-3 with Peter Crouch, Steven Gerrard and Djibril Cisse on the score sheet. You may also remember that both Phil Neville and Mikel Arteta were sent off in the game.

Our top scorer Mane on seven goals is beaten by Lukaku who is currently on nine goals however you have to feel that with the additional firepower around Mane, Liverpool should be able to collect all three points on Monday evening. I definitely fancy Divock Origi to find the back of the net, he has been on top form of late and the more he continues to score the more I begin to wonder whether Jurgen Klopp is going to hold on to Daniel Sturridge in the new year.

It is bound to be a difficult fixture on Monday, when is it not against Everton but after picking up that important win over Boro I feel like the Reds are back on track and will want to continue their run with a solid performance against Koeman's side. At the time of writing Everton are currently 8th in the table while Liverpool are sitting pretty in second knowing a win is vital to close the gap on Antonio Conte's Chelsea side.

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Thursday, 21 April 2016

Five Things We Learned From Battering Everton

1) Everton really are shocking aren't they?

No offence to Everton... Actually yes, offence to Everton, they were bloody terrible last night. I know they've been having a dodgy season but I never expected the Merseyside derby to be so heavily one sided! 33 attempts to their 3 or something was it?! Unbelievable! 

Obviously the sending off didn't help Martinez's side but they can't claim they were offering much before Funes Mori saw red. The Everton back line was practically non existant and apart from a few flashes from the likes of Ross Barkley I am seriously struggling to find any real positive for them.

Image via the guardian.com 

2) Divock Origi's injury made me panic 

If you'd have told me at the start of the season that a crunching tackle on Divock Origi would cause me to have a mini episode I would of laughed in your face. The Belgian just didn't look like he was going to find his feet in the Premier League but as we have all seen this season he has earnt his spot in the starting XI.

It was a terrible challenge and the look on Origi's face suggested it was a serious one. Even knowing we had a superb back up in Daniel Sturridge the thought of having no Divock to call upon as we enter crunch stage in the Europa League was a frightening one. I just hope the injury is in fact only a sprained ankle as the press now seem to be reporting.

3) Sakho is a legend 

It's no secret that I'm one of few people who are not entirely convinced by Sakho's defensive abilities at the moment but as each game goes by he stems my doubt. He had another brilliant game on Wednesday evening but the thing I can't deny about Sakho is that he's an absolute top bloke.

You can see how influential he is within the team and how well he gets on with his counterparts. Running over to Kolo Toure being chased by the rest of the side after scoring was just fantastic to see. You can always rely on Sakho for some proper passion, just what you need in a Merseyside Derby!

4) No dubious goals panel is going to award a goal scored via the arse

After stepping up to take the place of the injured Divock Origi, Daniel Sturridge was predictably immense, he's a real quality forward and bagged himself a goal just after the hour mark. 

Despite his genius however I find it hard to believe that his ludicrously cocky claim on Philippe Coutinho's strike will make it past the dubious goals panel. Only Sturridge would have the cheek to claim a goal scored with his cheek!

Coutinho's face said it all. "Jog on!" 

5) Smells like team spirit

Finally I think the real thing to take from this performance was the visible team spirit. To have beaten Everton so emphatically with four different goalscorers doesn't happen everyday but to do so while having a manager on the sidelines laughing at Lucas for having a pop at goal? Just priceless. 

Jürgen Klopp clearly has a special bond with his players and it's clear that the team are bonding far better under the German compared to the Brendan Rodgers days. I just hope they can go on to win the Europa League together now but if not I am massively excited for next season! 

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Friday, 15 April 2016

"It's not explainable."

A dejected Thomas Tuchel attempted to describe his feelings on a game his side had somehow just lost 4-3, "It's not explainable" he said. He's right. When you watch a team like Liverpool on a European night at Anfield, there's something in the air, nobody is quite sure what it is, it's unexplainable, but it's there. The fans can feel it, the manager can feel it but most importantly, the players feel it. It's a presence that only Liverpool seem to hold and it's the reason you can never, ever write Liverpool off... ever.

An absolutely unbelievable game against unbelievable opposition.

Image via: mirror.co.uk
Before I go into a round up I would just like pay my respects to the 96 Liverpool fans who tragically lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster. Tomorrow marks the 27th anniversary of the disaster but justice is finally coming. Both fans also impeccably observed a minute's silence before the game. #JFT96

No German side has beat Liverpool at Anfield in 17 attempts and Borussia Dortmund sure as hell weren't going to get past us easily on an electric Thursday evening in Liverpool. With fans lining the streets hours before kick off, it was destined to be a special game but things got off to a terrible start for the Reds.

Scoring two goals in just nine minutes Dortmund had absolutely crushed Liverpool from the off. The first goal from Mkhitaryan was unfortunate as Mignolet did so well to save the initial effort from Aubameyang but he soon followed up with a lovely finish to secure Dortmund's second.

The Reds were dumbfounded. I fully expected Dortmund to score and cancel out that important away goal but I never expected it to be in such brutal fashion. For me, it was evident Liverpool were being broken down far too easily, I was quite surprised not to see Joe Allen starting in midfield to offer that extra bit of protection and some additional support for Divock Origi who could cause hassle with the correct service. However, Klopp had gone for a more attacking line up and to be fair we did get stuck in even after going two down.

The pressure though led to no goals and sure enough the first half whistle was blown. Liverpool needed three goals and while they looked like scoring it just wasn't quite happening for manager Jurgen Klopp.

Image via: theguardian.com
Expecting a change for the second half Kopites would have to wait a while longer as the manager decided to wait and see whether his side could take his half time motivational speech and convert it into some goalscoring damage. They did, via that man Divock Origi. It was a wonderful finish from the Belgian who picked up the ball from Emre Can and remained confident faced with the Dortmund keeper.

It was only a goal though right? The neutrals would still have you believe this was an impossible task? A mountain to climb? Wrong. The goal was just what Liverpool needed, it boosted the fans and it boosted the team, at 2-0 down the pretty decent performance was leading to nothing because the confidence wasn't there, at 2-1 you start fancying your chances at least you would do if Dortmund didn't spoil the party just nine minutes later.

There's no denying the pass from Mats Hummels and the goal from Reus were glorious, true Dortmund class but it was bloody frustrating to watch! After all that effort to find just a goal, just a glimmer of hope, Liverpool were back to square one. As a hardened Kopite though, that thought it always in the back of your mind, "remember Istanbul" ... "remember Olympiakos" ... "remember Alaves". You never actually believe you're going to do it, of course you don't, but you KNOW it's possible.

So, back to square one it is.

Klopp now knew he had to make a change and at 62 minutes a double substitution that I'd been craving since half time occurred. Joe Allen and Daniel Sturridge entered the fray. Just four minutes later it was Philippe Coutinho's turn to send Anfield wild.

A typical strike from the Brazilian taken with pure prowess from outside the box flew beautifully into the right of goal. 3-2, game on.

Now that glimmer had evolved into hope, like real hope, like hang on, we could actually bloody do this. I was all over the shop at this point, I can't sit still, my hands are in my mouth, on my head, tapping the table I just don't know what to do with myself, it's bloody horrible.

A whole ten minutes ticked by which is a long soddin' time in a European tie you're losing. But then, like a man possessed, Mamadou Sakho managed to dink home a header after a convenient deflection. I've not hidden the fact that I'm not utterly convinced with Sakho but I cannot dispute his passion, what an absolute hero and a real team player. It was immense! Here we were at 3-3 just needing one goal, one goal from anywhere to finally silence the black and yellow beast.

Four minutes were shown on extra time. Could we do it? Was it too late? Was it heck.

Image via theguardian.com
It's never too late and Dejan Lovren is a man who knows that. Just minutes earlier he'd absolutely spooned an angled volley high and wide over the bar, little did we know he'd get his chance to play the legend. 90+1 and James Milner after a series of diabolical low corners has picked up the ball from Daniel Sturridge and made it to the byline in the box, whipping the ball perfectly across goal there was Dejan Lovren. Rising like a Croatian salmon desperate to convince his national team coach that he should in fact take him to the Euros... It was like slow motion. Rising and rising eventually he smashed home the header sending the Kop End into an absolute frenzy.

Unbelievable scenes, just unbelievable. I'm still not quite over it all, my throat hurts, I've still got the shakes and I still can't believe that goals from Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren are the main reasons we've knocked Dortmund out of the Europa League and find ourselves in the semi-final. There are no words. Just superb!

Liverpool in Europe: utterly iconic.

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Wednesday, 13 April 2016

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Borussia Dortmund

A fantastic win over Stoke at the weekend gives Liverpool a huge boost going into this important fixture with Klopp's ex side Dortmund as the Reds look to progress to the semi-finals of the Europa League. The manager also has a tough decision to make up front as he must choose between Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge, many are predicting the former will get the call.

                                                      Image via dliga.com

Injuries

Injuries for Liverpool remain pretty much in the same state as they were for the first leg of this tie except of course that captain Jordan Henderson will not be available. Lucas has made a return and so may get a chance to feature at some point but there will be no sign of Christian Benteke who was fighting a losing battle to start ahead of Origi or Sturridge anyway.

For Dortmund, they have received a boost with some key players coming back from injury. Only Joseph-Claude Gyau and Neven Subotic are unavailable for this fixture.

Previous Meetings

The  last time the two sides met was of course just last week in the first leg that ended 1-1. It was a solid performance from Liverpool and a lot better than most fans were expecting. In fact Divock Origi very nearly scored a second in the game which could have gifted the Reds an all important lead in the tie.

The sides as discussed in the original preview have only met on a total of three occasions prior to this season and to be fair, Liverpool have always provided strong opposition to the German might.

Form

At home, the Stoke win gave Liverpool only their second win in five Premier League games at Anfield. It's no secret that Klopp has struggled with his side on their own turf but things have been improving of late. The Reds have only lost one game during the same time period at L4.

In terms of Dortmund's away record? The German side have lost just one in their last five trips away from home in the Bundesliga. However they only managed to collect a draw at Schalke this weekend, perhaps denting their confidence as they lost ground on Bayern Munich.

Betting

Liverpool are currently 15/8 to win on Thursday evening with Paddy Power. To take advantage of this offer simply click the image in the sidebar, deposit £10 and place it all on one bet to get £30 free to play with.

If you fancy Origi to bag another goal his odds for first goalscorer are: 11/2 and he's at 6/4 to score anytime. 

The game is obviously tightly poised with the advantage of an away goal for Liverpool but anything could happen on Thursday evening. I'm so excited for the game! Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!


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Monday, 11 April 2016

Comfortable Win Over Stoke For Reds

Liverpool manged to put four past Stoke on Sunday afternoon as Jurgen Klopp fielded a somewhat weakened side with one eye firmly on the second leg of his team's Europa League quarter final with Borussia Dortmund.

                              Image via itv.com: Divock Origi celebrates with Kolo Toure

Unfortunately I didn't see the game so this post will be very thin on the ground with just a few talking points I picked up from the full highlights.

Strong Squad?

After making seven changes to the side against a team like Stoke it's quite hard to believe that Liverpool managed to bag four goals to be honest and it got me thinking... is our squad actually a lot stronger than we give it credit for?

With players like Joe Allen and Sheyi Ojo featuring heavily on Sunday, maybe we do have some options? I'm not saying we have a top class squad by any means because let's face it some of these players are just bang average and we definitely need to invest in the summer. However, it's nice to know that alternate options are available for Klopp and can event work effectively.

For me, Klopp had to field a weakened side on Sunday because our best chance of getting into the Champions League is not via finishing fourth, that pipe dream is over, the only chance is to get past Dortmund and win the Europa League!

Daniel Sturridge

It was great to see Daniel on the scoresheet and even better to see him so thankful to youngster Ojo for a wonderful cross. Sturridge needed that goal to boost his confidence I feel and now alongside an in form Divock Origi, manager Jurgen Klopp has a really nice problem facing him in terms of striker selection. This brings me nicely onto the next point...

Should we consider playing two up top more often?

It's a system I've always liked and enjoyed taking advantage of but I can understand why many managers prefer one man leading the line. On Sunday however Origi and Sturridge were together for 45 minutes and for me the partnership worked brilliantly. Origi's work ethic cannot be faulted but Sturridge must also be praised for his awareness and link up play. It's a partnership I'd like to see more of but I'm not sure Klopp will be willing to change tactics against Dortmund on Thursday!

P.s. What a stike from Alberto Moreno eh?!

Apologies for the short post folks, normal service resumed on Wednesday with a full Dortmund preview!

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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Three Key Points From The Dortmund Draw

Well, that wasn't half bad was it? If you'd of told me we'd leave Germany with an away goal and a draw prior to kick off I'd have bitten your hand off. The Reds put on a valiant performance at Jurgen Klopp's old stomping ground and should feel confident upon their return to Anfield.

1) Divock Origi is an absolute legend

Ok, maybe that's coming on a bit strong but I thought the Belgian utterly justified his selection over Daniel Sturridge. It was a bold decision by Jurgen Klopp to leave Sturridge on the bench but he was rewarded for his bravery after a strong performance from Divock.

Image via theguardian.com: Divock Origi scores for Liverpool
I'm guilty myself of perhaps not taking Origi seriously but he deserves nothing but praise for his 84 minutes. He always gives his all in every game he features in and against Dortmund his ability to run behind the defenders appeared to work perfectly. I thought he'd messed up the goal after what looked like a questionable first touch but he remained calm and scored on 36 minutes with the help of a slight deflection.

The only down side of course was that the second chance for Origi that followed minutes later was perhaps the easiest of the two. After timing his run perfectly and being one on one with the keeper he should have really found the back of the net.

2) Quiet Coutinho

I don't want to dwell on a negative because this result was a solid one for Liverpool but I felt like Coutinho went missing in this clash. He's definitely one of those players that can have an absolute stormer the one week and then barely feature the next. He just wasn't in the right positions and lost possession far too easily for me.

Perhaps the movement of Divock Origi took the shine off him slightly but even when he did get the odd chance to show off his skill or take a weaving run into the box, his usual final ounce of quality just wasn't quite there. Here's hoping he's back on track for the leg at Anfield because he's a big game player and we may just need another important Coutinho goal!

3) Defence: the good, the bad and the ugly

Finally, it's back to that age old problem, the defence. 

The good? This time out the good was definitely Mamadou Sakho who improved massively compared to his performance against Spurs. Some last ditch tackles and great awareness allowed him to keep Liverpool out of danger on several occasions on Thursday evening and he was massively helped by his partner Dejan Lovren.

The bad? Despite this partnership working almost faultlessly in open play, apparently when it comes to set pieces all that communication and awareness goes to pot because why on earty was 5ft 6inch Adam Lallana having to deal with 6ft 2inch Mats Hummels?! I'm not really sure why, but some of those organisational mistakes have to fall down to the defensive partnership I'm afraid. It's bloody frustrating to watch when we concede like that n'all after an otherwise solid performance.

Image via theguardian.com: Mats Hummels scores for Borussia Dortmund
The ugly? I'm afraid I have to pick on Alberto Moreno here on this occasion. Up until recently I was quite an advocate for the Spaniard, I even did a post for Shoot on how much I liked him and felt he had the potential to improve and remove mistakes from his game but I'm afraid now I'm not so sure. His positional awareness leaves much to be desired and whilst he's fantastic on the break he causes far too many problems with the gaps he leaves in defence, especially against a side like Dortmund!

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