The Liver Bird  

Sunday, 5 April 2020

TWO MORE GAMES

TWO MORE GAMES. 

That's what I was saying to myself over and over again approximately four weeks ago. At the time I had shared the below on social media, which unfortunately now sounds more like a distasteful joke but this was genuinely how I was feeling. The club I had supported and followed my whole life, a full 30 years, had got within touching distance of lifting their first Premier League title and then a pandemic breaks out.


You just couldn't write it, it's peak Liverpool. Throughout the years, the club and football as a sport has faced some torrid times but to throw around what I'm sure will be the word of the year for 2020... this is unprecedented.

After what has happened in Britain and across the globe over the past few weeks, it does really make you take a step back and think about the vital things in life. Bill Shankly once said "Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that." On this occasion, I have to disagree with the great Shanks. 

Interestingly, it's the great man himself though who has really got me thinking about the latest decision from our wonderful football club. The club this week has decided to take advantage of the Government furlough scheme in order to assist with paying its non-playing staff. While the scheme is there to help those employees from all companies who may suffer during this crisis, it seems immoral for a club that checked in around £40million plus in profit last year to take this route when so much more could be done. It goes against everything the club, the city and its fans stand for and I truly hope another conclusion is reached.

"The socialism I believe in is everyone working for each other, everyone having a share of the rewards. It's the way I see football, the way I see life." - Bill Shankly

Away from the club's current stance of furloughing, one man who has made me immensely proud is our captain Jordan Henderson. It was revealed this week that the skipper is working to set up a fund for NHS workers by speaking regularly with captains from other Premier League clubs. This is the example Liverpool should be setting.

Image source: Liverpool Echo
With no real indication of when it may be safe to restart the Premier League and football across the country in general, while I am desperate to see my boys back in action (I heard YNWA on a quiz show midweek and nearly started crying!) this whole situation has made me realise how lucky we are and it really makes you take stock and value the smaller things in life.

All I do hope is that Liverpool are given the opportunity to earn that trophy, I do not want to be gifted the Premier League title and do not feel it is right to scrap the whole season. Next season hasn't yet begun so sort out what's happening in the here and now before you go looking to plan ahead.

I don't know when, but at some point this year, Jurgen Klopp and his phenomenal Redmen will lift that elusive piece of silverware. I always thought I would cry when we won the league but as this season went on, the Reds were making it far too easy, the raw emotion of going so close in the 2018/2019 season was absent so I was beginning to think the waterworks wouldn't happen. I'm almost certain now though, after everything that has happened, seeing Jordan Henderson lift that cup will not just be a true sense of happiness, it will symbolise a return to normality and I will never look at life or football in the same way again.

Stay safe folks, stay home. YNWA.

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Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Three Times Liverpool V Arsenal Was Awesome For The Neutral

It's funny, when you ask people to name classic football matches and rivalries not many people come up with Liverpool v Arsenal. In my opinion, this has thrown up some of the most exciting league fixtures of recent times.

The game often has lots of goals and although there have been times when the match has felt one-sided (see Liverpool 5 Arsenal 1, December 2018) on the whole it makes for an evenly pitched clash and I for one am looking forward to Saturday's game.

So for this post, I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane and look back on some of the close ties between the two sides.

Arsenal 3 Liverpool 3 - Friday 22nd December 2017

A cold December evening three days before Christmas saw the two sides line up with Liverpool in 4th place. The Reds needed at least a draw to remain in that position.

It was a great start for Liverpool who opened up the scoring with a rare header from Coutinho after 26 minutes. Mo Salah then went on to score early in the second half with a deflected strike. Things looked comfortable for Klopp until the Reds failed to deal with a cross from Bellerin. His effort was met by Alexis Sanchez who headed home Arsenal's first of three in six minutes.

Image via Sky Sports

Just three minutes later the Gunners had found a second thanks to a strike from Xhaka, Mignolet attempted to save but couldn't get enough on it. The Reds were well and truly under pressure now and with barely a chance to regroup, two minutes later Arsenal had scored again this time thanks to Ozil.

Liverpool looked dumbfounded but the neutrals watching across the country were chuffed this match had been the Friday night selection. It was a crazy game of football and it wasn't done yet.

Never a side to throw in the towel, Klopp's team eventually found an equaliser to keep themselves in 4th. Bobby Firmino's powerful strike was enough to beat Petr Cech and collect a draw.

Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4 - Sunday 14th August 2016

The opening encounter of the 2016/2017 Premier League season and what a belter it was. It took 30 minutes for the first goal to go in after Theo Walcott found the net for Arsenal (after missing a penalty just moments earlier) but from there on out it was goals galore.

Image via The Independent

A lovely free-kick from Coutinho gifted Liverpool an equaliser just before half time and Adam Lallana found the net to put the Reds 2-1 up after 49 minutes. Seven minutes later Coutinho scored again to increase Liverpool's lead and this was closely followed by a strong strike from Sadio Mane.

Things were looking great for the Reds but one minute later, future Liverpool starlet Oxlade-Chamberlain would score for Arsene Wenger's side. Arsenal were starting to gain momentum but despite finding another goal thanks to Chambers at 75 minutes it wasn't enough to earn them any points and on this occasion, Liverpool would walk away victorious.

Liverpool 3 Arsenal 3 - Wednesday 13th January 2016

Liverpool... and Arsenal... loads of goals? Who'd of thought it?

Yep, the two sides were at it again back in January 2016. Bobby Firmino opened up the scoring very early on for the Reds but saw his goal cancelled out when Ramsey found an equaliser.

Clearly not happy with this our Brazilian forward then scored a stunning goal from 20 yards to put Liverpool back in the lead. It was a wet and miserable January evening and neither side wanted to lose this game, Arsenal also had one eye on the title at this stage of the season.

Image via Football 365
Giroud who was influential for Arsenal then went on to score once in the first half and once in the second, Arsenal remained in front for the majority of the second half. That was until a Welsh substitute entered play.

Joe Allen was brought on for Emre Can at 82 minutes, perhaps not the most likely goalscorer, Joe converted a low drive on the stroke of 90 minutes to grab Liverpool a point and dent Arsenal's title hopes.

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Saturday, 2 March 2019

PREVIEW: Everton v Liverpool

Liverpool make the short trip across Stanley Park on Sunday afternoon as they prepare to face rivals Everton in another huge game for the Reds. A win over Bournemouth for Man City means Pep Guardiola's side are at the top of the table at the time of writing, a win for Liverpool would put them back on top of the pile.

Injuries for Liverpool mean they will have to make a late decision on Roberto Firmino who went off injured in the United game. Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez also remain out for the Reds. For Everton, they are unable to call upon Leighton Baines who has a rib injury but Andre Gomez is expected to return.

Image via standard.co.uk
Everton have lost four out of their last six in all competitions and currently sit 10th in the table on 36 points. It's not been a great season for the Toffees but if there's any team out there that will want to throw a spanner in the works for Jurgen Klopp it's the boys from Goodison Park.

Liverpool's form has slipped slightly over recent games but the Reds still aren't losing. Four draws in their last six games in all competitions saw the Reds' lead on the table weaken but a solid 5-0 victory over Watford during the weak hit back at any doubters out there.

The last time the two sides met was in December last year, in what is quite possibly one of the funniest games I've ever watched. A freak goal from Divock Origi on the 90th minute after a blunder from keeper Jordan Pickford left Everton fans utterly deflated. The last meeting between the two sides at Goodison Park ended in a 0-0 and in the last five trips to Everton's ground in the league, four have ended in just a point for Liverpool.

I'm not sure what to expect from this one, Liverpool needed that massive win over Watford in the week and I feel that will have helped boost confidence around the camp. However, Everton will be desperate to cause an upset and while they haven't played well all season, the Merseyside derby has a tendency to throw up some bizarre results.

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Sunday, 3 February 2019

MATCH PREVIEW: West Ham V Liverpool

Liverpool travel to London on Monday evening as they prepare to face West Ham. At the time of writing, Manchester City and Arsenal have not yet kicked off but the result of that fixture could have a massive impact on the Reds. No matter what happens at the Etihad though, Liverpool need to keep their momentum and after a draw with Leicester, Klopp will be looking for three points on this occasion.

Injuries for Liverpool have taken a bit of a set back as it was announced this week that Joe Gomez will be out longer than originally expected. Also unavailable is Dejan Lovren who has a hamstring injury. James Milner returns to the squad after serving a suspension and is likely to play at right-back covering Trent Alexander-Arnold who is also out.

Image via The Independent
For West Ham, Samir Nasri is unavailable due to a calf issue but Fabianksi and Cresswell may be available for selection. Arnautovic who went off against Wolves also looks to be an option for manager Pellegrini.

The last time the two sides met was in August last year, Liverpool won 4-0 at Anfield thanks to a brace from Sadio Mane and goals from Salah and Sturridge. In the last four meetings between the sides in the league, the Reds have scored four goals on every occasion.

Victory for West Ham last appeared in this fixture in January 2016, the Hammers won 2-0 with Antonio and Carroll on the score sheet. 

Pellegrini's side are currently 12th in the table with Liverpool still sitting on top of the pile. The Hammers have won just one out of their last five games in the league which was surprisingly a victory over Arsenal.

Liverpool have still only lost once so far this season but they didn't manage to pick up all three points against Leicester in their last league outing, having to settle for a draw instead. 

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Saturday, 6 January 2018

Van Dijk Knocks Everton Out The Cup

Unbelievable. That man is worth every penny of that £75 million for the header alone. Absolutely brilliant, Everton at one stage actually thought they were on for a win at Anfield...

van Dijk goal Everton
Image via The Guardian
In a Merseyside derby filled with questionable refereeing decisions, controversial incidents and eventually goals, it was Liverpool who ended the game victorious and Klopp's side progress safely to the next stage of the FA Cup.

The manager started a strong side but notably missing were Mo Salah and Philippe Coutinho, the former had just returned from receiving his African Player of the Year award in Ghana while the latter as I write this has just agreed a £142 million deal with Barcelona... sad times.

Everton, predictably started the game in true Allardyce fashion, set up to protect and try to nick something on the break. Liverpool, on the other hand, retained a lot of possession in the first half but didn't actually create anything with it until a penalty was awarded on 35 minutes.

James Milner converted the spot kick, calmly as ever, but was it even a penalty in the first place? When I first saw it I definitely felt as though we were lucky to receive the decision, it looked very soft. However, what you have to ask yourself too is, was Holgate impeding Lallana? I think he was, I think he prevented Lallana's turn to continue his run with the ball and therefore, hindered his attack illegally. Despite this, I still think Lallana went down very theatrically. With the benefit of replays and angles, I believe it was a penalty but I can see why it wouldn't have been given.

Shortly after the spot-kick, Everton's Holgate let the red mist descend and pushed Firmino with both hands over the advertising hoardings and into the crowd, for no reason whatsoever. Firmino, rightly disgruntled at the situation, ran fuming back to Holgate and clearly an exchange of words occurred. I have no idea what was said and wouldn't want to speculate but it truly baffles me that all on-air analysis and a lot of social media analysis was focused on the argument and what may or may not have been said. Not on Holgate's ridiculous act to force Firmino off the pitch.

Not long after the hour mark, Everton found themselves an equaliser, with the Reds caught completely off guard, an impressive break involving Jagielka surprisingly, allowed Sigurdsson to find the back of the net.

After a brave decision to take Wayne Rooney off (obviously they didn't want to give us the satisfaction of watching him get a red) I didn't actually think the Toffees had enough left in the tank to find a goal. A period of improved pressure from the blue shirts though was enough to get them right back into the tie. Liverpool had to find a winner from somewhere, a replay would not be helpful with the number of fixtures already played and ones coming up in Europe.

Step up Virgil van Dijk, the man from Southampton, so highly sought after for his defensive abilities and what does he do? Net the winner with a leap like no other against Everton to knock them out of the FA Cup in the 84th minute. Brilliant.

You couldn't write it as they say unless you're Danny Murphy who predicted exactly that on the BBC prior to KO. It was a solid performance from the defender and the goal was simply the icing on the cake, I still hold my reservations but if you start your career at Anfield like that, you've got to be on to a good one?!

Finally, I would like to highlight the performance of Andy Robertson. When Klopp bought him, I can't say I was massively excited but I was definitely keen to see him play, it became frustrating when Alberto Moreno continued to be selected in his place and it's a real shame in my opinion that it took an injury to the Spaniard for Robertson to get more regular game time.

People argue that Moreno had improved and deserved to keep his place but I tried the whole giving Moreno a chance a while back, I stuck by him whilst others had already given up but for me, he's just not a defender. Show me a reel of perfectly timed tackles from Moreno like the ones Robertson completed last night? On top of that, the lad has got a killer cross and is also extremely impressive on the attack. He was all over Bolasie yesterday and showed an impeccable understanding of the game, I for one can't wait to see more of him.

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Saturday, 21 October 2017

League Game At Wembley

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool side travel to Wembley on Sunday for a league match against Spurs. It's a weird sensation knowing your side is going to Wembley but not to battle for some silverware. Positively for the Reds though, Spurs' new home doesn't appear to be doing them many favours at the moment.

Image via skysports.com
Injury news means Spurs are unable to call upon Dembele, Lamela and Wanyama but Dele Alli is once again available after serving a suspension. For Liverpool, Klopp has noted that Jordan Henderson will return to the side after not featuring during the Champions League tie against Maribor. The Reds however are still without Lallana, Mane and Clyne.

The last time the two sides met was in February this year. Liverpool won 2-0 at Anfield thanks to a Sadio Mane brace. In the last six fixtures in the league between the two sides, the Reds have picked up three wins and the remaining results have all been draws.

Spurs come into this game on the back of a 1-1 draw with Real Madrid in the Champions League while Liverpool enter the game having recently beaten Maribor 7-0. Both sides are bound to be full of confidence and so the apparent negative Wembley factor could come into play for this one.

More importantly, though, Liverpool's defence will, as usual, be a strong factor in the result. Spurs have some quality in their attack, Jurgen Klopp himself said this week that Harry Kane is one of the best strikers in the world so clearly the Reds will need to be solid at the back.

On the flip side, Liverpool have their own sting in their attack and it could turn out to be a game with several goals this one. 

Stat Sandwich

  • Wembley could become the 53rd stadium where the Reds have won a league game.
  • Tottenham have kept four clean sheets in their last five games in the league.
  • Coutinho has scored four goals in his last five games for Liverpool in all competitions.
I have a good feeling about this game and will be punting for a 3-1 Liverpool win. The Reds massively need to turn their fortunes around and start picking up some results and creating some consistency. What better way to do that then by using the positive result in Slovenia and bouncing back in the league with a strong victory over Tottenham?

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!


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Thursday, 24 August 2017

Hoffenheim Result, Champions League Draw And The League Cup

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). 

Image via The Telegraph

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 chance to stay in Europe. For me, Liverpool will win those sort of games nine times out of ten this season (which is exactly why I think we'll beat Arsenal). Throw a Burnley in the mix though or a Watford etc and all of a sudden we look lost. 

We have failed to solve this issue in the transfer window entirely though I do feel somebody like Solanke working with Sturridge in games against sides more likely to park the bus could potentially work. I just feel as though we need a Plan B and at the minute we don't seem to have one. 

Last night though, Plan B wasn't required. An early goal just ten minutes in from Can set Liverpool's pace and two more goals from himself and Salah followed within the next ten minutes. Firmino scored the final Liverpool goal just after the hour mark and he deserves a special mention after having such an influence on the pitch. 

Hoffenheim did find the back of the net twice, helped by a brave early substitution from the manager, but the Germans never seriously looked like turning this tie around. 

So, we're in the pot, Pot 3. Pot 2 looks more frightening than Pot 1 and as always there are a few teams you think "yeah I'd take that" then you realise it's about a 12 hour round trip. 

People keep saying we should be worried about the Barcas and the Reals, PSGs and Juves but ask yourself... which one of those lot wants to draw us out of Pot 3? None of them. It works both ways, we're in the hat now and as I've always said many times before, Liverpool are a different beast in Europe. Whoever we draw, game on. 

Above written 7:40am

Below written 6:20pm

Group E

Spartak Moscow
Sevilla
Liverpool
Maribor

Unbelievable draw! It's about bloody time Liverpool had a bit of luck in the group stages, the amount of times we've had to watch other English teams get a relatively straight forward run in, it's nice to finally get a decent look in ourselves!

Sevilla for me are the only real issue in this group, as the Reds found out in the Europa League, the Spanish side are a tough one to crack. While Spartak Moscow offers an interesting trip away, realistically they shouldn't pose a major threat to Liverpool and no offence to Maribor but if we can't secure victory there then what's the point?

Considering some of the groups we could have been dumped in, I can't get over that draw, there was one point when it looked like we could end up with Barca and Juve or Bayern Munich and PSG or Real and Dortmund madness!

I've always loved Francesco Totti...

Roll on kick off ay?! #BackInEurope

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Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Five Things We Learned From The 0-0 With United

1. Mourinho loves his bus

Mourinho instructed his team to strangle the life out of a football match on Monday night, it's a simple as that. Frustratingly, his plan once again worked perfectly. As a fan of Italian football I am happy to stand back and appreciate a good defensive performance, however I can't accept it when it's from a Jose Mourinho side.

If Tony Pulis set up like that against his United boys he'd be in the post match interview complaining of 19th century tactics and "anti-football". If United are happy playing like that then that's their prerogative but I certainly wouldn't be happy with it. I suppose in a way we must take a positive from this tactical set up, the fact that Mourinho has to resort to this now to try and get the better of Liverpool shows how much of a threat we are.

He can keep his bus for all I care, I can't see it getting him far this season.

2. Karius not that convincing

I discussed in a recent match round up post here on The Liver Bird how Karius looked shaky but I tried to pin most of my worries down to the fact it was first match nerves. While any fixture against United for any goalkeeper is a daunting one, Karius must accept that he was very indecisive on Monday evening.

I still feel with time he'll settle in but at the moment he isn't filling me with much confidence. As a keeper you need to have some conviction, if you make the decision to come out for the ball you need to nail it and for me, he's not quite there yet. Despite all this he did of course keep a clean sheet, so there is something to build from.

Image via the guardian.com

3. De Gea's save top class

After a terrible first half Liverpool finally got into the game in the second half with a string of decent and pacey attacks. It was Coutinho though who popped up with the best effort. One of his famous stinging shots looked destined to smash the back of the net only for De Gea to pull off a stunning save to keep his side in the game. Bloody annoying! 

4. Lallana is key

I've been known to criticise Lallana quite often, I'm not sure why but I just don't appear to have a lot of patience with him compared to other fans but I will hold my hands up as last night it was evident we were missing him almost immediately.

For me Lallana is definitely a player I feel we can do without, it's only when he's not there that I truly realise how much we need him. His injection of pace in the second half along with his ability to spot killer passes and link up with the likes of Coutinho and Firmino was invaluable. It's a real shame he wasn't on the pitch in the first half.

5. Draw not so bad 

After getting over the majority of the frustration that Monday night's game brought, overall a draw really isn't that bad. Games against United are always tough and whilst on paper it looked as though the Reds were ready to batter United, in all seriousness you cannot battle against those kind of tactics without something really special. 

That special moment didn't occur last night but it's fair to say that Liverpool can take some strong positives from the game, namely keeping a clean sheet and fighting in tough conditions to hold on to a draw against United, in seasons gone by I'm not so sure we'd have managed that.

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Sunday, 16 October 2016

Seven Times Liverpool Got The Better Of United 2006-2016

1. Liverpool 2 Manchester United 0 / 10th March 2016
Goalscorers: Daniel Sturridge (penalty), Roberto Firmino

Image via sky sports.com

Whenever Liverpool face Manchester United, it is always set to be a massive game but throw in the added element of the first ever meeting between the sides in Europe? Well you have all the right ingredients for an historic fixture. Liverpool just had to win this one, if there's one thing the Reds still hold over their rivals it's European prowess.

Thankfully Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino ensured kopites could continue to boast about their glorious history as Manchester United put on an extremely poor performance at Anfield.

2. Manchester United 0 Liverpool 3 / 16th March 2014
Goalscorers: Steven Gerrard (penalties x2), Luis Suarez

What's a match against Manchester United without a Steven Gerrard penalty? The captain was notorious for winding up the opposition in this fixture and on several occasions Gerrard turned this in his favour.

The two penalties in 2014 set the tone for the game with Luis Suarez sealing the deal. A 3-0 win at Old Trafford isn't something you see everyday and despite two of the goals coming from spot kicks, this remains a favourite result of mine.

3. Liverpool 2 Manchester United 1 / 28th January 2012
Goalscorers: Daniel Agger and Dirk Kuyt

This game goes down as one of the great highlights for the return of Kenny Dalglish. The King took his place on the touchline opposite his old pal Fergie for this one. A Daniel Agger header opened up the scoring just after 20 minutes but Ji-Sung Park found an equaliser shortly before the end of the first half. 

Image via the guardian.com

From there on out United seemed dominant and it looked as though Dalglish would have a bitter pill to swallow, however Dirk Kuyt saved the day with a great strike at 87 minutes giving Liverpool the win.

4. Liverpool 3 Manchester United 1 / 6th March 2011
Goalscorers: Dirk Kuyt hat-trick

Dirk Kuyt will forever go down in Anfield history, a true fan favourite, the Dutchman had several iconic moments in his time as a Liverpool player. For me, top of the list is definitely his hat trick against Manchester United.

Image via the telegraph.co.uk

I remember it vividly as I was at work on the day, (I take bets in the corporate areas of Molineux stadium for those who don't know) I was having to watch the match via multiple screens and angles as I travelled between rooms. When Kuyt scored his third  I could no longer hide the excitement and was dancing around with my clipboard in the air haha! That was the day the customers became fully aware of my football allegiance I think. Absolutely brilliant game.

5. Liverpool 2 Manchester United 0 / 25th October 2009
Goalscorers: Fernando Torres, David N'Gog

The year 2009 became a special one for kopites, especially when it came to facing Manchester United. For me, I will always remember this emphatic victory thanks to our goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

Image via huffingtonpost.co.uk

I will never understand just how exactly he managed to be the first player on the pitch to dive on his team mate David N'Gog who was at the other end?! He must have ran like an absolute mad man. The image above for me is one of the most iconic from our recent clashes with United. 

6. Manchester United 1 Liverpool 4 / 14th March 2009
Goalscorers: Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard (penalty), Fabio Aurelio, Andrea Dossena

It was a sunny afternoon in March, the Reds had travelled to Old Trafford and settled in for what feasibly could have been a very long day, but for whatever reason, the team that day had something special planned. For too long we had failed to get the better of United on their own turf, well this time it was going to be different.

Fernando Torres opened up the scoring after absolutely humiliating Nemanja Vidic and leaving him in a massive heap, ending with a beautiful finish to put the Reds in front. Vidic was one of several big United boys to boast about their chances prior to the match, so it was hilarious to see him brushed aside so quickly. He of course was sent off in that game too.

Steven Gerrard's penalty came next followed by his famous kissing the camera celebration. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, Liverpool just cruising at Old Trafford.

Image via squawka.com

Another poor decision by Vidic led to a free kick for Liverpool and Fabio Aurelio scored with a stunning effort. The game of course was completely put to bed when Andrea Dossena decided to have a mad fortnight scoring a looping shot over Van der Sar then scoring against Real Madrid, bloody crazy, the whole thing was absolutely crazy. This remains one of my favourite matches as a Liverpool supporter.

7. Liverpool 1 Manchester United 0 / 18th February 2006
Goalcorer: Peter Crouch

This match is often more of a forgotten win over Manchester United but it's worth noting that this was Liverpool's first victory over the Devils in the FA Cup in 85 years. A single headed goal from Peter Crouch after 19 minutes was enough to seal the deal for Rafa Benitez's side who then went through to the quarter final. 

I'm feeling confident for Monday night, with the way we are playing at the moment and the fact that a win could take us joint top? I seriously think we're on for three points. Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Five Things We Learned From Liverpool's Opening League Game

Image via theguardian.com

1) Moreno had a mare

When it comes to sticking with a footballer and trying to cling on to the fact that they may have something left to offer it always feels like I'm one of the last fans hanging on. It's no different with Alberto Moreno, there was a time very recently where I was singing his praises as he went through a more settled stage but after Sunday's performance it's very clear that he just isn't cut out to be a top level left back.

He has zero positional awareness and while he occasionally offers something going forward this doesn't come anywhere close to making up for his continuous lapses at the back. It's a real shame because when he first came to the club he looked like he might be moulded into a quality player but that boat has sailed I'm afraid, absolute mare he had.

2) Migs not lost it?

After rumours that Loris Karius would in fact replace Simon Mignolet it looked as though the Belgian wouldn't get another chance to really impress between the sticks. Karius however broke his hand meaning the questionable Mignolet started in goal against Arsenal.

Granted, we conceded three goals but I'm not entirely convinced that Migs could have done much about them, his defence didn't help on several occasions. When he saved Walcott's penalty he proved that he can still be a reliable keeper so it will be interesting to see what happens when Karius returns to fitness.

Who would you prefer in goal this season? Vote here

Images via the guardian.com

3) Coutinho Magic

The magician didn't take long to sprinkle his stardust at the Emirates, the number 10 opened Liverpool's scoring for a brand new Premier League season. Coutinho is a phenomenal player to watch when he's having a good day, on a bad day he can very often go missing but when gifted a free kick within range you always fancy him to do something special.

What a goal it was, a beautiful free kick, perfectly placed high into the top left corner of goal away from the stretch of the great Petr Cech. As if the free kick wasn't enough he then somehow converted a second goal off his shin. I often look at Coutinho and worry that he'll be snatched away from us, I was half expecting to see him leave this season but here's hoping we'll see him in a Liverpool shirt for the foreseeable future!

4) Mane worth the money?

A £30+ million price tag for Mane had several Liverpool fans wincing earlier in the summer but while some questioned the fee, nobody questioned Mane's ability. The youngster is a super quick and talented player offering a fresh option for Liverpool going forward.

For me he had a relatively strong game on the whole, topped off perfectly by his wonderful goal on 63 minutes. On the right hand side of the pitch Mane was strong during his run taking on two Arsenal defenders in the box with ease, his finish was sublime. I am seriously looking forward to seeing him play regularly for the Reds. A great first league game for the Senegalese forward.

Image via theguardian.com

5) I'm 50p down...

I have to confess... A tiny part of me was actually pretty gutted with today's result. I'm still living off my student loans at present until I get my first wage packet from my new job at the end of the month so I figured I'd pop a few bets on.

I had a quid on Mane in a 2-1 which went down the pan, 50p on a 3-3 and 50p on a 4-4 for £100. I won't lie, if Arsenal had of spoiled our tremendous party I would have been slightly pleased with the £100 bonus for more ciders and cocktails haha!

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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, 19 February 2016

Reds Settle For A Draw In Germany

Liverpool could only muster a 0-0 draw in their Europa League tie against Augsburg on Thirsday evening in what turned out to be a rather uneventful fixture. Jürgen Klopp fielded the same XI that took part in the 6-0 win over Aston Villa but despite having the likes of Coutinho, Firmino and Daniel Sturridge on the pitch, the Reds just couldn't find a goal.


Chances in the game were few and far between but it was Sturridge for Liverpool perhaps having the best opportunity. The likes of Moreno and Coutinho also had their moments but it was clear that this wasn't going to be another high scoring fixture. Augsburg set up well and I imagine will be pretty pleased with the 0-0 draw.

On the flip side, Augsburg actually hit the post with just four minutes to go so it could have been an even stronger result for the Germans and an embarrassing one for Klopp. The return leg is at Anfield on Thursday 25th February and with no game in between, Liverpool have the full week to prepare. 

The downside of course is that three days after the second leg is the League Cup final at Wembley. Klopp clearly wants to go on a run in the Europa League, especially as the winners get a place in the Champions League, but is it worth risking a great chance of obtaining his first piece of silverware at the club against Manchester City?

Positives 

The positives for Liverpool from this fixture in my opinion, although minimal, were the extra game time for Sturridge and the fact we kept a clean sheet.

It sounds daft but our defence have been all over the shop lately and I know most of you disagree but I still feel as though Skrtel should walk back into that line up, however the lads did pretty well last night and it's always vital to keep a clean sheet away from home in Europe.

For Sturridge, he again looked lively and was unlucky not to score really, it's nice to know he has some more match time under his belt and hopefully he can spring into action in the League Cup final against City. Liverpool have been struggling goalwise without Sturridge and he offers that last bit of prowess that we desperately need! 



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Thursday, 24 December 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Leicester

Image via teamtalk.com
Merry Christmas! I hope you all have a cracking day tomorrow whether you are celebrating or not, more importantly, let's hope Liverpool can do the business on Boxing Day. There's one slight issue though, the Reds welcome league toppers Leicester to Anfield and after the results we've been picking up of late it could be a rather embarrassing fixture.

Claudio Ranieri was quoted this week saying "Leicester are Forrest Gump" and while it's quite clear the Reds can't put a run together, it's safe to say that life is very much like a box of chocolates, you never know which Liverpool you are going to get.

When travelling to Stamford Bridge and the Etihad the Reds have been simply brilliant. The likes of Coutinho and Firmino blinding the opposition and assisting Jurgen Klopp's side who showed complete control. Mixed in with the glory though has been plenty of despair as the Reds fell to defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Watford most recently. An extremely late equaliser was the only saving grace when West Brom visited Anfield in early December too.

On the other hand, Leicester are absolutely flying, losing just one of their Premier League fixtures and justifiably after losing to Arsenal, the foxes are sitting pretty at the top of the league for Christmas. Those who know me will be aware that I have a bit of a soft spot for Italian football so when I saw Ranieri was coming back I was one of few who was actually pleased to see him back, however I would never have predicted the effect he would have. He's been absolutely immense and it's so refreshing to see a completely different team mingling in with the cream of the crop.

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are unable to call upon stalwart Martin Skrtel who will be out for six weeks. I'm pretty gutted about the missing Skrtel to be honest, I actually think he's a good defender unlike many, yes he's prone to the odd mistake but I can almost guarantee our defence will be worse off without him. To add to that, who the hell am I going to bet on? I put a quid on him to score first and last every single week haha.

The good news for the Reds however is that Dejan Lovren and Simon Mignolet should both be available for the clash on Boxing Day. For Leicester, they are unable to call upon Drinkwater and Schlupp who both have hamstring issues.

The last time the two sides met was in January this year, Steven Gerrard opened up the scoring with two penalties but Leicester found two goals themselves in the second half of the game. In the last six meetings in the league between the two sides, Liverpool have won on four occasions.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool have kept just two clean sheets in their last 14 league games.
  • Leicester haven't lost an away games for nine months,
  • The Reds have scored 20 goals in the league this season, the fewest for teams in the top half.
I'm really excited for this game, for one because I want to watch Leicester intently but also because despite the fact they should absolutely batter us, knowing Liverpool, we will probably pull out a better performance. The higher the calibre of opposition, the better we play it seems. It will also be interesting to see whether Klopp actually starts a striker tomorrow after the ineffective set up away at Watford.

Betting

Despite Leicester's brilliant form it appears the lure of Anfield has forced many bookies to continue to label the visitors as underdogs. If you're the type to bet on the opposition to make a loss more bearable you can get odds of 3/1 with BetFred for a Leicester win.

The best odds at the time of writing for Jamie Vardy to score first are with Ladbrokes at 13/2 and you can get the same odds for Divock Origi to find the back of the net first with Paddy Power.

There's something in the back of my mind telling me to bet on a high scoring draw and a 3-3 scoreline is down as 50/1 with most bookies. Don't follow my tips though, they're truly shambolic haha.

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: FC Sion V Liverpool

Image via thisisanfield.com
After failing to beat Newcastle on Sunday afternoon the Reds will be hoping to get back on track with a win against FC Sion in the Europa League this Thursday. Liverpool have already guaranteed progression to the round of 32 but could also top the group providing they avoid defeat.

Injury news has been the top story for the Reds this week as over the past 24 hours Kopites were made aware that Daniel Sturridge has in fact picked up a hamstring injury. The severity of the injury isn't clear but it's a worrying time for Liverpool fans who find their patience levels wavering. Also unavailable for the Reds is Mamadou Sakho and Philippe Coutinho, however the latter did return to training on Wednesday.

For FC Sion they are unable to call upon Birama Ndoye who is suspended for this fixture. Moussa Konate has a fractured hand and so will not feature in this clash. There is also a doubt hanging over Martin Zeman who suffered an ankle injury recently.

The Reds first meeting with FC Sion in this year's Europa League back in October ended in a 1-1 draw. The teams have met just twice prior to this with Liverpool winning on both occasions and scoring a total of eight goals in the process.

Liverpool have won four out of their last six fixtures in all competitions but recently faltered at St James' Park in a 2-0 loss at the hands of Newcastle. FC Sion on the other hand have recorded just one victory in their last six in all competitions; a 2-0 win over Luzern in the Swiss Super League.

I'm not sure what to expect from Thursday's game to be quite honest, the performance against Newcastle was definitely one to forget and it's hard to predict the line up/mentality of the team considering the fact we have already secured progress. In theory it should be all three points for the Reds but without a supply line or supporting striker for Benteke and the missing flair of Coutinho, it may be difficult to find the back of the net.

Going off on a bit of a tangent, I've often mentioned placing bets in my match previews as I'm sure you will have noticed. I'm not a seasoned gambler, far from it but I do work in the industry part-time and have done for eight years, I have quite a bit of knowledge and you can usually find me popping a few quid on Liverpool games and accumulators. For that reason, I thought I would try to introduce a new section to my previews taking a look at the betting options for the game so here goes nothing...

Betting

Liverpool are definite favourites going into the game with Paddy Power and William Hill both offering odds of 13/10.

As for goals, the majority of the bookies are going with 9/2 for Christian Benteke as first goalscorer. If you fancy adding him to a 2-0 you can get odds on that scorecast of 30/1 with Paddy Power.

Divock Origi is likely to feature in the game and if you fancy a repeat of his hat trick against Southampton you can get odds of 80/1.

For scorelines, Ladbrokes are offering 5/1 for a 1-1 draw. A 2-1 Liverpool win is down as 8/1 with SkyBet and if you're feeling really optimistic several of the major bookies are offering 18/1 for a 3-0 win for Jurgen Klopp's side.

Keep an eye on my Twitter, I'll let you know what I bet on.

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Monday, 7 December 2015

Reds Falter At Newcastle


Image via standard.co.uk

Liverpool failed to get the better of Newcastle United at St James' Park on Sunday in what should have been a straightforward match for the Reds. Despite not being awarded a clearly onside goal, Klopp's side can't really complain after a persuasive performance from the Magpies.

Liverpool began the game with Christian Benteke up front. There was no room for hat trick scoring Divock Origi or the recently returned Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson. While it is understandable the boss perhaps didn't want to risk the latter two so early after coming back from injury, I don't think the set up favoured Benteke who looked lost for the majority of his game.

I've said it over and over both before and since we signed Benteke, there is zero point in starting him if you aren't going to support him. I don't have stats for crosses yesterday but I can guarantee you it was a measly figure. Some argue that it is partly the striker's fault and that he doesn't move but I don't agree, he needs support and for me he'd get some of that by playing in a front two.

What was evident yesterday is that Klopp's favoured set up away from home definitely works better when Firmino had his compatriot Philippe Coutinho to play with. I also thought we missed Emre Can, a lot more than I was expecting in fact.

The first half resulted in no goals for either side and the Reds weren't evening threatening the Newcastle goal. It was frustrating to watch but as I said in the preview, McClaren had to get his side a win from somewhere and trust it to be against us.

We had to wait until just before the 70 minute mark for the first goal of the game. Unfortunately for Liverpool it was an own goal. I love Martin Skrtel and its horrible to watch him score yet another own goal but I felt like he had to stick a leg in after Lovren failed to deal with the imminent threat, he was just unlucky that he turned the ball into his own net.

Despite the introduction of Lallana, Sturridge and Origi the Reds couldn't get a real handle on the game. The most frustrating point for the Reds was having to watch a clear goal ruled out at 79 minutes. This bloody annoyed me I tell ya, it was a poor decision from the linesman, 75% of the Newcastle back four were playing Moreno on, it was bloody ridiculous. A goal there could have resulted in a completely different game but as I said previously, Liverpool can't complain too much based on their overall performance.

Three minutes into extra time and Newcastle landed their sucker punch. It was a lovely finish from Wijnaldum who capitalised on a break for the home side. It was a predictable end to a forgettable game for the Reds.

After watching so many teams drop points I thought for sure we'd get past Newcastle but it wasn't to be. Next up for the Reds is FC Sion.

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Saturday, 5 December 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Newcastle V Liverpool

                                                    Image via mirror.co.uk


Liverpool travel to St James' Park on Sunday, after putting six past Southampton in the week. The Reds look like a formidable force under Jürgen Klopp and are performing even better away from home.

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are without Philippe Coutinho and Emre Can who is suspended for this game. Daniel Sturridge on the other hand could make his first start in the Premier League for two months. For Newcastle, they are without Mike Williamson who they have only recently recalled from Wolves where he was on loan. Tiote also looks to be a doubt for this fixture.

The last time the two sides met was in April this year when the Reds put two past a ten man Newcastle at Anfield. Our last trip to St James' Park ended in a loss when Perez scored at 72 minutes to seal all three points for the Magpies. In fact trips to Newcastle have not always ended kindly for the Reds but a 6-0 victory in April 2013 certainly stands out.

Liverpool are currently 6th in the league and depending on Saturday's results they have a real chance to apply pressure on the top four. Newcastle on the other hand find themselves 19th in the league having amassed just 10 points so far this season.

Stat Sandwich 
* Liverpool have lost just one out of their last 11 games under Jürgen Klopp.
* The Magpies have dropped ten points from leading positions so far this season.
* Sturridge has scored six goals against Newcastle.

It's very hard to see past a Liverpool win on Sunday but Steve McClaren's side have surely got to end their rut at some stage. It's always dangerous to go into a game assuming you are set for a win but with the way the Reds are playing, especially away from home, it's got to be all three points for me.

If I pop any bets on tomorrow I'll probably have a 3-1 and my usual punt on Martin Skrtel. Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Monday, 30 November 2015

Milner Penalty Secures Three Points For Reds

                                                 Image via standard.co.uk

Liverpool just about managed to get the better of Swansea at Anfield on Sunday as Jürgen Klopp had to settle for a penalty to give his side all three points. It proved to be a fruitful weekend for the Reds though who capitalised as some of the big boys dropped points.

There was no Coutinho or Lucas for Liverpool but positively both Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson appeared on the bench. The game began with a minutes applause for Gerry Byrne who sadly passed this week.

The first half although not exactly brilliant did fall into the Reds' hands. An initial break into the box from Jordan Ibe almost ended in a goal after Bartley nearly turned the ball into the back of his own net.

Benteke was also causing hassle for Ashley Williams, the Swansea player also became frustrated at one stage when it appeared Benteke had dived in order to try and gain an advantage on the edge of the box. Watching it back it was a bit of a silly move from the striker who isn't exactly known for his theatrics.

As the first half trundled on it became clear that the Reds did not have any sort of hold on this game and the difficulty of playing at home was still an existing issue. For me, one thing I quickly noticed was the effect that the missing Lucas had. He gets a lot of stick Lucas and I honestly feel he is vastly under appreciated, his presence in midfield keeping things ticking along and his confident distribution within the centre of the pitch was sorely missed for me.

Can didn't play badly in the role but I prefer Can with a bit more freedom and some may not agree but Emre wasn't passing or aware of potential attacks as much as he should of been in my opinion. 

The second half saw Swansea increase their pressure but not before Liverpool got themselves on the scoresheet. A penalty was awarded to the Reds after a hand ball from Taylor in the box. It was a pretty harsh decision to be fair as it was clear he had no real intentions to handle the ball, however when you turn your back on the ball in the box you are surely asking for trouble?

Milner stepped up for the penalty and finished high into the middle of goal to put the Reds in front. Jürgen Klopp couldn't even watch the spot kick and instead opted to look at the fans reaction. 

The introduction of Henderson and Sturridge did little for Liverpool's performance as Swansea continued to apply pressure on goal. The Reds looked very shaky at the back and for a while it looked as though the Welsh side would equalise. Despite a good period of pressure though, Monk's side failed to find the back of the net and Liverpool walked away with their first home win under Klopp in the league.

Next up for Liverpool is Southampton in the League Cup.




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Sunday, 22 November 2015

Brazilian Masterclass At The Etihad

     
                                                         Image via telegraph.co.uk

Liverpool picked up a massive result against Manchester City on Saturday evening as Klopp’s side scored four goals at the Etihad. It was a superb result for the Reds who made mince meat of City’s weakened defence.

Jürgen Klopp made a bold decision to select an XI without a recognised striker and I can't deny that the set up worried me initially. I guess I'm just a traditionalist at heart and I get frustrated when there's no striker on the field however, this line up worked well against Chelsea and it proved to be a stroke of genius against City too.

Liverpool’s first goal of the game came just seven minutes into the first half. A last ditch attempt from Sagna to hack Coutinho off the ball resulted in failure as the magic number 10 maintained possession and set off towards goal on the left wing. A timely pass to Firmino allowed his compatriot to whip in a cross only for Mangala to bumble home an own goal. It was comedic to be fair and the City defence were definitely struggling to adapt after the injuries affecting their back four.

It may have been an own goal but it was no coincidence that the Reds were in the lead, they were playing City off the park and pressure continued to mount for Pellegrini’s side who failed to offer any real threat in the opening stages of the game. 

At 22 minutes, Liverpool had found their second of the game and it was Coutinho and Firmino linking up yet again. Firmino flew through the City defence with ease and placed a perfect pass to Coutinho who tapped home his fourth goal in five fixtures against City.

Being 2-0 up at the Etihad after just 20 minutes is not something that happens, certainly not for Liverpool who haven't picked up a win at the ground in the league since 2008. The show wasn’t over yet though and Klopp’s side continued to boss the game as they searched for a third goal.

The Brazilian pairing of Coutinho and Firmino were involved once again for the third. This time the play was initiated after a cheeky back heel from Emre Can, the pass was definitely onside and picked up by Coutinho who left Hart with no chance as he swept the ball across to his teammate. Firmino slotted Liverpool’s third goal of the game home after just 30 minutes. 

The pairing of the two Brazilians and the way they played on Saturday for me proves how vital a change in manager was for Liverpool. Yes, tactically Klopp has applied his changes but it's clear to see that the team want to play for their manager, they are content and it shows in their game.

Just before the half hour mark the influential Aguero tried to spoil the party for the Reds. It was a cracking goal from the Argentinian who took his effort from outside the box and finished in style. 

The second half began with a bit of an edgy feel because it felt as though Man City may just be able to get back into this game. The feeling wasn't helped when James Milner decided it would be a good idea to slide a back pass intended for Mignolet straight into the path of Raheem Sterling. Thankfully for the Reds, Sterling for some reason opted not to shoot and instead passed to Aguero but Mignolet completed the save. 

With 15 minutes left of the match Christian Benteke got his chance to feature in the game by replacing Roberto Firmino. He was quickly involved too after breaking with two defenders on his case, standing strong he got one on one with the keeper but his effort was saved.

Then, at 80 minutes, something truly magical happened. Those who know me will know I have an obsession with defenders and also that I love Martin Skrtel. Almost every week I have a quid on him to be first goalscorer and a quid on him as last goalscorer. Over the years I've seen odds of 12/1, 20/1 and even 25/1 but yesterday when I logged into my Paddy Power app I scrolled through the goalscorers to see Skrtel at 40/1! “Ridiculous!” I thought and I immediately put my quid on. So you can imagine what happened when he scored.

I was already elated at the fact we were 3-1 up at the Etihad but when that ball fell to Skrtel I thought “oh jeez its on his foot, he only scores with his head”. I was certain he was gonna smash the shot into the stands but instead he struck a half volley that any striker would envy. I went bloody mental! Jumping round the pub smacking my brother shouting “I've won forty effin quid!!!” Haha it was absolutely quality. 

What a game, what a result, what a team performance! Klopp's favouring of a pressing game was evident on Saturday and City no matter how hard they tried were not going to get any time on the ball. What was even more hilarious was the fact that Raheem Sterling was supposed to be the headline maker for this one and he did absolutely nothing.

I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received:



Next up for Liverpool is Bordeaux. 

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Monday, 9 November 2015

Palace Get The Better Of Reds

Image via Irish Times 

Liverpool fell to defeat at the hands of Alan Pardew’s Palace side on Sunday as the Londoners further instilled their “bogey team” status for the Reds. It was a tough game for Liverpool who showed good effort but weren't quite effective enough in front of goal.

Crystal Palace got off the mark at 20 minutes when danger man Bolasie struck a left footed effort from inside the box. It was perhaps evident from the way Palace started that they would find the back of the net, what wasn't clear was how the Reds would respond.

Half chances that followed  from the likes of Coutinho and Ibe made it look as though Klopp’s side were going to spend the afternoon trying to score from questionable angles and distances. Despite having Benteke prowling around the box, he didn't appear to be getting much in the way of a supply line in my opinion and when that isn't happening, you instantly have a problem.

Thankfully though, as often happens, my moaning at questionable efforts from certain players was completely unfounded when Coutinho found an equaliser in true Coutinho fashion. He was inside the box to be fair but he struck it well and we were now back in the game. Assisted by Adam Lallana, it felt like a turning point but prior to the goal a massive blow for Liverpool saw Mamadou Sakho taken off the pitch despite his best efforts to continue. He was replaced with Dejan Lovren.

It's a real shame I feel as the Skrtel and Sakho partnership is one that needs time and it was beginning to get stronger, we'll have to hope the Frenchman isn't out for too long.

The second half began pretty well for the Reds as pressure continued to build towards the Kop end, Palace don't give up easily though and continued to stave off any potential Liverpool attacks.

At 80 minutes an initial header from Scott Dann was saved by Simon Mignolet but the ball splayed out directly back to Dann who ensured he found the net with his second effort. It was a real blow for the Reds who looked as though they may take something from the game but I can't fault Palace for their efforts. I'm really beginning to dislike them to be honest! 

Jürgen Klopp was quoted saying he felt “alone” after the defeat, referring to some Liverpool fans who left Anfield early. I'm glad he called them out and I feel he's right to do so, as somebody who doesn't get the privilege of going to matches regularly, I've never understood why people feel the need to leave early. 

I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received: 



Next up for Liverpool after the international break is Manchester City away.

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Friday, 30 October 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Chelsea V Liverpool

(Image via bbc.co.uk) 

It's The Normal One’s chance to get the better of the faltering Special One on Saturday as Jürgen Klopp prepares his side to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Londoners currently find themselves 15th in the table with the Reds sitting in 9th.

Injuries for Liverpool mean there is a doubt hanging over Christian Benteke, I seriously hope he's fit to start because we're going to really struggle without him. James Milner will also be available after serving a ban. 

For Chelsea, it is not clear whether striker Diego Costa will be fit enough to start but Nemanja Matic returns to the side. Courtois and Ivanovic are both unavailable. 

The last time the  two sides met was in May this year. Steven Gerrard was on the scoresheet but the game ended 1-1. The last win at Stamford Bridge for Liverpool  in the league was in November 2011. Daniel Sturridge netted for Chelsea that day but it was Glen Johnson who sealed the deal for the Reds.

Whilst it's fair to say our record at the Bridge isn't fantastic, we haven't exactly been embarrassed, in fact in our last five league visits to their ground we have only conceded five goals. Chelsea will usually score but they never get to a stage where the margin can't be surpassed, this should remain a positive for Saturday's game. 

Stat Sandwich
The Reds have won just one of their last 10 away games in the league.
Chelsea have won just one of their last seven games in all comps.
Since August 2012, Benteke has scored 14 Premier League goals via a header.

It's obviously going to be a tough match this weekend but the prospect of embarrassing Jose Mourinho is an exciting factor for me. I tend to get pretty geared up for the Chelsea games anyway, just because of the rivalry we have built up over the years but if we can watch Klopp get the better of the self titled “Special One” on Saturday, I will be absolutely ecstatic.

Chelsea are in a mess, Jose may not wish to admit it but the players have lost it. Even the likes of John Terry who is one of the most dependable players out there has been having an absolute mare. Star players aren't putting fear into the opposition like they used to, people feel as though Chelsea are there for the taking and I seriously hope Liverpool can take that initiative. 

To add to all the excitement, if you didn’t see on Twitter, I've had a right game trying to sort out how to watch this match. For those who don't know, I live in Wolverhampton and on Saturday at pretty much the same time as our match, Wolves are on the tele against Birmingham. All the pubs and bars in town and even in neighbouring Birmingham are going to be showing that match so I thought, not to worry I'll just watch it in the house… But we don't have BT Sport.

“I'm not missing the Chelsea game!” I thought, if it wasn't such a big match maybe I would accept sitting in a corner of the pub with a tiny tele that the manager has spared me but no sound on at all (this has happened before! Haha) but not for the Chelsea game, not Klopp’s FIRST meeting with Jose Mourinho.

And so, in what was a very impulsive moment, I went and booked train tickets to Liverpool. “Sack it, I'll watch the match in my favourite place!” So you can see why I'm so excited for kick off and why now I need that win even more.

I'll let you know what I get up to and what bets I put on tomorrow so just catch me on Twitter! - @LFCKirstyLFC 

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

P.s. A massive thank you to anybody who has voted for me in the football blogging awards, voting closes today and the awards ceremony is on the 19th November. 

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