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Showing posts with the label Rafael Benitez

Rafa's Return Ends In A Draw for Reds

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As always it was fantastic to see Rafa Benitez back at Anfield on Saturday afternoon but I just knew he would find a way to get the better of Klopp's side. I predicted a score draw and wasn't surprised at all to see our two nil lead disappear.

Mamadou Sakho It's hard to discuss this game without first discussing the news regarding Mamadou Sakho and a failed drugs test. I do not of course have full details with regards to the failure but from what I have read he's been taking illegal fat burners.

I can't condone that sort of decision from any footballer to be honest and I'm very disappointed to hear that Sakho has apparently been taking something that he should not have been taking. I'm diasppointed because I didn't think he or his fitness team would get involved with something like this but also disappointed because he's really been impressing me of late and it's such a shame that he's squandered a blossoming partnership with Dejan Lovren.

I…

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Newcastle

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Rafa returns to Anfield on Saturday as the Reds welcome his Newcastle side to L4. It will be fantastic to see Rafa back on the touchline and as much as I hope he manages to keep Newcastle up, winning comes first and Jurgen Klopp needs to steer his side to another victory and continue a fantastic run of form.

Injuries Divock Origi is unavailable for Liverpool after suffering ligament damage in the Merseyside derby however he may get the chance to feature again before the end of the season according to manager Jurgen Klopp. Also out are Christian Benteke and Jordan Henderson.

For Newcastle, Coloccini is still recovering from a groin problem and Daryl Janmaat is also out with a similar injury.
Previous Meetings The last time the two sides met was in December last year, Newcastle won 2-0 partly thanks to a Martin Skrtel own goal. The last match between the two sides at Anfield was also a 2-0 scoreline, this time the Reds were the winning team with goals from Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen.

Benitez Back At Anfield

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Sunday will not only be a big game for Liverpool as they search to pick up all three points against rivals Chelsea but it will also mark the return of a very special man to most; Rafael Benitez. Whatever people's opinion of him he did a hell of a lot for this football club and I'm not afraid to admit that I love the man, I expect a very good reception for the man who brought the European Cup back to Anfield on Sunday but once the whistle is blown he and the fans both know he'll be a sworn enemy.

There are no new injury worries for Liverpool but there's still a long list of players out including Fabio Borini and Joe Allen. Chelsea are also looking pretty strong squad wise but there are slight doubts hanging over Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill.

Chelsea have lost 2 out of their last 5 fixtures in all competitions going into this game whilst Liverpool have only lost 1. Liverpool though have been on a bit of a goal drought, no goals scored against both Reading and West Ham wa…

Past Players: Volume 6 - Sami Hyypia

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Sami Hyypia was at Liverpool Football Club for a fantastic 10 years. As Houllier's signing in 1999, I grew up with the Finnish defender commanding the Liverpool back four. From a relatively unknown element brought into the Liverpool side he flourished into a fan favourite and a legend in his own right.


The Basics

Full Name: Sami Hyypia
Nickname: "Big Sami"
Date Of Birth: 7th October 1973
Born in: Porvoo, Finland
Height: 6'5"
Position: Defender

Background

Hyypia was born into a footballing family as his Mother was an amateur goalkeeper and his Father played for Finnish side Pallo Peikot. His early sporting days saw him take up Ice Hockey whilst in school which is a popular choice in the Scandinvian countries but the footballing influence eventually filtered its way through to Sami.

After retiring from football Hyypia set up a charitable fund to help encourage and support young athletes from Finland. He ran the Helsinki marathon in August 2011 in 3hours and 56minute…

Games Gone By: 2006 FA Cup Final

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In the run up to Liverpool's trip to Wembley on Sunday for the Carling Cup final i thought it would be nice to take a trip down memory lane and revisit the last time the Reds got to a final. Of course Liverpool didn't reach Wembley this time but the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff provided easily one of the best FA Cup finals ever.

The final on the 13th May 2006 saw Liverpool line up against Alan Pardew's West Ham United. The Reds finished that season in 6th place with West Ham finishing 9th. Pardew had done a decent job and his side were more than ready for the memorable 125th FA Cup final.


The Reds were actually first to grab a goal but unfortunately it was in the wrong net. Jamie Carragher quite a regular culprit for own goals gave West Ham the lead much to Reina's and the travelling Liverpool fans dismay but at this stage only 20 minutes had passed.

Dean Ashton made things worse for Liverpool though when his strike after a Reina mistake inside the area put The Hammer…

Games Gone By: Manchester United 1 Liverpool 4

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It was a bright March morning two years ago when Liverpool fans were rising and preparing for the massive game against Manchester United. The trip to Old Trafford, the pub or even to the armchair is sometimes a nervy experience before games like this but the excitement and adrenaline always prevail.

My morning back in March 2009 consisted of me getting ready for work and having to pull myself away from the television and the ramblings of the sexist dinosaur, ahem I mean Richard Keys.

The games preceding the Manchester United fixture in March saw Liverpool beat Sunderland 2-0 and lose to Middlesborough by the same scoreline. But a brilliant 4-0 win over Real Madrid just four days earlier helped the Reds' confidence levels.

 A season in which Rafael Benitez had helped fuel a title challenge meant the Manchester United result mattered more than it had done for a long while.

After the regular build up and mind games from the Manchester United camp, Liverpool quietly kept themselves t…

Adiós Señor Rafael Benitez

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Liverpool today officially parted ways with manager Rafael Benitez after the Spaniards 6year tenure at the club. In what was described as (but probably wasn't) a deal of mutual consent, Benitez has been paid £6million in this severance deal, some £10million less than what was in his contract should he have been sacked.
Rafael Benitez for many months now, maybe even seasons in some cases has split the fan bases opinion. Everyone always appreciated what he had done and achieved as Liverpool manager ~
UEFA Champions League - 2005 FA Cup - 2006 UEFA Super Cup - 2005 FA Community Shield - 2006
Highest points tally generated in Liverpool's Premier League history, finishing in 2nd place with a total of 86points.
Took us to another Champions League final in 2007.
Ensured Champions League football was a regular feature for the Reds up until his last season as Liverpool manager.
And not forgetting some famous results against the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, Everto…

Liverpool End 09/10 Season With A Draw

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My player of the season for Liverpool...
It wasn't a superb end to the campaign nor was it necessarily entertaining and although it was disappointing, it just didn't seem relevant in the midst of the managerial uncertainty and financial situation currently faced by the football club we all hold so dear.
There were some positives to highlight but whist Chelsea were banging in 8 against Wigan and United still managed to net 4 against Stoke despite the fact they missed out on the title, it was another example pointing out the ever increasing gap between Liverpool and the current battle-axes at the top of the table.
Going into the game Liverpool were already aware that the best possible finish in sight was 6th, this was also providing that the Aston Villa result went their way, with that in mind, the lads had that and the prospect of finishing on a high note as the incentives.
It was a decent first half from Liverpool with some lively play and a few attempts at goal. Notable efforts …

Can Iain Dowie End Hull's Season On A High?

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Whatever Benitez's future holds, i wish him all the best...
With both teams faced with little more incentive than pride for tomorrow's fixture in Humberside it is a hard one to predict. Liverpool do have the slight hope that they could finish the season in 6th should Aston Villa falter against Blackburn but that is quite simply all we have going.
With all the speculation around the manager at the moment and after yesterday's attempts by forum members and Twitterers alike to show their support for Mr. Rafael Benitez, it could be the last time we see the Spaniard in charge of our Liverpool side. Not only this but after financial records were released, also yesterday, it is quite clear the state that Liverpool football club is in and the need for new owners/investment is becoming evermore apparent.
The summer should be an interesting and nervy time for all who are involved at Liverpool football club. Mr. Broughton is not expecting it to be easy to find a suitable buyer in such a…

The Anfield Face Off

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Diego Forlan scores in the first leg...
Atletico Madrid welcome themselves to L4 tomorrow for the second leg of our Europa League Semi Final with the Spaniards. After all the hectic travel arrangements Liverpool suffered for the first leg, Atletico have had no such problems for the trip to England.
With the prospect of another European final for Liverpool and obviously the chance of silverware, Anfield should be buzzing tomorrow night, resembling that world famous atmosphere that footballing culture knows so well.
Liverpool were unlucky in a sense in the first leg when a scrappy goal from Diego Forlan found its way past Golden Glove contender Pepe Reina. The lads weren't playing at their best but the 1-0 still gives the Reds the upper hand tomorrow night.
As we are all aware, star striker Fernando Torres will not be fit to face his old employers, and the rest of the list of injuries still drags on pretty long.
Long standing injuries to Martin Skrtel, Emiliano Insua and Martin Kelly mea…

Practice Run?

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Murphy would love to score at Anfield again...
With Fulham also managing to get through to the semi finals of the Europa League on Thursday just like ourselves, tomorrow's game could be a warm up for the final of the competition.
Hodgson is often praised for his managerial skills and it is clear that he can hold is own amongst European competition.
I'm sure you all remember the first meeting this season between Liverpool and Fulham too when Roy Hodgson had the last laugh over Rafa Benitez after his side beat the Reds who were reduced to 9 men on the day of Halloween.
Horror show was an understatement and despite the fact that maybe some refereeing decisions were questionable, Liverpool were not up to scratch, tomorrow we will be looking to get an absolutely vital 3 points but also revenge.
At Anfield and after beating Benfica in such style, you have to feel pretty happy facing Fulham tomorrow. Despite players like Clint Dempsey looking to cause problems and ex Liverpool favourite …

Liverpool Through To Semi-Finals

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Lucas Leiva proves critics wrong and shrugs off his scapegoat status...
Liverpool can boast semi final status after successfully knocking out Portuguese rivals Benfica last night with a scoreline reading 4-1 to the home team. Although there were some nervy moments when Benfica's Cardozo got one back, the lads worked hard and it was a superb and well deserved result come 90minutes.
After all the questions about how the back four would be set up, Benitez fielded Agger in the left back position with Carra, Soto and Johnson making up the the rest of the defence. With Reina in goal and Torres up front it was Gerrard, Masch, Lucas, Kuyt and Benayoun that completed the starting XI.
For the first twenty minutes or so it was quite a scrappy affair for Liverpool. With the added input of Benfica bashing players like Torres around, the fouls and stop-start feel to the game was becoming frustrating.
Frustration was nearly a continued theme after the revelations of the first Liverpool goal.
When St…

Far From Eggs-cellent

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Gerrard celebrates passionately in front of the fans... What?...
You didn't seriously think i would go through the Easter weekend without adding a really bad Easter related pun in somewhere did you?
On a more sombre note though, yesterday's result saw the grey clouds regather over an already subdued and annoyed Liverpool fan base. There were numerous moments throughout the game that were top of the moaners lists.
Make no bones about it, i had a moan myself, but quite astonishingly it is again clear as to what most fans feel and what most fans are more concerned about at this moment in time.
Whilst my first reaction was the sheer fear of what finishing out of fourth place could do to us. I.e. with Hicks and Gillett already dragging the club into so much debt, they idiotically based our finances on assumption of qualification into the Champions League, failing to do so could see us add another £40million or so to our already unsteady financial situation.
With the deadline having to be…

Reds Face Birmingham For Easter Sunday Clash

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Birmingham's top goalscorer Jerome is on a tally of 9 goals...
Liverpool go in to tomorrow afternoon's fixture looking to improve on the performance earlier in the season against Birmingham City which saw them leave Anfield that night with just the one point. It was a scrap to even come away with the 2-2 draw that evening, so Liverpool should know to be weary of a revamped Premier League style Birmingham.
Just to make things worse, Liverpool have not beaten the Blues since may 2004. Over the 6 meetings we have lost twice and drew on the remaining 4 occasions. Despite our head to head stats in the league, we have in the midst of all this beaten Brum in the FA Cup (remember the 7-0?) and also in the League Cup.
Benitez is not one to dismiss the ability of the recently promoted side either, he was quoted saying:
"They are doing well. It has been a very good season for them. They are a good team, with a good spirit who work hard for each other.
"You could see from their game …

Park Seals Win For United

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Torres still delivers...

Liverpool suffered defeat at Old Trafford yesterday afternoon despite taking the lead via a Torres goal within the first ten minutes. With the prospect of beating Manchester United for the 4th time in a row, it just wasn't Liverpool's day, and although it was only a narrow victory for the devils, there were not too many positives to take from the 90minutes.

Liverpool made a very lively start to the game, which was what was required if we wanted to get anything out of the fixture. Benitez started a familiar XI with the same back four from Lille, Pepe in goal, Masch and Lucas in midfield, Maxi and Kuyt on the wings and Gerrard sitting off Torres.

No question about it, this was more of a precautionary line up rather than one to take the attack to United but Rafa's original tactics worked as the goal scored in free play came within 5minutes from kick off.

It was Fernando Torres himself who created the build up towards his headed goal. After a great little …

Make Mine A Double

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5 minutes added time please Ref... Thank you.

Aside from the Merseyside derby, this is quite easily one of the highlights of a Liverpool fans fixture list. With the bitter rivalry between both ourselves and Manchester United it is always a battle on the pitch, a battle between the managers and a battle between fans.

No side wants to lose, and neither will accept a draw. The bragging rights are what everyone wants, and even more so to a Liverpool side who can rub this victory in the faces of their North West rivals as our slim hopes of silverware are not enough to get on the Mancs wick.

So can Rafa Benitez, the author of "How To Beat Manchester United For Dummies" do the double over them for the second time in his Anfield career?

With Ferguson clearly using an apparent injustice in the Gerrard situation to try to collect some excuses before the game has even begun it is evident that he is fearful of Gerrard, Torres & Co and Rafa's tactics.

With Rooney on great form many ar…

Battle Of Merseyside: Victorious Reds

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Kuyt reaches 50 goals.
The "friendly derby" they say, well judging by one of the first crunching tackles from Jamie Carragher on Stephen Pienaar, that was the yard stick for the game ahead. After leaving him on the floor and then trotting back to defence it was clear that this was going to be more about the battle and less about the wits.
With Everton on such a good run of form recently and the fact that they are still waiting to end their 11 year run of not being able to beat Liverpool on Anfield turf. Along with the pitiful fact that it is now 15years of trophy-less seasons for our bitter blue neighbours, they definitely had a point to prove.
Despite this, they never really turned up. They had flashes, but whatever minor threat they posed or chance they had it was dealt with. Perhaps not in a neat and tidy fashion but the fact is, the boys did us proud.
For the first half an hour or so, you would be forgiven for thinking that you had in fact turned up at an amphitheatre with t…

Support Supplies Emphatic Victory Over Spurs

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Anfield Road was filled last night with scarves, banners, red shirts and chants. Quite simply the best supporters in the land lined the street more than an hour before kick off to cheer in the team coach.
Living up to the proud traditions and history of "The Liverpool Way" fans in unison came together for the good of the team, all with the sole aim of letting the lads and the manager know, they will never walk alone.
No matter how you try to question it, or try to think of a comparable moment the fact is you will not. Never have i seen, or will i ever see a club's fan base turn up, plaster the streets before a mid season fixture to show complete and utter support for their beloved team.
Manchester United? No. Chelsea? Well let's face it, they don't know what faith is, let alone how to back the manager...
A night like Wednesday makes you proud to be a Liverpool fan wherever you are and whatever the outcome was set to be, because that display of support you will NOT fi…