The Liver Bird  

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Four Things We Learned From Saturday's Results (14/09/19)

1) Firmino is smooth af.

The Brazilian didn't enter play until just before half time as he replaced Divock Origi but he immediately made an impact for Liverpool who were drawing 1-1 at this stage. A stunning strike from Willems gave Newcastle the lead after just seven minutes but Mane had equalised just before the half hour mark. When Firmino joined, the Reds were beginning to gain control of a game which started a bit wobbly for Klopp's side.

Image via The Mirror

It was Firmino's assist though for Mo Salah in the second half that has had Kopites drooling over replays. A sublime bit of skill in the box saw him roll the ball backwards and complete a little side footed pass behind his ankle, all this while being closed down by the Newcastle defence. His assist for Salah was stunning and the Egyptian ensured he put Liverpool 3-1 up.

2) Lost without Laporte?

I wouldn't usually write about other matches on the blog but it's been a bit of a bloody weird day football-wise, all of which is a positive for Liverpool. If you didn't know cause you've been under a rock, which I apparently was for about 50 minutes of the City match, Pep's team were beaten by plucky Norwich.

It was an unbelievable display from the Canaries and some of the goals/attacks in particular have shone a light on City's defensive problems with Laporte now being out. It's an interesting one because when an injury like this happens you always presume that a top class side will find a way through but people often underestimate the power of a defender, especially in terms of their communication and organisation.

I'll be watching City more closely over the next few weeks.

3) Sadio's calmed down

After throwing a bit of a tantrum the other week, my absolute favourite player Sadio Mane seems to have calmed down. Enjoying a break after no international duties with Senegal, it was lovely to see Mane score twice and celebrate with his fellow forwards, including that Mo Salah, you know the one that never passes...

It is laughable to me that the only issue people can cling on to or try to talk about at Liverpool at the moment is the fact that we have a selfish striker. Strikers are meant to be selfish and yes he should have passed but who gives a shite when you're top of the league?

Opposition fans and the media will grasp at anything to try and bring down the Reds this season, anything so they don't have to put up with the unbearables winning the title but put your pens away folks because there's no rift at Anfield, these lads love each other.

4) Pukki for golden boot?

Pukki, what an absolute hero and did I hear somewhere he's a Liverpool fan or is that just a rumour? Either way he's already been involved in eight goals in the first five matches this season, that is some record for the 29 year old who also scored 29 goals in the Championship last season.

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Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Adrian Saves Final Peno To Gift Reds The Super Cup

Well, that was a bit of a slog wasn't it? The Reds seem to love taking the long way round but after 120 minutes and ten penalties, Liverpool finally lifted the Super Cup after Adrian saved Abraham's spot kick.

It was written in the stars really, Adrian joins the club a week earlier, enters play in Liverpool's first Premier League match after an injury to the mighty Alisson, faces massive boots to fill but then basically wins us the Super Cup. Just brilliant. I'd tweeted at half time having a little moan at the keeper about his distribution but in fairness, I wasn't calling his saves into question and he made some important stops in the game including his penalty save.

Image via

The Spaniard ended up featuring in several talking points during the match including during the second half when Chelsea were awarded a penalty. Jorginho converted and at that stage had drawn Chelsea level at 2-2 but I'm still not sure it even was a penalty. The match was reffed by female officials which was absolutely fantastic to see and I don't think it was a decision that any referee could have called at the time as it was so close, even Adrian didn't seem certain whether he'd touched the player or not.

By some standards, the Reds were lucky to even reach extra time as Frank Lampard's Chelsea side played very well for the duration of the 90 and held their nerve in time added on. The first 45 minutes for Liverpool was very sloppy, neither side found the net but it was Chelsea who looked far more likely, several through balls were catching Liverpool completely off guard and the Reds were lucky to keep the clean sheet.

For me, the midfield was just unbalanced and Oxlade-Chamberlain was extremely quiet. Add to this Fabinho who was losing a lot of possession and making mistakes and it was very difficult for Klopp's side to get hold of the ball. Luckily Fab did seem to pick up as the game went on. Chelsea found their opener thanks to Giroud after 36 minutes, the Frenchman had already caused several problems for the Liverpool defence early in the game.

By half time I was asking for the introduction of Gini to settle the midfield and I also tweeted that to win this match we'd need Bobby on. Bobby entered play immediately in the second half and instantly made an impact after setting up Sadio Mane. For a man who apparently still needs rest, the Senegalese forward looked very lively and went on to score Liverpool's second with a fantastic strike in extra time.

It was a valiant effort from the Reds who were playing in a somewhat mis-matched XI but as always battled until the very end. This team are going to be very difficult to beat this season, very difficult and once again we have proven even when we're not at our best we're a tough side to beat.

I just hope that we can use this now as another boost for the league, the missing Alisson is definitely not ideal but Adrian will feel on top of the world after tonight and here's hoping he can look after the gloves until the Brazilian returns.

Liverpool: Super Cup Winners 2019.

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Thursday, 1 August 2019

Community Shield: Does it matter for Liverpool?

We're back! Finally, we can stop scrolling through hundreds of tweets from disgruntled fans shouting doom after losing a few pre-season matches without any of our star players.

Liverpool open their 2019/2020 season on Sunday as the Reds face Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in the Community Shield but does this piece of silverware really matter?

Image via

The Community Shield has always been a bit of a joke trophy for most fans, a curtain opener that nobody really cares about but this year for Liverpool fans, it feels different. Klopp's side pushed CIty agonisingly close in the Premier League and the bookies are once again predicting a two-horse race for this season. While the Community Shield remains a one-off match and one that could well feature two very weakened teams, a win here for Liverpool feels more important than it should be.

I know I joked initially about the moaning surrounding Liverpool's pre-season but if we're honest, it hasn't been great has it? The win over Lyon last night has hopefully brought back some confidence but a win against Manchester City on Sunday would further bolster that in my opinion.

Liverpool simply must hit the ground running in this 2019/2020 campaign. To hold any chance of going as close as we did last year or even better, winning that elusive Premier League title, we must start positively. For me, lifting the Community Shield and along the way providing some much-needed game time for the likes of Firmino, Salah and Mane could be the way to do it.

Will they feature?

It's hard to know whether Jurgen Klopp will include Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Bobby Firmino in his plans for Sunday. A lot of it will rest on the science and the fitness levels/sharpness of the three lads who have had a significantly shorter rest period than most.

In Klopp's interviews, he sounds as though he's taking this fixture very seriously, to him silverware is silverware and he wants his side to win as much of it as possible.

I would expect to at least see one of the three feature on Sunday although in theory, if Klopp needs his star men to get the game time he may well grasp this chance to play all three of the lads prior to the Norwich fixture.

When is a signing not a signing?

When they're 16 apparently. 

Another thing a lot of fans have been venting about is the lack of signings from Liverpool this transfer window and while I totally understand the frustration, the overreaction is unbelievable. We were never going to spend big this summer and for me, the Reds targeting youngsters who have reportedly had the likes of PSG and Real Madrid sniffing around them can only be a good thing.

Image via

Harvey Elliott the 16-year-old signed from Fulham apparently looked lively in the Lyon match last night and I can see him potentially featuring in the League Cup for the Reds. It's also great to see the club gaining the signature of Sepp van den Berg the 17-year-old centre back.

Game on

I for one cannot wait for Sunday, I don't think I've ever been so excited for a Community Shield match in all my life, in fact, I know I haven't. 

I tend to be the sort of fan that switches off a bit during pre-season, I'll keep up to speed with what's happening usually via Twitter or podcasts but I won't religiously watch the games. I think it's partly because I enjoy a bit of a break but also because I like to keep the season start exciting, I don't want to know how fresh everybody is I want to see what happens when it really matters.

My brand new Virgil van Dijk shirt is hanging up ready to go. So enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!


As regular readers may have noticed my blogging efforts dipped dramatically last season, I just was failing really badly to find enough time to blog and I lost a bit of love for it. However, I've quickly realised that while my little blogging space here doesn't get masses of attention and I may not ever have the time to truly grow this to where I'd like it to be, blogging and writing remains a huge release for me personally. 

It's always been a real passion of mine so I'm going to make a conscious effort this year to blog more and offer more opinion. Please stay tuned to The Liver Bird and if you have any helpful tips about blogging in general or any LFC topics you'd like me to cover, drop me a tweet! - @LFCKirstyLFC

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Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Five Things We Learned From The Porto Win

1) Naby is finding his way?

He was a player that every team was after but eventually, Liverpool managed to get his signature, despite having to wait a while before he turned up at Anfield. 

For me, I had high expectations and that was without really seeing him play a lot of football. Most would agree that since arriving Keita has struggled to make an impact but also has been the victim of a strong side and difficult selection choices for manager Jurgen Klopp. 

Image via Independent
After scoring against Southampton though he seems to have found the confidence he required. Ok his shot on Tuesday evening was deflected but still to be getting into those dangerous positions and having a pop at goal is an improvement on recent outings for Naby. I really hope he can kick on from here. 

2) Fab was fab 

Fabinho had a cracking game I thought, his timing of tackles is almost always perfect. He's risky at times but succeeds in breaking up play and frustrating the opposition. 

Porto had some good chances last night to break quickly on the attack but Fabinho was there.

3) Two goals isn't enough?

You know Liverpool are doing well when you're sat there as a fan wishing for a third or fourth goal. Let's face it, 2-0 in Europe is a great score, especially thanks to the clean sheet but a lot of fans like myself wanted even more, just a bit of a safety blanket. 

We could have made it more too particularly when Sadio Mane saw his goal ruled out as being a fraction offside. 

4) Dejan Lovren back as an option?

Lovren I find a very strange one. I actually rate him as a defender I just think he's prone to losing his head a bit. Alongside Virgil though that decreases because the Dutchman is constantly screaming his orders keeping his back line in check. 

I thought Lovren did pretty well last night when called into question. It will be interesting to see if he's selected again over the remaining matches. 

5) Focus switches back to the title 

It may have been a European night last night but Klopp and the lads will have definitely had one eye on Chelsea at the weekend. Arguably Liverpool's toughest match left in the race. 

With City running directly into a fixture pile up and having lost to Spurs last night, this next phase of games could be crucial. 

I am off to Italy for two weeks so you won't see me on the blog for a while (probably on Twitter though haha) up the Reds!!! 

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Monday, 1 April 2019

Anfield Goes Wild As Reds Beat Spurs In Dying Moments

Anybody else deafen their mom for Mother's Day yesterday?! Cause I certainly did. Own goal or not, it didn't matter, all that mattered was that Liverpool had somehow managed to collect another three points. 

It was a massive win for the Reds who needed to keep the pressure on Manchester City knowing the sky blues would be playing mid week. 

The first half for Liverpool started well, the lads kept a lot of possession and it was a great goal from Firmino to open up the scoring. The one thing missing? Fabinho. Many fans seemed confused as to why the Brazilian didn't start and I was one of them. When he did enter the game later on in the match he instantly showed why he should have started. 

Image via Evening Standard
In the second half Spurs very much came into their own Pochettino being allowed to speak to his team in the dressing room after having to try and instruct from the stands obviously took his chance to motivate his team. Spurs proved a real threat and managed to equalise on 70 minutes thanks to Lucas Moura. 

I was a nervous wreck at this point, that wasn't helped when Sissoko and Son made a break for Alisson's net. I shouldn't have panicked though because Virgil van Dijk had it covered. 

A phenomenal piece of defending from the Dutchman saw him expertly blockout Sissoko's pass option to Son and simultaneously force Son into a shot on his weaker foot. Just superb. 

With the minutes ticking down Liverpool we're now desperate to find a winner. It was clear at this stage the Reds wanted it more than Spurs and thankfully it paid off. 

A header back across goal from Mo Salah caused enough of a melee in the box. Lloris should have done better but fumbled his save and to make things worse Alderweireld turned the ball into his own net. 

Anfield went wild. Mo looked elated, van Dijk booted a ball out the stand, I was jumping round me Mom's living room screaming my head off. Absolutely mental. The relief after I'd calmed down?! Just crazy. 

Liverpool never do things the easy way and I've said it before, if we're gonna win this title there's gonna be moments like that. You need a bit of luck and thankfully things went our way on Sunday. 

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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
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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Tuesday, 26 February 2019

PREVIEW: Liverpool V Watford

For the first time in I think ever on this blog I did not post about a United match. I moved out of the parents' house this weekend so I saw the game but the whole weekend was pretty hectic and I never got chance to blog, but fear not, I am back with a small Watford preview.

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are still without Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez but there is some good news on Roberto Firmino as the injury he picked up in the United game doesn't appear to be as bad as first feared. Watford only have one absentee as Kiko Femenia who is unavailable due to a hamstring issue.

Image via Independent
Liverpool's 0-0 draw with Manchester United was enough to take them to the top of the table. The Reds are now on 66 points with City in second place on 65. Watford are currently 7th in the table on 40 points, it's been a strong season so far for Watford but I'm not sure they will get the better of Klopp's side at Anfield.

The Hornets have won two out of their last five league games, matching Liverpool's current form. The Reds have drawn the remaining three games. 

The last time the two sides met was in November last year, in a game that saw Jordan Henderson sent off, the Reds scored three goals with no return. Salah, Trent and Firmino were all on the scoresheet. Watford's last visit to Anfield also ended in a batch of goals for the Reds, Salah found four goals in a 5-0 victory.

Liverpool have won six out of the last eight meetings between the two sides in the Premier League, the Reds have scored two goals or more on four occasions.

Every game is huge now for Klopp's side as we aim to chase down that elusive Premier League title. The Reds have gone through a bit of a dip by collecting several draws but if we're still sat at the top of the table when we're not even at our best then surely that's a good thing?

Liverpool can't really afford any slip-ups so Wednesday night's match will hopefully prove to be a more straightforward one. Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Friday, 4 January 2019

Reds Unbeaten Run Ends At Etihad

Top of the league and still four points clear, despite losing to the champions... so why am I so frustrated? It's surely a sign of how well Liverpool are playing that I find myself annoyed at last night's result even after a night's sleep. 

Don't get me wrong, it was the correct result, City deserved to win, I just worry how that will affect our momentum and I just know what we're like. It's bizarre cause I'm usually the rose-tinted optimistic fan that gets on people's nerves on Twitter for being too positive but I think I've been scorned by that Brendan Rodgers title race and I just desperately want everything to go right, even though I know there will be blips along the way and that it will not be straightforward. 

Fabinho v Man City
Image via The Mirror
There is no shame at all in losing to Guardiola's City at the Etihad, I am just hoping we can pick up where we left off. 

For me, Jurgen Klopp took a decision to select Milner, Henderson and Wijnaldum in his midfield and I can see the thought process but I just don't think it worked.

The linkage (or lack of) between the midfield and the forwards was poor and there was a lot of negative movement either sideways or backwards, even when it appeared to the onlooker that a key through pass was available. 

Despite the midfield set up, Liverpool went agonisingly close to opening up the scoring when Sadio Mane saw a shot bounce off the post and a melee ensued. John Stones cleared off the line and somehow managed to steer the ball clear of an encroaching Salah. The goal decision system indicated the ball was just 11 millimetres away from being a Liverpool opener. Gutting. 

The first half was a very tense battle but City broke the deadlock at 40 minutes when Aguero shot high into goal from a very tight angle. I'm still not sure how he got that in. 

The Reds needed the half time whistle and needed to recoup. Klopp had clearly been thinking about his set up because at 57 minutes he replaced Milner with Fabinho. A cracking substitution with an immediate impact. I just can't help but regret the fact that the Brazilian didn't start the match. 

Just after the hour mark, Liverpool found their equaliser, a cross from Andy Robertson found its way into the box and Roberto Firmino was there to finish with a straightforward header. I went crazy. A draw here would have been a fantastic result, especially considering how the game had unfolded. 

For a while, the Reds looked as though they may have had a footing and throughout the remainder of the match chances did appear for Klopp's side including some further box madness with City at times lucky to clear the danger. 

The killer blow was delivered though by Leroy Sane at 72 minutes. An angled shot hit off the right-hand post and into the net.

A frustrating game for the Reds who could have got more out of it if the formation had been slightly different and had a bit of luck swung their way. Positively the Reds, on paper, have a decent set of fixtures now so I just hope we can crack on. 

Next up for Liverpool is Wolves in the FA Cup and I'm going! Will be sat in the North Bank trying to keep quiet with me fella and brother, should be a good laugh!!!

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Sunday, 30 December 2018

Bobby Hat-Trick Brushes Arsenal Aside

Liverpool came back from a goal down to stun Unai Emery's Arsenal side in an emphatic 5-1 victory at Anfield. A hat-trick from Roberto Firmino was joined by goals from Sadio Mane and Mo Salah meaning the Reds remain unbeaten at the top of the table.

Arsenal's opening goal after just 11 minutes came as a bit of a surprise to onlooking Kopites who perhaps assumed it would be the Reds finding the back of the net first on their home turf. A good cross from Iwobi found the Gunners' youngster Maitland-Niles who ensured he converted to put his side ahead.

Image via Sky Sports
Some Arsenal fans in the pub went absolutely crazy for the goal, a risky tactic I thought as surely they didn't think that alone would stop Klopp's XI?

Firmino punished just three minutes later with his now signature "no look goal", it was Bobby himself who also started the attack, linking up with Mo Salah.

The Brazilian clearly wasn't content with just the one goal on Saturday evening though as he found the net again just two minutes later. With Arsenal defenders falling around him as he slalomed towards goal, it looked more like a bomb had gone off as Bobby finished his attack putting his side 2-1 up. A brilliant goal.

Liverpool were completely and utterly dominant in this game, Arsenal's defence was all over the shop and their main attacking presence in Aubameyang barley even touched the ball. Full credit to Arsenal for coming to attack at Anfield and not playing defensively as many teams do, Unai stuck to his tactics but unfortunately for the visitors, they played perfectly into Liverpool's hands.

Another goal for the Reds followed at 32 minutes, this time it was Sadio Mane. A long range ball from Andy Robertson found its way to an encroaching Mo Salah who with a perfectly placed first touch pass managed to find Mane. The number 10 still had a lot to do as the ball bounced but he converted with ease and the Reds were now 3-1 up.

Arsenal just looked lost and things went from bad to worse when Liverpool were awarded a penalty two minutes into extra time in the first half. Sokratis took two swipes at Salah and for me, it was definitely a peno. Mo scored the spot kick confidently to put Liverpool 4-1 up. A special note for the build-up to this penalty must go to Alisson who played a stunning pass directly to Firmino to set up the attack.

Being 4-1 up after the first half and knowing that Arsenal weren't going to get back into this game made the second half a boring one for the neutral but Liverpool would find a final goal to secure their solid win over their London visitors.

Another penalty, this one perhaps a bit soft for me after a bit of contact/pushing with Lovren. Roberto Firmino stepped up to the spot in order to try and seal his hat-trick and he did just that right in front of the adoring Kop.

A stunning game for Liverpool who were also aided earlier in the afternoon as Wolves got the better of Spurs. There's just something about this team this season, going down and still finding a way back, those sprinkles of luck against Chelsea and Everton (I still can't stop laughing about that match, good old Origi)... it just feels like everything has clicked into place. 

We're cooly and calmly going about our business and no matter what anybody is throwing at us, we're finding a way through. I for one am now starting to allow myself to get excited. Roll on Manchester City.

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Thursday, 25 October 2018

REPORT: Reds Put 4 Past Red Star

Despite injuries creating an issue for Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool won confidently on Wednesday night with a slightly altered XI captained by Virgil van Dijk. 

Image via The Independent
The Reds took a while to build into the game but got off the mark at 20 minutes thanks to a lovely strike from Bobby Firmino. The forward was set up by the brilliant Andy Robertson. 

Salah found Liverpool a second right on the stroke of half-time and it was great to see him find the net again after scoring against Huddersfield. Some consistency for Mo will do wonders for his confidence and continued goal scoring. 

A few minutes into the second half Sadio Mane won a penalty. Some would argue it was a soft one but he was impeded in continuing his run for the ball so for me, it was a fair decision. Mo Salah stepped up to convert the spot kick making it his 50th goal in 65 games for Liverpool, absolutely phenomenal. 

Red Star didn't trouble Alisson at all and while a side like Liverpool should always be beating this calibre of opposition I did expect a little bit more from the Serbian side. 

At 80 minutes Mane made up for watching Liverpool's second spot-kick of the night be saved. A shot into the bottom corner was enough to seal the 4-0 victory for the Reds. Job done. 

Players who I think deserve a mention away from the goal scorers include the tenacious Shaqiri who I think definitely deserves more game time and also Fabinho. 

For the first ten minutes or so and after a very risky tackle that could have seen him receive a yellow, I was a little bit concerned but Fabinho settled into the game very well and I thought, on the whole, was quite impressive. You have to take into account that this was perhaps an easier game for a midfielder but I can't wait to see him feature more in the starting XI.

Next up for the Reds is Cardiff. 

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Tuesday, 2 October 2018

PREVIEW: Napoli v Liverpool

Liverpool are in Italy on Wednesday night to face Carlo Ancelotti's Napoli. Carlo is a manager I truly admire and Italian football is something I love so I am very much looking forward to our Champions League tie this week and hope the Reds can come away with a win.

Image via

One of the top supported clubs in Italy, Napoli have started their season well and currently sit second in Serie A, six points behind leaders Juventus. Their record in the European Cup is relatively strong and Naples always proves to be a difficult venue for travelling teams.

Players like Insigne and Hamsik can pose a real threat in this match with the former being 2nd in the top scorers' list in Italy at the moment. 

There are no injury concerns for Napoli and Jurgen Klopp now has Dejan Lovren back and could potentially call upon the World Cup finalist for his back four selection.

Napoli and Liverpool have only ever crossed paths twice before this game, that was in the Europa League in the 2010/2011 season. The Reds drew 0-0 in Italy with a team that featured Paul Konchesky and won 3-1 at Anfield thanks to a Steven Gerrard hat-trick.

After Roberto Firmino netted a late winner against PSG, it is hoped that the Reds can continue their momentum against Napoli. I personally think it is going to be a very difficult game for Liverpool but I also feel Napoli's style of play will suit Klopp's side.

Napoli have won three out of their last six in all competitions while Liverpool have won four. Napoli only managed a draw in their opening group game in the Champions League against Red Star Belgrade and they enter this game on the back of a damaging loss at the hands of Juventus. The Reds on the other hand, enter this match after a dramatic game at Stamford Bridge when Daniel Sturridge fired home a stunning strike to nick a point.

It will be interesting to see who Klopp fields for this one in his starting XI as he must have an eye on the Man City game at the weekend.

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Five Things We Learned From PSG

1) Daniel Sturridge is still a top class striker

Prior to the match having seen the starting line up, I was all over Sturridge to grab Liverpool a goal. So convinced was I that I popped a quid on a Daniel Sturridge 3-1 scorecast (close to winning bloody £35 quid!).

On Twitter though I was met with an interesting reaction, I was being too optimistic with the scoreline, Sturridge would never score etc. I think sometimes fans forget how prolific Sturridge has been in his career, give him an opportunity like a night under the floodlights against PSG and he will make you proud.

I was elated to see him dancing in front of the Kop after a cracking header.

Image via The Times

2) PSG aren’t actually that good?

Supposedly one of the best teams in the world I think PSG put on display some of their weaknesses on Tuesday night. Yes, they have some superstars in the team but they left masses of space for Liverpool to attack and for me lacked in intensity when out of possession.

Their style may work week in, week out in the French league but I’m not so sure it will stand them in good stead in Europe this season.

3) Liverpool are relentless

By contrast, Liverpool are constantly pressing the ball. Klopp’s style of play and training sessions certainly do not go to waste. Whenever a PSG player had the ball there were at least three Liverpool players on his tail.

The Reds never give their opposition time to breathe which can be extremely frustrating for a side like PSG who on any other occasion would probably receive a lot more freedom.

4) Lack of potency from PSG front three

Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani? Ok, so Mbappe eventually got his side what looked certain to be an equaliser but on the whole are they really that potent? I know we had home advantage but when comparing the performances of Mane, Salah and Sturridge to the PSG front three, who came off better?

Even with Mo having a slightly slower night I feel our forwards bring way more to the game compared to the French side’s attacking outfit. I know some strikers just don’t track back but PSG came unstuck at Anfield last night and in part that was down to a lack of effort from their forwards away from goal.

To be victorious in a competition such as the Champions League your whole team has got to be grafting. Leaving your three men up front may work on some occasions but up against the best teams that Europe has to offer? It just isn’t going to cut it. I was very surprised at the lack of impact from the PSG front three and I will be interested to see how they perform in Paris.

5) Roberto Firmino is an absolute legend

Having suffered a terrible eye injury against Spurs at the weekend, it was doubtful Firmino would even feature against PSG. The Brazilian entered play at 72 minutes replacing the brilliant Daniel Sturridge.

Just ten minutes later and Firmino along with the 10 other Reds on the pitch had to watch Mbappe score an apparent equaliser. Liverpool could have stopped the pressing, after all a 2-2 draw with PSG isn’t so bad? Klopp, however, would rarely ever instruct his side to quit and the Reds with the help of Bobby Firmino silenced the travelling French fans who had been loud as hell all night.

Firmino picked up the ball on the right-hand side of the box with just two minutes of injury time left to play. A little cut inside and some true composure while surrounded by PSG defenders allowed the Brazillian to finish with a powerful strike gifting Liverpool an important win.

To top it all off Bobby celebrated with a hand over his injured eye, absolute quality haha!

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Sunday, 16 September 2018

Five Things We Learned From The Win Over Spurs

1) First time since 1990

Saturday's victory over Spurs at Wembley made it five wins on the bounce for Liverpool. It's the first time the Reds have won five games in a row at the start of the season since 1990.

Jurgen Klopp's side were in complete command for the majority of the game and it could have been 4 or 5-0 at one stage but the Reds lacked a little when it came to the final ball. Despite this, goals from Gini WIjnaldum (confirmed by goal-line technology) and Roberto Firmino were enough for Liverpool to take all three points.

A late surge from Spurs wasn't enough for the home side to take away any points but it was a great goal from a tight angle by Lamela with two minutes of extra time to go.

Embed from Getty Images

2) Selfish strikers, good or bad?

One of the many positives of this Liverpool side is the fact that the goals can come from anywhere. We have an immense front three and if one or even two of them are having a bad day, you are almost guaranteed that the other will score.

A key talking point for me yesterday was Sadio Mane's decision making. I am a massive fan of Sadio but he can sometimes fail to pass when another player is begging for the ball. However, on the flip side, you have to ask yourself, there's a reason Sadio is the top scorer in a red shirt so far this season... sometimes being selfish is a good thing.

On this occasion, those moments where Sadio didn't choose to pass or play in a colleague didn't matter but it will be interesting to see what the fans think if we have a game where decisions like that cost us. It's all about getting a balance I think and for the time being the front three have that harmony sorted.

3) Firmino top class

Firmino was lucky to walk away from yesterday's match with his vision still intact after a nasty accidental collision with Vertonghen's hand, thankfully he was ok. During the time he was on the pitch though Firmino was immense, for a striker he doesn't half put a shift in regaining possession and chasing people down.

His goal was more of right place at the right time but still, he was sniffing around and creating problems in the box during the majority of any Liverpool attacks. Jamie Redknapp debated whether Firmino is the most underrated player in the Premier League and for me, it's a very interesting question.

Firmino may be living slightly in the shadow of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane but in terms of his work rate and the whole package of abilities? He is an absolute asset to the club and I know 100% that both Salah and Mane must be over the moon they have him alongside them in the attack.

4) Joe Gomez a revelation

I've probably already discussed Joe quite a bit on the blog already this season but I couldn't avoid adding him in again today. I can't get over how easily he has regained fitness and form, slotting in next to Virgil van Dijk is a big ask but the youngster has been an absolute revelation since returning to the starting XI.

He put in some very important tackles yesterday at times when Spurs found a bit of a footing and it is clear his positional awareness is strengthening with each match. I am hugely impressed with Joe.

5) Reds still not quite in top gear

Despite all of the positives and the fact that Liverpool have won yet another game, remarkably, most fans including myself, would still not suggest that Liverpool are in top form. 

Some would argue that is a bad thing but for me it's quite the opposite. The fact that the Reds have picked up five wins playing below their best is brilliant and the momentum will hopefully carry us into the Champions League next week.

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Sunday, 2 September 2018

Five Things We Learned From The King Power

Image via Metro

1) Alisson needs to tone down the antics

I like seeing a bit of skill as much as the next person but not from my bloody goalkeeper. I mentioned in a previous post that Alisson only performs these tricks because he's confident and there's nothing wrong with having a confident keeper but he needs to stop his antics.

The Brazilian gifted Leicester their goal just after the hour mark and for a time it felt as though the home side might be able to get back into the game. Thankfully for Alisson that never happened and hopefully he's now learnt his lesson. Away from that daft mistake, he looked strong once again when called into action against the Foxes.

2) Sadio Mane could be the star of this season

Mane now has four goals in four matches for the Reds and when our Egyptian king couldn't quite find the net early on, it fell to Sadio to put Liverpool 1-0 up. A strong finish from an Andy Robertson cross was just what Klopp's side needed and I feel Mane could be a very important asset this season.

Sadio was the stand out player in the Champions League final for the Reds and he's more than capable of finding a goal when everybody else has run out of options. Salah will be battling for the prize of star player but I do think Mane will be a contender.

Also, I had a quid on Sadio Mane 2-1 and won £50 so perhaps I'm being biased...

3) Reds look more in control

Saturday's result was another indication of Liverpool's level of control. Some would argue that we look a lot less potent in attack and that this is a negative but for me, we look an overall more balanced side and we're maintaining the lead in games we would have let slip last season.

Maximum points against sides like Brighton and Leicester is weirdly a huge plus for Liverpool, these are the kinds of sides that would make things difficult for us previously. If we can collect all three points against them, I do not fear the likes of Spurs and Man CIty where our forwards really will be able to punish, exploiting the inevitable gaps left by a more open team.

4) Klopp not afraid to make big substitutions

When Mo Salah was subbed off I have to admit I was quite surprised but compared to Firmino and Mane he was the quieter player. Subbing Mo I feel shows that no player at Liverpool is above being substituted or even dropped and that's probably the right way to play things.

Players need to know that they have a chance of getting into the side and similarly, stars need to know they aren't irreplaceable. However, I think if we are honest Salah was probably subbed because Klopp has one eye on the fixture pile up.

5) Liverpool have the squad to manage upcoming fixtures

On that note of a fixture pile up. Liverpool definitely have the squad to get through this phase of Champions League games while continuing to battle for the title. Being able to bring on Shaqiri and Keita yesterday is something we could only dream of in previous seasons plus we have players like Fabinho and Sturridge to call upon.

I definitely feel a lot more comfortable going into the following months with our current squad. If we hadn't of spent so well in the transfer window this summer we could have been ins some real trouble.

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Monday, 21 May 2018

It's Time For Kiev | Liverpool FC | Champions League

It's 2005, I'm 15 years old, starting to really hone my obsession with Liverpool Football Club, sat in the living room of our Wolverhampton council house, waiting for the Reds to kick off in Istanbul.

Image via The Metro
Like many Liverpool fans back then I never seriously thought we would find a route to the final with that team but the magic was tangible. The Olympiakos game and that infamous Gerrard goal, Hyypia scoring against Juventus and the ghost goal at Anfield. None of those things really should have happened, but I quickly learned as a 15 year old that Liverpool in Europe are just something else.

Twenty years after reaching their last European Cup final in 1985, Rafa Benitez's Liverpool side proved they had the stamina to not only make it to the final but also come back from 3-0 down to win on penalties. At half time I had retreated to the bathroom and I'm not afraid to say, I had tears in my eyes. I was absolutely gutted, we'd worked so hard to get there and it was crumbling away. Still a bit young and perhaps a bit naive, I was adamant I would not watch the second half, but my Dad being the wise man that he is convinced me to continue to watch. I was running out into the street with my Liverpool flag, utterly elated by the final whistle.

Any neutral would vote that as one of the best football matches in history and this season the Reds have captured some of that tenacious 2005 spirit.

Depicted as the underdogs once again, Liverpool may be unfavoured by most but Jurgen Klopp and his side have 100% earnt their place in the final on Saturday. Brushing aside teams like Porto and comfortably beating Manchester City does not come easily. The two legs against Roma were perhaps not as straightforward but we wouldn't be Liverpool if there weren't a few blips along the way.

Looking at the opposition, they are of course European royalty in their own right but they are by no means perfect. For me, it's a good time to be playing Real Madrid, the Spaniards have had questions hanging over their defence the whole season and while they clearly have a solid attack you would be stupid to question the power of Liverpool's forwards.

It's going to be a huge challenge for the Reds, no doubt about it but they are hungry, prepared and able to win this final. 

A back four rejuvenated by the introduction of Virgil van Dijk will have its work cut out but the Reds have improved immensely on the defensive front and are could keep out Real Madrid. Perhaps not for the whole 90 but for enough time to get the upper hand.

In the midfield, Jordan Henderson must get a mention, I can't say I'm his biggest fan. I've never disliked him but I haven't always sung his praises, however, he has led his team in this European campaign and nobody can doubt his passion. He will be willing the team on from the centre of the field and pulling the strings with a bit of luck.

Then there's the matter of the forwards, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah are a force to be reckoned with. Madrid will argue they have come up against similar, dealing with Messi, Suarez and co but I honestly don't think they've met this type of attack in a very long time.

The Reds' ability to switch up the play so quickly, a front three all injected with immense pace and a real connection on the pitch? I genuinely think they could get stung. Mo Salah has had a phenomenal season, you're telling me he's not going to be giving his absolute all to find the net in the Champions League final? 

Salah WILL score and he will be supported by Firmino and Mane who will both also be chomping at the bit to score for their team mates, manager and fans.

The Spanish papers can brand this a piece of cake all they want. I don't think they truly understand what is coming for them in Kiev on Saturday 26th May.

We've conquered all of Europe, and we're never gonna stop. Fingers crossed for number six.

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching! I will be in Liverpool with me fella, me brother and me mate if you spot me, say hi!


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Tuesday, 1 May 2018

When In Rome...

Don't do as the Romans do.

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

Roma's two away goals late on at Anfield last week added a few nerves in many fans hearts, it's amazing the difference a couple of goals can make. Should we be fearful? Certainly, we shouldn't take Roma for granted but at the same time, we have Salah, Firmino and Mane at our disposal.

I say we net a few more and put this game to bed, don't even give the Italians a chance to settle or grow into the game. Roma have played brilliantly in the Champions League this season, phenomenally well when you think they pushed Barca aside but could they deal with a 6-2 or 7-3 aggregate? I don't think so. An early goal from the Reds could really take the wind out their sails.

Liverpool suffered a blow after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain picked up a serious injury in the first leg but other than that Jurgen Klopp should be able to field his favoured XI. Roma have no real injury worries aside from Kevin Strootman who will undergo a late fitness test.

The stats are also mainly in favour of the Reds, however, Roma are yet to concede a single goal at home in the Champions League so far this season. Despite that fact I just can't see them stopping Salah, I genuinely can't. The pressure will be immense, the atmosphere historic but I cannot see them stopping us from finding the back of the net.

Roma must keep a clean sheet and score three goals before anything even changes in this tie. We have to accept that the Reds have their weaknesses and if Roma exploit set pieces we could find ourselves in a sticky situation but for Roma to have any hope of going through they must come at us, come at us quickly and constantly.

This, in turn, will open up gaps, gaps that Salah, Firmino and Mane will more than happily take advantage of. On paper, Liverpool should seal their place in the 2018 Champions League Final tomorrow night. In heads and hearts they should be there too but you just never bloody know do you, football is a funny old game!

Enjoy the match folks wherever you are watching. As well as the desire to see Liverpool reach another Champions League final I also have two hotel rooms on the Wirral riding on this so let's hope we don't balls it up! (We won't. #ForzaLiverpool)

I leave you with one of my favourite tweets from today:

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Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Five Things We Learned From The Etihad Win

1) We can defend

Granted, we conceded after just two minutes but on the whole, Liverpool put on a strong defensive performance. Yes there were a few errors and Karius shouldn't have punched on a couple of occasions but against Man City, at the Etihad, in a semi-final? I think we should be proud to concede just the one.

Over the two legs, the Reds have shown that they can, in fact, defend and the likes of Robertson and Trent double A have been absolutely brilliant.

Image via The Belfast Telegraph

2) We missed Hendo

Henderson is one of those players who you only really appreciate once he's gone. He brings a certain calmness to the side and during the first 45 minutes yesterday I felt like we really missed him.

It will be a positive to reintroduce him to the side for the semi-final. Gini did ok but I just feel as though Hendo adds a bit of balance, it's a weird one because I'm the first to admit I will often be slating Hendo in some fixtures but really he brings more to the side than you realise.

3) Mo Salah is unstoppable

I've genuinely run out of words and paragraphs to explain how good this guy is. He makes things look incredibly easy, that goal last night was by no means a simple one. Mane did well to cause the situation but to have the composure to net that and dink it in too? Stunning.

He's an absolute god.

4) Dejan Lovren played a pivotal role

Lovren is not necessarily a player you would focus on after Tuesday night's result but having read a piece in the Independent today it is clear that he played a pivotal role.

When heads were dropping and frustration began to show early on in the game, including a disgruntled Virgil van Dijk, it was Lovren who stepped in to pull the lads back together.

Shouting at his teammates to keep their heads he did more than he can ever imagine by taking the step to calm the team down. It reminds me of players like Gerrard and Carragher, sometimes you need a player to step up in a big game not just in terms of their play on the pitch but to speak to the team. Fair play Dejan.

5) Firmino worries Mo may have turned into a statue

And finally, I can't stop laughing at this video of Mo celebrating. Firmino looks as though he's trying to figure out if he's still alive or not haha.

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