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Showing posts with the label Roberto Firmino

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

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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.


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 …

When In Rome...

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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-…

Five Things We Learned From The Etihad Win

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1) We can defendGranted, 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.

2) We missed HendoHenderson 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 …

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Anfield Awaits

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Liverpool face Manchester City under the Anfield floodlights on Wednesday evening for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final. A draw against an English side is seen by many as a curse but the game is sure to be an enthralling affair whatever happens.

City are flying high at the top of the Premier League with the Reds being the only team to beat Guardiola's side. Both managers lead two awesome sets of attacks and both would also admit to defensive issues but who will walk away victorious?

Realistically, Liverpool need a solid win at Anfield to get the job done in this tie, going to the Etihad with a draw or a loss would create an extremely difficult scenario. Not an insurmountable one though, we've all seen Liverpool perform miracles in Europe.

Injury news means Klopp is unable to call upon Joel Matip who is now out for the remainder of the season, the game also looks to have come too early for Emre Can. For Manchester City, the big news on Tuesday was the announcem…

Five Things We Learned: Man United 2 Liverpool 1

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1) Liverpool have nothing to be embarrassed aboutYes we lost and yes it was pretty darn terrible but as far as I am concerned, Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool have nothing to be embarrassed about. That match went perfectly with Mourinho's plan. A couple of long balls and some solid finishing thanks to errors in defence, once United were 2-0 up it was always going to be immensely difficult for the likes of Mane, Salah and Firmino to get through.

Mourinho plays a very negative game and it gets them results but if anybody tries to tell me United play better football than Liverpool, they can jog on. I would much rather watch the football we play with flair players leading the attack than turn up to watch a relatively bland United side slog out another last-minute win and have Fellaini as a key player. Mourinho is the first to complain when a side plays long ball against his team but when he does it? Genius. It drives me mad. Let them have their moment, I still think we'll finish above t…

Mané Spreads The Love In Portugal

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Liverpool won their first Champions League knockout match for nine years on Wednesday evening as Sadio Mané led the way on Valentine's Day.
Husbands, wives, partners and more were left with the difficult choice of ditching a nice meal to watch the footy on Wednesday but the lads certainly made sure the risk paid off supplying a 5-0 for the onlooking Kopites.  Mané grabbed the first goal of the night when a powerful effort was poorly dealt with by the Porto keeper. 
Salah followed four minutes later with an audaciously confident effort. The composure from the Egyptian in order to lift and head the ball away from the keeper before finishing was just phenomenal. He's an absolute god. 
Porto failed to look convincing on their home turf with just a few minor examples on show of their known capability. Sometimes teams just struggle to deal with the constant attack from the Reds and this was certainly the case on Wednesday evening. 
At 53 minutes, Mané had scored again, this time goalkeep…

Baggies Knock Reds Out The Cup | VAR Yes/No?

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Liverpool were absolutely atrocious on Saturday evening as they were knocked out of the FA Cup by West Bromwich Albion. In a game that was overshadowed by VAR technology, the Reds had no excuses for what was a pathetic performance in defence. Alan Pardew’s side, on the other hand, were resilient and thoroughly deserved to progress to the next round.

I can’t write this post without offering my thoughts on VAR, a system which actually aided my own team during the match, for me, it’s just not worth it. For all those arguing that it will take incorrect decisions out of the game, will it? To an extent it will of course but in its place will be the poor decisions when the referee decides not to call upon VAR, even when he does utilise VAR (apparently on every occasion according to last night) that still does not ensure the correct decision will be made, it makes it more likely, but it by no means guarantees a correct outcome.
If you can’t guarantee a correct outcome anyway then is the hassle …

No More Invincibles

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Arsenal Fan TV may have had a bad weekend but at least they can thank the Reds for halting City's chances of creating another team of invincibles. Liverpool at times on Sunday afternoon looked unbeatable themselves and thankfully, despite conceding in quick succession late on, Klopp's side did what no other has done this season and beat Pep Guardiola. 
A line up that was missing Coutinho for the first time and also had no van Dijk may have struck fear into some fans' minds but I was never in doubt of this victory. Nothing would shake the thought that we could outscore them. I knew we'd concede but with the way City play, so openly, we were certain to find the net multiple times. 
And it was a cracking set of goals from our four attacking stars. 
First up was Oxlade-Chamberlain, the boss has asked him to shoot more and it paid off when he chanced a long-range effort, a great finish put Liverpool 1-0 up after just nine minutes. 
A dominant first half for the Reds was somewha…

Report: Liverpool 5 Swansea 0

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Liverpool put five past Swansea at Anfield on Boxing Day and regained 4th place in the league from Spurs in the process. It was an emphatic win for the Reds but it is important to remember that Swansea were not exactly the strongest of opposition. The Welsh side are still languishing at the bottom of the league after this fixture and look in serious trouble. 

Nevertheless, Liverpool did score five without conceding, a feat to be applauded as we head into the final game of 2018 against Leicester. Captain Philippe Coutinho opened up the scoring with a typical long-range effort sweetly slotted into the top corner. 

I was chatting on Twitter prior to kick-off about Coutinho, I hope to god that we keep hold of him but I can't shake the feeling that he will be off in January. Whatever happens, you cannot deny that he still puts his all into every game for the club.

The Reds had plenty of further chances in the first half and really should have extended their lead but they would not find th…

Reds Throw Away 2-0 Lead At The Emirates

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For fifty minutes on Friday night, Liverpool had fooled their fans into thinking it would be a walk in the park at the Emirates. Two-nil up after goals from Philippe Coutinho and Mo Salah, the Reds looked dominate against an Arsenal side lacking in ideas but after a spell of just five minutes, Klopp's side had lost their lead.

A headed goal from Alexis Sanchez opened up the period of utter madness, this was followed by a shot from Xhaka and two minutes later Ozil put the Gunners ahead. Thankfully for Liverpool, Firmino found an equaliser just after 70 minutes but the Reds should never have put themselves in that situation and they have no real excuse.

An early forced substitution saw James Milner replace Jordan Henderson, in reality, that should have affected the balance of the Liverpool side but Milner performed well and was involved in some of the chances.

Coutinho's goal was a rare effort using his head but it was Mo Salah's goal that really lit up the night. A timely pass…

Reds Throw Away 3-0 Lead

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Only Liverpool could let a 3-0 lead slip like that couldn't they? In the grand scheme of things the draw probably won't even matter but it's not the point is it? The Reds are so unbelievably weak at the back and facing a distinct lack of leadership I just don't think we have enough in the attack to carry us through the season. 

The game started phenomenally well with a goal inside just two minutes from Bobby Firmino. Swiftly followed by a beautiful header from Mane, Firmino then found Liverpool's third and final goal of the game at the 30 minute mark. 
Back in the dressing room at half time Klopp must have been over the moon. Comfortably winning and knowing his side were not only top of the group but that they would go through with a game to spare. All we had to do was see out the match. 
There's no denying that Sevilla were always going to come out second half with a bit more gusto but there was no excuse for Liverpool crumbling like they did. 
It may seem like I&…

Five Things We Learned From The Sevilla Draw

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1 Same old defence Liverpool just can't seem to get out of this defensive rut, I don't even know what the answer is other than perhaps a complete rethink of tactics and training which seems very rash but the Reds need some kind of defensive intervention. 
Dejan Lovren on Wednesday night should have easily prevented Sevilla's first goal but it's not even just him, the whole back four is a strange and disjointed set up at the moment.
It just doesn't seem to click, even things like solid first time clearances are lacking and the amount of times Liverpool get caught on the second ball? Shocking. Must do better.

2 The attacking line is mesmerising  While the defence is something we'd all like to forget about the attacking line is something to be proud of. On some of the counter attacks yesterday, watching the likes of Mane, Firmino and Salah stream forward was mesmerising. Any side facing that coming at them is going to have issues but frustratingly, Liverpool didn't…

Liverpool Batter Arsenal In 4-0 Anfield Win

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Liverpool walked away from Anfield on Sunday afternoon with all three points after an emphatic victory over an extremely dire Arsenal side. The Gunners offered absolutely nothing in front of goal leaving Loris Karius with very little to do.
The lack of goalkeeping requirement was perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Reds as Karius looked nervous on occasion stepping in to the role after months without a game. The bizarre decision to entirely drop Simon Mignolet from the side (not even allowing the Belgian to appear on the bench) left many Liverpool fans scratching their heads before kick off.
Jurgen Klopp explained that Migs was simply being "rested" but I wasn't born yesterday. A goalkeeper doesn't need to be "rested" and certainly not this early in the season. Something has happened, I'm not sure what, but you don't just drop a keeper with no real reason behind it. I have no qualms with Karius making an appearance in goal to give Mignolet some com…

Hoffenheim Result, Champions League Draw And The League Cup

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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). 


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 c…

Set Pieces Still A Nightmare For Reds | Five Things We Learned

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Same old problems, same old Liverpool. The 3-3 draw with Watford has only highlighted our pre-existing issues which don't appear to be anywhere near solved. With a defence looking completely lost and a midfield struggling to pass freely it was a frustrating outing a Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon for the Reds.
1) Mo Salah looks a good buyDespite the many, many negatives from that fixture it has to be said that Salah was one of the positives. He put on a good display in his pre-season matches and has proved against Watford that he can tough it in the Premier League. His clever play to force the penalty was quickly followed by a goal of his own (that Firmino shot wasn't going in so it's a good job he continued his run).

He made a real impact I felt, certainly in the second half and if anything, scoring on your debut, whatever the result is going to work wonders for your confidence. Keep an eye on this lad.
2) The midfield three need to stamp their authorityThere were sever…

Firmino Goal Seals Another Three Points

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Without getting too tied down in football cliches it certainly was a scrappy game at The Hawthorns for Liverpool on Sunday afternoon. The Reds walked away with all three points thanks to a single goal from Roberto Firmino but it wasn't exactly plain sailing.

West Brom are notoriously hard to break down, Tony Pulis' sides pride themselves on defence and it's no surprise that this is the first time in Premier League history that the Reds have picked up a win away from home against a Pulis team.

Firmino's goal came right at the end of a dire first half. The Reds had topped the possession stats but with little to show in front of the net. It was ironic then when the Reds found their chance from a set piece. A free kick flicked into the box was knocked on by the tiny Lucas Leiva to Firmino who headed home past Ben Foster. For set piece specialists the Baggies looked rather deflated after conceding on the stroke of half time but they weren't out of the game.

The second half…

Six One: Five Things We Learned

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1) Goals are coming from all over the place

I expected us to beat Watford on Sunday and I expected us to concede but I never expected us to walk away with a 6-1 victory. It was a ridiculous performance from the Reds and what is most refreshing to see is the fact that the goals aren't just coming from one player.

In the days of Suarez/Sturridge/Gerrard/Torres etc Liverpool only really had a couple of names at any one time as a source of regular goals. When one was injured or suspended we struggled. This season it doesn't look as though that is going to be an issue with Mane, Coutinho and Firmino taking regular goalscoring spots and people like Can and Wijnaldum popping up, we're looking extremely strong on the attack.

2) Karius looking stronger

Despite conceding it was clear to see the extra training regimes Karius has been put through have had an effect. He made three fantastic saves in a short period of time during the second half against Watford and his decision making al…