Posts

Showing posts with the label Sadio Mane

Heartbreak in Kiev | Champions League Final 2018

Image
It wasn't supposed to end this way. The Reds were always labelled as the underdogs but nobody could have predicted the way that the Champions League final unfolded on Saturday night. 


I'd travelled up to Liverpool via the Wirral with me fella, brother and a mate to watch the match at Camp and Furnace. I was so excited to head up to Liverpool for the final, I love being in the city in general but even more so for an event like this. 

We pottered around in the centre and popped to a couple of pubs and the bookies prior to heading to Camp and Furnace. Arrived at the venue after a few ciders and some rum around 5pm-ish and then took our places in front of the big screen.



Tucking into my hot dog, still on the cider, that sick feeling which had hit me Friday night after finishing work began to slowly get worse. I'd made the decision that I wouldn't drink during the match. Before long the famous Champions League graphics were staring back at me and I was faced with a starting li…

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

Image
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 …

Real Madrid Await...

Image
Liverpool have made it to their first Champions League final in 11 years. A competition that resonates with the L4 postcode, the Reds should never have been missing for this long. Yes, losing 4-2 isn't exactly the best way to secure your place but Klopp's side had done most of the hard work in the first leg and still managed to put two past a Roma side who hadn't conceded a single goal at home in the Champions League until Wednesday night. 
Liverpool's first goal was a lovely composed finish by Sadio Mane. Scoring after just nine minutes it was a perfect start for the Reds but it didn't quite take the wind out of the Italian's sails as they were gifted a goal off of James Milner's face shortly afterwards.  A second goal for the Reds followed at 25 minutes, this time a header from Gini Wijnaldum. He doesn't score often but he deserved the header and it was great to see how much it meant to the midfielder. 
Roma had to wait until the second half for an equal…

When In Rome...

Image
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-…

Stunning Liverpool Beat City 3-0

Image
A Champions League quarter-final tie at Anfield against the impressive Manchester City was never meant to be so straightforward. The Reds produced one of the best performances I've seen from a Liverpool side in a very long time, completely and utterly flummoxing City both in attack and in defence. 
It was a stunning effort from Klopp's side who got off the mark inside 15 minutes thanks to their Egyptian king. For me, it was never in doubt that Salah would find the back of the net and his goal would prove to be a catalyst for Liverpool in the first half.  The Anfield atmosphere was electric, an intimidating place at the best of times, on a European night I would not want to be walking out of the tunnel into that cauldron. 
A second goal for the Reds followed at 20 minutes after a stunning strike from Oxlade-Chamberlain. It was a cracking effort from the ex-Arsenal man and Vincent Kompany's reaction along with Pep Guardiola' said it all, this wasn't going to be City'…

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Anfield Awaits

Image
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

Image
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

Image
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…

No More Invincibles

Image
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…

Five Things We Learned From Spartak Seven

Image
1 Attack is the best form of defence? To think I was actually nervous before kick off? After watching us crumble against Sevilla even at half time after three goals went in, I still felt nervous. The Reds though proved that sometimes attack is the best form of defence and boy do we have some attack. 
Some of the link up play between the forwards was stunning let alone the actual goals. It's fair to say that Spartak offered little in attack but why would they when they've had the stuffing knocked out of them?
The confident win puts Liverpool safely into the last 16 and bodes well for our match against Everton at the weekend. 

2 Coutinho will be missed A hat-trick for the Brazilian, although his final effort was helped along the way. Earlier this season the folk on Twitter were going mental at Couts, some of them even begging for him to be left to rot on the bench. 
I understood the anger and frustration but you can't leave this man on the bench, he truly is a magician. I just hop…

Reds Throw Away 3-0 Lead

Image
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&…

League Game At Wembley

Image
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.

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 …

Match Preview: Liverpool V Manchester United

Image
It's the big one on Saturday (well, the big one if you're a wool like me from the Midlands). Liverpool welcome Manchester United to Anfield this weekend and since at least Monday this week I've felt the venom bubbling.

Since I was a kid this has always been the match I most look forward to in a Premier League season, there is no team I enjoy beating more than Manchester United. In recent years my confidence in this fixture has been high but despite the social media front, I'm not feeling as positive this time out.


Shared snaps of Torres leaving Vidic for dead or Gerrard netting a peno may give the impression that I think the Reds can nail this one but I have to admit, I'm not so sure. Liverpool have struggled all season with a shoddy defence and facing a Jose Mourinho side who aren't afraid to simply fling the ball to Lukaku could spell disaster for Jurgen Klopp.

Add to this the fact that Liverpool are now without the influential Sadio Mane and you have a bit of a…

Liverpool V Sevilla [PREVIEW]

Image
Liverpool enter the Champions League group stages on Wednesday evening for the first time since 2014. The Reds' three year absence has felt like a lifetime to most fans and after a favourable draw in the group, all eyes are on Jurgen Klopp's side to open up our European season in a winning fashion.

Liverpool are no strangers to Sevilla having faced them extremely recently in the 2015/2016 Europa League final. This is however the only time that the two sides have met. Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring on the night but the Reds ended up losing the game 3-1.



Team news for Liverpool means that Philippe Coutinho could feature for the first time since the whole Barcelona saga unfolded. I for one can't be arsed with holding a grudge, I'm perfectly happy for him to feature in the side, frankly it would be a waste not to use such a talent. Hopefully if he does start he can find the back of the net.

Thankfully for the Reds Sadio Mane will also be available, his red card picked up…

Mané, Sané... Absolutely Barmé

Image
What the hell just happened? I genuinely felt confident going into this match and while a loss wouldn't have been such a surprise, a 5-0 loss definitely is. Liverpool's chances against Manchester City capitulated after the sending off of Sadio Mané at 37 minutes.

There's no denying that Ederson came off very badly in that challenge but it was a 50/50, both players were going for the ball, the goalkeeper bravely so, and unfortunately Mané happened to clatter into his face. Mané is not a malicious player and it's clear his eyes were on the ball but he was always running a risk with his studs that high. It's a difficult decision for me, I can totally see why he was sent off but I honestly think if that was between two outfield players he'd of escaped with a yellow.

Prior to the sending off, the Reds were playing really well. City were leaving several gaps at the back, mainly thanks to Otamendi, and Liverpool looked like they were on course for an equaliser after Ser…

Liverpool Batter Arsenal In 4-0 Anfield Win

Image
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…

Liverpool V Arsenal

Image
Liverpool welcome Arsenal to Anfield on Sunday afternoon as they look to collect another win in the Premier League. The Reds started the season with a draw against Watford but managed to collect all three points against Palace in a 1-0 victory.

On paper, Arsenal should be a difficult side to beat for the Reds but as I mentioned in the Hoffenheim post, Liverpool just seem to perform far better against the bigger, supposedly more threatening sides. Arsenal play in a tactical style that Klopp's side can punish and I fully expect us to find the back of the net on multiple occasions tomorrow. 

Team news for the Reds means they will be without Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne. Trent double A will also be subject to a late fitness test along with Emre Can who has a slight knee issue.

Arsenal have had some good news injury wise as Alexis Sanchez returns while Koscielny also comes back into the side after serving a three match ban. 

The last time the two sides met was in March this year. The g…