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Showing posts with the label Semi-Final

Reds Miss Out On Wembley

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A performance lacking any real dynamic or end product left Liverpool with no route to Wembley on Wednesday night as Southampton once again proved they deserved their place in the final.
A late winner from substitute Shane Long didn't tell the complete story of the match but Southampton undoubtably should get full credit for pushing Jurgen Klopp's team to one side. 
The Saints did not defend for the whole 90 minutes, that would be unfair to say but when they did need to defend they did it well and they did it in numbers. Liverpool just have no clue how to break sides down and it's getting pretty bloody annoying. 
Pit us against a free flowing Manchester City and I'll show you a confident three points, pit us against a supposedly lower calibre of opposition and I'll show you a side that has no idea. 
For me, Emre Can created some of the issues as with both himself and Henderson in the midfield it throws things out of balance. His second half shot almost helped him redeem…

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Southampton

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The Reds welcome Southampton to Anfield on Wednesday evening as they look to break a poor run of form and turn their 1-0 deficit around. Liverpool's recent loss to Swansea created major damage to their already dwindling title hopes. With the Saints semi-final followed by an FA Cup tie with Wolves then Chelsea in the league... Jurgen Klopp certainly has his work cut out. 
A Nathan Redmond goal is all that separates the two sides in this semi-final and whilst Southampton put on an impressive performance at home, whatever form the Reds are in, you'd be a fool to bet against them at Anfield in such an important match. 
The last time the two sides met prior to this league cup draw was in November 2016. A game lacking in action at St Mary's ended 0-0. The Saints last trip to Anfield was in October 2015, another draw, this time 1-1 with Benteke bagging the Liverpool goal and Sadio Mane finding a late equaliser then being sent off shortly afterwards. 
In the last ten matches betwe…

First Leg Loss

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It was a dire performance from the Reds at St Mary's on Wednesday evening as they failed to find the back of the net against an inspired Southampton side.

A strong team put out by Klopp was unable to produce any real efforts leaving the Saints keeper with nothing to do all game. In contrast, Liverpool's man between the sticks Loris Karius was arguably the only player worthy of praise on the night. He pulled off two or three superb saves to prevent the Southampton damage increasing.

Image via Irish Mirror
Daniel Sturridge, a player you can usually rely on for a pop at goal was extremely quiet yesterday. His highlight perhaps running around the field with a handwritten note from Klopp trying to show it's hidden message to Adam Lallana. In fairness to Studge I don't think it was entirely his fault, he was extremely poorly served last night. For me, we should have brought Origi on sooner. I've said it a million times but in games such as that of Wednesday night I hones…

Plymouth And Beyond

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I haven't posted since the massively frustrating draw with Sunderland so I thought I'd take this opprtunity to do a sort of catch up post while looking forward to Liverpool's next three fixtures in the FA Cup, League Cup and Premier League.

I never saw the Sunderland match so it's not my place to offer an opinion really, what I will say is that I knew we'd slip up against them, it's just bloody typical Liverpool isn't it? Solid performance against Manchester City on New Year's Eve and then scraping a point against Sunderland. Ah well, at least Chelsea lost to Spurs eh?

Next up for the Reds is Plymouth Argyle. Plymouth are currently second in League Two chasing down Doncaster Rovers. The Pilgrims have lost four out of their last ten games in the league and have scored 37 goals.

While Plymouth are expected to field their strongest side, including starting Garita who hasn't quite recoved from a knee injury, Liverpool are expected to do the opposite. Jo…

Calculated Risk Or Tactical Naivety?

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I don't want to stand here and accuse Jurgen Klopp of having a lack or experience or judgement because that's just ludicrous but after a frustrating result against Villarreal right in the dying moments on Thursday evening, it's hard not to feel that the manager was perhaps just a little naive on this occasion.

It's a Europa League semi-final first leg, I get it, you have to decide how you are going to approach the game and as soon as I saw Daniel Sturridge missing from the starting line up, I knew what Klopp was doing.

A calculated risk some would argue and one that nine times out of ten will pay off. Forget the striker, play things tightly, you still have the likes of Firmino, Coutinho and Lallana who will surely bag a goal on the break... surely? Well they didn't and this for me is where the naivety, stubborness or whatever you want to call it sets in.

Klopp watched that side hold out solidly at the back against Villarreal for the first 45 minutes but he also wit…

Klopp Can't Look As Reds Go Through On Penos

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Liverpool are through to the final of the league cup after winning 6-5 on penalties at Anfield on Tuesday evening. After 90 minutes it was an offside goal from Arnautovic which forced the game to extra time and eventually the dreaded spot kicks. Jurgen Klopp's side were extremely underwhelming throughout the match and can consider themselves lucky to have sealed a ticket to Wembley after a convincing performance from Stoke.

Liverpool entered the second leg with a 1-0 advantage thanks to a Jordon Ibe goal at the Britannia and for the majority of the first half, despite not playing well, it looked as though the home side were going to make half time without too many issues. The influential Arnautovic though found his team an important goal at the 45 minute mark, he was clearly offside but to be honest a goal was nothing more than Stoke deserved. The Reds had provided little to nothing in terms of attack and it was Stoke who commanded this semi-final now.

A clever tactic from Mark H…

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Stoke

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Image via thisisanfield.com
Liverpool welcome Stoke to Anfield on Tuesday evening for the second leg of their league cup semi final with the Potters. The Reds come into this game 1-0 up on aggregate but after conceding four goals at Norwich and scrambling to a win, Stoke must fancy their chances of an upset.
Injuries

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are still unable to call upon their influential forward Daniel Sturridge. According to Jürgen Klopp in a recent interview he will be back within 10 days, we'll just wait and see on that one shall we? Also unavailable is Divock Origi and Martin Skrtel, it also looks as though the game will come too early for Dejan Lovren. There remains a lot of responsibility on the back four here after their performance against Norwich and I personally feel we'd be better off with the likes of Skrtel and Lovren in there though I know several fans disagree.
For Stoke, they are without Ryan Shawcross and it looks as though doubts are held over the fit…

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Chelsea

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Liverpool prepare to face Jose Mourinho's Chelsea at Anfield on Tuesday evening as the Reds look to get the better of the Blues in the first leg of this very important League Cup semi-final. With Liverpool's season not exactly going perfectly to plan, the chance of silverware is a very attractive prospect for the Anfield faithful who will feel it is their best chance of glory this season.

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are unable to call upon Glen Johnson and Joe Allen with the game almost certainly being too early for striker Daniel Sturridge also. Mario Balotelli should return to the side after missing out on the Villa game due to illness.

Chelsea have a very strong team available to them with just a doubt hanging over Azpilicueta. Didier Drogba who has also been out with illness should be available once again for manager Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea made it through to the semi-final after beating Derby 3-1. Goals from Hazard, Luis and Schurrle sealed the deal and it was a conf…