Liverpool 4-2 Notts County Match Report

28 Aug

Liverpool 4-2 Notts County Match Report

 

Liverpool turned their attention to the Capital One Cup with a second round tie against Notts County at Anfield. Early goals from Sterling and Sturridge seemed to have the Premiership side on easy street, but the Division One side hit back in the second half with goals from Arquin and Coombes to take the tie into extra time. Despite being reduced to 10 men through an injury to Kolo Toure, Liverpool added goals from Sturridge and Henderson in the extra period to finally kill off any hopes of an upset.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers wasn’t taking any chances against Notts County as he fielded a strong side with Mignolet, Cissokho, Toure, Wisdom, Johnson, Allen, Gerrard, Alberto, Sterling, Ibe and Daniel Sturridge. The blend of experienced first team players alongside speedy youngsters Sterling and Ibe formed an attacking line-up.

 

The Match

 

Liverpool started the match on the front foot and they were rewarded with an early goal inside the first four minutes when Sterling charged through the centre of the County half before drilling a powerful shot underneath the arm of Bialkowski and into the corner of the net.

 

Liverpool’s good start was hindered by an injury to new signing Cissokho as he was replaced by Daniel Agger. But Agger almost made an immediate impact when his glancing header rattled off the far post from a Gerrard free-kick.

 

Liverpool continued to create chances and Sturridge was next to go close when he curled an effort wide of the far post after great work from Joe Allen set him up.

 

But Sturridge made no mistake with his next opportunity when he rifled a shot into the far corner after receiving a defence splitting pass from Gerrard to put Liverpool 2-0 to the good.

 

Liverpool continued to press for goals and Agger’s powerful header was brilliantly saved from Bialkowski as the pressure mounted.

 

Next it was Gerrard with a trademark burst into the box before rattling the post after receiving a perfectly weighted pass from Sterling.

 

The second half brought a change of mood from the home side as they looked to conserve energy by sitting a little deep and allowing Notts County more possession.

 

Callum McGregor tried an ambitious 30 yard drive but it was easily gathered by Mignolet. But the game changed when Arquin headed past Mignolet after Smith’s header across goal from a floated set-piece sending the travelling supporters wild with delight.

 

Liverpool responded to losing the goal with Toure half-volleying a Gerrard cross against the woodwork as Liverpool’s bad luck in front of goal continued.

 

The 2-1 scoreline looked enough for the Reds until Arquin surged to the Liverpool bye-line before his cross found Coombes who shot past Mignolet at the back post to shock the hosts.

 

The last thing Liverpool wanted was extra-time and Agger went close with a deflected shot before Sterling sliced Glen Johnson’s cross wide of the post.

 

As the game moved into an extra half hour Liverpool found themselves reduced to 10 men after Toure left the field on a stretcher and all Liverpool’s substitutes used.

 

But despite the disadvantage, Sturridge fired his side in front again after a rapid counter-attack involving Coutinho.

 

Moments later Henderson made it 4-2 with a terrific individual goal which saw him nutmeg Liddle before calmly side-footing past Bialkowski into the corner of the net.

 

Liverpool made hard work of their win after leading comfortably at one stage but after a scare they will be only too glad to be in the draw for the next round.

 

Summary

 

I was very pleased to see Rodgers start with a strong team in a cup competition and also give youngsters Wisdom, Ibe and Sterling a start. Liverpool played well in the first half and should have been more than 2 goals to the good but they did get complacent in the second half and almost paid for it. But Liverpool did show great character to go on and win in extra time after going down to 10 men. Sad to see Toure leave the field on a stretcher as he was playing superbly in defence, Sterling was another who played well and great to see him score. But Daniel Sturridge is on fire at the moment and long may it continue. Stressful game with a happy ending.

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