Tag Archives: Anfield

Liverpool 4-1 West Brom Match Report

27 Oct

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96


Liverpool 4-1 West Brom Match Report


Liverpool ran out comfortable winners against recent bogey side West Brom at Anfield with Luis Suarez stealing the show with his first ever hat-trick at Anfield. Daniel Sturridge scored the goal of the match with a sublime chip as West Brom couldn’t handle Liverpool’s S.A.S. Morrison scored a consolation goal for the Baggies from the penalty spot.


The Team


Brendan Rodgers welcomed back Lucas into his team after missing Liverpool’s last two matches. Coutinho wasn’t risked as he recovers from his shoulder injury but he should be available for next week’s match at Arsenal. The Liverpool eleven that started against West Brom were Mignolet, Johnson, Cissokho, Toure, Skrtel, Sakho, Gerrard, Lucas, Henderson, Suarez and Sturridge.


The Match


Liverpool started the match in high tempo fashion that was lacking last weekend at Newcastle and Suarez wasn’t long in firing his first effort towards goal as he skimmed a low shot wide of the left hand post in the 6th minute.


Suarez turned provider for Gerrard moments later but the captain’s drive also missed the target. Then Suarez went down in the box under severe pressure from Gareth McAuley but the Uruguayan’s appeals were in vain.


Suarez was everywhere and it was no surprise when he broke the deadlock in the 11th minute when he produced a superb solo effort nutmegging Olsson before firing into the bottom corner past Myhill.


Liverpool continued to dominate possession and doubled their lead 6 minutes later when Suarez powered in a superb header into the top corner from the edge of the box from a Cissokho cross.


Skrtel should have scored a third goal for Liverpool after a superbly worked free kick involving Suarez and Gerrard set up the Slovakian but the big defender missed his kick from close range.


The unstoppable Suarez curled a free-kick the wrong side of the right post from 25 yards and Henderson was inches away from sweeping a curling effort into the net to end a brilliant passing move from the hosts.


West Brom almost pulled a goal back just before half-time when Anelka raced behind Skrtel from a long through ball but the big Slovakian recovered brilliantly to clear the ball off the line with Mignolet beaten.


Two minutes after the restart, Sturridge drilled a free-kick from the right narrowly wide of Myhill’s post. The visitors responded with Yacob curling an effort off target.


The third goal of the match was always going to be so important and it was Liverpool who scored it when a fantastic delivery from a free-kick from Gerrard was met by a glancing header from Suarez to give the Uruguayan his first hat-trick at Anfield.


Liverpool were rampant at this point and Sturridge was next to threaten when he met Johnson’s centre before firing a thunderous long-range shot off the underside of the crossbar.


West Brom were then handed a lifeline when referee Jon Moss pointed to the penalty spot after his assistant had flagged for an infringement after Billy Jones tumbled in the penalty box, substitute Morrison converted the spot-kick.


Liverpool were knocked off their stride for some time after conceding a goal as West Brom hoped to take advantage. Chris Brunt pulled a low strike across the face of goal before sending a snap-shot too high.


But Sturridge calmed the nerves around Anfield with a superb goal when he produced an incredible chip from distance to beat Myhill and finally kill off any hopes the visitors had of a comeback.


Suarez almost scored an amazing fourth goal when he produced an acrobatic volley against the crossbar via a reflex save by Myhill. Mignolet responded with a reflex save of his own when he denied Morrison from close range.


Liverpool settled for four goals as Suarez tried to net a fifth only to be denied by a great save by Myhill before he left the field to a standing ovation from the Liverpool supporters.




This was Liverpool’s best performance of the season as they destroyed a good West Brom side. Liverpool started in the right way by playing a very high tempo and put the visitors under pressure from the start. Liverpool passed the ball confidently throughout the match and created numerous chances as the Baggies struggled to cope with Liverpool’s game.


Luis Suarez was unplayable and produced a brilliant hat-trick as West Brom’s defence couldn’t handle him in this form. Sturridge was also very lively and scored a superb goal but was overshadowed by a magnificent Suarez.


Lucas played a vital role in Liverpool’s midfield and snuffed out the threat of most West Brom attacks. But it was great to see Liverpool finally play well for a full 90 minutes and this win sets Liverpool up for next week’s clash with Arsenal.





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YNWA At 50

12 Oct

YNWA At 50


You’ll Never Walk Alone was written by Oscar Hammerstein for the Broadway musical “Carousel” in 1945. But the version we are more familiar with first appeared in the charts on the 12th October 1963 and eventually topped the charts.


It is hard to believe that this classic song is 50 years old but what a song it has been with its association with Liverpool Football Club. Whenever you hear Gerry and the Pacemakers classic song on the radio it just makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.


The song is so passionate and is the most famous footballing anthem in the world. The words in the song have so much meaning and the Liverpool supporters have inspired so many great Liverpool performances over the years with their own rendition.


The words in the song mean so much to me and I’ll try and explain what they mean to me and to Liverpool Football Club.


“When you walk through a storm”


Life is tough and it can be stormy but you have to keep going no matter how hard it gets. I have a severely autistic child and my dad took a stroke the day after Liverpool won the Carling Cup last season and I’ve found life really tough in the last year or so.


Liverpool continue to walk through tough times as they strive for justice from the Hillsborough tragedy and struggle to bring back the glory days from the seventies and the eighties.


“Hold your head up high”


You need to keep your pride and self-respect and keep your chin up when things are tough.


I just try to carry on with life as best as I can by helping my family as much as I can. I visit my dad almost every day to keep his spirits up and I try to spend as much time with my kids as possible.


Liverpool have continued their great work ethic for success as the y pride themselves as one of the world’s biggest football clubs.


“And don’t be afraid of the dark”


Don’t be afraid of the uncertainty that the future brings.


I worry about my kids growing up, especially my disabled son who now lives in residential care since leaving school in the summer. My father is frail after surviving a stroke and I know his time is limited so I’m trying to spend as much time with him as I can but I fear the inevitability of the “dark”.


The future is uncertain and the longer Liverpool miss out on Champions League football then harder it will be for Liverpool to bring back the glory days.


“At the end of the storm”


Things may be bad, but there will be an end to the torment eventually.


Life is full of changes and although I’m extremely busy in my daily life I know that it will change in the future as my kids grow up and my dad’s time runs out.


Liverpool have not won the league for over 20 years but that time will end in the future because Liverpool will win again. The Hillsborough families will also get justice after such a long wait.


“There’s a golden sky”


There is light at the end of the tunnel. After all the pain and struggle there will be a new dawn with a fresh start.


I dread losing my parents but I know that it will be the beginning of a new chapter in my life where I can focus on my children growing up.


When Liverpool win their next league title it will begin another chapter of success for the club. The Hillsborough inquest will bring those responsible to justice.


“And the sweet song of the lark”


The storm is over and the dark is past, you can now appreciate the calm after the storm.


I will appreciate the difficult chapter that has past and enjoy a slower pace of life with hopefully less stress than I have at the moment.


Liverpool winning will not only have the “lark” singing but the supporters singing as the silverware returns to Anfield.


“Walk on through the wind”


You must be determined to keep going, keep battling.


I will continue to fight and be strong through this tough time although I do get tired.


Liverpool will continue to improve in their quest for success and so do the Hillsborough families in their fight for justice.


“Walk on through the rain”


“Though your dreams be tossed and blown”


You may have to take three steps back before you can take a step forward in the quest to achieve your goal.


I’ve suffered many setbacks with my parents’ business going under and my mother surviving cancer and my eldest son being disabled and my father suffering a stroke but I keep the dream of my kids being healthy and successful and Liverpool winning the league again.


Liverpool have suffered many setbacks since their last league success but after the disastrous ownership of Hicks and Gillette Liverpool are heading in the right direction as they dream of winning the league again.


“Walk on, walk on”


Just take one step at a time.


I will try to slowly improve my life.


Liverpool are making small steps in the right direction.


“With hope in your heart”


Hope comes from within. It comes from your heart. If you have hope it will keep you going.


Hope keeps me going, the hope my kids will be successful, the hope my eldest son improves and the hope that I’m helping my dad cope with his disability.


Liverpool hope to be successful again and that is driving the club on.


“And you’ll never walk alone”


You won’t struggle alone you have friends and family who will help you.


I appreciate my family and how they help me cope with my tiredness and worries. I will never walk alone.


Win or lose Liverpool Football Club will never walk alone supported by the greatest supporters in the world.


Here’s to another 50 years of the greatest song ever made.


You’ll Never Walk Alone


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Liverpool 0-1 Southampton Match Report

22 Sep

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96


Liverpool 0-1 Southampton Match Report


Liverpool lost their unbeaten start to the season at Anfield to Southampton who were the last team to inflict a league defeat on the Merseyside club.  A Dejan Lovren second half headed goal was the difference between the two sides, although the visitors thoroughly deserved the win with a superb performance.


The Team


Brendan Rodgers had to make a few changes to his team with Glen Johnson still out injured along with Coutinho who had an operation on his injured shoulder this week after sustaining it against Swansea on Monday night. Mignolet kept goal with a defence in front of him consisting of 4 central defenders including Toure, Skrtel, Agger and Sakho at left back. Gerrard, Lucas, Henderson, Sturridge and Moses made up the rest of the team with Aspas deputising for Coutinho.


The Match


Liverpool started the game under pressure as the visitors worked hard to press the hosts high up the park forcing Mignolet into more pass-backs than they would have liked. Liverpool found it hard to create chances in the early stages and were forced to try their luck from distance.


Sturridge teed up Henderson for a curling effort that was comfortably saved by Boruc before Lucas’ long range effort failed to trouble the Saints keeper. Gerrard went close with a 30 yard free-kick which forced Boruc into a superb save.


But just as Liverpool started to build up a head of steam Southampton almost caught them out with a sucker punch when a cross from the left fell to Rickie Lambert but a last-ditch intervention from Skrtel prevented the striker from firing at goal.


Liverpool responded with Moses bursting his way into the area before Boruc saved his prodded effort. Sturridge was then felled just inside the area but the referee waved away Liverpool’s appeals.


Then Sturridge met a Gerrard free-kick but his header looped narrowly over the crossbar.


Southampton started the second half energetically as they pressed Liverpool into mistakes. Lallana came close after forcing the hosts into a mistake but his effort was foiled by the arm of Mignolet.


Then Liverpool gave away a corner which Southampton scored from when Lovren headed past Mignolet with Gerrard unable to clear off the line.


The next attack saw Mignolet pulling off a great save from a low drive from Dani Osvaldo. Southampton continued to threaten Mignolet’s goal as Liverpool struggled to find their passing game in the second half and Mignolet had to pull off a triple save to keep Liverpool in the game when he thwarted Shaw from scoring after the full-back charged into the area, the rebound came off the grounded Sakho which Mignolet palmed out before he quickly reacted to punch away the ball with Southampton players waiting to pounce.


Substitute Sterling made a darting run down the right flank before cutting the ball across the face of goal for the onrushing Henderson but Lovren intercepted superbly.


Liverpool continued to try and work their way back into the game but chances were few although Sturridge should have done better when he cut in from the right before curling an effort over the bar with team mates better placed in the middle.


Liverpool’s day was summed up when Sterling was sent clear behind the Southampton defence in the dying minutes but the youngsters first touch saw the chance gone as Liverpool lost their first game of the season.




Liverpool’s worst performance for a long time, it was really poor. With injuries to Johnson and Coutinho Liverpool struggled without them. Rodgers started with 4 central defenders in defence which restricted Liverpool’s attacking options down the flanks. It looked as though Rodgers wanted to find a place in the team for Sakho as he started him at left back in place of Enrique. Aspas continued to struggle and was replaced at half-time. That was the poorest I’ve seen Gerrard play, he wasn’t himself. Liverpool looked lethargic and Southampton looked hungrier and fitter as Liverpool struggled to hold possession with some poor passing and Mignolet must have received more passes than any other Liverpool player as Liverpool were pressed back. Hopefully it was just a bad day at the office but Liverpool need to win these kind of games if they are to challenge for a top four spot.




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Underrated Glen Johnson

12 Sep

Underrated  Glen Johnson

Liverpool and England right back Glen Johnson has made tremendous progress during his time at Anfield but still doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Johnson seems to be one of those players that is overlooked regarding his performances, probably because he is so consistent.

Johnson has been an England and Liverpool regular and now at the age of 29 both England and Liverpool are seeing the best of him. Johnson is quick and dangerous going forward and weighs in with a few goals from his attacking exploits.

Johnson had been criticised for his defending in the past but not so much nowadays. His defending is first class and not many attackers get behind him. Johnson makes last ditch tackles to prevent the opposition scoring on countless occasions and he recently picked up an injury after applying a full blooded, bone crunching tackle on Manchester United’s Patrice Evra which unfortunately will keep him out for several weeks of action.

You don’t realise how much you miss someone until their unavailable and Liverpool will appreciate this with Johnson’s injury. The obvious replacement for Johnson will be Andre Wisdom but he still lacks experience and it was recently rumoured that he might have went out on loan to another club to gain the necessary experience until Sebastian Coates suffered a season ending injury.

Martin Kelly is still recovering from his long term injury as he struggles for match fitness and so Liverpool could find Johnson’s injury a real problem.

Johnson’s versatility has also seen him play at left back where he has displayed just as much consistency as on the right. Johnson’s experience is valuable to the younger players coming through too and there will be a lack of experience down the right side of Liverpool’s defence in the coming weeks that could pose a problem.

I was never that keen on Johnson’s arrival to Anfield and the expensive price tag didn’t help on my assumption. But it is never a player’s fault that a club is prepared to pay “silly” money for them, but it can cause problems of expectancy from supporters.

I thought Johnson was poor at defending and never created enough going forward but during his Anfield career I have been proved wrong and appreciate him now as a top class defender. But Johnson still doesn’t receive the recognition his talent deserves and it is about time he was appreciated.

Probably Glen Johnson likes it the way the spotlight is never on him as he continues quietly performing consistently for club and country. It’s just a shame he will need to wait a few weeks to continue his tremendous form.

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Smells Like Team Spirit

11 Sep

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96


Smells Like Team Spirit


Bill Shankly’s 100th anniversary of his birth has recently been celebrated by Liverpool Football Club and it is a tribute to Liverpool’s greatest manager that Liverpool are playing with a hunger and passion that he demanded from his players.


Shankly demanded 100% from his players and current manager Brendan Rodgers has his players singing off the same hymn sheet as Bill Shankly’s men.


Brendan Rodgers has taken over Liverpool with a few similar circumstances that Shankly faced. OK, so Liverpool are not in the second division and Anfield is not the “biggest toilet in Liverpool” anymore,  but Anfield Stadium is in need of modernisation and Liverpool have fallen from grace in recent years after the disastrous ownership of Gillett and Hicks and Liverpool’s current American owners are striving to bring back the glory days.


Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and even Tottenham Hotspur have overtaken Liverpool nowadays and Rodgers has the tough task of bridging the gap that has widened between these clubs to make Liverpool a top four club again.


Liverpool can’t compete in the transfer market against these clubs until they get back into the Champions League and Liverpool have had to alter their strategy and buy young players with potential or players like Sturridge who need the chance to prove themselves.


Liverpool’s new transfer policy has impressed so far with players like Coutinho, Sturridge and also free transfer, experienced defender Toure coming in who brings great experience alongside Liverpool’s youngsters. Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers cleverly reduced the wage bill along with bringing in new faces.


Moving high earners like Carroll, Downing and Reina during the summer was a clever piece of business although Liverpool still paid big money for players they felt would take the team forward under Rodgers’ plans. Signing Mignolet and Sakho did cost a lot of money but Liverpool have learned their lessons from the past days of overspending on Carroll, Downing and Henderson.


Shankly moved many players on who he knew were not good enough to play in the Red shirt and shaped his team with his own signings and Rodgers is doing the same with his team.


Like Shankly Brendan Rodgers had a difficult start to his career at Anfield by only winning two of his first ten league games in charge. But over the course of last season Liverpool have showed signs of improvement and now with this summer’s transfer dealings Liverpool look to have a stronger squad with players that Brendan Rodgers wants in his team. The mix of youth and experience looks like the perfect combination along with the emergence of youngsters breaking into the first team from the youth set-up.


Liverpool have enjoyed their best start to a season in many years and although only three games in Liverpool find themselves top of the league with three wins in three games. But the victories have shown how the team is growing under Brendan Rodgers with some great football being played in the Stoke and Villa wins and many goalscoring opportunities being created. Then there has been the steely determination shown and great desire to battle for the victory when under pressure witnessed in the Manchester United game and also in the second half of the Aston Villa victory.


There have been some tremendous examples of commitment shown already in this young  season  highlighted by Gerrard flying into tackles against United and the crunching challenge by Glen Johnson on United’s Patrice Evra which led to Liverpool’s right-back having to leave the field, Sturridge played the ninety minutes against Manchester United with an injury and his determination to play paid off as he proved to be the difference on the day with the only goal of the game. This is only a few examples of commitment that Liverpool players are showing under Brendan Rodgers’ leadership but it shows how much the players are playing for their manager.


In similar games Liverpool would have lost goals and drew or lost these type of closely contested matches but there is a collective will to win within this group of Liverpool players Rodgers’ has assembled. This group of players are showing the type of determination and spirit that Bill Shankly installed in his team and this quality is vital in any successful team.


You can have the best players on the planet but without “team spirit” you won’t win anything and Liverpool seem to be heading in the right direction with a talented young squad complimented by a determined attitude that Bill Shankly would have been proud of.





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Happy Birthday Shankly

2 Sep

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96


Happy Birthday Shankly


I thought it only fitting that I should write an article about Liverpool’s greatest manager to mark Bill Shankly’s 100th birthday . Bill Shankly was before my time but like any Liverpool fan I have learned about him over the years and even read his one and only autobiography about him quite recently. It’s hard to write an article on this great man as so many better people and writers than me have said it all before. But I just wanted to have my say of what this great man means to me.


I was only 10 years old when the great man passed on and I had just recently started supporting Liverpool but I didn’t know who he was but I had heard of him, and I remember the sad news that day of his passing and the reaction of my father who obviously new a lot more about him. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to experience his time in charge of Liverpool, but I have consulted people who did and they said that it was an amazing time to be a Liverpool supporter.


All the great stories you hear of this great man from former players are legendary like his achievements. The way he has touched every Liverpool supporter even after so many years after his death shows what this man done for this club.


Coming from a small mining village in Ayrshire which is sadly no longer inhabited as I quite recently visited only to find the Shankly memorial standing. I think his mining back ground stood him in good stead for his future career. Football was the only alternative to a life down the pit, and Shankly grabbed it with both hands as he forged a career in football.
I don’t want to bore you with the facts of his career as I’m sure you know all about them, I just want to tell you how he has touched me.


I also live in Ayrshire, and I think that is why I took an added interest in his life. I have learned so much about Shankly over the years by supporting Liverpool and I am absolutely fascinated by the great man. I always try to watch programmes on TV about Shankly or read articles in newspapers about him as I respect the man so much for what he has done for Liverpool. I am currently reading the recently published Red or Dead which is another book about Shankly and a very interesting read too.


His achievements at Liverpool are all the more remarkable considering the state of the club at the time. Shankly called Anfield “the biggest toilet in Liverpool”. Shankly transformed the club totally and even maintained Anfield and Melwood himself as Liverpool’s facilities were so run down. Shankly put everything into his job and he expected his players to do the same.


He had a tremendous rapport with the supporters and told his players that they were lucky to play for them. Shankly would always have time for Liverpool supporters, he would reply to every letter personally and he would give match day tickets away and even play football with them. He loved the supporters and they loved him back.


The way Shankly changed the training methods, the players’ diets and obviously the team was amazing, and how the transformation of the club happened relatively quickly as Liverpool’s results on the park improved. Shankly built a brilliant team as he took Liverpool back into the First Division after languishing in the Second Division.


He kept improving the team, bringing in tremendous players with the likes of St. John and Ron Yeats strengthening the team. After much success in the 1960’s Shankly realised the core of his team was getting too old and with his priority on improving the team he replaced players that had been with him for so long. He brought in the likes of Clemence, Heighway, Hughes, Toshack and Keegan and basically built a new team that would keep the success coming.


Bill Shankly built Liverpool into one of the top football teams in the country and his methods and close knit team of coaches (The Boot Room Boys) would ensure that Liverpool would continue at the top of the English game for years to come after his retirement. Nobody really knows why he really retired but I’m sure he only did so because he knew that Liverpool had a great man in Bob Paisley to reign after him.


Liverpool provided a perfect tribute on the eve of Shankly’s birthday with the Kop displaying a mosaic and a minute’s applause prior to kick-off against Manchester United and Liverpool’s win catapulted them to the top of the League, just where Shankly would want them.

Bill Shankly you will never be forgotten.


He made the people happy.

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Liverpool 1-0 Manchester United Match Report

1 Sep

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96


Liverpool 1-0 Manchester United Match Report


Daniel Sturridge provided a fitting tribute to Bill Shankly with a 4th minute winner against old rivals Manchester United at Anfield on the eve of the great man’s 100th birthday. Sturridge scored his 3rd goal in 3 matches as his goals have been enough for Liverpool to record three 1-0 wins to start the season and fire them to the top of the league which is appropriate as Liverpool celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Bill Shankly.


The Team


Brendan Rodgers suffered a few injuries in midweek against Notts County with new signings Cissokho ruled out for possibly 6 weeks along with Kolo Toure who was stretchered off in extra time and Joe Allen also had to come off after picking up an injury. Forgotten man Martin Skrtel came back into Liverpool’s defence with the absence of Toure. Simon Mignolet kept goal with Johnson, Enrique and Agger alongside Skrtel in defence. Coutinho, Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson, Aspas and Sturridge made up the rest of the team.


The Match


Anfield produced a tremendous tribute to the great Bill Shankly on the eve of what would have been his 100th birthday by producing a mosaic on the Kop and a minute’s applause prior to kick off.


The game kicked off with United surging down the left flank before a Giggs cross was easily collected by Mignolet.


But in the 3rd minute Liverpool won their first corner of the match which Gerrard took and he found Agger who headed towards goal only to be diverted into the United goal by the head of Sturridge and send Anfield into raptures of delight.


The goal lifted the already noisy Anfield up a notch as the Liverpool fans celebrated. But United responded and van Persie went close with an overhead kick.


The game started to shift from end to end as Welbeck forced Mignolet into action before Gerrard produced an effort at the other end.


United started to settle into the game after the frenetic start and a corner taken by Young missed everyone as it rolled along the 6 yard box.


Then Johnson produced a superb block as Welbeck looked to fire in an equaliser. But Gerrard was orchestrating Liverpool’s midfield superbly as they enjoyed good possession.


Next it was Liverpool on the attack as Gerrard fired a free-kick on target but De Gea was equal to it. Aspas and Cleverley picked up yellow cards as things became a bit heated and Cleverley’s booking resulted in Liverpool receiving a free-kick in a dangerous position but Coutinho’s effort was high and wide.


Then within the space of 2 minutes United picked up another 2 yellow cards when Carrick and van Persie were punished.


The referee blew for half-time with tempers flaring as Gerrard and van Persie squared up to each other.


United started the second half on the attack and pushed Liverpool back as they looked to draw level. Glen Johnson had to head a dangerous cross behind for a corner as the pressure mounted.


Then Gerrard took a free-kick but Agger headed over. But United were dominating possession now and van Persie had the next effort but it was deflected wide.


Then Young had a volley blocked after Agger’s weak headed clearance before Welbeck thought he had won United a penalty after colliding with Aspas in the box.


Brendan Rodgers brought on Sterling for Aspas with 30 minutes to play in hope of giving Liverpool an outlet with his pace. But the game became very scrappy with both teams losing possession too easily.


Substitute Nani’s corner kick was then headed over by Giggs at the near post as United kept up the pressure on the Liverpool defence.


Moments later a dangerous run by Evra was brought to a halt by a crunching challenge by Glen Johnson which resulted in the Liverpool defender having to be replaced by Andre Wisdom.


Then Nani unleashed a rocket from the edge of the box but Mignolet punched the shot to safety as Liverpool continued to defend.


With time running out for United they produced the chance they wanted when van Persie was slipped through behind the Liverpool defence but for once the Dutchman fired into the side-netting.


With 5 minutes to be added on at the end Liverpool kept possession in the United half before Sterling surged forward before firing a shot into the top corner which De Gea tipped over the bar.


Anfield celebrated when the final whistle went as Liverpool made it 3 wins from the games.




The tribute for Bill Shankly was special before the kick-off and the atmosphere inspired Liverpool to get early goal. I was worried about Skrtel being recalled to the team because of Toure’s injury but Skrtel was brilliant and was my man of the match. Skrtel’s performance was more impressive because of the fact that he hasn’t been playing regularly for the last year. Liverpool didn’t play as well as previous games but the work rate and resilience was impressive as United pushed for an equaliser in the second half. Gerrard was superb and produced a few great tackles and I liked the way he sorted out van Persie before half-time. Glen Johnson was also brilliant in defence and he produced a couple of bone crunching tackles, unfortunately one of them resulted in him having to leave the field. But Liverpool made a big statement by beating United and proved that they can compete with the big teams and the result can only boost confidence with the fact that Liverpool are top of the league.

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Liverpool’s Destroyer

29 Aug

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96

Liverpool’s Destroyer

Lucas Leiva made his Liverpool debut 6 years ago and it is amazing how his reputation has changed since his first appearance in a Red shirt. Lucas has been one of the most criticised Liverpool players in recent years, and I was one of his biggest critics. I thought Lucas was the worst Brazilian player I had ever seen, and the worst Liverpool player since Traore.

I used to think that he was too slow and too small and couldn’t tackle a fish supper but how wrong I was with my judgement. He has transformed into Liverpool’s most improved player, and I now rate Lucas as Liverpool’s most important player.

Liverpool lost a lot of talent in recent years with players of the calibre of Xabi Alonso and Mascherano leaving Anfield in recent, many people wondered if Lucas was ready to become a regular in Liverpool’s midfield after a much criticised beginning to life at Anfield. But he got his chance to play regularly in Liverpool’s midfield early in the 2110-11 season when Mascherano left for Barcelona. Mascherano was terrific in the holding midfield role and it was a big task for Lucas to step in and replace him.

Lucas made steady progress that season as a holding midfielder and after a brilliant start to the following season his season was cruelly ended by injury at Stamford Bridge when Liverpool beat Chelsea in the quarter-final of the League Cup. Lucas suffered damage to his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee which kept him out until the start of the 2012-13 season.

Lucas’ bad luck continued when he suffered another injury in Liverpool’s second League match of the season against Premiership Champions Manchester City when he injured his thigh in the warm-up prior to kick-off. This injury kept him out for a further 3 months. But once again Lucas showed what a fighter he is by recovering from a serious injury not once but twice to return to Liverpool’s midfield.

Lucas came back into the team and played regularly last season notching up 31 appearances in total as his fitness and form improved with games. Liverpool’s form in the last 2 season has been highly influenced by Lucas’ appearances.

In 2011-12 Liverpool finished a lowly 8th position in the Premiership and I believe a large part of their problem was the absence of Lucas from the team from November until the end of the season. Whereas Liverpool had a terrible start to last season winning only 2 of their first 10 League games again in Lucas’ 3 month absence.

But when Lucas returned to the team in a regular basis Liverpool’s form and results improved, highlighted by an end of season run of only 1 defeat in the last 13 games.

Lucas has become so important to the Liverpool team in the holding midfield role and he has become one of the best in the Premiership in that role. The loss of midfield talent in recent years has given Lucas the chance to establish himself in the Liverpool midfield and he has grabbed the chance with both hands.

It is no secret that Lucas has endured some tough times in his Liverpool career, a young player moving to a different country to one of the biggest football teams in the world to apply his trade could not have been easy, but his treatment from some sections of the Liverpool support made it much more difficult, where many players would have struggled under that kind of pressure. But Lucas proved that he is a fighter both on and off the park as he fought and established a regular place in Liverpool’s midfield.

But the way Lucas has worked at his game by keeping his head down and improved his game has to be applauded. Lucas has worked on his strength and is very rarely knocked off the ball now as he appeared light weight in his younger days, and his reading of the game is a great attribute as he senses the danger of opposition attacks very early. Lucas covers every blade of grass during games and he rarely gives the ball away when in possession.

It has been obvious to notice Lucas’ value to Liverpool for his unfortunate absence through injury as no player has replaced him as effectively. Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen and Steven Gerrard have all recently tried to replace the Brazilian, but none have filled the role as well as results have proved.

Liverpool lost a lot of goals in the first part of last season when Lucas was out injured but their goals conceded improved greatly on Lucas’ return as he offers his defence superb protection.

Even in the first 2 games of the season Lucas’ statistics are impressive as Liverpool recorded 2 wins in their first 2 games along with 2 clean sheets.

Against Stoke Lucas attempted 74 passes with a conversion rate of 86.5% and he made 8 tackles winning 75% of them.

In Saturday’s game at Aston Villa Lucas made 5 tackles winning 60% of them and he also attempted 77 passes (more than any other Liverpool player) completing 90.9% them.

Statistics are not everything but they do prove how involved Lucas is in Liverpool’s midfield, his tackling and passing statistics are impressive and he is such a valuable part of Brendan Rodgers’ plans.

The holding midfield role is such an important position in the modern game with wing-backs pushing so high up the park in many games the holding midfielder has a lot of covering to do especially against the counter-attack to protect the centre-backs, and Lucas is excelling in this position as Liverpool’s destroyer.

Lucas is now 26 years old and is very experienced at Liverpool having played over 200 games for the first team and I can see him being a future Liverpool captain through his service at Anfield and also by his good organisational skills as he has grown in confidence over the years and looks a perfect candidate.

It is hard to believe Lucas made his debut for Liverpool 6 years ago and I hope he plays at least another 6 years for Liverpool. It’s funny how time can change your opinion of a player.

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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.




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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Liverpool 1-0 Stoke City Match Report

17 Aug

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Liverpool 1-0 Stoke City Match Report


Liverpool got off to the perfect start to the new season with a 1-0 win over Stoke City at Anfield. Daniel Sturridge provided the only goal of the game with a stunning 25 yard strike. Liverpool dominated the match creating a number of good chances but were left to thank goalkeeper Simon Mignolet for an amazing penalty save from Walters in the last couple of minutes.


The Team


Brendan Rodgers gave 3 players their Liverpool debuts with Simon Mignolet starting in goal with Kolo Toure in front of him in the centre of defence, Aspas started in an attacking role. Glen Johnson, Jose Enrique and Daniel Agger completed the rest of Liverpool’s defence. Coutinho, Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson and Sturridge made up the rest of Liverpool’s team for the first game of the season.


The Match


Both teams were greeted to a very loud rendition of Liverpool’s famous anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone prior to kick-off and the atmosphere certainly inspired the Liverpool players as they flew out of the blocks at the start of the match.


But it was Stoke who almost took an early lead when Robert Huth smashed a shot against the Liverpool crossbar after a Stoke corner kick.


Liverpool forced Stoke back into their defensive third and Sturridge headed the ball into the net from a Gerrard cross, but his effort was ruled out for offside.


Then 2 minutes later Toure headed another Gerrard delivery against the bar with Begovic beaten, Sturridge could only blast the rebound high over the bar.


A minute later Sturridge’s cross-shot was cleared off the line by Erik Pieters as Liverpool created chance after chance with some sharp passing and movement.


Coutinho almost put Aspas through in the box but his pass was just too strong and Aspas’s stretched effort was easily saved by Begovic.


Liverpool’s energetic performance was typified by the efforts of Aspas, Coutinho and Sturridge as they pressed high up the park.


Enrique was then denied by Begovic after combining with Aspas inside the Stoke area and Gerrard shot over from the rebound.


Begovic once again frustrated Liverpool, this time saving a shot from Henderson after another great pass from Coutinho.


Moments later it was Sturridge being denied by Begovic after he fired a right-foot shot at the Stoke goal.


But a minute later Sturridge broke the deadlock with a stunning 25 yard strike low into the bottom corner as Begovic was finally beaten.


Stoke responded to losing a goal with Walters bringing out a good save from Mignolet as Stoke tried to level before the break.


Then just before the half-time whistle Lucas cleared off the line from a Stoke corner to keep Liverpool’s lead intact.


Liverpool started the second half the way they started the first with Coutinho driving down the left wing before curling an effort wide of goal.


Begovic continued to excel in Stoke’s goal as he saved from Henderson after a cross by Coutinho. Moments later Sturridge had another shot saved by Begovic which resulted in a corner.


Aspas flicked a header just wide from Gerrard’s corner-kick. Liverpool continued to press for a second goal and Henderson couldn’t have went closer when  his curling strike bounced back off the inside of the post with Begovic beaten.


As time ran on and only one goal separating the teams, you could sense a nervous atmosphere surrounding Anfield and Stoke appreciated this as they pushed forward.


But Gerrard tried to calm the nerves as he stepped up to take a 30 yard free-kick, but not for the first time Begovic was equal to it as he clawed away the ball in spectacular fashion as it headed for the top corner.


Then former Liverpool player Adam had Mignolet worried as he tried his luck from the half-way line, the big Belgian just managing to tip the ball over his bar.


But with 3 minutes to go Liverpool were stunned when Stoke were awarded a penalty after Agger was adjudged to have handled the ball as he attempted to defend a Stoke free-kick.


Walters hit the resulting penalty kick low to Mignolet’s right, but the Belgian guessed the right way and palmed away the strike before reacting quickly to block Jones’s follow up to the delight of the Liverpool players and supporters .


Liverpool managed to hold out for the remaining minutes to go top of the league, if only for a few hours.




Liverpool really did play well and should have won by a bigger margin, but for an amazing goalkeeping performance by Stoke’s Begovic and some poor finishing. Liverpool played a high tempo pressing game that Stoke found difficult to cope with. Liverpool’s movement was also impressive, especially from Aspas, Sturridge, Coutinho and Henderson who all interchanged their positions frequently. Sturridge looked impressively sharp considering he missed most of pre-season through injury and he deserved a goal for his efforts. Stoke are the type of team that Liverpool have struggled to beat in recent years and that makes the win particularly pleasing, although it was heart in the mouth stuff at the award of the late penalty. But what a great double save from debutant Mignolet to seal Liverpool’s win. It would have been really difficult to take if Liverpool had not won the match after playing so well. Overall a great win and start to the season for Liverpool and hopefully Liverpool can build on this good start in the coming weeks.




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