Tag Archives: Brendan Rodgers

Arsenal 2-0 Liverpool Match Report

5 Nov

                            Arsenal 2-0 Liverpool Match Report

 

Liverpool suffered their second league defeat of the season as they went down 2-0 to Arsenal at the Emirates in this top of the table clash, Liverpool could have went top with a win but the loss now leaves them five points behind the Gunners.

 

Goals from Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey separated the teams in a match that Arsenal won convincingly.

 

                             The Team

 

The pre-match team news confirmed that Liverpool were without the services of Glen Johnson due to illness and Jon Flanagan would deputise for the England right-back. Flanagan had not featured in Liverpool’s first team since the FA Cup tie against Mansfield back in January. Meanwhile, fit-again Philippe Coutinho was named on the substitutes’ bench.

 

The eleven that started for Liverpool at the Emirates were Mignolet, Flanagan, Toure, Skrtel, Sakho, Cissokho, Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson, Sturridge and Luis Suarez.

 

                            The Match

 

The game got underway with Arsenal creating the first effort through Tomas Rosicky firing a shot across the face of goal which was palmed wide by Mignolet.

 

At the other end Jordan Henderson surged into the Arsenal penalty box before miscuing his shot. Liverpool started the game positively and pressed high up the park.

 

However, Arsenal took the lead in the 19th minute when Sagna burst down the right flank before crossing onto the head of Cazorla who headed onto the post before firing the rebound past Mignolet.

 

Liverpool almost mustered a swift riposte, but Toure’s downward header was blocked by Szczesny, though the flag was raised for offside in any case.

 

Liverpool were left frustrated when they tried to take a quick free-kick which ended up in the Arsenal net only to be brought back as the referee wanted to book Sagna for the foul.

 

But Arsenal stepped up a gear after taking the lead as Liverpool tried to stay in the game and Mignolet had to react quickly to get down to save Ramsey’s drive after a one-two with Rosicky.

 

Liverpool went in at the break a goal behind and Brendan Rodgers made an attacking substitution for the second half by introducing Coutinho for Cissokho.

 

Liverpool went close early in the second half when Suarez raced clear behind the Arsenal defence before toe-poking off target. Then, moments later the Uruguayan found space in a dangerous position before crossing to the back post finding Henderson but the midfielder volleyed over.

 

A slack pass from Toure to Skrtel was seized upon by Giroud but the striker’s chipped effort found the side netting to the relief of Brendan Rodgers.

 

However, Arsenal didn’t have long to wait until they claimed their second goal, when Ramsey connected with a half-volley from 20 yards that looped over Mignolet in the 59th minute.

 

Victor Moses replaced Flanagan as Liverpool tried to salvage something from the game, and they almost found a lifeline when Suarez fired in a low drive with the outside-of-the-foot but his effort struck the base of the post.

 

Liverpool continued until the very end to get something from the game and Suarez should have scored in the dying moments but his side-footed effort went wide as Arsenal held on to stay top of the league.

 

                                          Summary

 

Liverpool were dealt a blow with the loss of Glen Johnson before kick-off and I was surprised that Rodgers chose Flanagan to deputise in such a big game, but in fairness Flanagan had a good game and didn’t let anyone down.

 

I thought Liverpool started well until Arsenal took the lead and then Arsenal were the better team and dominated the midfield. Despite Arsenal’s domination Liverpool had some really good chances and the quick free-kick being brought back was a poor decision by the referee.

 

Coutinho looked sharp when he came on for the second half and became very involved in trying to bring Liverpool back into the game, unfortunately his passing was just a little off.

 

Liverpool showed tremendous attitude by trying to salvage something from the game right until the final whistle but on the day they were second best to an impressive side.

 

 

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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.

 

Summary

 

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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Newcastle 2-2 Liverpool Match Report

22 Oct

Newcastle 2-2 Liverpool Match Report

 

Liverpool had to settle for a draw against 10 man Newcastle after falling behind twice in the match. Yohan Cabaye put the hosts ahead with a long range effort before Liverpool were awarded a penalty when Mbiwa fouled Suarez in the box resulting in the defender being shown a red card. Gerrard converted the spot-kick. Newcastle took the lead again when substitute Dummett scored in the 56th minute before Sturridge salvaged a point for the Reds.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers welcomed back Glen Johnson and Joe Allen back into his squad after both players were declared fit again, although Lucas was unavailable for selection with his wife giving birth to atheir daughter. Johnson started at right-back while Joe Allen started on the bench. Rodgers’ team read Mignolet, Toure, Sakho, Skrtel, Johnson, Gerrard, Henderson, Cissokho, Suarez, Moses and Sturridge.

 

The Match

Both teams cancelled each other out in the opening stages but Newcastlel looked very determined to avenge the heavy defeat they suffered against Liverpool last season, although only 4 players started from last April’s demolition.

 

Newcastle’s determined attitude made it difficult for Liverpool to establish their passing game as the visitors struggled to create opportunities.

 

With the game going through an uneventful phase in the match, it suddenly came to life when Cabaye hit a stunning long-range effort past the diving Mignolet to give the hosts the lead.

 

Newcastle were buoyed by the goal and Liverpool struggled to cope with Newcastle’s enthusiasm. But Liverpool got back into the match when Suarez muscled his way into the box before Mbiwa fouled the striker. Referee Marriner produced a red card from his pocket for the Newcastle defender to the fury of 50,000 home fans. With all hell breaking loose, Steven Gerrard remained the calmest man in the stadium to convert the spot-kick and bring Liverpool level.

 

Liverpool started the second half with high hopes of winning with their numerical advantage. Glen Johnson saw an effort turned round the post by Krul as Liverpool looked for a second goal, but Newcastle continued to attack and Skrtel got a vital touch to prevent Remy being clean through on goal.

 

Newcastle took the lead once again in the 56th minute when substitute Dummett stole in behind the Liverpool defence to divert a looping cross past Mignolet.

 

Brendan Rodgers introduced Alberto for Sakho as he tried to salvage the game and he was rewarded when Suarez broke clear of the Newcastle defence before floating a cross into the centre for Sturridge to head into the net.

 

Liverpool looked for a winner in the remaining minutes as Newcastle looked to hang on for a point. Suarez skimmed the top of the crossbar with a volley and saw a free-kick well saved by Krul with the last kick of the game as the game ended in a draw.

 

Summary

 

Away games are always difficult and Newcastle made it very difficult for Liverpool. Newcastle were allowed too many long range efforts which their first goal came from. I felt Lucas would have prevented the hosts from having so much space to produce so many efforts. Liverpool seemed a bit pedestrian in their play as if too many players coming back from international duty were feeling the effects. Liverpool got the break they needed to get back into the game just before half-time but they failed to capitalise on their good fortune in the second half allowing Newcastle to take the lead again. Overall it was a good point for Liverpool considering they had to come from behind twice, although at 1-1 and playing against 10 men I expected Liverpool to go on and win.

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Sunderland 1-3 Liverpool Match Report

30 Sep

Sunderland 1-3 Liverpool Match Report

 

Luis Suarez returned to Premiership action with a bang as he scored two goals at the Stadium of Light as Liverpool got back to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over Sunderland with Daniel Sturridge netting the other Reds’ goal. Liverpool’s deadly duo impressed as they put the Premiership strugglers to the sword although Sunderland made it tough with Giaccherini scoring early in the second half to cut the deficit to 2-1 before Suarez scored late on to kill off the hosts’ challenge.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers kept faith with the team that narrowly lost to Manchester United in midweek in the Capital One Cup. Glen Johnson and Coutinho were still unavailable through injury but Daniel Agger was named as a substitute after returning from injury. Simon Mignolet returned to Sunderland for the first time since joining Liverpool in the summer and he started alongside Toure, Skrtel, Sakho and Enrique in defence with Moses, Lucas, Gerrard and Henderson in midfield with Suarez and Sturridge in attack.

 

The Match

 

Liverpool started the match confidently and Suarez was involved early on as he skipped through a multiple of challenges before shooting wide. Then a vicious free-kick was parried into the path of Skrtel who fired into the net only to see his effort ruled out for offside.

 

Sunderland were pressuring and showing great commitment against Liverpool after losing their manager last week but Liverpool’s goal wasn’t threatened until the 24th minute when the hosts rattled Mignolet’s crossbar courtesy of Sebastian Larsson’s free-kick.

 

Liverpool took the lead just before the half-hour mark when Gerrard’s corner kick found Sturridge who diverted the ball into the Sunderland net. Replays showed that the ball struck the arm of Sturridge but the striker didn’t care as he celebrated giving Liverpool the lead.

 

With Liverpool on the ascendancy and the hosts deflated Liverpool added a second goal minutes later when a raking pass from Gerrard found Sturridge down the right flank who skipped past a defender before sliding the ball along the 6 yard box for Suarez to net from close range.

 

Sunderland responded in spirited fashion to this setback and were unlucky not to pull a goal back just before the break. First Gardner’s poked effort was brilliantly saved by the outstretched leg of Mignolet before Adam Johnson’s curling effort narrowly missed the goal frame.

 

Suarez almost made it three after the restart after controlling at the back post but for once his shooting let him down as he skewed his attempt wide.

 

Then Sunderland pulled a goal back when Ki Sung-Yeung drilled a low 30 yard shot on target that Mignolet could only parry and Giaccherini was quickest to react to fire into the net and change the complexion of the game.

 

Sunderland were buoyed by the goal and almost equalised moments later when Gardner’s long range effort was palmed away by Mignolet.

 

Liverpool continued to look dangerous going forward and Moses went close with a deflected shot that glanced over Westwood’s crossbar.

 

Suarez continued to trouble the Sunderland defence but two attempts in quick succession left him with no joy, the first was blocked into his path before he adjusted to shoot just wide.

 

Then a surging run by Toure ended with a 25 yard shot being parried over the crossbar by Westwood.

 

But Liverpool finally calmed the nerves of their supporters with a superb breakaway third goal in the closing minutes when Mignolet found Suarez who then played a delightful pass to Sturridge who surged into the box before finding his strike partner at the back post and Suarez fired past Westwood from close range.

 

The Summary

 

Liverpool bounced back from a difficult week with a convincing win at the Stadium of Light with Sturridge and Suarez looking a formidable striking partnership. Sunderland made it difficult with a spirited performance and Liverpool did leave it late before putting the game to bed in an important win for the Reds. Sakho and Skrtel looked solid in defence and Gerrard orchestrated from midfield highlighted by the superb pass which led to Liverpool’s second goal. Liverpool are now second in the league table and with Crystal Palace at home next weekend hopefully they can keep the good start to the season going.

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Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool Match Report

26 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

 

Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool Match Report

 

Liverpool were eliminated from the Capital One Cup against Manchester United at Old Trafford after Javier Hernandez’s goal proved the difference between the teams on the night when Luis Suarez returned for Liverpool. Liverpool dominated most of the match but could not break the United defence.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers selected a strong side to face United although Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger and Coutinho were still missing through injury. The big team news was the return of Luis Suarez after serving his 10 match ban. Mignolet kept goal with Toure at right-back and Skrtel and Sakho in the middle of defence and Enrique at left-back. Liverpool had a midfield consisting of Moses, Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson and Suarez supporting Sturridge in attack.

 

The Match

 

United started brightly at the start of the match putting Liverpool under pressure and Nani’s deflected shot caused concern with Mignolet wrong footed but it fizzled wide.

 

After a hectic opening Liverpool gradually came into the game and established their passing game. A clever passing exchange between Suarez and Sturridge released the latter , who raced towards goal before prodding narrowly wide from the edge of the area.

 

Another attack saw Suarez control a long pass behind Johnny Evans but De Gea raced out to smother the danger. Liverpool were now in the ascendancy and were restricting United to very few chances in the final third.

 

Although Liverpool were bossing possession they were finding it difficult to create many chances against United’s resolute defence as both goalkeepers were virtual spectators.

 

But Liverpool were caught cold in the first minute of the second half when they conceded a corner which Rooney fired into the 6 yard box to Hernandez who found a yard of space to shin past Mignolet to give United the lead.

 

Liverpool responded with attacking urgency and almost equalised but Henderson’s side-footed effort went well wide after a clever back-heel from Sturridge.

 

United remained a threat going forward and Mignolet made a good save tipping over Kagawa’s powerful shot. Then Suarez ghosted past a challenge before firing into the side-netting.

 

Liverpool continued to press for an equaliser and they went very close when Enrique’s volleyed cross invited Moses to attempt a diving header but he directed his header straight at De Gea who made the save.

 

Then Suarez curled a free-kick from the edge of the box off the top of De Gea’s crossbar. With 15 minutes remaining Rooney produced two efforts in quick succession which threatened to kill off Liverpool’s hopes of an equaliser.

 

The first was a superbly taken free-kick which Mignolet pushed away before Rooney’s 20-yard curling effort was again denied by Mignolet from the resulting corner.

 

In the closing moments of the match Liverpool came close to taking the game into extra time first when Henderson whipped in a shot towards the near post which took De Gea by surprise smacking against the post before Suarez rolled the ball across to Toure, but the big defender dragged his effort off target as United managed to hang on to progress to the next round of the Capital One Cup.

 

Summary

 

Brendan Rodgers started as strong a team as he could and it was great to see Suarez back in action. But I thought United were there for the taking when I saw the team that Moyes selected with no Evra, Vidic, Ferdinand, Carrick and van Persie to name a few regulars. But after a good opening spell by the hosts it was all Liverpool possession and it is probably the best Liverpool have played this season. But for all the possession Liverpool never created too many chances and once again failed to score in the second half. It was a terrible goal to lose right at the start of the second half and another from a set-piece. How Hernandez found so much space inside the 6 yard box was criminal and should provide a steward’s enquiry. Suarez looked a bit rusty as expected but he gradually grew into the game. Skrtel was superb at the back once again and Mignolet pulled off a couple of great saves to keep Liverpool in the game. Sturridge was disappointing once again and looked frustrated similar to his appearance on Saturday. Very disappointing to lose the match against United after playing so well but Suarez returning to the team is a big plus and exiting the cup can hopefully help Liverpool concentrate on the league.

 

 

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Suarez Returns

24 Sep

Suarez Returns

 

Luis Suarez is at long last available to play for Liverpool again. His 10 match ban ended on Saturday and it was the only good thing for Liverpool relating to their defeat from Southampton. Liverpool looked short of attacking ideas on Saturday with Daniel Sturridge left a forlorn and frustrated figure.

 

The absence of Coutinho didn’t help Liverpool’s attacking options so the return of Suarez is a timely one with old foes Manchester United next up for the Reds on Wednesday. Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool’s American owners deserve tremendous credit for managing to hold on to their star striker during the summer when it appeared as if Suarez would head to pastures new.

 

But can Rodgers get Suarez to replicate the form of last season and can he prove just as prolific. Rodgers has to fit him back into the team alongside Sturridge who has stepped up to the plate in the Uruguayan’s absence.

 

Sturridge has thrived in the role of playing as the main striker but will he remain there when Suarez returns. I think Brendan Rodgers has to keep Sturridge playing where he is thriving and so he must either play Suarez on the left or in the number 10 position. For me Suarez will be better suited to playing in the hole behind the striker (Sturridge) where he will be more involved and more influential in Liverpool’s attacks whereas if he plays out wide he could struggle to influence attacks.

 

Suarez is a quality player and he is bound to add to Liverpool’s quality and striking options. But time will tell if his heart is still at Liverpool after all the transfer speculation during the summer. I think Suarez can only play one way and that is to give 100% no matter who he is playing for because of his love for the game.

 

Everyone knows that Suarez is no angel and he has missed a lot of football throughout his career due to suspensions from numerous misdemeanours that has plagued his career and tarnished his reputation.

 

So it will be interesting to see how Suarez behaves on his return to action. Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers will expect his behaviour to be much better but I don’t think Suarez can change. Suarez is so passionate about football and his emotions can cause him to react badly in a spur of the moment reaction.

 

All eyes will be on Saurez if as expected he plays at Old Trafford and hopefully his return grabs the headlines for all the right reasons.

 

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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.

 

Summary

 

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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Swansea City 2-2 Liverpool Match Report

17 Sep

Swansea City 2-2 Liverpool Match Report

 

Liverpool returned to the top of the Barclays Premier League with a 2-2 draw at the Liberty Stadium. Former Liverpool player Jonjo Shelvey put Swansea in front in the second minute before making a poor back-pass which Sturridge capitalised on to bring Liverpool level. New signing Moses scored on his debut before half-time to give Liverpool the lead but Swansea equalised through Michu in the second half to give the hosts a share of the points.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers gave debuts to new signings Victor Moses and Mamadou Sakho in place of Daniel Agger and Aspas. Andre Wisdom also returned to the side deputising for the injured Glen Johnson at right-back. The rest of the team included Mignolet, Enrique, Skrtel, Lucas, Gerrard, Coutinho, Henderson and Daniel Sturridge.

 

The Match

 

Liverpool were stunned by former player Jonjo Shelvey who fired Swansea into an early lead in the 2nd minute.

 

Liverpool replied instantly when Shelvey’s pass-back was pounced on by Sturridge who then fired past Vorm to make it 1-1. The game started to settle down after the hectic start with Liverpool dominating possession.

 

Good work from Moses down the left flank resulted in a Sturridge header being saved by Vorm. Swansea continued to look dangerous on the counter-attack and one such attack led to Bony seeing an effort saved by Mignolet.

 

Liverpool took the lead on 36 minutes when Moses collected a wayward Shelvey pass before surging towards the Swansea penalty area and shooting low into the bottom corner past a standing Vorm.

 

Swansea almost equalised immediately when Michu’s drive was parried by Mignolet into the path of Bony but Skrtel produced a brilliant goal-line clearance to ensure Liverpool held onto their advantage at the break.

 

Liverpool started the second half in a positive fashion and Wisdom came close to adding to Liverpool’s lead only to be denied by Vorm. But Liverpool lost Coutinho after a nasty challenge by Williams, Aspas replaced the Brazilian.

 

Swansea started to dominate possession and their good play was rewarded when Michu shot low past Mignolet after headed flick by Shelvey.

 

Liverpool were pegged back for the remainder of the game as the lively hosts put the Reds under severe pressure with Mignolet producing a great save from a de Guzman free-kick with minutes remaining to give Liverpool a share of the spoils.

 

Summary

 

Good to see our first sight of Moses and Sakho. Moses looked electric and scored a great debut goal but understandably tired in the second half. Sakho played well considering the pressure Liverpool were put under in the second half apart from a few rash challenges. Sturridge looked as dangerous as ever and score a great goal. I don’t think Wisdom is just ready yet for the first team after another shaky night. But Martin Skrtel was my man of the match I thought he defended brilliantly highlighted by his goal-line tackle on Bony. Once again Liverpool ran out of steam in the second half and had to hang on a bit but I like the way we are grinding out results when under pressure. Overall, a good point after being under so much pressure in the second half.

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Liverpool Strengthen Defence

4 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 Strengthen Defence

Liverpool made some shrewd acquisitions to their squad during the summer, and especially in defence. Liverpool looked vulnerable in defence with the loss of Jamie Carragher to retirement in the summer and with the recent news of Sebastian Coates suffering a season ending injury while on international duty. Liverpool looked short of central defenders with only Martin Skrtel, Martin Kelly and Andre Wisdom able to partner Daniel Agger in central defence.

But the addition of Kolo Toure on a free transfer from Manchester City has added quality and experience to Liverpool’s defence. Liverpool added another two defenders on the last day of the transfer window with the signings of Tiago Ilori from Sporting Lisbon and Mamadou Sakho from Paris St. Germain.

Ilori is only 20 years old but is 6 foot 3 and very quick, he might not go straight into the team and be one for the future, but Sakho could go straight into the team. He is a French international having made 14 appearances for his country and has played 151 times for Paris St. Germain.

Sakho is only 23 years old but very experienced, he plays primarily as a centre back, but can also play as a left back if necessary. Sakho is renowned for his leadership and hard-working attitude and he is very strong in the tackle. Sakho is an intimidating sight and stands 6 foot 2 and usually has an eccentric hair style.

Sakho made his debut for Paris St. Germain in October 2007 when manager Paul Le Guen gave the defender his chance. On his league debut, he became the youngest ever player to captain a Ligue 1 club after wearing the armband in the club’s 0-0 draw with Valenciennes.

Sakho’s playing style has brought comparisons to former French international Lilian Thuram. Sakho has earned caps and captained France at every youth level before being capped at senior level.

Sakho helped Paris St. Germain to the 2008 Coupe de la Ligue when he played the full 90 minutes in the 2-1 win over Lens. The victory earned Sakho his first major trophy of his career as he made 16 appearances during the season.

The following season Sakho made 34 appearances and helped Paris St. Germain to 2nd in the league. Sakho has a wealth of experience for someone so young and Liverpool have targeted him as the ideal player for their defence by paying the sum of £18 million for his service.

Liverpool are quite a small team which can leave them vulnerable at set-pieces, so Sakho’s physique and height will help Liverpool in these situations.

The leadership that Jamie Carragher gave to the team was so important as most of Liverpool’s defenders are quiet, so Sakho will be a great replacement for Carragher’s leadership skills, as he is very good at organising his defence.

Liverpool have looked struggled against big powerful strikers during the last couple of seasons so Sakho’s arrival will help deal with that problem because he is a big physical defender who is not scared to put his foot in.

Liverpool’s squad is looking stronger this season with the additions that Brendan Rodgers has made. There is a good mix of youth and experience in the squad and plenty of competition for places in every position.

During the summer it looked like Liverpool were going to be very short of defenders and strikers, although the midfield department looked strong. Liverpool looked like they were going to lose their star striker Suarez, so to keep him has been massive for the club as he tried to manufacture a move away for most of the summer. But Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool’s owners dealt with Suarez superbly and it seems like he is now happy to stay and continue his career at Liverpool for at least another season.

Liverpool added Moses from Chelsea on a season’s loan which will help Liverpool’s attack and the development of youngsters like Sterling, Ibe and Morgan to name a few is another option for Rodgers.

But Liverpool’s defence suddenly looks very strong with Johnson, Kelly, Flanagan and Wisdom all competing for right-back and Wisdom, Kelly, Ilori, Sakho, Agger, Toure and Skrtel all competing for the 2 positions in the centre of defence. Liverpool also have options at left-back with Enrique and new signing Cissokho when he returns from injury, there is also the option of switching Glen Johnson to left back too.

Liverpool don’t have the added fixtures this season that inclusion in European competition creates, so that will help Liverpool concentrate on challenging for a top 4 place.

In only Brendan Rodgers second season in charge his team is now starting to take shape as he has moved players out who doesn’t suit his style of play and he has brought players in that he wants to take Liverpoool forward and Sakho will play a major role in Liverpool’s success.

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Liverpool 1-0 Manchester United Match Report

1 Sep

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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.

 

Summary

 

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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