Tag Archives: Coutinho

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.

 

Summary

 

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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Thailand 0-3 Liverpool Match Report

28 Jul

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

 

Thailand 0-3 Liverpool Match Report

 

Liverpool ended their pre-season tour with a trip to Thailand. The Reds won comfortably in front of another stadium full of Liverpool supporters. Liverpool won the match 3-0 through goals from Coutinho, Aspas and Steven Gerrard to the delight of the Thailand public. Luis Suarez featured once again as speculation over his future remains unclear.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers used as many players as possible in this match against Thailand as he prioritise match fitness with his players. New goalkeeper Mignolet started the match with other new signing Toure in defence in front of him alongside Enrique, Agger and Johnson. Rodgers selected a midfield of Lucas, Gerrard, Coutinho and Allen with other new signing Aspas and Borini providing an attacking threat.

 

The Match

 

Liverpool made light of the searing heat and humidity as they grabbed the initiative from the start. Coutinho caught the eye in the early stages with stunning close control and tricks that impressed the audience.

 

Aspas almost scored after one of Coutinho’s trademark runs, but the striker’s effort was deflected over. Then Coutinho sent an acrobatic volley just wide after being picked out by Johnson as the chances kept coming.

 

Then Borini saw an effort saved before the magical Coutinho finally beat the overworked Hathairattanakool. The Brazilian bamboozled 3 defenders before shooting past the helpless keeper with a goal of stunning individual brilliance.

 

Thailand rallied late in the first half and Liverpool had Mignolet to thank for staying in front. Thailand’s Anun’s powerful strike from the edge of the box appeared destined for the net but Mignolet pulled off a stunning reflex save to keep the Reds in front.

 

Liverpool had little trouble in the second half as they dominated proceedings. Coutinho’s vision allowed him to find Aspas with a wonderful pass which the Spaniard controlled instantly before netting his third goal in four friendlies since his move from Celta Vigo.

 

Aspas then turned provider as he unselfishly laid the ball off to Gerrard who sent a stunning lob over the keeper to make it 3-0.

 

Suarez came off the bench with half an hour to play and was left frustrated when his header hit the underside of the bar from a Gerrard cross. Henderson went close before Gerrard saw his effort hit the woodwork late on.

 

Summary

 

Liverpool played well and created a lot of chances against Thailand. Plenty of players managed some game time as the players look sharper with every match. Gerrard bossed the midfield and scored another brilliant goal. Aspas scored again and his form in his young Liverpool career is impressive. Coutinho is just a magician and was awesome again for Liverpool, his goal was pure class and he is going to be a very important player for the Reds this season. Mignolet is looking like a great buy and the big Belgian has not put a foot wrong in goal. Overall it was another good workout for Liverpool as they have made plenty of new friends and left many great memories for their distant supporters.

 

 

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Indonesia X1 0-2 Liverpool Match Report

21 Jul

Indonesia X1 0-2 Liverpool Match Report

 

Coutinho and Raheem Sterling were the scorers in a good testing workout against an Indonesian eleven. Coutinho scored early in the match before Sterling finished off the resilient Indonesian side late on before an excited Indonesian support in Jakarta who enjoyed the visit from their heroes.

The Match

 

Liverpool must have felt like that they were back home at Anfield with the unbelievable support behind them in Jakarta. Steven Gerrard made his comeback from injury and was warmly welcomed by the tremendous support.  Liverpool inspired by the vocal and passionate support rewarded them with an early goal when Brazilian Coutinho found the net after a lucky ricocheted allowed him into the box before sliding the ball under Meiga.

 

The match provided Liverpool with a more difficult test than the previous week against Preston as they had to work harder to maintain their lead in the extreme heat against an industrious Indonesian side.

 

Liverpool came close to extending their lead when Downing met an Enrique cross with a side-foot volley, but Meiga did well to smother. Moments later Luis Alberto beat Meiga but not the woodwork.

 

Liverpool continued to threaten the Indonesian goal as Aspas created space for himself before smashing a shot off the top of the crossbar.

 

The hosts nearly equalised when Sergio Van Dijk’s audacious strike called Mignolet into action. The striker drilled a 30 yard effort which Mignolet did well to glance wide of his post.

 

10 minutes into the second half almost brought a second Liverpool goal but as Aspas rounded Meiga the ball bobbled up and the striker fired high and wide. Coutinho was having another impressive display and he almost scored his and Lverpool’s second goal of the match when Aspas created a chance for the Brazilian, but for once Coutinho lacked composure as he scooped his effort over the crossbar.

 

Rodgers made wholesale changes with 25 minutes to go as match fitness is so important at this stage of the season. Raheem Sterling was one of those introduced amd made an immediate impact when he skipped past an opponent before firing a 30 yard effort that soared just wide.

 

Sterling became the second player to hit the crossbar when he powerfully hit the top of the crossbar after Borini had failed to make contact from Assaidi’s cross. Sterling was causing all sorts of problems for the Indonesian defence with his movement and next he smashed an effort into the side-netting after running behind the Indonesian defence.

 

But the youngster wasn’t to be denied his goal after good work by Ibe found Assaidi with only Meiga to beat but the Morrocan unselfishly slipped the ball to Sterling who tucked the ball into the gaping net.

 

The match proved a good test for Liverpool as they step up their pre-season and now move onto Australia where they will face Melbourne Victory on Wednesday.

 

Summary

 

A good test for Liverpool against an industrious Indonesian side in difficult conditions with the heat. Steven Gerrard making his comeback was very pleasing for Liverpool supporters, but he did look a little rusty as he began his pre-season which can only be expected. Mignolet was more tested and looked impressive in what he had to deal with a few good saves and commanding his penalty area at cross balls. Toure was solid at the back and made some good interceptions. Coutinho was once again very impressive and can pick out those defence splitting passes at will. Aspas is a good addition to the side and a tricky player that can conjure up chances on his own. Alberto showed some good work that showed his value to the team and was unlucky not to score. But like last weekend Raheem Sterling impressed when coming off the bench with his energy and attitude and directness to attack defenders with his pace, his goal capped a fine performance as he must be impressing Brendan Rodgers with his sharpness. Liverpool’s pre-season is gradually building momentum and the trip to Australia will be another good test in this busy pre-season for the Reds.

 

 

 

 

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Fulham 1-3 Liverpool Match Report

13 May

Fulham 1-3 Liverpool Match Report

 

Daniel Sturridge scored his first senior hat-trick to silence the crowd on his return to West London. Berbatov opened the scoring against the run of play for Fulham, but the lead didn’t last long as Sturridge provided the goals for a makeshift Liverpool side that played some tremendous football and could have scored more.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers was forced to change his team from the one that faced Everton last weekend, with Captain Steven Gerrard ruled out due to needing surgery on a recurring shoulder injury, and Daniel Agger also unavailable through injury. Luis Suarez was serving his third match of his lengthy 10 match ban. Martin Skrtel was also missing through illness.

 

Reina kept goal, with Johnson, Wisdom, Coates, Carragher and Downing his defence in front of him. Coutinho, Lucas, Henderson and Shelvey made up the midfield and Sturridge started as the lone striker.

 

The Match

 

The match started at a pedestrian pace with Liverpool dominating possession without threatening the Fulham goal and Schwarzer remained untested until Coutinho stung the keeper’s hands with a 20 yard drive.

 

Fulham had barely touched the ball and they surprisingly took the lead in the 32nd minute when Riether’s cross was headed past Reina by Berbatov at the back post.

 

Fulham’s lead was short lived when Sturridge got on the end of a Wisdom clearance before making a yard for himself to fire an unstoppable shot past Schwarzer. Both sides went in level at half-time, but the second half brought a higher tempo and more entertainment to the match.

 

Enrique came on for Wisdom as Liverpool switched to a 4-4-2 formation after the break. A slack pass from Henderson presented Kacaniklic with a chance but he shot wide.

 

Then Fulham thought they should have had a penalty when Ruiz’s cross struck Lucas’s outstretched arm , but referee Halsey waved play on. Two minutes later Liverpool were ahead when Coutinho’s wayward shot found Sturridge who calmly stroked the ball past Schwarzer.

 

Moments later Sturridge robbed Hangeland but Schwarzer made a great save to deny the striker his hat-trick. Then at the other end Reina made a superb save from a Hughes header in a rare Fulham attack.

 

Next it was substitute Borini who went close when he hit the post with a powerful drive. But Liverpool eventually made the game safe when Sturridge netted his hat-trick after lifting the ball over the onrushing Schwarzer after being sent clear by Coutinho.

 

Sturridge left the field with the match ball after producing an impressive performance.

 

Summary

 

Liverpool had an unusual look about them with Gerrard, Agger and Suarez all missing, but it didn’t stop them producing an impressive performance away to Fulham, especially after going behind. Liverpool dominated for long spells and they should have scored more goals in the second half. Sturridge was on fire, and Fulham couldn’t cope with his movement and his 3 goals were superbly taken. Coutinho once again provided some defence splitting passes, highlighted by the pass for Sturridge’s third goal. But overall it was a great display by Liverpool and their end of season form gives great encouragement for next season.

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Newcastle United 0-6 Liverpool Match Report

27 Apr

Newcastle United 0-6 Liverpool Match Report

 

Liverpool hit the headlines today in all the right ways after a difficult week for the club which saw their star striker Luis Suarez banned for 10 matches after last week’s infamous biting incident with Chelsea’s Ivanovic. Liverpool hit 6 against a poor Newcastle side with an early goal from Daniel Agger setting the theme for the day. A double from Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge, followed by a goal from the fit again Fabio Borini resulted in an emphatic score line for the visitors.

 

The Team

 

As predicted Brendan Rodgers replaced the suspended Luis Suarez with Daniel Sturridge in attack, the rest of the team remained the same with Reina in goal and Johnson, Agger, Carragher and Enrique the defence in front of him. Coutinho, Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson and Downing provided the midfield.

 

The Match

 

Liverpool started the match on the attack with Coutinho releasing Johnson down the right flank before the full-back crossed low only to be cleared behind behind for an early corner.

 

A minute later Agger headed the visitors into the lead after Coutinho looped a ball over the top of the Newcastle defence.

 

Newcastle seemed shell shocked from conceding the early goal and Liverpool grew in confidence from taking the early lead. Sturridge had the next effort but his effort was punched away by Elliot although the striker was flagged offside.

 

Not surprisingly Liverpool doubled their lead in the 17th minute after a brilliant move involving Sturridge and Coutinho before Sturridge unselfishly set up Henderson to pass into an empty goal.

 

Liverpool continued to dominate possession as Newcastle struggled to contain Liverpool’s attacking threat. But they should have pulled a goal back when Haidara crossed into the centre, but James Perch headed over from close range.

 

Newcastle had their best spell of the match prior to half-time but Liverpool defended comfortably to preserve their 2-0 lead at the break.

 

Newcastle started the second half a lot better than the first and Gouffran headed an effort straight at Reina to encourage the home support. But the hosts were hit by a sucker punch when Sturridge smashed in Liverpool’s third goal after a clever pass pass by Coutinho.

 

The match was now over as a contest but Newcastle had a shout for a penalty when Ben Arfa’s powerful shot cannoned off Lucas’s arm in the box, but the referee correctly waved play on.

 

Then on the hour mark Henderson squared for Sturridge to net his second of the day and Liverpool’s fourth as many Newcastle fans headed for the exit.

 

Steven Gerrard was replaced in the 73rd minute by Fabio Borini who was returning from injury and he made an instant impact by stabbing an effort past Elliot for his first Premiership goal for Liverpool.

 

2 minutes later Debuchy was sent off for a second yellow card after a rash challenge on Coutinho and Henderson curled in the resulting free-kick into the bottom corner making it 6-0 to the visitors.

 

Coutinho almost made it 7-0 but his long range effort was superbly saved onto the bar by Elliot. The rest of the match was played out like a training match as both teams appreciated the contest was over.

 

Summary

 

Suarez wasn’t missed too badly today as Liverpool scored 6 and Sturridge impressed by scoring 2 goals and the way he lead the line. But Coutinho was the stand out performer with several defence splitting passes and played a part in most of Liverpool’s goals. Newcastle were poor but you can only beat what’s in front of you and Liverpool played well. To score 6 goals away from home and without their star striker was tremendous and sets them up well for next week’s Merseyside derby.

 

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Reading 0-0 Liverpool Match Report

14 Apr

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Reading 0-0 Liverpool Match Report

Liverpool left the Madejski Stadium frustrated after missing numerous chances to win the match against a Reading side fighting for their Premiership survival.  Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy was the main reason why Liverpool failed to find a winning goal as he produced numerous saves to keep the Reds at bay.

The Team

Brendan Rodgers made just the one change to the side that started against West Ham last weekend, with Sturridge replacing Stewart Downing. The rest of the team included Reina in goal, with Johnson, Enrique, Agger and Carragher in defence. Coutinho, Lucas, Gerrard and Henderson were the midfield with Suarez in attack.

The Match

Prior to kick-off Reading paid an emotional tribute to the 96 Liverpool supporters who died at Hillsborough ahead of Monday’s 24th anniversary of the disaster with a minute’s silence.

Liverpool dominated possession in the early stages of the match without creating any chances until the 14th minute, when Coutinho split the Reading defence with a clever pass sending Suarez through on goal, but the striker’s dinked finish past McCarthy was headed off the goaline by Gunter.

Liverpool continued to press and Sturridge saw an effort blocked by McCarthy before Coutinho’s low curling effort was tipped around the base of the post by the inspired goalkeeper. From the resulting corner, Carragher headed narrowly over.

It was one-way traffic as Reading fought to stay in the game against constant Liverpool pressure. Suarez saw another effort saved by McCarthy before Gerrard volleyed the rebound at the legs of Karacan.

Coutinho blasted high and wide after Sturridge saw his run into the box halted. Then just before half-time Sturridge was denied by a point-blank save from McCarthy following a corner before Agger headed inches past the wrong side of the post.

Liverpool finally put the ball in the Reading net moments after the re-start when Coutinho flicked home a Gerrard centre, but his effort was ruled offside.

The second half continued in the same pattern as the first half with Liverpool continuing to create chances. Rodgers introduced Downing for Jordan Henderson for the last half hour as his team continued to search for the opening goal.

Coutinho then skimmed an effort wide of the far post after a Sturridge cut-back. But Reading almost stole the lead against the run of play when Pogrebnyak’s centre found Hunt only yards out but Reina made a stunning point-blank save to keep the score level.

Reading called Reina into action again when McAnuff’s 12 yard drive had to be tipped over the bar by the Spaniard as the hosts enjoyed their best spell of the game.

But it wasn’t long before Liverpool were back on the attack as Suarez saw a great effort from a free-kick clip the outside of the post before Downing drilled a shot off target after cutting in from the right flank.

Liverpool continued right to the end in search for the winning goal but they were left bewildered by the form of Reading keeper McCarthy as he pulled off stunning late saves from Gerrard and then Suarez before Sturridge fired over the bar when presented with a great chance as Reading held out for a share of the points.

Summary

Another frustrating day for Liverpool as Reading somehow managed to keep Liverpool out. Frustration has been a common theme this season as Liverpool must be left wondering how they never managed to win this match. A catalogue of missed chances including poor finishing and outstanding goalkeeping from the inspired McCarthy led to Liverpool’s frustration as they continue to search for the recipe of consistency in their results. But many positives must be taken from the game as the drive and determination to get that vital goal right up to the final whistle was encouraging as the players showed great attitude in creating so many chances. Another clean sheet was another positive to take from the game. Gerrard’s energy to drive his players on was inspirational as he proved once again that he has a few miles left in his tank yet. But overall another disappointing result for Liverpool and the search for consistency continues.

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Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool Match Report

31 Mar

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Gerrard Sinks Villa

Steven Gerrard capped a second half comeback for Liverpool as he converted a penalty to give Liverpool the 3 points after Benteke had given Aston Villa a deserved first half lead. Jordan Henderson levelled early in the second half after being sent clear by Coutinho. Gerrard was the hero at the other end of the park too when he cleared a goal-bound Benteke header off the line to earn the win for his side.

The Team

Brendan Rodgers made 4 changes to the team that lost to Southampton 2 weeks ago. Reina, Carragher, Lucas and Jordan Henderson all returned to the side. Johnson, Enrique, Agger, Coutinho, Downing, Gerrard and Suarez completed the line-up for the visitors.

The Match

Like at Southampton Liverpool struggled to settle into the match as Villa set about unsettling their visitors. Agger had to intervene twice early on to prevent an opening goal.

Lucas blocked a goal-bound effort inside the 6 yard box as Villa pressed. Then Reina pulled off a point-blank save from Agbonlahor as Liverpool continued to struggle.

Villa finally got their reward in the 31st minute when Guzan’s long clearance was touched on by Agbonlahor to Benteke who smashed the ball past the helpless Reina to give the home side a deserved lead.

Liverpool responded with Suarez looking the most likely to bring the visitors back into the match. He had already dragged a shot wide after a superb through ball by Coutinho. Suarez was then denied by Guzan when one on one with the American.

Guzan had to be alert to deny Gerrard ‘s long range effort. Liverpool went in at half-time 1-0 down but deep down they knew it could have been more.

Liverpool got the perfect start to the second half when Henderson beat Guzan after being sent clear with a defence splitting pass by Coutinho.

8 minutes later Liverpool should have been in the lead but Coutinho failed to find the target after linking up with Suarez. Liverpool were far better in the second half as Aston Villa struggled to find their form from the first half.

Glen Johnson was unlucky to see his effort strike the post as Liverpool continued to threaten. But Liverpool took the lead moments later when Suarez was felled in the box. Gerrard made no mistake from the spot as he fired the ball past Guzan.

Villa tried to take something from the match the led and Weimann came close with an effort before Gerrard pulled off a goal-saving diving header off the line from Benteke.

Minutes later Reina had to be alert to tip a mis-hit cross to safety as Villa continued to threaten. Then in the last minute of stoppage time Benteke smashed the ball into the Liverpool net, but it was ruled out for offside as Liverpool hung on for the 3 points.

Summary

Aston Villa caused Liverpool a lot of problems in the first half and the visitors were lucky to only be 1-0 down at the half. But the important thing was they kept themselves in the game unlike the Southampton match. Poor defending at the Benteke goal but Liverpool showed more resilience in coming back from a difficult first half. Jordan Henderson showed great composure with his impressive finish from one of many clever Coutinho passes. No argument about the penalty, it was a definite penalty. Gerrard proved once again that he has plenty to offer Liverpool with another outstanding performance. A good away win for Liverpool as it was important to bounce back from that defeat at Southampton.

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