Tag Archives: Daniel Agger

Liverpool 3-1 Crystal Palace Match Report

6 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 3-1 Crystal Palace Match Report

Liverpool made short work of Crystal Palace to go back to the top of the Premiership by scoring three goals without reply in an impressive first half performance. Goals from Suarez, Sturridge and then a penalty converted by Steven Gerrard ended the match as a contest. The visitors scored a consolation goal in the second half when Gayle glanced a header past Mignolet as Liverpool eased off with the game won.

The Team

Brendan Rodgers had to make one change to his team through the suspension to Lucas, so he brought Raheem Sterling back into the team on the right side of midfield with Jordan Henderson switching into the middle alongside Steven Gerrard. Glen Johnson and Coutinho remained sidelined through injury although Daniel Agger returned for a seat on the substitute’s bench.

So the team read Mignolet, Toure, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique, Moses, Henderson, Gerrard, Sterling, Suarez and Sturridge.

The Match

The news of Liverpool welcoming Anfield Legend Kenny Dalglish back to the club as a newly appointed director of the club was exciting news for the Liverpool support as they hoped to return to the top of the league with a win against Crystal Palace.

Liverpool started on the front foot as Suarez wriggled into space before teeing up Gerrard whose first time effort was blocked by Delaney.

The visitors responded to Liverpool’s early attack with Jason Puncheon scurrying to the bye-line before finding Jerome in the penalty area only for the striker to glance a header wide of the target.

Liverpool looked dangerous on the attack with Sturridge and Suarez looking particularly sharp. Moses should have broken the deadlock when he found space in the Palace box but his attempted flick did not come off.

However, moments later Suarez gave Liverpool the lead despite falling over to direct a low drive into the bottom corner after a cut-back from Enrique.

Four minutes later Sturridge doubled Liverpool’s lead with a superb finish after working his way into the box from the left flank before firing just inside the far post and past the helpless Speroni.

The visitors responded superbly with Kebe racing behind the Liverpool defence before his clipped effort was cleared off the line by Toure with Mignolet beaten.

Then a Puncheon shot was deflected by Kebe bringing a superb reflex save from Mignolet to keep Liverpool’s two goal lead intact.

The visitors continued to threaten and Jerome’s dangerous cross into the Liverpool six yard box was almost sliced into the Liverpool goal by Sakho, the ball ending up behind for a corner.

Crystal Palace’s hopes of a comeback were short lived when Liverpool were awarded a penalty when Sterling was pulled back in the box, Gerrard calmly converted the spot-kick past Speroni.

Liverpool could have added to the scoreline before half-time when Moses diverted a Suarez centre onto the crossbar before Speroni saved from Suarez after the Uruguayan worked space for himself in the Palace box.

The second half was totally different from the first half with Liverpool lacking the same rhythm and cohesion in their play as the first half and the visitors looking stronger in midfield after Holloway make a double substitution at half-time.

Chances were fewer but Sterling did fire in a dangerous cross-shot from the right flank but Speroni dealt with the danger comfortably.

Fit again vice-captain Daniel Agger replaced Sakho during the second half but he was helpless to stop Palace scoring with 13 minutes remaining when Gayle flicked a header past Mignolet from a Campana set-piece.

The goal proved no more than a consolation as Liverpool responded to this setback and could have added to the scoring when Sturridge prodded a strike off the inside of Speroni’s post after good work from Suarez.

Liverpool won the game in the first half and although they would have liked to have added more goals in the second half they were happier to return to the top of the league.

Summary

Rodgers had to replace Lucas and his deputy Henderson played very well in the middle of midfield although I was disappointed by Sterling who looked as if he was lacking confidence in a poor performance from the youngster.

Great to see Liverpool kill a game off so early on as the contest was over at half-time. Skrtel and Sakho impressed in defence again although Palace were unlucky not to score in the first-half.

Suarez and Sturridge were superb again and they are striking up a superb understanding in Liverpool’s attack and both scored again.

It would have been nice to see more goals in the second half but you can’t really complain when you win the game before half-time and are sitting at the top of the league.

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In Liverpool’s Defence

3 Oct

In Liverpool’s Defence

Brendan Rodgers has strengthened Liverpool’s defence with the summer signings of Tiago Ilori, Kolo Toure, Aly Sissokho and Mamadou Sakho. Liverpool have looked more solid at the back this season as a result of their signings.

Liverpool have had to do quite a bit of defending in games this season and they have coped pretty well with only leaking four goals in six league games. Brendan Rodgers now has the option to change his defensive formation which he has done already this season.

Rodgers played four centre backs in defence against Southampton the other week and he has also played just two centre backs and three centre backs in certain games to combat the opposition threat.

The injury to Daniel Agger forced Rodgers to change his centre of defence but it gave Skrtel a chance to re-establish himself in the team and he has grabbed the opportunity with both hands with commanding performances.

Sakho has also been given the opportunity to get a run of games and he is looking better with every game and is looking to be a great signing.

With competition for places in the centre of Liverpool’s defence so tough now, it’s going to be difficult for Agger to return to the line-up.

Glen Johnson’s injury has created a problem on the right side of Liverpool defence and Andre Wisdom deputised initially but he did struggle especially in the Swansea game but more recently Toure has been installed at right back and as Martin Kelly has continued to struggle for fitness after recovering from his long term injury, Toure has looked far more solid although not in the same bracket as Johnson as an attacking right-back.

Jose Enrique has been selected as the regular left-back for Liverpool this season and this is a position that Liverpool are short of options for. Injuries to Sissokho, Agger and Glen Johnson have left Rodgers with little alternative but to play Enrique although the Spaniard has problems with his knees too. Rodgers tried to rest Enrique against Southampton by using Sakho at left-back but Liverpool’s new signing looked out of place on the left and was wary of venturing forward.

Liverpool’s defence looks far more capable of dealing with high balls with Sakho, Toure and Skrtel very strong in the air, where in the past Liverpool have struggled against teams who like to play the ball up to a big physical striker.

Liverpool have lost a couple of goals from corner kicks this season, one against Southampton and the other against Manchester United but I think overall Liverpool’s defence will lose far fewer goals from those situations this season.

A defence is vitally important for any team to be successful and Brendan Rodgers is now beginning to build his own team the way he wants it with each passing transfer window and Liverpool’s defence is the latest department of the team to be transformed under Rodgers.

If there is criticism then it must be the left-back position as I’m not convinced Enrique is good enough. Yes, he is very quick and strong but he is prone to giving the ball way dangerously in his own half mostly caused by his reluctance to use his right foot. Enrique likes to get forward and his industry gets him to dangerous attacking positions but far too often he is wasteful when in a good position.

Cissokho might be the man to fill the left-back role in the future but his unfortunate injury has prevented us from seeing his talent.

Liverpool’s defence has been complimented superbly this season by new goalkeeper Simon Mignolet who has been very impressive in his short spell between the sticks. Mignolet is a great shot stopper and very commanding when coming off his line, Mignolet is also very vocal and constantly instructing his defence. A good goalkeeper also gives his defence confidence and you can see this with Mignolet at Liverpool.

Liverpool have a good base to build on success with their solid defence this season and it will be interesting to see how successful Liverpool can be as the season unfolds.

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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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Big Decisions For Rodgers

15 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

 

Big Decisions For Rodgers

 

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has some big decisions to make over the coming weeks as he looks to ensure Liverpool’s good start to the season continues. Daniel Sturridge has grabbed all the headlines but Liverpool’s resurgence has been built on their defensive foundations with the Reds having kept eight clean sheets in their last ten league matches.

 

New Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has yet to concede a league goal and he has showed impressive form in this young season highlighted by his match winning penalty save in the final moments of the match against Stoke. But the Belgian is the first to acknowledge that he has benefited from the efforts of those in front of him.

 

Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Kolo Toure and Jose Enrique snuffed out the threat of Stoke and Aston Villa before Martin Skrtel deputised for the injured Toure in a the hard-fought victory over Manchester United.

 

However, with Glen Johnson sidelined for around 5 weeks with an ankle injury picked up during the victory over Manchester United, Brendan Rodgers will have to replace the England right-back who has started the season so brightly.

 

Martin Kelly is still struggling to find his match fitness after such a long injury lay-off, so the right-back position appears to be a two-way battle between Toure and Andre Wisdom.

 

Toure has played there in the past and it would be a clever way of accommodating the return from injury of the Ivorian as it would be harsh to drop Skrtel after his man-of-the-match performance against Manchester United.

 

Rodgers has to choose between the experience of Toure and the athleticism of Wisdom, who did nothing wrong when he came on against United but struggled against Notts County and the pre-season match against Celtic.

 

The other dilemma for Rodgers is how to find a place in the team for Mamadou Sakho. Liverpool’s form means there is no pressure on Rodgers to throw the big French centre-back straight into action. Sakho is still working on his fitness since arriving at Anfield so it would be a surprise if he featured against Swansea.

 

But over the coming weeks Sakho will be staking a claim for a place in Liverpool’s defence and there is no way the Reds paid £15 million for him to warm the bench. You only pay that kind of money for a starter but who will make way for Sakho ? Not Agger, that’s for sure, as long as he stays fit Agger’s name will be one of the first names on the team sheet.

 

One solution to Rodgers’ defensive dilemma would be to switch to playing three at the back, which Rodgers tried at times last season.

 

But now Rodgers has the players capable of making 3-5-2 a viable option. A back three of Agger, Sakho alongside Toure or Skrtel , could be installed with Jose Enrique and Glen Johnson as wing-backs. Until Johnson is fit, Jordan Henderson would be an alternative on the right.

 

That would allow Rodgers to play Coutinho in the central role where he’s at his best in front of Gerrard and Lucas. Sturridge would then lead the line alongside Victor Moses or Aspas until Luis Suarez has served his ban.

 

There is now plenty of options for Rodgers with his summer signings but he has to make some big decisions regarding his team over the coming weeks to ensure his team continue their good start to the season.

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

Summary

 

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

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Liverpool 1-0 Stoke City Match Report

17 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 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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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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Liverpool 0-0 West Ham Match Report

8 Apr

Liverpool 0-0 West Ham Match Report

 

Liverpool had to settle for a point against West Ham who frustrated the Reds with a dogged defensive display on Sunday. The Reds carved out several opportunities but failed to convert, although substitute Sturridge had the ball in the net in the second half only to see it ruled out for offside.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers decided to keep the same eleven that won at Aston Villa last weekend which meant no place in the team once again for Daniel Sturridge. So Reina kept goal once again with the defence consisting of Johnson, Enrique, Agger and the veteran Carragher. Jordan Henderson kept his place in the midfield alongside Coutinho, Downing, Lucas and Gerrard with Suarez as the lone striker.

 

The Match

 

Prior to kick-off Anfield held a minute’s silence in memory of the 96 supporters who died at Hillsborough ahead of the 24th anniversary of the tragedy on April 15.

 

Liverpool made a bright start to the match and Coutinho tested Jaaskelainen early on with a low drive. Gerrard, Henderson and Suarez all had efforts of their own but failed to make the breakthrough as Liverpool dominated possession.

 

But the visitors could have snatched the lead in the 25th minute when Diame produced a powerful run into the Liverpool box but he blazed his effort into the Kop.

 

Stewart Downing was replaced by Sturridge in the first half as Liverpool were forced into a change with Downing’s problem.

 

Suarez almost broke the deadlock after linking up with Coutinho in the box but his low effort was saved by the feet of Jaaskelainen. At the other end Lucas got caught in possession which led to Carlton Cole with a shooting chance, but he was denied by a brilliant block by Daniel Agger.

 

Jaaskelainen saved from Sturridge from close range after misjudging Coutinho’s corner kick in stoppage time at the end of the first half.

 

Liverpool continued to search for the opening goal in the second half as Gerrard burst into the box before producing a low cross which was hooked to safety by Diame with Sturridge in attendance.

 

Gerrard was then frustrated when he saw his net-bound effort cleared of the line by Tomkins with Jaaskelainen helpless.

 

Sturridge diverted a Henderson shot into the net from 6 yards but it was ruled out for offside in the 66th minute. Moments later Coutinho arrowed a shot just wide of the upright.

 

Moments later Gerrard went tumbling under a challenge from Tomkins but referee Taylor waved away appeals for a penalty.

 

Liverpool continued to search for the winner but could have lost the match as Lucas produced a brilliant goal-line clearance on the line from Collinson’s powerful header late on.

 

Liverpool had to settle for a point as time ran out in a frustrating afternoon at Anfield.

 

Summary

 

I was disappointed to see Sturridge on the bench once again, especially at home. I understood why Rodgers went with just Suarez up front at Villa after being too attack minded at Southampton the week before, but at home against West Ham he was far too conservative in his team selection.

 

Liverpool made a few chances but not enough, although credit must go to West Ham’s tremendous defensive performance. I thought Sturridge’s “goal” was a close decision but not for the first time this season it never went for Liverpool. Gerrard’s penalty appeal could also have been given on another day. But West Ham should have been awarded a penalty too when Enrique kicked the back of Collinson in the box. Liverpool need to win these type of games. Such a frustrating result for Liverpool once again.

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