Tag Archives: Daniel Sturridge

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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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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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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Big Decisions For Rodgers

15 Sep

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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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Sturridge Couldn’t Be Risked

14 Sep

Sturridge Couldn’t Be Risked

 

Daniel Sturridge missed England’s World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine with a thigh problem sustained in Liverpool’s win over Manchester United but he could be fit for Liverpool’s trip to Swansea on Monday night after returning to training on Friday.

 

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has dismissed claims that Sturridge took the easy option to miss England’s matches by claiming that it was the FA doctors who made the decision on his fitness.

 

Rodgers stated that “Daniel was disappointed to miss England,” and said “medical experts made the decision. They deemed him not fit enough.” Rodgers also highlighted the fact that with Liverpool’s match not being played until Monday night has given Sturridge a better chance of being fit.

 

Sturridge and Rodgers should not be questioned regarding his absence from England’s matches because he made it clear that he had played against Manchester United while struggling with an injury and his injury should not be risked by playing for England.

 

People seem to forget that it was while playing for England at the end of last season that he picked up an injury which prevented him from taking part in most of Liverpool’s pre-season. Sturridge only appeared for 45 minutes against Celtic in Liverpool’s final pre-season game before Liverpool’s season started.

 

Sturridge has played in Liverpool’s first three league games of the season and is still playing catch up regarding his fitness after being injured for most of the summer. Liverpool have to protect their player from further injury after just coming back to fitness.

 

It is true what Rodgers says that with Liverpool playing on the Monday gives Sturridge more time to recover from his injury. Sturridge reported for England duty and he was assessed by England’s doctors so to question his commitment to his country is a joke.

 

There are times when it does look very suspicious when players pull out of international games only to be fit the following Saturday for their club’s fixture, but it is ridiculous to question Sturridge.

 

England will reap the rewards of an improving Sturridge in the coming months and years, but to possibly cause further injury to him when he is carrying an injury would have stupid. The English FA realised this and made the right decision but there is always some people out there who want to question a player’s commitment.

 

 

 

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