Tag Archives: Simon Mignolet

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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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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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

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 1-0 Manchester United Match Report

1 Sep

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

 

Liverpool 1-0 Manchester United Match Report

 

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

 

The Team

 

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

 

The Match

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Summary

 

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

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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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Aston Villa 0-1 Liverpool Match Report

25 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

 

 

Aston Villa 0-1 Liverpool Match Report

 

Liverpool made it two wins from two games to start this new season off as they recorded a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park. Daniel Sturridge’s first half goal was the difference between the sides as Liverpool dominated the first half before defending their slender lead in the second half against Aston Villa’s constant pressure.

 

The Team

 

Liverpool  had a full week to prepare for the Aston Villa match after winning their first game of the season against Stoke last Saturday, whereas Aston Villa have had a tough week of fixtures to start off the new season. Villa beat Arsenal away from home last Saturday before losing away to Chelsea in midweek.

 

Brendan Rodgers named an unchanged team from the side that beat Stoke for the visit to Villa Park with Mignolet, Johnson, Enrique, Toure, Agger, Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson, Aspas, Coutinho and Sturridge all starting for the Reds. The headline news was that new signing Aly Cissokho was included on the substitutes’ bench.

 

The Match

 

Liverpool started the match brightly enjoying plenty of possession in the early stages of the match and it was Liverpool who created the first opportunity when Aspas slipped the ball through to Johnson but the full-back’s effort was blocked.

 

The statistics read Liverpool had 75 per cent of the ball in the opening 10 minutes of the match as Liverpool established their passing game early on.

 

Enrique linked with Coutinho down the left flank before the Brazilian unfortunately picked his spot in the Holte End. Liverpool were still enjoying the majority of possession without troubling the Villa goal.

 

But then in the 21st minute Sturridge broke the deadlock when he danced around a succession of challenges before rifling the ball into the top corner with the outside of his left foot.

 

Liverpool’s movement from Aspas, Sturridge, Coutinho and Henderson continued to cause Villa trouble just like Stoke had experienced the previous week.

 

But the hosts became more of an attacking threat in the closing stages of the first half and Toure had to make a terrific sliding tackle to thwart one attack before Mignolet palmed away the resulting Benteke corner kick.

 

Villa almost equalised just before half-time when Weimann’s powerful effort was slightly deflected over Mignolet’s crossbar after Liverpool had failed to clear an awkward bouncing ball.

 

Villa started the second half the way the ended the first half, but it was Sturridge who threatened first with a terrific dribble along the right wing before producing a centre which the Villa defence managed to clear for a corner.

 

Then Villa were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position but Bacuna’s effort hit the wall before Westwood blasted the rebound high and wide.

 

Moments later Westwood had another strike at goal but he shot over.

 

Villa continued to do most of the attacking with Liverpool playing on the counter-attack, and one of those counter-attacks resulted in an opportunity for Johnson but he thrashed his shot high and wide from a dangerous position.

 

Then Liverpool had to thank their Captain for a brilliant saving block as Gerrard threw himself at a shot from El Ahmadi at the edge of the box.

 

Rodgers brought on Cissokho for his debut replacing Aspas in the 68th minute as Liverpool continued to defend their slender lead.

 

Villa went close in the 75th minute when Toure could only head a clearance to Agbonlahor but the forward’s instant left-footed effort went wide of the post.

 

Tonev worked Mignolet with a rasping effort before a defensive mix-up cost the Reds a corner which the visitors’ managed to clear.

 

Joe Allen replaced Coutinho with 8 minutes to go as Rodgers hoped his introduction would give Liverpool more possession in the closing stages.

 

But Villa continued to threaten and Mignolet had to pull off a brilliant save from Benteke as the big striker hit a powerful volley on target after breaking free of the Liverpool defence.

 

Liverpool had a good shout for a penalty when Sturridge was felled by Guzan as he tried to go past him but the referee waved away Liverpool’s appeals for a penalty.

 

Benteke’s chance proved to be Villa’s last chance as Liverpool managed to run down the clock to earn a hard worked win against an energetic Aston Villa.

 

Summary

 

A terrific start to the season for Liverpool with 2 wins from their first 2 games. Liverpool played some very good football in the first half with some great possession and movement from Sturridge, Henderson, Aspas and Coutinho. A great goal by Sturridge fit to win any match as he produced a moment of sheer individual class to win the game for Liverpool. Sturridge was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty late on when Guzan brought him down, it was a clear penalty. Gerrard and Lucas were superb in midfield against an energetic Villa midfield, but what pleased me most was how well Liverpool defended against constant pressure from Villa in the second half. Toure and Agger were superb in the centre of defence and they martialled the dangerous Benteke superbly for the whole game. Mignolet again proved what a good signing he is by making a couple of great saves, especially the one late on from Benteke. Another good performance from Liverpool and a good ground out, gritty win which will give great confidence going into next week’s match against Manchester United.

 

 

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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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