Tag Archives: Steven Gerrard

Fulham 1-3 Liverpool Match Report

13 May

Fulham 1-3 Liverpool Match Report

 

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

 

The Team

 

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

 

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

 

The Match

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Summary

 

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

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Liverpool 0-0 Everton Match Report

5 May

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Liverpool 0-0 Everton Match Report

 

Liverpool and Everton cancelled out each other in a rather forgettable 220th Merseyside derby at Anfield. Chances were few and far between as Everton looked to stay above their neighbours in the league and finish above them for the second season in a row for the first time since 1937. Everton rarely threatened to win at Anfield for the first time in 14 years, although Everton had a goal disallowed when Distin headed past Reina in the second half. Liverpool’s best chances came from Sturridge and Gerrard but Liverpool had to settle for a point.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers kept the same team that destroyed Newcastle last weekend with Reina once again keeping goal with a protection of Johnson, Agger, Carragher and Enrique the defence in front of him. Coutinho, Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson and Downing completed the midfield with Daniel Sturridge playing as the lone striker in attack with Suarez serving the second match of his 10 match ban.

 

The Match

 

Liverpool showed Everton appreciation of the support they’ve given the Hillsborough families over the years prior to kick-off when the Kop held up a mosaic that read “Thanks”.

 

Jamie Carragher was making his last appearance in a Merseyside derby his 30th in total and he would hope to make his last a win.

 

Henderson’s raking ball to Sturridge followed by a similar pass by Gerrard showed Liverpool’s intent on utilising Sturridge’s pace. Gerrard looked really up for this derby match as he crashed into challenges, one of which resulted in him moving gingerly for a few minutes after clashing with Osman.

 

Everton settled well and dominated possession and Fellaini almost scored but his stabbed effort from a Baines’ free-kick just missed the far post.

 

Chances in the first half were at a premium but Gerrard saw a goal-bound effort superbly blocked by Jagielka before the Liverpool Captain curled a free-kick just wide. Then Jagielka produced a tremendous goal-saving tackle on Coutinho as the Brazilian was just about to pull the trigger.

 

The second half started with Liverpool looking more threatening as Coutinho released Sturridge behind the Everton defence, but the striker could not get round Tim Howard in a one-on-one situation before eventually firing into the side-netting.

 

Distin thought he had given the visitors the lead just before the hour mark when he headed a Baines’ corner past Reina, but his effort was disallowed.

 

Coutinho then got his finish all wrong when he tried a delicate finish before Gerrard rounded Howard only to be denied by Distin’s goalline clearance.

 

But the match petered out in the latter stages as Everton looked happy with the draw and Liverpool ran out of ideas.

 

Summary

 

A very disappointing derby with few chances and Liverpool never created enough chances against a very organised Everton defence. Steven Gerrard was superb driving his team on but disappointingly not enough of his team-mates were in the same mood. Everton had the best of the first half but Jagielka made two superb blocks to deny Liverpool. Liverpool were better in the second half but Everton were disappointing in the way they settled for a draw in the second half as they tried to time waste at every opportunity. Everton must feel aggrieved that Distin’s effort was ruled out because there looked little wrong with the goal. Sturridge was poor today and looked like he didn’t like the physical treatment from the Everton defence. This derby won’t live long in the memory.

 

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Reading 0-0 Liverpool Match Report

14 Apr

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Reading 0-0 Liverpool Match Report

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

The Team

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

The Match

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary

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

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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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Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool Match Report

31 Mar

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Gerrard Sinks Villa

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

The Team

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

The Match

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary

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

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Impressive Reds Thrash Swans

18 Feb

Impressive Reds Thrash Swans

 

Liverpool finished a tough week on a high with an emphatic win over Swansea whose manager Michael Laudrup, made 7 changes to his side with one eye on next weekend’s Capital One Cup Final at Wembley.

 

Brendan Rodgers gave new signing Philippe Coutinho his full debut and Daniel Sturridge returned to the line-up to boost the attack.

 

Liverpool missed a host of chances in the first half before finally taking the lead through a Gerrard penalty, and the impressing Brazillian Coutinho capped a fine debut with an excellent goal just seconds into the second half before further goals from Enrique, Suarez and Sturridge put Swansea to the sword.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers made four changes to the team that lost at Zenit on Thursday with Brazillian debutant Coutinho, Sturridge, Agger and Lucas all starting in an attacking line-up. Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Enrique, Downing, Gerrard and Suarez made up the rest of the team.

 

The Match

 

Liverpool started the match with Coutinho playing down the left and immediately won a corner in the first minute. A minute later the Brazillian evaded a couple of challenges before having his shot blocked for a corner, Downing volleyed wide from the resulting corner.

 

Liverpool continued to press high up the park in the early stages as the visitors struggled for possession, next Suarez had his first strike of the afternoon, but Vorm saved easily.

 

Swansea managed to win a corner against the run of play and they had appeals waved away for a penalty when Lamah’s low effort struck Johnson.

 

Next Downing cut in from the right but fired his shot wide. Then Johnson headed a Downing corner off target as Liverpool continued to attack.

 

Then Suarez was fouled just outside the penalty area but Gerrard’s effort struck the wall before Suarez fired the rebound over.

Moments later Suarez was fouled in another dangerous position, but Suarez curled the resulting free-kick over the bar.

 

Suarez was becoming much more involved and was unlucky with an audacious lobbed volley in the 20th minute which just landed on the roof of Vorm’s net.

 

Downing created the next attack with good work down the right before crossing for Sturridge but the striker couldn’t keep his header down.

 

Then in the 25th minute Sturridge wriggled into the box before seemingly being tripped before Coutinho shot wide, Howard Webb waved penalty appeals away.

 

Liverpool won a penalty in the 33rd minute when Suarez was bundled to the ground after trying to go past Agustien. Gerrard dispatched the penalty with great relief after missing from the spot against West Brom last Monday night.

 

Liverpool were buoyed by the goal and went for the jugular and Sturridge went close after cutting in from the right before dinking an effort over Vorm just wide.

 

Liverpool went in at the break at with a slender 1-0 lead to show for all their dominance.

 

Barely seconds into the second half Liverpool doubled their lead when Coutinho burst clear of the Swansea defence before firing past Vorm for his first Liverpool goal on his full debut for the club.

 

Coutinho almost scored a second goal moments later with a cheeky backheel which just went wide of the far post.

 

But Liverpool scored a third after a fine move involving Coutinho, Suarez and Sturridge all combining to release Enrique on the edge of the box. He played a pass into Sturridge, who picked out his run into the danger zone with a low cross and the Spaniard found the net with a close-range prod.

 

Liverpool were rampant and they made it 4-0 six minutes later, when Suarez bamboozled two defenders before firing a shot into the bottom corner past Vorm from 18 yards.

 

Coutinho was given a standing ovation when he was replaced on the hour mark by Jordan Henderson.

 

Moments later Sturridge was again thwarted by Vorm when his left-footed sliced shot was saved by the Swansea keeper’s legs.

 

But Sturridge was not to be denied and when Liverpool were awarded another penalty, this time for a handball by Routledge, Steven Gerrard handed over the penalty taking duties to the striker, Sturridge seized his chance to get on the score sheet with confidence by firing into the top corner and making the score 5-0.

 

Moments later Sturridge clipped the top of the bar with a long range effort as he continued to impress.

 

Luis Suarez was replaced with just over 10 minutes to go for Borini as Rodgers looked to give his star striker a rest ahead of Liverpool’s Europa League second leg clash with Zenit on Thursday night.

 

Liverpool finished the game with only 10 men after substitute Borini landed heavily on his shoulder and had to head down the tunnel in obvious pain.

 

It was a magnificent performance from the Reds, who scored five and could have got 10. Brendan Rodgers’ side climb to seventh in the Barclays Premier League.

 

Summary

 

Brendan Rodgers would have been looking for a positive reaction from his players after two defeats on the bounce, and he couldn’t have asked for more. OK so Swansea were not at full strength and had their mind on next week, but you can only beat who you are playing against, and Liverpool did that impressively.

 

Brilliant to see Coutinho make his full debut and he looked very good with a bit of pace and creativity. Capped off a tremendous day with a superb goal. Sturridge made a big difference once again to Liverpool’s attack with his pace and movement complimenting Suarez.

 

It looked like it could be one of those days again with many chances being wasted in the first half and only going in at half-time one goal to the good, but the amazing start to the second half gave Liverpool great confidence to finish Swansea off. Liverpool had 35 shots at goal in the match which is a Premiership record this season and could have scored 10 as Michael Laudrup said afterwards.

 

The whole team played well, but special praise has to go to Gerrard who dominated the midfield by spraying passes all over the field. Suarez and Sturridge were a constant threat and look to be forming a dangerous striking partnership. But star of the day must be Coutinho who showed no nerves in his full debut and gave the Kop food for thought with some clever runs and passes from the left of midfield, a memorable day for the youngster and I’m sure he won’t forget his first goal for Liverpool.

 

Overall a superb performance from Liverpool, but Rodgers must be asking why his team can’t play like that every week ? Liverpool need to find this form on a consistent basis, but for now Rodgers should be allowed to enjoy the victory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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