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Liverpool 3-1 Crystal Palace Match Report

6 Oct

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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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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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