Liverpool Hold Chelsea At Anfield.

What can I say about Liverpool that I haven’t already said about them. Against the Premier League leaders, you would expect a big performance from the team especially after the humiliating defeat suffered last weekend against Wolves, but it wasn’t to be.

While the team started brightly, after 15 minutes it looked like they had run out of steam. Playing through the middle time after time, they made the Chelsea’s defenders jobs easy tonight. 

Liverpool rearly threatened the Chelsea goal except for a few pot shots from outside the area, that my 6 year old would save, it seemed like a repeat of Saturday was on the cards. 

To be honest, when Chelsea scored through a David Luiz free kick, I expected the floodgates to open. What Simon Mignolet was at in the lead up to the free kick, only him and god know that. I’d say even Karius had his head in his hands when the free kick went in. 


If you want to learn how not to set up for a free kick I suggest you watch Chelsea’s goal over and over again. It was comicial, but when it comes to Mignolet I expect nothing less. 

Liverpool’s performance was that bad, that Emre Can had arguably his best game in a Liverpool shirt since Halloween. 

He must have been reading some of the comments about him online because, even though he gave the ball away on a number of occasions, he out played both Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum. That’s no real claim to fame either. 

Up front Liverpool were toothless with Adam Lallana, running around like a headless chicken at times, Philippe Coutinho looked rustier than a nuns chasity belt and as for Firmino, I’m dumbfounded. 

Over the space of the 97 minutes he had the 2 beat opportunities of the game, yet wasted them both. Ok well maybe the second one was unlucky, but the first one, well there’s no forgiving that miss. 

Liverpool were a shambles all over the pitch, I said at half time I couldn’t pick out a single player who I could give credit to. And the same could be said at 90 mins. 

Even the ever reliable Joël Matip had a nightmare, giving away a penalty after Lovren had made a complete fuck up attempting to tackle an on running Costa. Thankfully for Liverpool Costa wasted the penalty opportunity with the tamest of tame penalties.

Liverpool did get a goal though, in what was the only decent move they produced in the game. A pass form Henderson was met by Milner who headed it in to the box and up popped Wijnaldum to score his first goal of 2017 for Liverpool. Another headed goal and another goal at Anfield.

One other plus for Liverpool was the return of Sadio Mané who came on to replace Coutinho. 

With Hull coming up at the weekend, Klopp needs to sort out this system he is using at the minute. 


Lallana doesn’t work in the forward role, not one of the midfield trio stood out against Chelsea with Can being the best of the bunch. Lovren, well Lovren was just Lovren, shite. 

Klopp needs to come up with a new formula for Liverpool. The one he is currently using isn’t working anymore. Teams have figured Liverpool out. 

Whether he goes 4-2-3-1 instead of his usual 4-3-3 only time will tell, but as I’ve said before, he needs to do something now otherwise this season is just a write off and more fans will start to turn on him. 

Oh and Liverpool got a brand new bus and it’s very pretty. 

Written by @TheMoanyOne

Sakho The Enigma

Crystal Palace are interested in 26-year-old France international Mamadou Sakho on Deadline Day.

Liverpool paid £15million for Sakho when they signed him from Paris Saint-Germain in September 2013. He agreed a new long-term contract in September 2015, but he has not played for them, due to various reasons, since last April in the Merseyside Derby. 


Liverpool value Sakho at £20million. Jürgen Klopp is keen to offload the defender on a permanent basis.
However, his wages are an issue, with Sakho still on £100,000 a week at Anfield.

Southampton, Swansea and Spartak Moscow have also shown interest during January, but Crystal Palace are attempting to land him.


I think it’s unlikely Crystal Palace will pay £20million, or match Sakho’s £100,000 per-week wages. However, I do expect Sakho to be sold on deadline day. 
I expect Liverpool to sign a centre-back in the summer. I’d like to see Klopp push for Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk.

Who would you like to see Liverpool sign this summer?

Written by @dug_8

Liverpool -V- Chelsea Match Preview 


It seems that our games at Anfield are never just another match. Champion’s leagues and premier league titles have been lost on them and I would always settle for a draw before the game.
 

This week is important for Chelsea and four points from this and the Arsenal game would be a dream. Three defeats make it possibly more crucial for Klopp however!
 
Both teams played on a Saturday with weakened sides and other than a bit of travel it should be a fairly balanced affair.
 
Liverpool has had a shocking week but none of this will matter and they will be well up for the game.
 
Chelsea’s key men are as always the forward line of Costa, Pedro and Hazard. Liverpool will score and therefore we can’t just play on the counter all game. 

The midfield of Kante and Matic and a back five with Alonso and Moses (simply not the same player who played on loan for Liverpool) will make this a very different game than at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season where Liverpool totally dominated.
 
The line up picks itself every game; Courtois, Moses, Luiz, Cahill, Azpiliueta, Alonso, matic, Kante, Pedro, Hazard and Costa. 

Its playing these same players week in week out and with no Champions League that has cememnted Chelsea’s season to date. 

I would love to see Willian start as he is a magnificent player but with the front three at present there is no room.
 
Will Mane get back in time to start – this could be a key factor adding the Pace that Liverpool seem to have missed so badly in January.
 
I can see this being a very tight game but with home advantage I predict 2-1 Liverpool. Can I take the draw now?

Written by @SgtNedEdwards

One Week, 2 Defeats, No More Cups

Half an hour after the game I’m still trying to come to terms with what I witnessed at Anfield against Wolves. I could use words like shite, disgusting, poor, wank, garbage, but there is no words to describe how Liverpool went out of the FA Cup to Wolves.

Liverpool weren’t even close to being at the races today. They were sluggish, devoid of ideas and most of all wasteful with the ball. Wolves have done what Swansea, Southampton and Plymouth have done to Liverpool this January, sat back, played on the counter and scored goals. 

There are very few players that could hold their heads high today, Ben Woodburn and maybe Loris Karius, but the rest should hang their heads in shame. They let themselves, the manager and the fans down. 

Wolves for their part were magnificent, they came in to the game with a plan and stuck with it. They harried and harassed Liverpool at every opportunity and forced them in to making stupid mistake after stupid mistake. 

They patiently defended and then broke with pace and sent the Liverpool defence in to a panic. 

Imagine 53 seconds in to the game and Liverpool were 1-0 down and it went from bad to worse after that. Liverpool at one stage had over 80% possession, had 3 shots but none on target and that was the way the first half went. Wolves sat back, Liverpool played sideways passes over and back the pitch. 


Klopp introduced Philippe Coutinho in the second half but even he, could not help Liverpool break down a resolute Wolves defence.

Liverpool didn’t have their first shot on target until the 60th minute and even that was an easy save for the young Wolves goalkeeper. 

Origi gave Liverpool some hope with an easy goal on the 85th minute but instead of panicking Wolves stuck to their game plan and kept forcing Liverpool to long shots from 25-30 yards out. 

With Chelsea coming up on Tuesday night I really fear for Liverpool. Chelsea are on fire and Liverpool are well shite at the minute. So far this month they have played 8 games, conceeded 10 goals and only beat Plymouth Argle thanks to a rare goal from Lucas Levia. 

Something needs to change and it needs to happen quickly. With only a few days left in the transfer market, Klopp might be forced to dip in to it, otherwise this season is over. In fact defeat to Chelsea next week and Liverpool will do well to make Europe at all next season. 

Written by @TheMoanyOne

Preview: Liverpool v Wolves (H)

With the Reds on a low trajectory following elimination in the semi-finals of the EFL Cup in midweek, Stephen Lindell looks forward to the FA Cup home tie against Wolverhampton Wanderers. 

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It’s been a difficult period of the season for Liverpool Football Club. 

The Reds were swift off the blocks as the season commenced – and topped the table on November 6, finishing Christmas as runners-up.

However, on the back of the festive period, Liverpool have struggled to rediscover their scoring ability, confidence & mentality.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are yet to win a league game in 2017 against the likes of Sunderland, Man United & Swansea; revoking doubts regarding the team’s complacent attitude heading into games against the ‘lesser’ teams.

Klopp & the side heaped more negative media attention on themselves with heartbreak in midweek – in a 1-0 defeat to Southampton at Anfield, in the EFL Cup. It was a performance that typified our recent run – rebuffed of creativity, ideas or quality at the back.

Therefore, you can’t really ask for anything more than a win here against Championship outfit Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Emirates FA Cup.

Even though this is a game we MUST be winning, I can’t stress how important it is that the team don’t underestimate the visitors.

Wolves have already dumped out fellow Premier League side Stoke City away from home – so a good start is key. If we take too long to get out of second gear, they’ll immediately be able to suss our already-outdated 4-3-3, like Southampton did at Anfield.

The Reds are in imperative need of some FA Cup magic to spur them on.

Team News

  • Klopp insists ‘we won’t make 10 changes’ ahead of Wolverhampton, but a relatively strong side expected to feature.
  • Adam Lallana required stitches for cut obtained in Southampton defeat in midweek. Unlikely to feature.

My Starting XI

Even though this is a different proposition to Southampton, Klopp still insisted that he will play a strong side for the visit of Wolves on Saturday lunchtime. It’s positive that lessons have been learnt..

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I’m going with a 4-2-2 diamond here, instead of the standard 4-3-3, which sides have began to suss without Sadio Mane. Play the slideshow below to see my pick..

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Prediction

Like I said before, it’s imperative the Reds are sharp from the off and don’t take chances. Focus and attitude is vital – both of these attributes have cost us in our previous outings in all competitions. Divock Origi, being a senior player, has a point to prove, following his goal drought & recent poor performances, which have really come under the radar.

This’ll also be a test of Liverpool’s defence too. The youngsters such as Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander Arnold will be looking to impress, having done so recently.

Going forward, I think Ejaria, Origi & Ojo’s pace will be a key asset. Paul Lambert’s Wolves could possibly come to Anfield solely fighting for the replay and putting several men behind their goal, as League 2 outfit Plymouth did to great effect.

A win here is the minimum return required – with leaders Chelsea at home looming, it’s important to at least restore some parity to the Anfield ranks, something we’ve been rebuffed of recently.

A defeat – and the season is already dead & buried, where silverware is concerned. The league is a different story, for a different day.

Verdict: Liverpool 2-0 Wolves 

Odds:

Back the flailing Reds at 1/3 to prevail against the Midlands side, but the visitors for an upset at 21/20 at Betfair.

Written by @SteLindellLFC

Liverpool Lose To Southampton In EFL Cup

Liverpool went in to the second tie at Anfield looking to overturn a one goal deficit from the first leg of this EFL Cup semi final second leg. 

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp welcomed back Philippe Couthino and Joël Matip. With Daniel Sturridge named up front, Adam Lallana dropped back to his favoured midfield role, it all looked hopeful that Liverpool could claw back this one goal lead. 
Unfortunately during a game we again dominated in terms of possession we were really only able to bother Fraser Forster, the only real chance in the game fell to Emre Can who struck a pile driver from 25 yards in the second half.

Forester fumbled it on the first attempt and as the ball rolled behind him edging closer to the line he was able to recover and scoop it off the line and away.

That was the main chance we were able to produce in a game that seen Southampton defend well yet again.

Forcing Liverpool to go out wide and swing in cross after cross all night long, sometimes from silly positions to no avail.

Where we wanted to hurt them (down the middle) they again packed it out making the intricate play slow and usually ending in losing the ball.

Our final pass was lacking this whole game and although Couthino was notably quicker on his feet and with his vision it still wasn’t enough.

Southampton didn’t just sit back and settle in. They grew into the game and were able to hit us on the break with the the type of counter attacks we can only dream of.

Twice Nathan Redmond was slipped in behind Alexander-Arnold and was able to square the ball to firstly Tadic and then later Davis from the exact same position.

Both players should have scored with Loris Karius again coming out quickly to keep Liverpool in this tie just as he did in the first leg.

Emre Can strolled about the pitch during the first half without a forward seeking ball in his head and looked more like the much maligned Lucas Leiva from a few years ago in his sideways passes.

The second half seen Liverpool push right up onto the Southampton defence for virtually the whole half again looking for the breakthrough which was never to come.

Several corners and set pieces failed to even produce a headed chance for us and it was from one of these corners on 90 minutes that they broke on us again this time with Shane Long free on the far side of the box to receive the quick pass and shoot low across Karius to kill the tie for once and all.

Nothing more than Southampton deserved over the two ties and the fact that the goal came 60 seconds after Origi seemed to be tripped in the box without the penalty being awarded didn’t cover the fact Liverpool were second best throughout this two legged tie.

Nathan Redmond was the chief tormentor over both legs and when I seen him being taken off on 80 minutes I thought to myself at least he’s gone.


Maybe I wasn’t the only one to think that also as it was a similar counter attack he had built all night that got the goal. Maybe Lovren and Matip thought the same as me??

We again looked like a shadow of the team that has terrified the league attacking wise in the first half of the season with no penetration at all up front and a midfield that has lost its energy and guile also.

Emre Can has been unbelievably poor in recent weeks but he did have a better second half, was alot more positive going forward and quicker in his play. But why does he have to be scolded at half time before he produces such an upturn in his performance?

Winjaldum for me was a big miss tonight as he has alot more energy off the ball and always seems to link up better with the players around him.

Daniel Sturridge was very unlucky twice tonight with two close in volleys that both dropped to him quickly but which he was unable to keep down to score. 

The first being th e best chance when on 58 mins the balled dropped to him after as corner and he tried to swivel and volley from 3 yards out but swung it high over the bar.

In the space of just over a month our season has definitely taken a downward turn. From second in the league looking forward to Chelsea having to come to Anfield also and into the semi final of the league cup it gone wrong in a big fashion.

Whether it’s due to injuries, players missing and too many games everyone will have their own opinions.

Myself I believe that yet again there is far too much talk and hype within the squad as to how the season was going and what lay ahead.

That coupled with some below par performances and tinkering with the formations at times has blown our chances off the table of silverware this season. Yet again.

Sure we turn up against the big teams and alway seem to do well against them so far under Jurgen Klopp. And we’ve all seen the mini league of the top 6 this season and how well we’ve done in it.

But there’s no cups handed out for that mini league. 

Jürgen Klopp will come under more pressure now I’m sure for not bringing in that commanding central defender alot of fans crave but saying that he would not have stopped that goal tonight either I believe.

On the day that the club chose to announce a new deal for Couthino it seems all the rose tinted glasses  from that news was masking a bigger problem.

One which I’m sure Klopp will get right when he addresses what he sees as the problems but to be taken back down to earth in such a fashion over the last month is also hard to take even though we are probably ahead of schedule as far as progress into the much coveted champions league looks right now. 

Written by @StephenKing75

Can Liverpool be the semi final comeback kings again?

Tonight’s League Cup semi final second leg against Southampton is absolutely huge for a multitude of reasons. There’s the prospect of a Wembley final against HIM and THEM for starters (even the eternal optimist in me doesn’t give Hull a prayer!)

Then there’s the small matter of sliverware at stake. It’s 5 years since we won a trophy, and Kenny’s Wembley win over Cardiff City in 2012 in this competition represents our only silverware in 11 years.

Some of this squad were part of the title near miss in 2014, while under Klopp we lost 2 finals last season, a monkey the boss will be keen to get off his own back asap. While we’re undoubtedly progressing, this team needs to experience the feeling of getting over the line and winning something.

And given our recent run, we need a big result and performance to restore the optimism of a few weeks ago turn the doubters back into believers once again. Beating the Saints to reach Wembley would do the trick.

On a personal level, it’s 30 years next month since my dad took me to Anfield for the first time. That too was a semi final second leg against Southampton and a 3-0 win saw us reach the final of the then Littlewoods Cup. Oh and Kenny Dalglish got on the scoresheet – not bad for your first game!

One thing is for sure; history is on our side when it comes to overturning semi final first leg deficits at Anfield. Five times this century the Reds have lost the away leg of a cup semi final – 4 times we’ve turned things around at Anfield to reach the final. 

The only blot on that record was in the 2010 Europa League against Atletico Madrid, a tie played in the dying throes of the Rafa Benitez era when a 2-1 win wasn’t enough to prevent us going out on away goals.

You only have to go back to last April for the last time the Reds turned around a semi final deficit as Klopp’s men, trailing Villarreal 1-0 in the last 4 of the Europa League, blew the Spanish side away in an emotional second leg in L4.


Knowing exactly what we need to do seems to benefit us massively in these games. Contrast Villarreal to last season’s other semi final, where we lost a nervy home leg 1-0 to Stoke having won the away leg in the “Brexit capital of England” (not my words!) by the same score. 

It was a similar story in the semis the last time we won the League Cup; a 1-0 win at Man City was followed by a 2-2 draw in the return, with the Reds having to come from behind twice to earn a place at Wembley.

Gerard Houllier won this competition twice, the only Liverpool manager other than Bob Paisley to do so, and on both occasions we secured our place in Cardiff after overturning a first leg deficit. In 2001, Crystal Palace won the first leg 2-1 and Palace striker Clinton Morrison was somewhat overconfident in his post match comments! 

He soon ate his words as the Reds raced into a 3-0 lead inside 18 minutes of the second leg at Anfield, eventually running out 5-0 winners, wth Morrison shown no mercy by the Kop! The subsequent final win against Birmingham was our first trophy for 6 years and became the first part of the unprecedented cup treble we won that season.

2 years later and things were far more tense. Once again the Reds had a 2-1 scoreline to overturn having been beaten by Sheffield United on a horrible, moody night at Bramall Lane. El Hadji Diouf scored early on in the return game to level the tie, one of the few things of note the most loathsome individual ever represent Liverpool FC did in a red shirt, before the tie went to extra time. 

A 1-0 win would have eventually seen us through on away goals, but Michael Owen added a second in the second period of extra time to make absolutely sure. Neil Warnock took the defeat with the typical good grace he’s been renowned for down the years, with his complaints including accusing Stephane Henchoz of spitting.

Perhaps our most memorable overturning of a first leg deficit in recent times came a decade ago in the Champions League. A Joe Cole goal gave Chelsea a first leg advantage in a repeat of the 2005 semi, but an early Daniel Agger strike from a cleverly worked free kick levelled the tie. 

If the memorable 2005 win was a rearguard action, this was a different story as the Reds took the game to Chelsea and were the better side. Dirk Kuyt had a goal disallowed in extra time, but the Dutchman made up for it by netting the winning penalty in the shoot out to send the us to Athens and a rematch with AC Milan.

Mourinho had been sent packing for a third successive season. If the Reds can keep up our remarkable knack of turning these semi final deficits around on Wednesday, and barring a miracle on Humberside 24 hours later, we’ll get another chance to do so at Wembley next month!

Written by @Pilnick_Jimmy