Reds avenge Wembley defeat

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Given that our Capital One Cup defeat was mere days ago, I will admit that I didn’t expect much going into Wednesday night’s (re)match, despite us having won this fixture with ease last season.

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Thankfully my doubts were unfounded and this match was reminiscent; not only of last season, but also 8th May 2012, when the Reds avenged their Wembley cup defeat to Chelsea three days later by annihilating them in the Premier League. Just like Chelsea during their 4-1 loss, City were lacklustre and barely put up a fight while the Reds were determined throughout and greatly impressed me with their energy and enthusiasm.

I am very happy with our 3 well deserved points – it’s just a pity that we were unable to churn out a similar performance on Sunday evening. Hopefully though, the Reds are able to capitalise on their recent Premier League form and continue playing this way in their upcoming Europa League fixtures against Manchester United as well as in their next EPL match.

However, garnering a top 4 spot this season will be nothing short of miraculous given the teams vying for second, third and fourth place as in my opinion, Leceister City are going to win the league.⚽🏆

I can only live in hope…and keep my fingers crossed.
#COYMR #YNWA

MATCH STATS
Stadium: Anfield
Attendance: 43,597
Referee: Martin Atkinson

Liverpool FT Possession 55%

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Manchester City FT Possession 45%

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Check out
Jurgen Klopp: That Liverpool win can only be described by one word

Bloodsugar❤Natz⚽

Natz’s Premier League Musings

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Times like these I really wish I would have put my money where my mouth is.

I have been saying that Leicester City would win the Premier League since the start of their winning run earlier in the season and have fervently stuck with this belief through thick and rarely thin where Leceister’s form is concerned…

This evening I said that Tottenham was due a loss having only lost once this year, and I was right!

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Arsenal are definitely not deserving of winning the league and once again proved this by losing to the Swans at home tonight…

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The sooner everyone accepts Rainieri and his Foxes are title contenders the better….Despite their home draw to the baggies last night, they are comfortably at the top with a 3 point lead after the results tonight.

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Whether the rest of the world plays catch up and accepts that the league is Leceister City’s to lose or not though, it’s the status quo and I’m pretty chuffed to proclaim that I have known it all along.😉😎

🌟⚽🌟⚽🌟⚽🌟

               ~ Bloodsugar❤Natz⚽

Premier League Gameweek 26 Match Preview: Aston Villa vs Liverpool

BEFORE THE GAME

A stuttering Liverpool side – we have only won one out of our last six Premier League fixtures – go to Villa Park on Sunday to take on a resurgent Aston Villa. Villa have lost only one of their last five Premier League games, having kept a clean sheet in three of those matches, they are on a four game unbeaten run at home.

 This match is an important one for: CHRISTIAN BENTEKE

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Liverpool have beaten Aston Villa in five of our last six Premier League meetings at Villa Park. As an Aston Villa player, our current number 9, Christian Benteke scored 5 goals in six games against Liverpool in all competitions. With the option of a – dare I say it? – fit Daniel Sturridge, an in-form Roberto Firmino, as well as Divock Origi in the strike force department, Benteke; who has not scored in his last five appearances, could find himself on the bench. Benteke has something to prove against his former club though, given the key opportunities he missed to score, during our fourth round replay match loss to West Ham and subsequent exit from the FA Cup tournament on Tuesday night.

INJURY WOES

Jordan Ayew is currently serving his three match suspension for the red card he received in ridiculous fashion against West Ham two weeks ago. Aston Villa’s team selection is further marred by the injuries to Libor Kazak’s ankle, Adama Traore’s foot and Jordan Amavi’s knee.

Joe Allen is out with a shoulder injury on the Liverpool injured list, while Skrtel and Lovren are still not match fit.

FANTASY LEAGUE CHOICES

On the Fantasy Premier League front, defender, Joleon Lescott scored 15 points at Carrow Road last weekend, and Villa’s recent form, has been thanks to their goalkeeper Mark Bunn.

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Roberto Firmino is currently the only Liverpool player that can realistically be considered for Fantasy Premier League selection, scoring 13 points last weekend against Sunderland and 18 points two weeks before that against Norwich City.

MANAGERIAL COMMENTARY

Remi Garde on his team’s recent performance;

If we are playing the same game against Liverpool (as against Norwich), we will have no chance to have points. My job is to say ‘well done lads for the victory and three points but the football we played won’t be enough to take points from the Liverpool game.

Jurgen Klopp on Benteke;

I saw really good signs against West Ham. Having this number of opportunities is a good sign. But it’s not too easy. I talked to him, a few times, gave him some advice as a human being, as a coach. He’s really trying to come back in an easy moment.

NATZ’S PREDICTION*

Our lack of attacking options in our starting eleven on the whole has caused me great anxiety recently, but with Sturridge and Coutinho returning to the fold, I am hopeful for a much needed win. I do not expect an easy Sunday afternoon out though as Aston Villa have gained much needed – although somewhat delayed – momentum, which cannot and definitely should not, be underestimated. My prediction however, is absolutely filled with the standard Scouser hope in my heart

*Aston Villa 1 – 2 Liverpool

             ⚫⚽⚫🔴⚫⚽⚫🔴⚫⚽⚫

                              👣👣👣

Follow @Bloodsugarnatz on Twitter for all things relative to LFC & me😘

Gameweek 25 – Manchester City vs Leceister City 6 February 2016

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I have been a huge fan of Leceister City’s Riyad Mahrez since last season (2014/2015). Since then, he and Jamie Vardy have had a place in my Fantasy Premier League team, Pitch Invaders. Mahrez has earned the most points in the Fantasy Premier League this season to date. I’m confident in Leicester City’s journey to being crowned Premier League champions and will be selecting Mahrez as my Fantasy captain for their Away fixture at the Emirates on Valentines Day❤😆♥⚽

When Jamie Vardy was on goal number 5 I said that Leicester City were going to be crowned the Premier League Champions of the 2015-16 season…and I’ve been one of very few who fervently believe this. My prediction for today’s kick-off match was:

Manchester City 1 – 3 Leceister City

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Despite the match being at the Etihad Stadium, I felt confident that Rainieri’s blues would come out on top. I did predict that Aguero would score for City, which he did.

Leceister are now 5 points clear at the top with 53 points. Arsenal will play their GW 25 fixture on Sunday, 7 February 2016 when they travel to Bournemouth.

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⚫⚽⚫🔴⚫⚽⚫🔴⚫⚽⚫

👣👣👣

Follow @Bloodsugarnatz on Twitter
for all things relative to LFC & me😘

 

Capital One Cup semi-final second leg – Tuesday, 26 January 2016

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Liverpool (56% possession FT) 0 – 1 Stoke City (44% possession FT)

Stadium: Anfield
Attendance: 43,091
Referee: J Moss
Opposition manager: Mark Hughes
Starting Line-up: 22 Mignolet, 4 Touré, 17 Sakho, 18 Moreno, 38 Flanagan, 7 Milner, 14 Henderson (captain), 20 Lallana, 21 Lucas, 23 Can, 11 Firmino
Substitutes used: Benteke on for Henderson at 58’, Allen on for Touré at 85’, Ibe on for Flannagan at 105’

Match report: Penalty shoot-out

I. Our 5 goals at Norwich felt like it had all been a dream whilst watching this game as we appeared almost hesitant in attack, with none of the players seeming willing to take a chance. Our attempts at goal were sparse, with only Can and Henderson attempting long range shots (the attempts I love to hate) which did nothing to test Jack Butland during the first half. Arnautovic’s goal (his 10th goal this season) at 45’+1 was blatantly offside but put Stoke level in the tie (Aggregate 1-1). The start of the second half saw Firmino hit the posts, however, aside from a short-lived surge of energy, the opposition appeared the more determined team. After an additional 30 minutes the match ended with a win on paper for Stoke (LIV 0 – 1 STK) – their first victory at Anfield since 1959. Before Tuesday, Liverpool had never lost a League Cup semi-final leg at Anfield and Stoke had played Liverpool 7 times in the League Cup, losing 6 and drawing 1.

II. Joe Allen seems to be on his way to becoming our super sub, after clinching the equaliser against Arsenal at 90’ a few weeks ago when he came on for Can then in the 82nd minute. This time around he stepped up to take what would be the decisive penalty after Marco Muniesa’s attempt was saved by Mignolet. I reckon Joe Allen had better not entertain any plans to shave off that beard as we may very well see him live up to the ‘Welsh Pirlo’ moniker under the tutelage of Klopp. The return of Flanagan reminded us what we had been missing with his strong tackling, positioning and almost scoring the winner in the last 15 minutes of normal time.

III. Liverpool had their first penalty shootout 42 years ago – a 6-5 win against Leeds in the 1974 Charity shield and have now been involved in 17 of these nail biting, nerve-wracking match deciders. They continued their incredible penalty shootout record, with their 6-5 penalty shootout win (their 14th!) against Stoke. Mignolet saved the penalties of Crouch and Muniesa which allowed Joe Allen to take the decisive penalty and win it for Liverpool.

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Opposition Goal: Marko Arnautovic 45’+1
PENALTIES TAKEN:
STK Jon Walters 0 – 1
LIV Adam Lallana 1 – 1
STK Peter Crouch (saved) 1 – 1, LIV Emre Can (missed) 1 – 1
STK Glen Whelan 1 – 2
LIV Christian Benteke 2 – 2
STK Ibrahim Afellay 2 – 3
LIV Roberto Firmino 3 – 3
STK Xherdan Shaqiri 3 – 4
LIV James Milner 4 – 4
STK Marco van Ginkel 4 – 5
LIV Lucas Leiva 5 – 5, STK Marc Maniesa (saved) 5 – 5
Joe Allen 6 – 5 to win shootout

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Man of the Match: Mamadou Sakho

 

⚫⚽⚫🔴⚫⚽⚫🔴⚫⚽⚫

👣👣👣

Follow @Bloodsugarnatz on Twitter
for all things relative to LFC & me😘

Europa League Round-up: FC Sion vs Liverpool

 

A round-up of Liverpool’s prosaic goalless draw against Swiss opposition FC Sion in our UEFA Europa League group stage match 6 of 6.

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FC Sion (44% possession FT) 0 – 0 Liverpool (56% possession FT)
Stadium: Stade de Tourbillon
Attendance: 10,000
Referee: M Koukoulakis
Opposition manager: Didier Tholot
Starting Line-up: 22 Mignolet, 2 Clyne, 4 Touré, 6 Lovren, 44 Smith, 7 Milner (c), 14 Henderson, 20 Lallana, 23 Can, 11 Firmino, 27 Origi
Subs used: Coutinho on for Milner 60′, Rossiter on for Henderson 76′, Brannagan on for Firmino 89’

Match report: 3 Things

I. To quote Paul Doyle from the Guardian: “Researchers believe this may well have been the longest 90 minutes in history.” With only three shots on target, this match was painful to watch with both teams assuming an almost relaxed approach to the game on a very bad pitch.

II. The positives from the match are that Hendo and Coutinho are back to match fitness, Brad Smith had an impressive full debut and Liverpool finished top of the group. On the non-football related positive side, Sion fans had an epic banner stating “You Never Drink Alone”.

III. Liverpool kept their first clean sheet against Swiss opposition since April 1977. The Reds are also one of only six unbeaten teams in the Europa League group stages this season.

Man of the Match: Brad Smith

Kloppo’s Quote Post-Match
Jurgen Klopp seems to be a consistent ray of sunshine, even after a match outing as drab as last night’s one!

We wanted to be first after this game and that is what we did. A few weeks ago it was far away from us that we could reach this place but we did it and it is really good. Everyone will have to change their mind about this tournament now as everyone will see it is something like a small Champions League.

The Europa League returns 18 February for the first leg of the last-32 ties and the return leg seven days later. The draw for the Last-32 takes place on Monday, 14 December 2015 at 12PM BST.

Bloodsugar❤Natz⚽