Uploaded by: This Is Anfield
Uploaded by: This Is Anfield
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.
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.
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Liverpool FT Possession 55%
Manchester City FT Possession 45%
Stadium: Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, ITALY
Fiorentina are currently 3rd in Serie A.
Match highlights: Fiorentina vs Spurs Leg 1 of 2
Man of the Match: Dele Alli
Stadium: MCH Arena, Denmark
FC Midtylland are currently 3rd in the Danish Superliga
Match highlights: FC Midtylland vs Manchester United Leg 1 of 2
Man of the Match: Pione Sisto
Europa League – Thursday, 18 February, 6PM BST, Round of 32, Leg 1 of 2 Results:
Follow @Bloodsugarnatz on Twitter for all things relative to LFC & me😙😉😊
Saturday, 31st of October 2015
Chelsea (43% possession FT) 1 – 3 Liverpool (57% possession FT)
Stadium: Stamford Bridge
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Opposition manager: Jose Mourinho
Starting Line-up: 22 Mignolet, 2 Clyne, 17 Sakho, 18 Moreno, 37 Skrtel, 7 Milner (c), 10 Coutinho, 20 Lallana, 21 Lucas, 23 Emre Can, 11 Firmino
Subs used: Christian Benteke on for James Milner 63′ (captain’s armband passed on to Skrtel), Jordon Ibe on for Roberto Firmino 75′, Dejan Lovren on for Adam Lallana 90′
You’d be forgiven if your match excitement plummeted in an instant after Chelsea’s Ramires’ thumping header opened the scoreline in the 4th minute of Saturday afternoon’s kick-off league fixture. Chelsea appeared in control in the ensuing minutes with Firmino operating in a false 9 role and we seemed off to a shaky start with very little possession. I was thankfully able to survey the match with both eyes shortly after the first 15 minutes as we started to find our rhythm with longer increments of good possession. There was some good work done by Clyne and Coutinho which led to an attempt from Lallana at 20 minutes but this was easily stopped by Chelsea’s Begovic. Lallana continued to underwhelm me and just generally seems to lack the motivation or the desire to be a better version of himself – Admittedly, this makes me feel like I’m watching a repeat of the Joe Allen experiment! But, I digress…
Coutinho was shown the first yellow card of the game after 24 minutes for a rather bad foul on fellow Brazilian, Willian; who usually doesn’t need more than a nudge to go down. Granted though, Can was lucky to escape a booking a few minutes later when he foolishly (and rather brutishly) tackled Willian from behind. Liverpool continued to dominate in possession with the two sides getting rather physical at times. Two minutes of extra time were added to end off the first half and our little magician, Coutinho, curled a stunning left footed shot around Begovic’s dive as the 2nd minute of extra time continued onto a 3rd.
With the second half kicking off on a level scoreline, Chelsea started brightly,but soon the team, along with the mood of their fans seemed to dampen as Eden Hazard moved wide for Chelsea with Oscar in a more central role. Chelsea’s man in goal, Begovic, seemed to have a tough afternoon due to poor communication with his defenders. Close to 60 minutes things were heating up on the touchline as Chelsea coach, Jose Morais thought that aggressively yelling at our Kloppo to calm down was a good idea. Klopp had raged at someone in the technical area and went on to have quite a heated exchange with Morais in the moments that followed with Mourinho looking on, barely batting an eyelid. In the midst of all this Eden Hazard was substituted after a rather quiet afternoon, with yet another Brazilian named Kenedy (never seen him before!) replacing him and subsequently making more of an impact by looking alot livelier. Lallana once again had an opportunity and did nothing more than shoot wide after Benteke was brought on for James Milner in the 63rd minute. Diego Costa followed with some standard Diego Costa behaviour and after his foul on Skrtel sent them colliding to the ground, took the opportunity to lash at Skrtel with his foot which would surely have gotten him a red card had Clattenburg caught sight of the scene. Lucas was equally lucky in the 67th minute to not be sent to the dressing room after narrowly escaping a second yellow for a foul on Ramires that had the entire Chelsea defense pleading with Mr Clattenburg to break out a red card. This clearly annoyed the referee more than anything and is likely the reason Lucas was not sent off, which had Mourinho sarcastically applauding from the touchline as he too had been baying for Lucas’ blood. Emre Can and Chelsea’s Mikel garnered yellow cards of their own shortly afterward and Fabregas arrived on the pitch to take Mikel’s place. With 70 minutes on the clock, Mignolet made the save of the afternoon with Oscar, 45 metres from the post, making a plucky attempt at goal. Our little magician had more than lady luck on his side, as he struck a right footed gem that took a deflection off of John Terry on its way to the back of the net. At 74 minutes, we looked to be in complete control with a 2-1 lead. Jordan Ibe came on at 75 minutes for Firmino and almost extended our lead in the 80th minute with a shot that could have gone anywhere. Chelsea followed this with more abysmal defending in the 83rd minute as Benteke scored his goal (our third) with poise, as though he was moving in slow motion. The Chelsea faithful started trickling out of the stadium in the remaining minutes and Lovren was brought on in the 90th minute for my least favourite LFC player, Lallana. Two extra minutes were added on at the end of the second half and Coutinho was named Man of the Match for his brace which was largely responsible for Chelsea’s 6th premier league loss this season as they continue on with what has been their worst start to the league in 37 years.
The belief I deemed lacking during our match against Southampton was overflowing on Saturday with our Red men looking good on possession throughout the game once we passed the 20 minute mark of the first half (Possession was at 61% at half time). We also cranked up the pressure as soon as the second half had begun and made Chelsea look increasingly nervous with an energy and an enthusiasm I haven’t seen since our 2013-2014 season. I summed up my feelings in my tweet after the match See Tweet ‘So damn proud of our #Reds today, they Believed!! & this is only the beginning of the #KloppEffect. U already feel it…its magic! #YNWA‘
Klopp offered some thoughtful comments on José Mourinho, after our win against Chelsea. He continues to deliver candid insight without a hint of arrogance and has everyone hanging onto his every word… Klopp, who survived a similar situation at Dortmund last season when his side was at one stage bottom of the Bundesliga, said about Mourinho;
‘Of course I feel for him. He’s a great coach, one of the best managers in the world.
But things like this happen. I had a similar situation in Dortmund and the good thing was no one in the club was in doubt about my position. Nobody. I never felt pressure. So we were able to change the situation. With the quality of the players at Chelsea, of course they’ll change it. Of course I feel for him, but it’s normal work. They have to change it, and they will change it.’
And finally, as if to indicate that Saturday’s win was only the beginning, he finished off;
‘This win was huge for all of us. We won at Chelsea, a difficult game in this situation. But we deserved it. We solved problems and we can do better, that’s for sure.’
We Go Again in our Europa League and the 2nd leg of our Group stage meeting with Rubin Kazan, Thursday, 5 November at 6PM BST at the Kuban Stadium in Russia.
Our Premier League fixture is at Anfield this Sunday, 8 November 2015 at 16H00PM BST, wen we take on 10th placed Crystal Palace. We are currently in 8th place.
Until next week,
#Don’t forget to Follow me on Twitter @Bloodsugarnatz for L.F.C related twittery
Welcome to the first Football with Natz post. I’ll be providing you with a wrap of Liverpool’s Gameweek – a mini match report of the Premier League fixture against Southampton this past week, which LFC players to choose for your Fantasy League team and Jurgen Klopp’s quote of the week.
Premier League Gameweek 10: Sunday, 24th October 2015
Liverpool (60% possession FT) 1 – 1 Southampton (40% possession FT)
Referee: A Marriner
Opposition manager: Ronald Koeman
Starting Line-up: 22 Mignolet, 2 Clyne, 17 Sakho, 18 Moreno, 37 Skrtel, 7 Milner (c), 10 Philippe Coutinho, 20 Lallana, 21 Leiva, 23 Can, 27 Origi
Subs used: Benteke on for Origi 46’, Firmino on for Lallana 67’ and Ibe on for Coutinho 83’
Our fifth draw in a row, this match should have started with the second half. The first half lacked energy from both sides and the Liverpool players seemed to be cautious in their approach. Benteke’s header, delivered with absolute finesse, broke the frustration of the match and we saw one of Jurgen Klopp’s elated celebrations.
It seemed Kloppo was on his way to join Rafa – who in 2004 was the last to win his first game at Anfield – when celebration turned into frustration (with me directing incensed expletives at the TV) when Saido Mane equalised in the 86th minute thanks to a lack of defending from our side. Mane received a yellow card in the 90th minute and a second yellow followed in the dying moments of injury time when he tripped up Moreno.
A poor challenge near the touchline against Bertrand garnered Milner the first yellow of the game, as well as his fifth of the season, which means suspension for at least one game.
All in all, not the ideal match envisioned by many (or me) and the team’s lack of confidence was evident. It would seem the belief needs to find its way into our Red mens hearts and minds to simmer there, as there is still a lot of work to be done, which will be even harder with the wrong mind set. I’m not confident in Adam Lallana’s ability to cope with full throttle given the lack of ground he covers during a game. Klopp evidently had that in mind when he switched Coutinho to the wing (who also had a rather docile game) and Lallana was used behind Divock Origi; who was barely in the match and failed to make an impact, let alone an impression on me. Hopefully we will see more of Firmino in the games to come. I am anxiously awaiting the return of our Jordan Henderson, as his run and work rate was meant to be played with Klopp’s “heavy metal” philosophy.
Skrtel only added the standard 2 points to my tally. This was for playing a full 90 minutes which up until 86’ was 6 points (4 points for a clean sheet) after we failed to defend our 1-0 lead.
The LFC players who would have added value to your final team score this past weekend are:
*Lucas (3) won six of his eight attempted tackles, made 10 recoveries and five clearances, blocks and interceptions
*Benteke’s (8) stunning header in the 77th earned him maximum bonus points
*Milner (6) provided the assist to Benteke’s goal and made five key passes and two open play crosses to earn bonus points as well, and lost 1 point after receiving his 5th yellow card of the season.
A complete list of the Rules including the points system for the Fantasy League can be found here: FPL Rules
Klopp’s Quote of the Week
In closing, I’d like to end with a quote from our new man at the helm, Jurgen Klopp. Having disarmed the press since his appointment, Klopp comments are insightful, honest and without making promises makes one feel positive for the games that lie ahead.
“It’s not easy to compare completely different things but in my first season at Dortmund we had 15 draws. If you want, it’s a half win. We didn’t lose. I see the pressure on the players, missing this chance or that chance.
But it’s only important that you always make the right decision in the right moment. They have the quality to finish, to create chances.”
We Go Again in our Premier League game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge at 12H45PM BST on Saturday, 31 October 2015 and our Europa League and the 2nd leg of our Group stage meeting with Rubin Kazan next Thursday, 5 November 2015 at 6PM BST at the Kuban Stadium in Russia.
Until next time,