Stadium: Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, ITALY
Tottenham (50% possession, 4 shots on target)
Starting XI: Michel Vorm, Kieran Trippier, Toby Alderweireld, Kevin Wimmer, Ben Davies, Tom Carroll, Ryan Mason (c), Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Heung-Min Son, Nacer Chadli
Substitutions used: Mousa Dembélé on for Carroll at 46′, Harry Kane on for Son at 68′, Erik Dier on for Chadli at 79′
Yellow cards: Alli, Davies, Dembélé, Kane
Goal: Nacer Chadli scored his 6th goal of the season from the penalty spot at 37′
Fiorentina (50% possession, 3 shots on target)
Fiorentina are currently 3rd in Serie A.
Starting XI: Tatarusanu, Gonzalo, Tomovic, Astori, Alonso, Costa, Kuba, Borja, Zarate, Bernardeschi, Ilicic
Substitutions used: Milan Badelj on for Josep Ilicic at 60′, Nikola Kalinic on for Jakub Blaszczykowski at 62′, Matías Vecino on for Tino Costa
Goal: Federico Bernardeschi at 59′
Yellow cards: David Astori
Fiorentina vs Spurs Leg 1 of 2
Man of the Match: Dele Alli
Stadium: MCH Arena, Denmark
Manchester United (59% possession, 3 shots on target)
Starting XI: Sergio
Romero, Donald Love, Paddy McNair, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Memphis Depay, Anthony Martial
Substitutions used: Morgan Schneiderlin on for Herrera at 72′, Andreas Pereira on for Mata at 78 Goal: Depay at 37′
Yellow cards: Love, Lingard, Smalling
FC Midtylland (41% possession, 6 shots on target)
FC Midtylland are currently 3rd in the Danish Superliga
Starting XI: Andersen, Romer, Bodurov, Hansen, Novak, Sparv, Sisto, Olsson, Hassan, Kadlec, Pusic
Substitutions used: Pusic on for Onuachuat at 60′, Urena on for Hassan at 66′, Royer on for Kadlec at 80′
Goals: P. Sisto at 44′, P. Onuachu at 77′
Yellow cards: None
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:
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Times, they are a changin’…
Maybe it’s time our rose-tinted outlook did too. When everything is different, can we as Liverpool Football Club (LFC) supporters really stay the same? Should we? If change is as good as a holiday, LFC supporters are in need of a sabbatical.
Being a bad loser by nature, a Liverpool loss (or those draws when we should have won outright), usually ruins my entire day. Thusly our recent Premier League loss to Manchester United, otherwise known as the jammiest club in the Premier League, left me feeling completely hollowed out. This time around though, it wasn’t so much our loss that got to me, but rather the fact that our Liverpool side was unable to beat a Manchester United who were as wooden as Louis van Gaal’s resting facial expression.
The Merseyside Reds appeared almost unaware of United’s ample weaknesses as this would surely have resulted in an achievable win. Instead, Liverpool’s game made it seem as though they had been living in a protective bubble for the current season’s duration and played as though they were unaware that Manchester United’s lack of form led to subsequent Premier League losses during December, namely to Bournemouth, Norwich and Stoke. Despite van Gaal’s unimaginative United side continuing their form of offering very little in all aspects of the game other than lulling their opposition and the entire crowd to sleep they remained largely unexposed. Their existing flaws along with their shaky defence was barely tested by Liverpool, who found their ongoing vulnerability to crosses resulting in Wayne Rooney’s smash and grab goal being the match winner as well as United’s only shot on target.
Our ‘style’ of play was as ineffectual as ever, littered with the usual ‘
close but no cigar’ moments that have become synonymous with this season’s Liverpool team along with those shots at goal which realistically are too far away from the posts to be successful and yet Henderson, Milner and even Lucas seem unable to stop themselves from trying anyway. Adam Lallana remained true to form with his standard style of play, with the will he, won’t he roundabout dribble being featured and two this could turn things in our favour if he can see it through moments which, as always, did not amount to anything. Jamie Carragher made this on point comment during the match; “ The chance Lallana had probably summed up his Liverpool career, he hasn’t scored since May, he’s a £25m signing, an attacking midfielder.”
After the match, many LFC supporters commented that one or two players gave a good performance and as is the norm, many have lamented our missed opportunities. We may have been better than United on match day, but that statement no longer holds water. The current first team players who make up the Manchester United team and the Liverpool FC team are nowhere near the quality or calibre of the men who played for either side a few seasons ago. I have reached a point of no return in my rating of our current first team and have found that as individuals, the majority fit the stock standard footballer mould, which given that this is the Premier League should be a non-negotiable. A Premier League player cannot be anything less than good and so we should not have to lower our standard of expectation, especially not when we have lived through watching Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres (before his decline), Luis Suarez; the list goes on.. It is more than okay to state that the current LFC first team squad is simply not good enough.
Brendan Rodgers’ choices have ultimately set us back at least two to three years and the lack of youth players coming through the ranks of the Academy has become a growing concern over the past three to four years.
As his ghost still roams freely through our current squad options, we as loyal supporters who form an integral part of the Liverpool Family should be accepting of what is, patient for what is to come and grateful that it is not too late for our Premier League Trophy dreams. Jurgen Klopp is absolutely the right man to get us where we know we ought to have been already. All he requires is the time to build his vision, our passionate and unwavering support and of course a transfer budget that allows it all. As a reminder of Klopp’s magic, read my Fresh Liverpool article http://tiny.cc/b0cc8x on the skills he brings to the club as our manager.
Remember that honesty does not have to equal negativity and that as supporters, we do not need to accept mediocrity.
We are Liverpool.
on Twitter @Bloodsugarnatz
for all things relative to LFC & me😘