Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Skrtel Strike Not Enough In Chelsea Defeat

The return of vice-captain Daniel Agger shored up the Liverpool defence as they travelled to Chelsea looking to bounce back from the defeat to Man City on Boxing Day and there was a double surprise on the bench as Jordan Rossiter joined Brad Smith who was unused at City.

Liverpool made the perfect start by taking the lead after three minutes as Coutinho swept in a free-kick that Suarez flicked on and saw Skrtel convert from close range to send the travelling fans into delight. Chelsea could have levelled instantly as Hazard tested Mignolet and thought he had scored to be denied by a vital goalline clearance by Johnson with Cahill soon heading wide from a set-piece.

Chelsea pushed to level and came close in the 12th minute as Hazard struck again after nice play from Lampard but saw his Belgian teammate tip the chance over the bar but Mignolet could not prevent his fellow Belgian for a second time as minutes later the midfielder levelled after an Oscar run.

Allen, Suarez and Henderson combined to allow the Uruguayan to hit for goal but was denied by a block from Cahill, but the block proved vital for Chelsea as they soon took the lead with Oscar lifting in a cross for Eto'o who converted past Mignolet to the despair of the travelling fans.

Johnson teed up Sterling with a pinpoint pass and the young winger picked out Allen who hit a curling shot that forced a strong save from Cech as he ensured the Blues led at the break, Liverpool started the second half as they had done the first as they attacked and saw Sakho loop a header past Cech only to be denied as the ball struck the woodwork which saved Chelsea's lead.

Liverpool could have levelled in style as Henderson picked out Suarez who looked to copy his strike against Cardiff with a volley but unfortunately found the thankful Cech but there was a cause for celebration as Brad Smith came on to make his senior debut at the age of 19 coming on for the injured Allen.

Oscar came close to extending the lead when he hit past the post and Suarez picked out Johnson who forced Cech into a diving save to push the effort past the post with Hazard hitting off-target from a similar position but even though Liverpool continued to pressure in the final minutes, they were left to reflect on yet another strong display that saw them go away pointless for the second time this week.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Suarez Run Ends In City Loss

Liverpool looked to return to the top of the Premier League with a visit to the fortress that is the Etihad to face Man City.

One change was made from the previous win with Flanagan being replaced by Cissokho meaning 19-year-old Brad Smith was named among the substitutes but it was the hosts who had the better start as Navas looped a header that cannoned off the post and Kompany connected to a Nasri cross but failed to test Mignolet.

Liverpool had their first chance in the 14th minute when Suarez shot off target from Lucas' corner and the Uruguayan found Sterling and the winger rounded Hart to tap home only to be pulled back for offside even though it was clear he was onside so a massive error by the linesman could have proved costly.

However, Liverpool did take a valid lead in the 25th minute as Sterling picked out Coutinho and the Brazilian hit his first goal since his comeback from injury and City would have equalised instantly but Skrtel denied Toure with a fine challenge but Kompany rose highest to head past Mignolet and level the scoreline just after the half-hour. 

Liverpool came close to regaining the lead with half-time on the horizon with a clever move from the trio of Suarez, Sterling and Coutinho splitting the City defence who had Hart to thank for denying Coutinho but City took the lead themselves as Negredo attempted to chip Mignolet and the Belgian got a hand to it but could not stop it from going in and meant City lead 2-1 at the break.

 Henderson threatened to level early in the second half but hit narrowly over while Suarez evaded Zabaleta to force Hart to save impressively and the same duo were involved again as Sterling attempted to set up Henderson but the stray ball found Suarez who hit for goal but saw Henderson block the shot while offside.

Coutinho came off for Moses with 20 minutes to go as Liverpool pushed for an equaliser and could have had one had Johnson connected well to Henderson's cross and the midfielder went close himself but lacked the power to trouble Hart.

The visitors should have levelled in the 73rd minute when Suarez raced down the left and picked out Sterling but the winger could only hit over the bar after stretching to meet the cross and Liverpool pushed right until the final whistle but were unable to prevent City from continuing their unbeaten home record that saw Liverpool slip to fourth ahead of a trip to Chelsea.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Liverbird Sits Top Of The Tree At Christmas

Liverpool could not have had a better preparation for the visit of Cardiff after Luis Suarez signed a new long-term contract to silence the doubters as he continued as captain to send the Reds back to the top of the league.

Liverpool started well as Sterling dashed past the Bluebirds defence and crossed only to see it cleared straight to Suarez who volleyed past the post, The Uruguayan had another effort blocked by Taylor after being put in by Sterling and the result was Coutinho hitting wide.
Mutch responded for the visitors with a low effort with Mignolet called into action to deny Noone's curler after 15 minutes, Mutch connected to the resulting corner to head past the post and minutes later, Suarez had another go but saw his shot deflected behind.
Suarez only had a further seven minutes to wait to continue his stunning scoring run as a combination of Coutinho and Henderson saw Suarez hit a superb volley across goal and into the bottom corner to the delight of the home fans.

A second could have come quickly as Coutinho tricked into the area and hit towards goal only to be denied as the ball smashed off the crossbar and Skrtel later headed over after collecting from Flanagan.

Cardiff looked to be still in the game as half-time approached but went further behind in the 42nd minute as Liverpool countered with Suarez in open space and as he advanced on goal he unselfishly squared for Sterling who tapped into the empty net for a 2-0 lead.
However that was soon three as Suarez latched on to Henderson's skillful backheel to finish expertly past Marshall and send his side 3-0 up at the break. The second half saw Liverpool continue to pressure as Suarez picked out Flanagan who teed up Allen who was denied by Turner.
Cardiff needed a goal quickly to have any chance of a comeback and got lucky just before the hour mark as Mutch was left unmarked at the back post and headed past Mignoley to give the travelling fans hope, Mignolet was called on to deny a second Cardiff strike as Turner headed at him but the Belgian kept it out.
Liverpool came close to a fourth as Sterling raced forward and lost control only for Suarez to recover the ball and hit past the post. Coutinho found Allen but saw the Welshman head over and the last action of the game saw Suarez attempted to secure his hat-trick but hit off target from the edge of the area as the Reds held on for the win.

As this is a delayed report, Arsenal and Chelsea's draw last night means that Liverpool top the table at Christmas but the omens are against them as they are the last team to be top on Christmas and not win the league with the previous four all being successful, their failure being famously blamed on the 'Rafa Rant' in 2009.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Five Star Reds Trounce Sorry Spurs

After a comfortable win over West Ham, Liverpool made the trip to White Hart Lane to face another London based side in the shape of Tottenham with the Reds hoping to end a five game losing streak at the Lane and in doing so propel themselves back into second spot.

There was only one change from the West Ham game which saw the inured Gerrard replaced by Lucas and as such it meant a first game as captain for Luis Suarez. The visitors could have taken the lead inside the first minute as stand-in captain Suarez attempted to pick out Coutinho but the Brazilian failed to connect properly and the shot proved that as he failed to score.

Liverpool continued to push for an opener as Suarez hit wide but within minutes he was the architect of the first goal as he was picked out by Sterling and attempted to set up Henderson who flicked back the one-two pass and saw the Uruguayan skip through the defence and tap the ball past Lloris.

Lloris was called on to deny Suarez three minutes later as the denied the attacker in a one-on-one and Suarez came close to an assist as he put Coutinho through on goal but saw the resulting shot cannon of the crossbar. Spurs had a chance but Chadli failed to test Mignolet with a header and the miss could have proved costly when Suarez latched on to a mistake from Lloris but with an open goal in sight he failed to shoot before the 'keeper had recovered and denied him a second goal.

Sterling spotted and found Coutinho who in turn found Henderson and he tested Lloris who could only clear into the path of Suarez who hit for goal and forced an acrobatic stop from the Frenchman who saw his work undone as Henderson collected the ball and volleyed home for a 2-0 lead.

Tottenham did have the ball in the net before half-time but it was chalked off as in the build-up, Mignolet made a mistake in the area an allowed Soldado to challenge him but the Spaniard looked to out muscle the Belgian who went to ground and Soldado hit the ball into the open net only to be stopped in his celebration by the referee declaring a foul.

 Sakho only had the post in his way as he came close to his second goal in the space of a week as he headed at the far post but saw his attempt rebound off the post with the resulting chance from Skrtel going over, Tottenham's push to get back into the game suffered a massive blow in the 62nd minute as Paulinho received a straight red card for a high foot on Suarez and that all but signalled that the Liverpool would avenge their previous visits to the Lane. 

They increased the lead with a surprise scorer as Henderson played a clever back heeled nutmeg to Suarez and he crossed to the back post where to the surprise of the Spurs defence the unmarked Flanagan swept home a superb volley for his first Liverpool goal and was the base for an amazing team celebration.

Seven minutes to go and up popped the mercurial Suarez once again as he lifted the ball over the onrushing Lloris for his second and Liverpool's fourth as the pressure on AVB began to grow.

 Liverpool had not finished yet and punished the frail Spurs defence once more as Suarez turned provider and picked out Sterling who hit home for the fifth and a rich reward for a brilliant performance and as the final whistle went, the visitors and their fans were jubilant in  handing Tottenham their worst defeat for 16 years.

As I write, the result proved to be the last straw for Tottenham as yesterday saw the sacking of Andre Villas Boas despite him having a 54% win percentage but it seems the reverse on Sunday coupled with the 6-0 demolition they were given by Man City last month left the board with no choice.

Personally, I felt sorry for AVB as it was plainly obvious that the selling of Bale and the influx of 100m of 'talent' was done out of his control and that chairman Levy chose to use the manager as a scapegoat for his failings so as I highlighted on Twitter, I would take great pleasure in seeing Spurs stutter this season in the league in order for Levy to see that it would be his fault and not the manager.

Meanwhile, Liverpool move on to host Cardiff on Saturday with the prospect of being top of the league at Christmas if Arsenal fail to beat Chelsea on Monday night and would do so for the first time since the title challenge in 2009 then derailed by the famous 'Rafa Rant'.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Own Goal Treble Sees Hammers Blunted

Liverpool hosted West Ham hoping for a second home win in the space of a week and made one change from the stunning Norwich win with Sahko replacing the ill Agger.

The game was preceded by a well respected minute of applause for the late Nelson Mandela which was very emotional and well observed. The home side began well with Suarez piling on early pressure but his clever chip went wide. 15 minutes gone and Mignolet set up a counter-attack by picking out Sterling who played in Henderson who shot wide.

Mignolet made an excellent save from Maiga from close range after Jarvis raced down the wing and swept in a cross and the winger had another threatening cross but it failed to find a team mate, Coutinho found Sterling but the England forward failed to hit the target. Liverpool took the lead withing minutes as Suarez hit the ball across the box and forced a save from Jaaskelainen but the ball bounced in off Demel to give the home side a half-time lead.

Liverpool went 2-0 up inside two minutes of the second half when Gerrard's free-kick found Sakho at the far post and the defender headed goalwards with Skrtel and Collins colliding to forced the ball over the line but the goal was given to the Frenchman to spare West Ham's blushes of a second own goal.

Gerrard raced goalwards in the 56th minute but worryingly pulled up as he attempted a shot and had to go off to be replaced by Lucas,West Ham got some luck of their own as Jarvis' header across goal was met by the unfortunate Skrtel who tapped into his own net to level the own goals tally but also give the Hammers hope of a comeback.

The hope was short-lived as Suarez connected to an exquisite cross from Johnson to head past Jaaskelainen for 3-1 and to continue his amazing scoring run but the West Ham mood dropped further as captain Kevin Nolan received a straight red card for a challenge on Henderson.
Liverpool took advantage of the extra man with Suarez weaving left and right skillfully on the edge of the area before shooting for goal but was denied a second goal by a deflection off the shoulder of O'Brien which fooled Jaaskelainen as the ball flew into the net for the third own goal for the afternoon.
The Reds held on to complete back-to-back victories at Anfield and due to other results going in their favour, they moved up to second place behind Arsenal with a tough trip to Spurs next Sunday.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Historic Four Star Suarez Smashes Canaries

After an embarrassing piece of history on Sunday which saw Hull record a first ever victory over an average Liverpool, Anfield played host to the visit of Norwich.

Luis Suarez has been a deep thorn in Norwich's side in past meetings with two hat-tricks against the Canaries and his inclusion in the starting eleven surely drew worries from the visiting fans who had the positive that SAS partner, Daniel Sturridge would not be in the team after last week's injury.

Rodgers brought in Coutinho, Allen and Agger in place of Moses, Lucas and Toure but could have found his side behind early on as Howson swept in a superb volley that went over with Coutinho responding by swaying past three Norwich defenders and hitting for goal only to be denied by Bassong.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Tigers Roar As SAS Disbanded

After Arsenal opened up a seven point gap at the top with a win over Cardiff, Liverpool knew a win away to Hull was a must but the heavy favourites got a massive surprise and instead of maintaining second spot they now sit fourth.

The day couldn't have started any worse with the pre-match news that not only would he not play against Hull but that Daniel Sturridge would not play again until 2014 after suffering an injury in training so Liverpool included Moses and Sterling to partner Suarez.

Hull started the better with the opening chance as Davies headed wide from a Bruce pass but this was a sign of things to come as minutes later Hull stunned the viewing masses by taking the lead, Moses attempted what can only be described as a miss-chip pass and lost the ball,Livermore hit for goal from distance and got lucky with a spectacular deflection from Sktrel which sailed past Mignolet.

Liverpool levelled the score via a free-kick as Henderson was brought down and Gerrard converted into the bottom corner of McGregor's net with 27 minutes played. Huddlestone had a chance to regain the lead for the home side but saw his shot rest in Mignolet's grasp with Suarez soon testing McGregor at the other end.

Seconds after the restart, Suarez blasted from a tight angle but McGregor was unfazed and took it well.Rodgers brought on Coutinho in place of Sterling and the Brazilian started well with a swooping cross picked out Moses but the Nigerian International could only find McGregor and it proved very costly as moments later, Hull regained their advantage as Meyler hit a shot across Mignolet and into the bottom corner as the visitors fans were silenced.

Suarez went achingly close with a free-kick as Liverpool pushed for an equaliser but it was Hull's day and that was conclusive when Liverpool were dealt another blow as Huddlestone hit for goal only for it to be drifting wide until a superb header from Skrtel flew into his own net to confirm an historic maiden win for Hull against Liverpool and dent Liverpool's hopes of ending the year in the top two with Spurs, Man City and Chelsea still to come before the New Year.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

SAS Combine In Merseyside Derby

After a packed international break, Liverpool's stars returned to league focus for the Merseyside derby away to Everton yesterday afternoon.

Rodgers made two changes from the last match with Allen and Flanagan coming in for Enrique and  Sturridge with the latter on the bench, Everton started the better of the two sides as McCarthy threatened to open the scoring after a drive from the middle.
Liverpool countered with style as in the fifth minute they took the lead as Gerrard swept in a corner that Suarez flicked for Coutinho to control past Howard from close range. The lead lasted barely minutes as Everton equalised in the eighth minute as Mirallas connected to a loose ball in the Liverpool area to hit past fellow Belgian, Mignolet to level the score.

Mignolet was called into action again within minutes as he had to react quickly to deny another fellow Belgian, this time Lukaku who had broke through the defensive line but was skillfully denied by the Liverpool 'keeper. Liverpool regained the lead in the 19th minute as Suarez coolly swept in a free-kick that sailed past Howard and stunned the home fans while delighting the travelling reds.

Everton looked to repeat their earlier comeback and Mignolet was required to push a Barkely attempt past the post with Mirallas looking to seal a brace from distance only to see it fly wide. Mirallas was lucky to remain on the pitch minutes later after a bad challenge on Suarez just after the half-hour with the result being a booking for the Belgian and a cut leg for the Uruguayan.

Liverpool were happy at the break as they went in 2-1 up but Everton looked to change that early in the second half as Deulofeu replaced Baines and the Spaniard found massive space by a pinpoint ball from Mirallas but the focused Mignolet stuck a foot out to prevent the danger.

Liverpool could have all but sealed the win just on the hour when Allen found himself in front of goal with an unmarked Suarez in his sights but strangely went for goal and missed the target to the disgust of his teammate.
Mignolet denied Everton again by blocking a chance from Lukaku as Moses replaced Allen to try and increase the lead for the visitors but the ongoing battle of the Belgian's saw the attackers capitalise as Lukaku hit a free-kick against his international teammate and followed up with an equaliser amid a goal-mouth scramble. 
Liverpool looked to lead for a third time as Gerrard gave Suarez a great chance to head past Howard but the American denied him with a reflex stop which soon saw Sturridge come off the bench to replace Lucas.
Mignolet made a double stop from Deulofeu as the Spaniard raced down the left and from a resulting corner, Lukaku hit his second goal by rising highest to head past Mignolet and send the home fans wild and surely win the game for Everton.
Recent years have seen a twist in the final seconds and this year was no different as Gerrard swept in a free-kick which the in-form Sturridge headed home to the delight of an ecstatic travelling crowd as he salvaged a point. 

But there was still time for Suarez to have one last chance as he tested Howard and Liverpool did have the ball in the net for a fourth time but sadly it was rules out for offside with the last action of the game coming from Mignolet as he denied Deulofeu for one final time.

So an exciting Merseyside derby as always but a shame that a draw became a fair result which could have been very different had Allen been a team player when he had the chance to square to Suarez but enough of ifs and buts as we still sit second and that is still a massive achievement.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Reds Trounce Cottagers

After a poor defeat at Arsenal, Liverpool bounced back in style with a resounding win over Fulham on Saturday afternoon.

Rodgers made a range of changes including a switch to four at the back in came Agger, Johnson and Coutinho while Enrique returned on the bench, Liverpool started well with Agger hitting over after latching on Skrtel's pass while Coutinho shot wide.

Coutinho picked out Gerrard who in turn found Suarez and he attempted to set up his strike partner Sturridge but was denied by Stekelenburg, Fulham countered through Berbatov as he swept over a cross to Kasami but the resulting shot was blocked.

Mignolet soon denied Berbatov who clipped a chance towards goal but it was in vain minutes later as
Liverpool opened the scoring, Gerrard swept in a free kick which was flicked on by Agger and Suarez but went in off Amorebieta to Fulham's embarassment.

The vistors' mood got worse within minutes as Liverpool converted from another set-piece after Gerrard hit a superb corner which met the head of Skrtel who celebrated his first goal in 11 months since scoring against Fulham last December.

Liverpool pushed on for more and Coutinho hit a brilliant volley which was destined for the top corner only for Steklenburg to deny him a comeback goal and he was denied for a second time when his drilled shot was saved by the 'keeper.

Suarez got his name on the scoreboard with 36 minutes played as he connected to a through pass by Henderson and finished with style past his former Ajax teammate to pile the pressure on former boss Martin Jol and give Gerrard praise for a sweet nutmegging of Berbatov which had set the play up for Henderson.

Liverpool looked to continue where they left off as the SAS combined only to be denied by Stekelenburg including a rebound which missed the target but the wait for a fourth goal only took until the 54th minute when Gerrard played in Suarez who hit his eighth league goal of what has been a short season for him and he could have hit a quick third with a lob from halfway but it failed to trouble the 'keeper.

Fulham had a great chance to pull one back via Kasami's long-range effort but Liverpool continued their assault with Allen and Moses in place of Gerrard and Sturridge and there was a late appeal for a penalty for a tackle on Henderson but Parker's challenge was impressive and the right call was made.

Liverpool held on for a first clean sheet in eight games and sit second in the table going into the international break.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Gunners Defeat Reds

Both sides went into the game with hopes of continuing heir good form an it was the table topping Arsenal that made the first chance with Rosicky testing Mignolet six minutes in after finding space and firing across goal with the Belgian palming the ball away and soon Henderson attempted a chance at the other end but miscued at the vital moment.

Arsenal opened the scoring in strange fashion as Cazorla connected to Sagna's cross and headed against the post but with the defence still, he collected the rebounded and hit home to break the deadlock.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Suarez Treble Downs Baggies

After coming back to draw at Newcastle, Liverpool played host to a West Brom side who had been victorious in the last three meetings between the sides and needed to continue that run to move up the table.

Lucas returned in place of Victor Moses as Liverpool looked to get back to winning ways and Suarez had an early chance after strike partner Sturridge set him up but his shot narrowly went past the post. Suarez turned provider for Gerrard but saw the play maker's chance go the same way as his previous one but within minutes there were appeals for a penalty after McAuley looked to have fouled Suarez but nothing given.

Suarez was rewarded for his early exploits with the opening goal in the 11th minute as he swept past three defenders to slide the ball past Myhill to the joy of the home fans, Suarez added a second withing six minutes with a lucky cross from Cissokho finding him perfectly to hit a stunning header into the top corner from 17 yards out. 

Two could have been three for Liverpool as Skrtel connected to a Gerrard set-piece but mishit with the goal at his mercy while Suarez hit a clever free-kick which went past the post from 25 yards and Henderson was achingly close with a sweeping shot from the edge of the box.

Former Red Nicolas Anelka could have pulled a goal back right on half time after evading Mignolet but Skrtel ruined his hopes with a clearance before the line to ensure a first half clean sheet with the score at 2-0.

Both sides came out looking to score and Sturridge hit a free-kick narrowly past the post while Yacob hit a curler which failed to test Mignolet, Liverpool all but secured the win in the 55th minute as Suarez completed his hat-trick after latching onto Gerrard's free-kick and heading past Myhill.

West Brom were handed a lifeline as they were awarded a penalty which Morrison swept home past the diving Mignolet for 3-1 and minutes later Brunt hit an effort across goal and a snap-shot but neither resulted in a second Baggies goal.

Brunt's failure to convert proved costly as soon after, Sturridge stunned the crowd with a spectacular deft chip from 20 yards which flew over Myhill and into the corner for a 4-1 lead. Suarez could have finished with a stylish fourth as he hit an overhead kick which forced Myhill to tip the ball onto the bar and at the other end, Mignolet stopped Morrison as Liverpool secured a comfortable win.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

SAS Salvage Draw at Newcastle

Going into the international break, Liverpool were sitting joint top after a win over Crystal Palace and hoped that their good form would continue away to Newcastle. The past meeting between the sides are famous for being goal fests and in the early kick off on Saturday it was no different.

Newcastle sought revenge for the 6-0 crushing they suffered in April and they started with clear intent of shutting Liverpool down but it took a stunning strike from Cabaye to confirm their pressure as he let go from distance with a powerful shot which spun past the shielding Cissokho which hindered Mignolet's view and saw the ball fly into the net to send the home fans into hysterics.

The Frenchman could have had a second soon after as he hit an effort which came close to the cross bar and his fellow attacker Sissoko could have scored as he tested Mignolet with a strong shot which forced the Belgian to save acrobatically.

Newcastle's dominance suffered a crucial blow three minutes from half time as Suarez who had been fairly quiet so far in the game collected a pass from Sturridge and swooped into the box only to be shoved by Yanga-Mbiwa who saw himself sent off for the offence leaving the Magpies playing with ten for the rest of the game, Gerrard stepped up and successfully scored from the spot for his 100th league goal for Liverpool and ensured the sides were level into the interval.

Liverpool now needed to take advantage and could have taken the lead when Johnson forced Krul to turn the ball past the post early in the half while Skrtel's deft touch prevented Remy from beating Mignolet from close range.

Liverpool's failure to capitalise on their numerical advantage saw Newcastle take a 2-1 lead with a goal from Dummett who latched on to a looping cross to hit past Mignolet and write a new name into Newcastle folklore. Rodgers saw that changes needed to be made to comeback and brought Alberto on in place of Sakho and the change paid dividends as Liverpool were soon back on level terms.

Suarez broke clear and waited for his strike partner Sturridge to race into the area who then connected to the Uruguayan's cross to head home with a diving header as the 'SAS' struck again in devastating style. 

Liverpool pushed forward for a winner and came achingly close as Suarez skimmed the crossbar with a stinging volley but the miss meant the sides shared the points but saw Liverpool return to the top of the table if only for a few hours. 

Monday, 7 October 2013

Liverpool Top As SAS Down Palace

Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League after a 3-1 win at home to Crystal Palace which saw a repeat performance from the new 'SAS'.

Lucas' suspension meant he was replaced by Sterling in an otherwise unchanged Liverpool side who started the better with Suarez finding space to setup Gerrard who hit a swooping shot which was denied a chance at goal by Delaney.

Palace responded when Puncheon picked out Jerome only for the striker to head wide of the goal, but the deadlock could have broken in the 11th minute as an unmarked Moses attempted a flick which didn't come off as he had hoped.

Liverpool opened the scoring in style as Suarez linked up with Enrique to sway through the Palace defence and drive the ball past Speroni for his third goal in two games and the lead was increased to two within four minutes as Sturridge shimmied past the challenging defenders to hit into the far corner and send the home fans into celebration.
Palace needed a quick response and were unlucky not to comeback to 2-2 as Kebe raced passed the home defence and hit goalwards beating Mignolet but denied by Toure's clearance off the line and the rebound from Kebe was saved by Mignolet. Jerome swept in a cross which deflected off Toure but luckily for Liverpool was cleared by Sakho.

Their failure to convert from previous chances cost Palace as their hopes of a comeback were dealt a big blow as they conceded a penalty in the 37th minute after Sterling was tripped and Gerrard converted past Speroni for a 3-0 lead. 

Three could have become four as Moses after connecting to a Suarez pass hit the crossbar while Suarez himself tested Speroni with a drive to the left but was denied as the Reds went in 3-0 up at the break.

The second half was devoid of any real action until a chance from Sterling tested Speroni, Puncheon was denied by Mignolet after his shot deflected off a Liverpool defender and Gayle swept a powerful strike over the bar.

Agger came on for Sakho as Palace threatened to damaged Liverpool's clean sheet and were soon successful as after Sterling was penalised for a foul,Campana swept in a dangerous free-kick which Gayle latched onto to glance the ball into the corner past Mignolet and give Palace hope at 3-1.

It was consolation if anything for Palace who could have gone three behind again as Sturridge hit a shot from the edge of the box which struck the post but Liverpool claimed a 3-1 win which sent them top of the league until this afternoon when Arsenal's draw put them top on goals scored but to be joint top into the international break is great considering where we were a year ago.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Suarez Brace Beats Sunderland

Liverpool looked to get back to winning ways with a trip to Sunderland, Simon Mignolet faced his former side for the first time and Luis Suarez played in the league for the first time in five months.

Liverpool started well and thought they had opened the scoring as Skrtel connected to a Gerrard free-kick to hit past Westwood but his celebration was cut short by a flag for offside. Mignolet was enjoying a quiet return to Sunderland but was called into action in the 24th minute when Larsson hit a curling free-kick that beat the Belgian but cannoned off the crossbar as the sides stayed level.

Larsson's job changed from attacker to defender as he defended a Gerrard corner but the in-form Sturridge connected and his attempt clipped the Swede and went in handing Liverpool the lead and continued Sturridge's scoring run in 2013/14.

Sunderland fell further behind within minutes as Sturridge turned provider for the returning Suarez as he swept down the right and flicked the ball across the area giving the Uruguayan an easy tap in to score his first goal of the season and send the travelling fans wild.

The home side could have reduced the deficit when Gardner met Cattermole's pass and hit an effort at goal only to be denied by Mignolet;s trailing leg and just before the break, Adam Johnson curled a spectacular chance towards Mignolet but the ball scraped over the bar and meant Liverpool went in with a 2-0 lead.

Suarez could have doubled his tally minuted into the second half as he latched on to a corner and hit a strong shot which went wide, Sunderland were back in the game after a Mignolet mistake as he failed to hold a shot from Ki from 30-yards and Giaccherini took advantage and side footed past the stranded 'keeper.

Mignolet did make amends for the error minutes later as he saved a long range effort from Gardner, Liverpool pushed for a third and Moses came close as he hit a powerful shot which was pushed over the bar by Westwood.

Suarez who was hungry for a second goal had two great chances to score, first with a chance from the edge of the area which was blocked and then hit a rebound that went wide.Kolo Toure found himself in space and tested Westwood with an effort from 25-yards which was going towards the top corner but was expertly tipped over by the Sunderland 'keeper.

A 25-yard shot from the somewhat unlikely source of Kolo Toure nearly secured the Reds a third goal but his effort, which was destined for the top corner, was parried over by the diving Westwood.

A statistic that has dogged Liverpool so far this season is their failure to register a second half goal but that changed in the final minutes as Sturridge again turned provider for Suarez as he pulled the ball back for his strike partner to side foot past Westwood and seal a 3-1 win propelling his side to second in the table.

 An impressive performance for a partnership that has all the potential e of the former 'SAS' of Shearer and Sutton for Blackburn and the icing on the cake for Liverpool after the Ladies side sealed a first FAWSL title over Bristol and dethroning Arsenal who had won the league for nine consecutive seasons.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Hernandez Puts Liverpool Out

After the weekend defeat to Southampton in the league, Liverpool turned their focus to an away trip to play Manchester United in the Capital One Cup fourth round.

Surprisingly, United named a slightly weakened side when compared to a strong Liverpool lineup with included the return of Luis Suarez but it was the home side that started the better as Nani hit a 20-yard shot that flew wide and failing to trouble Mignolet.

Liverpool fought back and a neat combination of passes between Suarez and Sturridge saw the latter surge towards goal only to hit narrowly wide and shortly after, Suarez collected from a long pass to the back post but was prevented from a chance by De Gea.

Liverpool seemed to have the momentum but the United defence held firm as the sides went into half time level at 0-0. The equality lasted barely seconds into the second half as a Rooney corner was flicked in on the volley by Hernandez to send the home fans wild and give United the lead.

Liverpool fought back and could have equalised through Henderson as a Sturridge pass found Evans but the United defender could only clear to Henderson who side-footed a shot but it rolled wide of the goal.

Kagawa could have made it 2-0 as he charged down the middle and swept a powerful shot which beat Mignolet but found the top of the crossbar, this spured on Liverpool's search for a leveller and Suarez met a corner on the edge of the area but could only find the side netting.

A diving header by Moses from Enrique's cross went straight at De Gea as Liverpool piled on the pressure, Suarez hit a superb free-kick which deflected on the path towards the goal and smashed against the crossbar.

Rooney had two great chances to kill Liverpool's hopes, first with an effort from 20 yards
The forward's whipped free-kick was pushed out wide by Mignolet before his 20-yard curling effort from the resulting corner was also denied by the Belgian custodian.
In the closing moments of the match, Henderson received a short corner and whipped a shot towards the near post that deflected and took De Gea by surprise as it smacked against the goal frame.
Shortly after, Suarez found space in behind the Red Devils' rearguard to roll the ball across to Kolo Toure, whose side-footed attempt was dragged off-target - ensuring United progressed into the next round of the competition.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Lovren Shocks Reds At Anfield

Liverpool hosted Southampton hoping to register a record start to the season but saw their unbeaten record ruined thanks to a goal from Dejan Lovren who secured a shock win.

Liverpool tried their luck early on as Sturridge picked out Henderson who curled a shot which was taken by Boruc and soon followed by a long range effort by Lucas which failed to trouble the 'keeper.

Boruc faced more of a test when Gerrard chanced with a 30-yard free-kick that forced him into an acrobatic save to keep the score level but Southampton soon came close to hitting an opener themselves as a swooping cross from the left found Lambert bu as he shot, Skrtel blocked the path and cleared the danger.

Liverpool pushed for a breakthrough and came close with a clever solo chance by Moses that forced Boruc to tip it over the bar after the defence failed to stop the winger, Liverpool's frustration increased as Sturridge came close from Gerrard's free-kick as he flicked a header that went just past the far post to take the sides level into the interval.

Southampton began the second half well and Lallana could have opened the scoring as Liverpool lost possession at the back and the midfielder forced a save from Mignolet.

That was just the starter as Lallana collected an assist as his corner found the head of Lovren who powered a header past the Belgian stopper to stun the home fans into silence and sent the travelling Saints into hysterics.

Migolet was called into action to smother Osvaldo's chance which was heading for the bottom corner and denied a fine effort from Shaw.

Sterling raced down the right and drew Boruc off his line which gave the winger the chance to square the ball to Henderson but he was then denied by Lovren, Liverpool continued to push down the right and Sturridge had a great chance but couldn't level the score.

 Southmapton held on for a famous win and Liverpool were left to reflect on missed chances but they remained top of the table for now with a trip to Old Trafford in the League Cup the next test for them.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Old Boy Shelvey Stars In 2-2 Draw

Liverpool regained top spot after a hard fought draw away to Swansea on Monday night in a game that was dubbed ' The Shelvey Show.'

The Reds handed debuts to Sakho and Moses with hopes of a fourth win of the season and keeping their clean sheet record intact but latter evaporated inside two minutes as Shelvey haunted his former team-mates with a wriggling run before curling a shot past Mignolet to open the scoring and shock the home fans into joy.

However, he went from hero to villain within a minute as a stray back pass to Vorm was intercepted by a ghosting Sturridge who collected the ball and fired it past Vorm for the equaliser while becoming the first Liverpool player to score in the first four games of a season since John Aldridge in 1987.

Sturridge could have made it five in four in the 25th minute after excellent play from Moses picked him out but a powerful shot was palmed away by Vorm. Swansea themselves could have taken the lead after a neat exchange between Bony and Michu saw Bony shoot for goal but was denied by Mignolet.

Liverpool did take the lead though in the 36th minute as Moses connected to a wayward pass from Shelvey, surged towards the goal and hit a wonderful drive past Vorm to score a brilliant debut goal. The lead could have been instantly equalled as Bony had a great chance to tap in only to be denied by a crucial goal-line clearance by Skrtel which ensured Liverpool led into the half-time interval.

Liverpool started the half well as Wisdom tested Vorm with a low drive but the Reds were soon dealt a blow as Coutinho left the field injured in the 54th minute and it seemed that he took their attacking spirit off with him as he was hit with a late tackle by Williams and replaced by Aspas.

Swansea capitalised and yet again Shelvey was the main focus as he hit a pass to Michu who flicked the ball past Mignolet to level the score, they could have made it three late on as an acrobatic save from Mignolet denied De Guzman and meant a share of the points for the two teams.

An amazing game and a draw was a fair result overall and as Liverpool now sit top of the league with 10 points from 12, there is no reason to complain but hopefully they will extend their unbeaten run with a win at home to Southampton on Saturday.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Sturridge Downs United With Birthday Strike

Liverpool hosted rivals Manchester United with David Moyes hoping to eradicate his poor record at Anfield while Liverpool celebrated the 100th birthday of legendary manager Bill Shankly, but it was another birthday boy who sealed the headlines...

Liverpool started well and earned a corner kick inside three minutes and as Agger glanced a header across goal up popped Daniel Sturridge to head home past De Gea and cause Anfield to erupt as he celebrated turning 24 with his third goal in as many games this season while becoming the second player to do so in the Premier League for Liverpool.

The goal proved to be the impetus for an array of chances, Van Persie hit an acrobatic overhead after being played in by Evra and at the other end, Coutinho hit an effort wide from 25 yards. Welbeck attempted to test Mignolet but his shot was an easy take for the Belgian stopper.

United had a great chance minutes later as Young swept in a corner which went across the box and surprised an unmarked Van Persie at the far post who failed to control and finish as the ball bounced to safety.

As the game progressed, United became more aggressive in their attack as frustration began to set in as they went in 1-0 down at the break but early in the second period, they should have levelled when a Liverpool clearance found Young who guided a half-volley towards goal but was superbly denied by Johnson.

Twenty minutes to go and United still pushed to equalise with veteran Ryan Giggs meeting Nani's corner to glance a header towards goal but Mignolet was on hand for an easy catch to protect the lead and he was in action again as Nani danced in from the right and hit a sharp drive which the Belgian palmed away after a superb dive. 

The points could have been shared late on as Van Persie had United's best chance of the game as Hernandez slipped a ball through to the Dutchman who failed to establish a good connection and saw his attempt slide into the side netting.

Liverpool could have added to their lead in the final seconds when Sterling aimed for the top corner only to be denied by De Gea but they held on for a famous win, one which puts them two points clear at the top of the table as the only team to have a 100% record while also being the sole team with three clean sheets as the league goes into the international break.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Liverpool 4 Notts County 2 (Capital One Cup Rd 2)

After missing out on european qualification last season, Liverpool joined the Capital One Cup at the second round stage and played host to Notts County.

Debuts were handed to Aly Cissokho and Luis Alberto as a strong Liverpool side hoped for a safe passage to the third round and they made the perfect start as Sterling scored in the fourth minute after powering down the middle and drilling a shot past the diving Bialkowski to send Anfield wild.

However, there was bad news in the 10th minute as Cissokho went down injured and had to be replaced by Agger ruining his debut but Agger nearly made an instant impact as he met Gerrard's free-kick to glance a header at goal which cannoned off the post.

Sturridge continued his run of scoring in successive games as he collected a pass from Gerrard and rifled a shot into the far corner for a 2-0 lead, Agger came close to adding a third when he nodded towards goal but found the palms of Bialkowski.

As half-time approached, Gerrard continued the Liverpool threat as he latched on to a pass from Sterling and smashed a shot against the near post which meant Liverpool lead 2-0 at the break. Early in the second half, it was clear that Liverpool's approach was more reserved and County had a chance through McGregor but from 30 yards out he failed to test Mignolet who saved with ease.

County used that chance to spur them on and it bore fruit minutes later as they reduced the deficit from a clever free-kick, Smith glanced a header across goal allowing the onrushing Arquin to nod past Mignolet from six yards.
Liverpool were thwarted by the post again when Toure met a Gerrard cross on the volley which beat Bialkowski but didn't find the net but with six minutes remaining, Liverpool came unstuck as Arquin surged through the defence and swept in a cross which was met by substitute Coombes who tucked the ball past Mignolet to level the tie and send the away fans into ecstasy. 
The prospect of extra-time loomed as Agger took a go from 25 yards that took a delfection and flew off target and Sterling sliced Johnson's cross past the post. Extra-time began and Liverpool were dealt another defensive blow as Toure went off injured leaving them with 10 men having used all three substitutes.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Liverpool regained the lead as Sturridge finished off a rapid counter-attack which saw Coutinho find the striker in open space and pick him out to allow him to drill a shot from a tight angle that got a touch from Bialkowski but not strong enough to prevent Liverpool leading 3-2.

A safe passage to the third round was endured after a pacy run by Jordan Henderson saw him nutmeg Liddle before sweeping the ball past Bialkowski to seal a 4-2 win. Liverpool made it hard as has become a tradition against lower-league sides in the cup so maybe a tie against a fellow top-flight team in the next round may see them keep their foot on the gas rather than backing off in the second half.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Aston Villa 0 Liverpool 1 (EPL 2)

Liverpool made it two wins from two thanks to a strike from Daniel Sturridge who sealed victory over Aston Villa.

The win meant that Liverpool had won consecutive league games for the first time since December 2011 and they started the game well by dominating possession but shots on target were hard to create as it took until the 15th minute before either side had a real chance.

Coutinho curled the ball over the bar after failing to test Guzan but six minutes later, a clever move saw Coutinho dummy a pass from Enrique which found its way to Sturridge who showed neat footwork before smashing the ball past Guzan to the joy of the travelling fans.

Aside from taking the lead, the strike was the 100th goal of Rodgers' reign as Liverpool manager and Liverpool were in complete control but that was threatened just before the break as Mignolet was called into action to deny a curler from Benteke and did so with a full length save to protect the lead into the interval.
Villa pressured the visitors as Bacuna hit a dangerous free-kick which found the Liverpool wall and within seconds, Westwood drove a shot over the bar. Liverpool's new loan signing, Aly Cissokho came on in place of Iago Aspas for his debut and Villa continued to threaten an equaliser which they nearly had when Benteke rose to meet a corner.

The contest entered the final stages and Tonev forced a low save from Mignolet but Benteke connected to a bouncing ball into the box and hit a powerful effort which saw Mignolet palm the ball past the post and make sure that he claimed a second consecutive clean sheet and three points that put Liverpool up to joint top on six points.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Liverpool 1 Stoke 0 (EPL 1)

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Liverpool 0 Celtic 1

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Valerenga 1 Liverpool 4

Monday, 5 August 2013

Liverpool 2-0 Olympiacos

Monday, 29 July 2013

Thailand 0-3 Liverpool

Liverpool brought the curtain down on their tour of the Far East with a comfortable 3-0 win over a Thailand XI on Sunday.

So far this pre-season it has been Coutinho who has been on great form in the early stages and he could have replicated that in the 11th minute but from a Johnson cross, his scissor kick didn't find the net.

However, it only took five minutes before he continued his rich scoring streak as he stole the ball before showing great trickery to slot into the bottom corner and open the scoring and Thailand could have equalised with a strong shot from 20 yards which Mignolet was sharp to keep out and Liverpool led 1-0 at the break.

Liverpool started the second half perfectly as Coutinho picked out Aspas who beat a defender with a superb spin before shooting past the keeper to secure his third goal for Liverpool and give his side a 2-0 lead.

Gerrard added a third just before the hour mark as Allen raced clear in midfield and supplied a pass to Aspas who picked out Gerrard who flicked the ball over the keeper to wild celebration from the fans.

A number of changes took place as Aspas and Fabio Borini made way for Luis Suarez and Jordon Ibe, Kolo Toure and Coutinho -were replaced by Martin Skrtel and Jordan Henderson, while everyone else lasted until the closing stages.

As the end drew close both Suarez and Gerrard hit the crossbar and Henderson had a chance hit off the line but the score finished at 3-0 as Liverpool completed the tour unbeaten.

Melbourne Victory 0-2 Liverpool

Liverpool continued their Far East tour with a 2-0 win over A-League side Melbourne Victory in the second game of the tour.

Both sides started well but it was Liverpool who had the best chance to open the scoring as Sterling had a sight of goal but sliced wide from 25 yards, Nabbout tested Brad Jones from a similar distance and the Australian keeper kept his shot out.

Gerrard latched onto a pass from Sterling with a fierce strike that Coe in the Victory goal leapt to save on the half-hour, Allen hit a pinpoint pass to Gerrard who calmly slotted the ball past Coe to open the scoring just after the half-hour mark.

Liverpool pushed to increase their lead and came close as Sterling and Gerrard combined and the captain hit a shot that sadly continued to rise over the bar meaning a 1-0 lead at the break.

The Reds came out with the same desire to score they had left with as Skrtel connected to Gerrard's corner forcing Coe into a good save and later on, Borini hit a cool volley from the edge of the area which Coe did well to save and from the save, Victory tested Liverpool via Connor Pain who hit a left foot drive that forced Jones into an acrobatic save.

Liverpool soon made a mass of changes and Aspas secured the win in stoppage time with a simple tap-in after some excellent trickery by Luis Suarez who strangely looked disappointed after the assist. 

Liverpool remain unbeaten going into the final game of the tour against a Thailand XI before returning home for Gerrard's testimonial.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Indonesia XI 0-2 Liverpool

Sunday, 14 July 2013

2013/14 Pre-Season Begins At Deepdale

Liverpool's preparation for the new season began perfectly with a 4-0 victory away to Preston North End to win the Shankly Shield.

The friendly was arranged to celebrate the impact that Bill Shankly made on both teams, as a player at Preston and as the legendary manager at Liverpool in the year that he would have celebrated his 100th birthday.

Liverpool gave starting debuts to Simon Mignolet and Kolo Toure in a side of youth and experience but it was the youth that shone the brighter early on as Coutinho forced former red John Welsh to concede a penalty and the Brazilian stepped up to cooly slot home to open the scoring.

The lead doubled in the 36th minute via a superb long range strike from Jordon Ibe who notched his first goal for the club and Liverpool went into the break with a 2-0 lead.

The second half saw Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas make their debuts as part of ten changes which meant only Mignolet would play in both halves.Aspas was influential in Liverpool's third in the 64th minute through fit again Raheem Sterling who linked with Aspas before sliding the ball home for a well taken goal.

Aspas was rewarded for his earlier assist with the fourth and final goal of the afternoon in the 74th minute with a sweet strike from 25 yards which looped in and capped a good performance for Liverpool.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Carragher Bids Farewell On A High

An emotional farewell by Jamie Carragher in his 737th and final game for Liverpool saw a victory over QPR end his glittering seventeen years courtesy of a super strike by Philippe Coutinho.

A surprise entry on the final team-sheet was 17-year old Jordan Ibe who has impressed in the youth ranks this season and will hope to repeat the feat of one Michael Owen who's debut on the final day in 1997 began an amazing career which incidentally came to an end today as he retired at Stoke.

Liverpool came out of the blocks quickly as Coutinho was unlucky to be denied a goal by the official as he connected to a Downing corner with a header which appeared to cross the line but appeals were ignored.

As has been a tradition recently, Coutinho was the driving force for Liverpool and set himself up in the 18th minute as he evaded a challenge with ease before sending a shot wide of the post but he avenged the wayward shot with a stellar strike five minutes later as a cool assist by debutant Ibe saw the Brazilian waste no time in unleashing a 25-yard bullet that flew past Green and into the corner to send Anfield wild.

Liverpool pushed for a second as they maintained their pressure on the already relegated QPR and a surging run by Johnson saw him lift a left footed chance over the bar while QPR had a chance via Townsend from long range which blazed wide of the target.

A good debut for Ibe nearly became great as he swished down the left and aimed a bullet of a shot that flashed narrowly across the face of goal and saw the Reds go into the break at 1-0.

Five minutes after the restart and Green was called into action as Johnson hit a strong shot which arrowed towards the top corner forcing a improvised palm from the England stopper.

One dream that everyone in Liverpool red had in their mind was a Carragher goal in his final match and only the upright of the post denied the dream as an uncharacteristic screamer of a shot from the legendary number 23 agonisingly crashed back from 25 yards out to deny him a magic farewell.

Ten minutes to go and Suso stung the palms of Green from a tight angle only for the rebound to go to Downing who's goalbound shot was duly blocked.

As the end approached, Anfield saw a standing ovation as the stalwart Jamie Carragher was replaced by Sebastian Coates to bring an end to his amazing career as he bid farewell to Anfield for the final time before retiring to go into a media career for Sky Sports next season.

As the final whistle went, Liverpool had secured the win to end the season on a high and send Carragher off on a high as the future looks bright for the club with the hero again being the 20-year-old Coutinho who with Sturridge has turned the fortunes of the club around in recent months and makes many wonder how the season would have gone had they both been signed last summer rather then midway through the campaign.

Hopefully, I will sign off 2012/13 with a review and compilation of my magnetised scores within the week so watch this space....

Sturridge Treble Stuns Cottagers

Daniel Sturridge's first hat-trick for Liverpool proved the catalyst for a 3-1 victory over Fulham in the penultimate game of the season despite a superb goal by Berbatov.

Liverpool started well and Coutinho was the instigator of two good chances, the first saw an exchange between him and Shelvey which saw the England U21 midfielder drill a shot at goal only to have it blocked and the Brazilian tried with a solo effort.

The pressure continued as Sturridge had a good sight at goal but the chance was rushed and the ball slipped past the far post but as Liverpool were dominating possession, Fulham broke the deadlock just after the half-hour as the unmarked Berbatov latched onto an exquisite cross from Riether with a cool header into the corner past Reina.

Fulham's lead lasted barely three minutes as Liverpool equalised via a careful but concise pass from Wisdom found Sturridge and he swished past Hughes easily before a pinpoint strike past the ailing Schwarzer sent the 'travelling Kop' wild as it hit the roof of the net.

After the break, Liverpool came out firing on all cylinders as after Enrique replaced Wisdom - he curled in a crisp cross for Sturridge who met it well but the resulting header soared over the bar.

As the hour approached it seemed more likely for Liverpool to score than Fulham and as Coutinho hit a sharp shot, it deflected into the path of Sturridge who made no mistake in slotting a side-footed chance past Schwarzer to give his side a 2-1 lead. The lead could have been by three within minutes but two expert saves from Schwarzer denied Sturridge his hat-trick.

Fulham had a great chance to equalise from a corner as Hughes met the cross with a glancing header aimed at the far post and a textbook palm from Reina prevented an excellent leveller which could have soon been cancelled out by Borini, who came so close to matching his substitute heroics from the Newcastle game as he raced clear before smashing a shot that cannoned off the post followed by a good save from Schwarzer to keep the score at 2-1.

Liverpool sealed the win with five minutes to go as the lethal combination of Sturridge and Coutinho struck again as a super pass from the Brazilian playmaker found the England striker who lifted the ball over the onrushing Schwarzer and into the empty net to secure a well deserved three points for his side.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Merseyside Derby Ends In Stalemate

After a crushing win over Newcastle,Liverpool were forced to settle for a goalless draw against Everton after a tense Merseyside derby at Anfield.

On a day that was Jamie Carragher's thirtieth and final Merseyside derby, Liverpool failed to secure a vital win that would have closed the gap on their city rivals.

Liverpool started the better as Sturridge sent a half-volley wide from 20 yards out but despite that opening it was Everton who came closest to opening the scoring as Fellaini met a free-kick in the 17th minute with a volley which inched past the post.

On the half-hour, only a superb intervention by Jagielka prevented Gerrard from breaking the deadlock as after controlling a Downing cross, Henderson created a chance for the captain which found a strong block.

Jagielka denied Liverpool again as Sturridge failed to control a pass which found its way to Coutinho and he burst into the box but a last-ditch tackle by the centre-back cleared the danger.

After the restart, the combination of Sturridge and Coutinho came close to a crucial impact as a defence splitting pass gave Sturridge a view at goal but as he attempted to go round Howard, the Everton stopper anticipated the move and quelled the attack.

Everton found the back of the net on the hour mark but the goal was chalked off after Distin headed a corner past Reina but an obstruction in the area kept the score level. Coutinho came close after Johnson's cross from the right found no contact and strolled to the Brazilian but he drilled a shot that went straight to the arms of Howard.

Liverpool surged forward as Sturridge hit a nice pass to Gerrard but he went past Howard and from a tight angle created a chance which was cleared by the defence, both sides pushed for a winner and Agger failed to connect to a Gerrard free-kick before Anichebe hit the woodwork as the game neared the end. 

As the final whistle blew, both sides accepted that a draw was a deserved result as they took away a point each.Liverpool move onto face Fulham next week in their penultimate game of the season.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Liverpool hit Newcastle for Six

After a big week for Liverpool over the Suarez bite incident, many thought that they would struggle without the 30-goal superstar but how wrong they were as the Reds swept six past a woeful Newcastle.

The main change was Sturridge replacing the suspended Suarez who will sit out the next ten games so Sturridge will have to lead the line alone for a while.

Liverpool flew out of the blocks as Coutinho slid a ball to Johnson in space who squared to Sturridge but Taylor in the Newcastle defence quelled the danger but in clearing the box they left Coutinho and Agger open and the Dane rose to head past Elliot to open the scoring in the 3rd minute.

Liverpool bossed Newcastle all over the park and added to their lead after a sweet run from Coutinho towards goal saw him roll the ball through to Sturridge who picked out Henderson who tapped home from close range and raced away in celebration.

Newcastle should have pulled one back in the 38th minute as Perch smashed over a free header from barely a few yards to leave the Geordies still two behind into the break.

Newcastle came out firing on all cylinders and only Johnson's quick block denied Cabaye a certain goal from close range which was costly for the home side as Liverpool scored a third, Coutinho involved yet again as he lifted a ball over the defence where Sturridge deftly collected and smashed past Elliot for 3-0.

An hour gone and the game ended as a contest as Gerrard's exquisite pass over the top for Henderson allowed him to roll the ball across the box to the unmarked Sturridge who tapped home for his eighth Liverpool goal in 2013.

Gerrard departed in the 72nd minute and replaced by the returning Borini who had come back from shoulder surgery and a long time on the sidelines but he made an instant impact after latching onto a cross from  Downing to smash home his first league goal in the Liverpool red and give Liverpool a 5-0 lead.

Debuchy who had been booked in the first half for a scuffle with Sturridge received his marching orders in the 75 minute for a dangerous two-footed challenge on Coutinho and from the resulting free-kick, Henderson swept in a sweetly curled effort which evaded everyone and flew past Elliot for his second goal and Liverpool's sixth.

All afternoon for Liverpool it was Coutinho who was the most deserving of a goal for his efforts and he came so close with a super strike which was tipped onto the bar by the diving Elliot and kept Liverpool from a magnificent seventh.

Full time and a crushing win for Liverpool to quell doubters that they would struggle without Suarez and show that without the Uruguayan, their attack is just as potent which is good timing with the Merseyside derby against city rivals Everton on the cards for next Sunday.