Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Reds Secure Second Place

After such an exciting and dream-filled season, Liverpool concluded their campaign with a 2-1 win over a bad-tempered Newcastle but sadly the win was not enough to claim a first Premier League title as Manchester City won against West Ham to secure their second title in three years.

Liverpool brought in Daniel Agger and Jordan Henderson in place of Mamadou Sakho and Lucas Leiva as they hoped for a favour from West Ham to aid their title challenge but it was the visitors who has the first chance when Shola Ameobi headed off target after a corner from Vurnon Anita before testing Mignolet with a strong header.

Henderson earned a free-kick for the hosts in a dangerous position with Luis Suarez taking it quickly and and lobbed superbly over Tim Krul but had his stunning effort denied by the referee apparently because the ball was not still when he kicked it.

Newcastle responded with great effect as Gouffran raced down the left and clipped in a cross which clipped off Skrtel and past Mignolet to had the Magpies the lead and in doing so gave the Slovakian the unwanted record of most own goals in a single season with four.

Mignolet was called into action to prevent the lead doubling as he produced a stunning save from Gouffran who powered a shot at the Belgian stopper with his opposite number being called into action when Suarez hit a low drive but the shot failed to trouble the keeper.

News of City going in front lowered the mood but when Sturridge looked to glance home, the mood rose only for the ball to carry to the left meaning Newcastle held a 1-0 lead at the interval and as a result, Liverpool came out early for the second period eager to equalise and had a good chance when Sterling aimed at goal and his shot took a deflection before drifting wide.

Liverpool levelled and then went in front in the space of two minutes with Gerrard clipping towards the post and finding the waiting Agger perfectly to head past Krul before the skipper turned creator again with a free-kick that found Sturridge who converted from close range for 2-1.

The drama continued at the restart with Ameobi shown a red card for dissent and the momentum switched to the hosts who dominated the possession while going for a third goal but were given another advantage when Dummett was somewhat harshly sent off for a challenge on Suarez but the match finished at 2-1 and Liverpool despite being gutted at not winning the title, celebrated a well deserved second place with a lap of honour.