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.