Thursday, 15 May 2014

2013/14 Season Results Magnetised

After such an exciting season here are the results that made Liverpool dream but also groan...

Reds Hit Shamrock For Four

Liverpool ended the season officially with a friendly against League of Ireland side Shamrock Rovers with all of the Brazil bound players not included meaning a youthful eleven took to the field in Dublin this evening.

Liverpool began well with Aspas searching out a cross for the returning Borini who narrowly missed the connection which would have surely opened the scoring but the crowd didn't have long to wait for a goal as Ibe swept down the left and crossed superbly for Aspas to finish for the opening goal in the eighth minute. 

Jones did well to keep the lead intact with a quick save from a Kilduff header with Ibe responding for the visitors with a superb chance as he aimed for goal only to have his effort deflect wide. Aspas found himself in open space and with a great chance to score but could only find Murphy in the Shamrock goal.

Shamrock could have been level at half-time as Brennan headed at goal but only found the post with the ball rolling along the goalline before going out as Liverpool led into the break. The second period saw Liverpool extend their lead inside four minutes as Ibe raced forward and found Borini with the Italian curling a shot which beat Murphy and nestled in the bottom corner. 

Ibe came close to a goal of his won after a clever dribble put him in on goal but sadly he fired over with Borini also coming close when his shot struck the post and bounced clear. Liverpool went three in front in the 74th minute when Aspas hit for goal only to see his effort deflected right into the path of Kelly who finished superbly past Murphy.

Ibe looked to end his man of the match performance with a goal but again luck evaded him as he was denied by Murphy and the gloss on the win came with a first senior for Dunn who blasted into the net from the near post as Liverpool ended the season with a comfortable victory.

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.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Palace Dent Reds Title Hopes

Two games to go and a win for Liverpool would mean the title race would go to the final day as they took on Crystal Palace on Monday.

Liverpool made one change with Sturridge coming into the starting eleven in place of Coutinho as they looked to secure a vital win but it was the hosts who started the better with Puncheon troubling the Liverpool defence before hitting off target.

Sakho headed wide at the other end from Gerrard's corner while Allen delivered a dangerous cross that found Johnson but the result was a shot over the bar. Liverpool did go in front after a Sturridge's effort deflected fro a corner and the resulting set-piece from Gerrard found an unmarked Allen who headed past Speroni for his first league goal of the season.

Speroni could have been beaten again on the half-hour when Suarez chanced from a free-kick but luckily for the stopper, the effort failed to trouble him while his opposite number did well to deny an equaliser when Jedinak tested him from long range.

Liverpool started well after the interval with Sturridge forcing a reflex save from Speroni with Suarez hitting over from the rebound, Gerrard found Sturridge with a superb pass allowing the attacker to run at goal and test Speroni with his effort gaining a deflection and beating the Palace stopper for a two goal lead.

Two soon became three as Sterling and Suarez combined with the latter firing a perfect finish past the near post to surely seal a win for his side and boost their title hopes. However, Palace responded superbly and began with a Delaney effort that got a wicked deflection that left Mignolet helpless.

Bolasie raced down the wing and crossed for substitute Gayle who side-footed past Mignolet to set up a tense finish which became even more stunning when Gayle collected a flick-on and swept past Mignolet to steal a point and leave Liverpool's title challenge hanging by a thread.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Chelsea Dent Title Hopes

Atop the league table, Liverpool knew that a win over Chelsea would put them within reach of a first Premier League title but what took place at Anfield on Sunday threw the title race wide open.

Rodgers names an unchanged line-up meaning Sturridge would only be named on the bench and in a break of what has been an Anfield tradition this season, Liverpool's blitzing style didn't take as Chelsea had the first chance as Cole clipped an effort towards goal forcing Mignolet to palm away to safety.

Johsnon looked to surprise his former side after being picked out from Gerrard's corner but his shot was deflected behind and Coutinho hit wide after Suarez found the Brazilian from out wide, Cole cleared well from a dangerous corner with Suarez volleyed the rebound and Sakho hitting over the bar.

Cole lost possession and Liverpool capitalised with Couthinho and Sterling combining to pick out Suarez but the Uruguayan curled his effort too high to trouble Schwarzer. The half-time interval was just minutes away and then disaster struck for Liverpool as a Sahko pass for Gerrard resulted in the captain slipping and letting in Ba who took advantage and slotted past Mignolet.

Liverpool came out for the second period looking to comeback in order to keept their unbeaten run intact and tested Schwarzer with a blast from Gerrard with the Australian called into action to deny Allen whose volleyed looked certain to level the score.

Chelsea looked to counter and forced Mignolet into a superb save as he denied Schurrle with Liverpool countering themselves and Allen and Gerrard had efforts saved by Schwarzer. Liverpool's countering was to cost them in the final minutes as from a set-piece, Sturridge passed back but only found Willian who put in Torres before the two raced clear past Gerrard.

Torres was one-on-one with Mignolet but squared for Willan to literally walk the ball into the net to complete a 2-0 win and end Liverpool's 2014 unbeaten run and dent their title hopes.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Sterling Double Edges Out Norwich

After what has been an emotional week for Liverpool with the 25th Hillsborough memorial bringing the world of football together, the team buoyed by the memories of the 96 looking over them travelled to Norwich for an early kick-off on Easter Sunday.

Liverpool made two enforced changes from the win against Manchester City with Joe Allen and Lucas Leiva replacing the suspended Jordan Henderson and injured Daniel Sturridge while Steven Gerrard was selected for his 666th appearance placing him third in the all-time list with the legendary Ian Callaghan and former teammate Jamie Carragher ahead of him.

As has been traditional at home this season, Liverpool brought their blitzing style to an away game with the opening goal coming after only four minutes with the in-form Sterling stunning the crowd with a spectacular effort that sailed past Ruddy in the Norwich goal.

Ruddy prevented the visitors from going further ahead with a strong save from Allen after the midfielder had been found by Coutinho but was beaten second time around when Sterling carved an opening down the left and hit a pinpoint pass to Suarez which the Uruguayan side-footed for his 30th league goal of the season.

Norwich responded well with Skrtel producing a vital clearance from and dangerous cross while Mignolet denied a powerful effort from Redmond to ensure the 2-0 lead remained intact into half-time and after the interval, Norwich began brightly but it was Liverpool who were the most threatening as Sterling hit an effort over the cross bar after Suarez and Coutinho combined.

Norwich reduce the deficit after a dangerous cross troubled Mignolet who was out muscled by Johnson and the loose ball found Hooper who tapped into the empty net to the joy of the home fans. However their joy was short lived as Liverpool regained their two goal lead within minutes as Sterling gained possession and raced down the middle before tricking through the Norwich defence and clipping a shot at goal, the ball deflected off a defender and left Ruddy helpless as it looped over him into the net.

Norwich reduced the deficit when Snodgrass glanced the ball past Mignolet to set up a tight last 13 minutes and they could have been level when Van Wolfswinkel headed for goal but did so straight at Mignolet who kept his side's lead intact as they held on for the win, a victory that out them five points clear at the top and three wins from a first league title in 24 years.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Coutinho Seals Vital Win

This week lives in the memories of all Liverpool fans as we remember the 96 fans who went to an FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough and never came back, yesterday was an heart-warming way to remember them as an impeccably marked silence was accompanied by a special mosaic reading '96 - 25 years' as Manchester City visited.

An emotional afternoon began perfectly for Liverpool as Suarez split the City defence and found Sterling who defied his age and outfoxed Hart to tap into an open net to send the home fans euphoric and Sterling continued to pressure City as he turned creator for Sturridge but the effort went wide.

City responded as Toure hit a rasping drive over the bar but in the process seemed to hurt himself and had to go off dealing the visitors a blow while Garcia replaced him and found himself in the book less than a minute after coming on.

Sterling's pace was really causing City trouble and after a pass to Sturridge was cut out, Coutinho swept in a corner that Gerrard met spectacularly forcing Hart to tip the ball over the bar.Gerrard swept in the resulting corner to devastating effect as Skrtel evaded Kompany before glancing a header that sailed over Hart and into the net and Liverpool were in dreamland at 2-0.

Two could have been three just before half-time as Coutinho found himself in a good position but hit off target with Silva having a dangerous header deflected and chaos ensuing in the Liverpool box with both Sterling and Johnson clearing off the line. Mignolet kept the two-goal lead intact with a fine save from Fernandinho's strong volley and Pellegrini made a second change at the interval bringing Milner on for Navas.

City had their best chance to score when a dangerous cross went through the box from Milner and Silva tapped past Mignolet but the ball had gone out in the build-up, it was a warning that Liverpool didn't heed as a repeat cross from Milner minutes later found Silva and this time his effort did count.

Silva caused trouble for Liverpool again as he hit for goal only to see his shot deflect off Johnson and wrong-foot Mignolet to level the score, it is said that true champions are able to triumph after pressure and this was a real test of that.

The momentum was with City and Dzeko looked to complete the turnaround as he hit for goal after a mistake in the Liverpool defence but was denied by Mignolet and the pressure saw Aguero enter the fray as City looked to catch Liverpool on the break.

Anfield held its breath when Aguero passed Skrtel and raced forward with Silva against Sakho but luckily for the hosts, the Argentinian's pass evaded Silva in space at the back post. Liverpool came back and got a throw-in in a dangerous position, the ball came to Kompany and he hacked at the loose ball but it went straight to Coutinho who made no mistake in powering past Hart as Anfield erupted.

City pressured Liverpool and got a lifeline in the final minutes when Henderson was given a straight red but were unable to prevent a magical win for Liverpool that puts a potential first Premier League title in their hands to lose.