Saturday, 26 July 2014

Roma Secure Late Victory

Liverpool's first game in their USA tour saw a friendly match at Boston's Fenway Park against AS Roma but sadly it was the Italians who went away with the win.

The last meeting between the sides at Fenway Park saw Roma win 2-1 in 2012 and but Liverpool's quest to prevent a repeat suffered an early blow as a heavy fall from Fabio Borini, saw the Italian striker go off injured with Emre Can coming on in his place after only 12 minutes.

Liverpool had the best chance to open the scoring when Coutinho aimed a dangerous free kick at goal which just crept past the far post but Roma responded and went even closer to breaking the deadlock with a chance from Totti that went the wrong side of the post.

Roma threatened again in the 33rd minute as a cross from former Chelsea defender Ashley Cole found Totti in the box but again the Italian's shot failed to test Jones in the Liverpool goal and Liverpool responded as Coutinho looked to test Skorpski in he Roma goal but failed to hit the target meaning the sides went into the interval still level.

Coutinho looked to be the main threat for Liverpool as hit for goal again in the 48th minute but the target seemed to escape his shot but strike partner, Lambert came close to scoring his first goal for the club with a powerful shot that was denied by a strong Roma clearance before he forced Skorupski into a superb save with a clever shot just before the hour mark.

An array of changes for both sides took place on the hour mark and it was one of Liverpool's in the form of Peterson that came close to an instant impact as the Swedish attacker sent a dangerous cross into the area which found Coutinho who sent a drive towards goal only to see it denied by the Roma defence.

Roma responded to the pressure well and looked to threaten with a free-kick in the 70th minute only for Paredes to sent the chance over the bar and with just two minutes remaining , Sanabria send a powerful shot at Jones but the Australian denied the chance with a low save.

The final seconds ticked down as the sides looked to be going into special deciding penalty shoot out but Roma had other ideas as from a dangerous corner, Borriello hit a shot towards goal that saw a deflection off Agger which went past Jones and opened the scoring and with the final whistle following, Roma held on for the win.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Ibe Sparks Deepdale Comeback

After the last-gasp defeat to Brondby on Wednesday night, Liverpool travelled to Preston looking to bounce back with a win and included two new signings in the form of Ricky Lambert and Emre Can as a youthful side took the field for the second time this week.

Preston started the better of the two sides with Joe Garner forcing a good save from Brad Jones after a curling shot from range after Lucas had lost possession to Neil Kilkenny in midfield. Liverpool responded as Borini swept into open space to collect a scything pass from Lambert before testing Jamie Jones in the Preston goal.

Preston looked the likelier of the sides to score first and came close with two good chances as Kilkenny hit a dangerous dipping shot that narrowly missed the target and Josh Brownhill came even closer when he hit an effort that forced a palmed stop from Jones. Liverpool made a precautionary change in the 20th minute as Can came off and was replaced by Jordon Ibe and Liverpool came so close to an opening goal when Martin Skrtel threatened with a headed effort that David Buchanan denied superbly. 

Both sides continued to push for the opening goal but it was the hosts shat made the breakthrough with half-time on the horizon as a swinging corner caused chaos for the Liverpool defence with the ball finding Brownhill at the back post who hit past Jones.

Liverpool made just two changes at the interval with Lambert and Kelly departing and Jack Robinson and Suso introduced for the second half and the latter looked to make an instant impact when he raced inside and aimed for goal only to see his effort go wide of the goal. Seven further changes were made by Rodgers on the hour mark and alike the earlier changes, an instant impact came close to bearing fruit as Ibe dashed down the left and swept a powerful effort towards goal but saw the chance narrowly miss the target.

Suso and Ibe seemed to be enjoying their advances down the wing and combined to bring Liverpool level as Ibe picked out Suso in a good position before the young Spaniard swept a stunning effort that swung into the top corner and delighted the travelling fans in the 74th minute. However, the sides were level for just four minutes as Ibe turned provider again by picking out Peterson who side-footed into the net and completed a rapid comeback.

Liverpool held on to secure their first win of pre-season with the major praise going to Jordon Ibe has set up all three Liverpool goals so far including two for Kristoffer Peterson who looks like a real prospect for the future.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Reds Suffer Last Gasp Defeat

After the excitement and also disappointment for players at the World Cup, Liverpool began their pre-season programme with a 2-1 defeat against a Brondby side who concluded their pre-season schedule with the victory.

Liverpool started well with Coutinho looking to find Borini only to have the chance spoiled by a crowded defence but Brondby also had a good chance as Durmisi curled a free-kick to the near post that was dealt with well by Jones.

Suso tested the Brondby defence with a strong left-footed chance that forced a fingertip save from Hradecky and Liverpool were forced into a change when Ilori went off injured and new academy signing Stewart came on for his debut.

However, Stewart did not have the best start as a bad clearance by Suso found its way to Norgaard who sent a superb shot that sailed past Jones and gave the Danish side the lead. A strong response from Liverpool was inevitable and after Borini's shot was blocked by Albrechtsen, Smith tested Hradecky with a powerful hit and the follow up from Coutinho was also denied by a fine save.

The visitors had two good chances just before the break as Lucas tested Hradecky with a low shot but alike the earlier chances the Brondby stopper was on fine form again as he also denied Borini's chance from the rebound.

Traditionally with friendlies, there are sweeping changes at half-time and Rodgers made 10 changes which led to an instant pay-off as just four minutes into the second half, Liverpool were level as a superb run from Ibe saw him race into the box and pick out Peterson who finished from close range.

Brondby could have regained the lead from a superbly hit free-kick from Kahlenberg but his effort drifted wide of the post. Liverpool responded with the biggest threat coming from Ibe as the young winger drifted inside and sashayed his way through the defence before aiming for goal but only finding Hradecky.

After coming close with his earlier effort, Durmisi tried his luck with another set-piece and saw his chance cannon against the crossbar after a superbly curled shot and it was clear that neither side were happy to settle for a draw. Ibe tested Hradecky and came so close to putting Liverpool in front before lightning struck twice from a Brondby set-piece as Hasani aimed for goal and saw the ball ping back off the crossbar.

Hasani's luck soon changed as he collected the ball and dribbled unchallenged through the Liverpool defence before he fired the ball into the roof of the net to secure a last-gasp win for Brondby who as a result end their pre-season with an unbeaten record.

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.