Thursday, 2 August 2012

FC Gomel v Liverpool Match Report

Liverpool opened up their Europa campaign with a 1-0 win against FC Gomel in Belarus tonight. It was also Brendan Rodger’s first official game at the helm.
To mark the occasion of Jamie Carragher’s 700th appearance, the defender was given the captain’s armband. A few players were missing from the squad, including Luis Suarez, Sebastian Coates and Craig Bellamy, due to the Olympics.

Unfortunately for Joe Cole, the returning Red was taken off 25 minutes into the first half with a hamstring injury. He was replaced by youngster Raheem Sterling.

Just before halftime, Brad Jones had to make a desperate save from a tight angle on an attack from Gomel’s Aleksandr Alumona, who outran Skrtel toards the goal.

In the start of the second half, Glen Johnson was replaced by Martin Kelly. 

Fabio Borini found his first chance.  Defender Jose Enrique picks out the Italian, but Borini’s angle is too tight and the ball goes right to Gomel’s keeper.

Steven Gerrard gave a free-kick that nearly made it in thanks to the head of a Gomel player but it went inches wide of the post.

In the 64th minute, Gomel nearly went one up. Sergey Krozeka’s strike hit the post fiercely, only to have it bounce back. Dmitri Platonov took his chance on the rebound from six yards out but it went flying past the goal. 

Rodgers then made the substitution of Lucas for Jordan Henderson. It was welcomed sight for many after missing the Brazilian for most of last season.

Stewart Downing saved the evening in the 67th minute with an amazing strike 25 yards out past defenders and the goalkeeper straight into the back of the net. 

Another chance for Gomel came from Alumona again, but it went past the post, summing up their night.

Gomel seemed to have tapered off of their aggressiveness they exhibited in the first half. They fell back and Liverpool too became more defensive in the final minutes in an effort to keep them ahead on the night.

And it worked. Though the Reds still seemed to be in pre-season mode and are still learning the new tactics of Rodgers, they will go into the second leg at Anfield ahead.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Brendan Rodgers confirmed as LFC manager

A press conference was held this morning at Anfield to confirm and unveil Brendan Rodgers as the new manager of Liverpool Football Club.

Chairman Tom Werner started the presser giving his gratitude on behalf of the club to Kenny Dalglish, but said that “supporters will embrace Brendan’s style of football” and that he is “enormously intelligent.”

Werner continued to sing his praises by stating Brendan has travelled Europe to study best techniques and has used them to great effect. He was the only one to be given an offer out of the selection process. He was stated as being the first choice and right choice.

Brendan seemed confident in his new title and was grateful for it.

“I feel very blessed for the opportunity,” he said.

Brendan continued to talk about what attracted him to Liverpool.

He made clear: “If I left Swansea City, it would be for a top club.

“That was the attraction: the history of the club. Also the frustrations. We may not be ready for the title now but the process begins today.”

He talked about the current footballers, saying that they are eager to learn and want to improve and that is where he comes in.

When asked about if he will be bringing new players in, especially from Swansea, Brendan said it is something not clear yet.

“There is big quality in the group,” He stated. “I look forward with working with some of the greats. Where players will come from will remain to be seen.”

Brendan will be quick to impress many already with his leadership already shining through, especially when he talked about the player selection process. He said he did not want to work alongside any one person, but rather a recruiting group.

He clearly wants to make his impact at the club with players and supporters alike.

He told the world: “I am very proud and very honoured to be the manager of Liverpool Football Club.

"I promise to dedicate my life to fight for this club and defend the great principles of Liverpool Football Club on and off the field."

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Liverpool v WBA Match Report

Roy Hodgson’s return to Liverpool proved to be positive for him as his team West Brom Albion won over Liverpool at Anfield one-nil.

The first half of the game was painful for both sides as no goals were scored, but Liverpool continued their run of bad luck at home with many chances but having none converted to goals.

Enrique tried early on but the defender kicked it well over the bar. Another chance came from a corner kick, but Daniel Agger was also not able to grasp the chance well enough. Andy Carroll’s header was also over the bar.

The chances did not just come for Liverpool. West Brom also tried to open the scoring and kept returned keeper Pepe Reina plenty busy. Liam Ridgewell had a ball bounce off him towards the direction of the Spaniard but Reina quickly stopped it. And Peter Odemwingie tried a long ball effort that went wide of the goal.

The second half did not get any better. The Reds hit the woodwork twice. First, Jordan Henderson had his shot bounce back, and Dirk Kuyt’s ball also hit the post low and narrowly missed out.

In the 66th minute, chaos ensued when a throw in started the sequence of three clearances in succession at the West Brom goal.

Odemwingie finally put the Baggies one up ten minutes later. He sent Reina the wrong way after picking up a ball from a poor clearance by Glen Johnson.

Though the team did push on the defense for awhile, the Reds seemed to have fizzled out hope in the final minutes, letting Hodgson and the Baggies head back home with all three points.

Monday, 16 April 2012

How I followed Liverpool to London

During an away game, you can normally find me in the local pub with my Liverpool shirt on, cheering our boys on.

I’ve always envied those in the ‘Travelling Kop’ and really depended on them to be my voice too, when showing support in a different setting from Anfield. The away fans represent us all, and I hoped to be one of those representatives at some point.

This season, a major sigh of relief came from me when Liverpool were lucky enough to get home games in all four draws of the FA Cup, and I was even more lucky to be able to go to them, having missed out on all of the Premier League games.

Although our games were at Anfield, I was extremely nervous about our chances. We may have had draws against Oldham Athletic and Brighton, but we also had to defeat Manchester United and Stoke City before advancing. It was rough, but nothing Liverpool could not handle.

I was standing in the Kop against Stoke City when I watched Luis Suarez and Stewart Downing assure our Wembley trip with a goal each against Stoke’s one. After I calmed down about the win in general, it hit me that I might have a chance to go with them.

The anticipation of a ticket announcement nearly killed me. The club’s Twitter feed finally showed me the link I had been waiting for: “FA Cup Semi-Final announcement.”

I fully expected instructions on how to register for a ticket ballot, as they did for the Carling Cup final. But no, this time was different. I read the website twice to make sure I was correct. Because of my attendance to the last four FA Cup, I was guaranteed a ticket.
Immediately I splashed my social networks with statuses on my excitement. Still, the thought of travelling to London to what is arguably the greatest stadium in the United Kingdom was a dream. Not only that, but it would be a Merseyside Derby due to Everton overtaking Sunderland in their replay a fe days prior. The real proof of my trip came when I went to stand in line for my ticket at 5am the day I was qualified for.

My friend, Stephen, was coming with me, and I was grateful for it. I was extremely nervous about booking my first trip away in three years. I must have driven him mad with all of my questions about the travel down there and the area of London anyways, since it would be my first time there as well. I made sure to save up some before booking the coach and hotel, and it was a relief when it was all sorted.

The night finally came to travel down to London. We arrived at the coach station early to claim our preferred seats to be as comfortable as possible on the long overnight journey. It did not go without a few hiccups though, as a stop in Birmingham saw three other passengers kicked off for smoking and drinking. The delay put us back nearly an hour, and we were exhausted after being unable to catch a snooze on the coach.

My adrenaline kicked in a bit when we pulled up to London Victoria coach station at 7am. There were plenty of Reds and Blues scattering one way or another. Some went to straight to Wembley, but as this was my first trip to London, I took advantage of the early morning hours to do some sightseeing.

The famous arch was a sight to be seen for miles

Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, The London Eye…they were all great, but absolutely nothing compared to the extravagance of seeing Merseyside take over the capital. The sea of Red and Blue outside of Wembley was well and truly the greatest sight of them all. Finally, I got to be one of the fans representing those all across the world in the grandest setting Liverpool has seen in awhile.

Fans were absolutely swarming the walkway into the stadium. Reds were to enter on one side with the Blues on the other, but until they got to the entrance, we were all mixed. There was lots of banter, but nothing too harsh, aside from the three-year-old in Blue giving all Reds the finger while sitting stop his father’s shoulders. The most important thing was seeing both sets of supporters show their support for victims of Hillsborough. 
Reds and Blues packed either side

The sight of Wembley on the outside was breathtaking with its distinguished archway inviting all match-goers, but inside it was even better. I sat down in my seat and took in the view. I do not think it could have gotten much better. I was sat 34 rows up near the corner. The amount of people that poured-in in the next hour was incredible and definitely nothing I have ever seen before in my life.

The next 105 minutes were some of the most intense I have ever experienced. The first half saw Everton’s Jelavic gave them the lead with an early goal, and I witnessed the Blue half of Merseyside bounce in celebration on the other side of the stadium. The way Everton were playing, I was sure Liverpool could walk away disappointed. Our side seemed to have quieted down a little bit. I think half time could not have come soon enough. Both the players and fans needed a chance to recuperate.

I suspect Kenny Dalglish gave the boys an earful during that break, because the second half saw a new rejuvenated team. They pushed hard onto the Blues’ defense and it paid off when Suarez brought hope back with his equaliser. I have never shown so much excitement over a goal in my life. The Kopites erupted in cheers. Everyone was hugging and holding onto whoever was close to them, and singing Suarez’s praises with his song and swinging their scarves in celebration.

The voices never died down after that goal. In fact, they probably got even louder as we sang our support. I would like to think it helped spur on spirits of those on the pitch, especially Andy Carroll who headed in Liverpool’s second goal and put us ahead.

I do not think I yelled so much in my life. I shouted encouragement to the players and things like: “Only three more minutes boys!” and “Let’s do this! Keep them Blues away!” Of course, they did not hear me, but it felt good to do it anyways. After all, I was there to support and represent the rest of supporters.

Suarez & Carroll: Cup Heroes

I may have shed a tear or two when the final whistle blew. I looked to Stephen and said, “I am so happy right now, I can’t believe it.” He smiled at me being overwhelmed, as this was something he had already been able to experience before at other games and knew how I was feeling.

The smile did not leave my face for a long time. Reds and Blues stayed segregated until we reached the Tube, but there were no issues, despite Liverpool fans singing all the way from the gates of Wembley to the entrance of the train. I watched an Evertonian sitting across from me during the journey back to Central London. His eyes were red and puffy from crying. Despite the strong rivalry between the two, I felt for him, as I would be doing the same if it had been the other way around.

I crashed in my London hotel room after being on a high for so long thanks to the win. When I woke up the next morning, I smiled again knowing it was not a dream, and Liverpool were off to Wembley again for the third time this season. Not only that, but I get to be there again and be part of this family that represented those fans worldwide.

So on May 5th, I will be making the journey again to London. I will sing just as loud and cheer on my team against Chelsea. No matter the outcome, I have been so thankful for my experience at my first away game and Merseyside Derby, and I am truly grateful to be part of the famous Liverpool family.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Blackburn v Liverpool Match Report

It was a crazy night at Ewood Park when Liverpool defeated Blackburn 3-2 in the final minutes.

Manager Kenny Dalglish made several changes to the previous line-up in anticipation of the upcoming FA Cup semi-final at the weekend, including resting captain Steven Gerrard, but the side did not seem weak in the slightest.

After 13 minutes, Maxi Rodriguez proved just that. Martin Skrtel picked out Craig Bellamy, who then crossed it beautifully to the Argentinian. Maxi easily put it past Rovers keeper Paul Robinson.

It only took a couple minutes later for Maxi to repeat it, putting the Reds two up after both Andy Carroll and Jonjo Shelvey were denied their chance to be on the scoresheet.

All seemed well until a messy back pass from Jon Flanagan caused stand in keeper Alexander Doni to fumble and take down Blackburn’s Juinor Hoilett in the process. Doni was shown an immediate red card, and Brad Jones stepped up take his place. Jones was able to save Yakubu’s penalty as his first touch.

In the 36th minute, Blackburn scored their first goal of the evening from a free kick by David Dunn that was then headed into the net by Yakubu.

The Rovers were granted a second penalty 61 minutes in when Jones pushed Yakubu in the box and was given a yellow. This time, he would make it past Jones, granting the home side some hope for a draw.

It looked to be a draw when the game came into extra time, but Carroll saved the day and claimed all three points for the Reds. Daniel Agger passed the ball high into the box where Carroll was able to gain control and put it past Robinson, claiming victory for the Reds after a long drought.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Liverpool v Aston Villa Match Report

Unlucky Liverpool managed just a point at Anfield against Aston Villa with a 1-1 draw.

Striker Dirk Kuyt was all over Villa from the beginning, giving keeper Shay Given a startle early on but he grasped onto it, denying the Dutch international.

But Villa found the back of their goal first. Barry Bannan passed the ball to James Herd, who then put it past stand-in Red keeper Doni.

Before the halftime whistle was blown, Liverpool called for two penalties but both were denied by the referee including a potential handball and Luis Suarez being fouled inside the box. Instead the referee saw the foul as a dive and the Uruguayan saw a yellow card.

The biggest blow of the evening was when captain Steven Gerrard crossed the ball into the box, but Kuyt missed his chance at point blank range and somehow the ball went over the net instead of in it.

Given definitely saw more threat from Liverpool in the second half. First he had to stop a header from Suarez, and then he came under pressure from substitutes Craig Bellamy and Daniel Agger.

With only eight minutes to spare, Liverpool levelled the score. Agger attempted to head the ball into the net from a corner, but it was salvaged by Suarez from two yards out and put past the Villa keeper.

Liverpool’s spirits were obviously lifted after that, and they spent the last few moments putting pressure on, including a last minute effort by Gerrard. Villa were able to hold on though, and both teams walked away with a point each.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Liverpool v Wigan Match Report

Fans were left disappointed at Anfield when Liverpool lost 2-1 against Wigan Athletic.

It was an even further blow for the Reds as it was Wigan’s second league win in 14 games and first ever at Anfield.

The Lactics seemed a bit wary at first, but Victor Moses broke through to try his luck, but defender Martin Skrtel was able to block the early shot.

Unfortunately for Moses, he would see Skrtel’s boot when the Slovakian gave a high kick to the face in an effort to block him again. Moses had to leave the field after some treatment, but it earned Wigan a penalty at the half hour mark, which Shaun Maloney took and put past Pepe Reina for his first goal in a Wigan shirt.

Lactic keeper Ali Al Habsi became busy after that. Liverpool responded passionately but the keeper kept denying them a goal, including a curl by Luis Suarez and a shot by Steven Gerrard.

Manager Kenny Dalglish made an early change at halftime, replacing Jordan Henderson with striker Andy Carroll.

Two minutes into the second half, the Reds levelled up when Gerrard neatly passed the ball to Suarez to put it past Al Habsi.

The Uruguayan seemingly scored another goal only a few moments later. Skrtel’s header stumbled near the goal, and Suarez fumbled it into the net, but the goal was disallowed when the referee ruled it bounced off his arm.

Wigan responded with another goal to put them in the lead. James McCarthy’s shot was blocked by Jamie Carragher, but the ball was picked up by Gary Caldwell, and he then put it past a shocked Reina.

Liverpool fought back but in the end were defeated, the fifth time in six league games, and it sees the Reds still in seventh on the Barclay’s Premier League table.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Running for Justice

The call for justice for the 96 fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough has been going on for 23 years, but a few fans are now raising awareness in a different way.
Dom Williams and his five teammates are hoping to do just that by running 76 miles from Hillsborough to Anfield in only three days.

Although a new runner by some standards, Williams is fully dedicating himself for the cause. This includes some serious training all in the name of justice.

"I started running last July and have not really stopped since," he said. "I do a lot of very hilly miles, this varies between 25 and 55 miles a week depending on how the body is feeling."

Recently, Liverpool Football Club gave their backing to the team's journey and announced that the run could be ended on the pitch at Anfield. Since then, Sheffield Wednesday have now also showed the same gesture, saying the six runners could start their trek right inside Hillsborough as well.

Not only have the two clubs shown their backing, but the support has also been pouring in from the community as well. Words of encouragemnt and donations to the fundraiser have been coming in from football fans worldwide. Williams expressed just how important it has been in the build-up.

He said: "Without the support, we could not go ahead. It just means we, as a team, have a huge responsibility to do ourselves proud and make this run as successful as it can possibly be.

"It really needs to be successful on two counts, firstly we want to raise a huge amount of money so when we present the cheques on the pitch at Anfield on either the 14th April or the 22nd April it is not embarrassing. Secondly that we raise public awareness not just in Liverpool but right around the country."

You can donate and find out more about Dom and his team's progress by going to

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Liverpool v Arsenal Match Report

Liverpool saw their unbeaten at home run ended with a defeat to Arsenal.

The Reds nearly took the lead after 19 minutes when a penalty was given to the home side after a challenge from Arsenal’s keeper Wojciech Szczesny on Dirk Kuyt.

The Dutchman, coming off from a high for his part in last week’s Carling Cup final, failed to get past Szczensy when he took the penalty.

But soon after, Liverpool would get on the scoresheet with the help of Arsenal. Jordan Henderson took a corner, but the Gunners’ Laurent Koscielny in an attempt to head the ball away ended up heading it into his own net, past a stunned Szczcesny.

Arsenal soon made up for the folly of an own goal with a goal by Robin Van Persie. A cross from Barcary Sagna saw the star Dutchman beat the defenders in red to put the ball past Pepe Reina and level the scoring.

The second half had a slow start since Mikel Arteta collided with Henderson. Arteta suffered a concussion and jaw injury from it.

Kuyt created a cross that looked for sure to become a goal by Martin Kelly but the defender wasted the shot by seemingly misjudging the timing of the cross.

In the eight minutes of stoppage time, Van Persie scored his 30th goal of the season and the game winner. Alex Song’s ball to Van Persie was perfect to see the Gunners walk away from Anfield victorious.

Although Liverpool were arguably the better side in the afternoon, they could not convert any of the chances to goals, giving Arsenal all three points and leaving the Reds even farther from the desired top four position.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Carling Cup Final Match Report

Kenny Dalglish celebrated with the rest of the Reds when Liverpool on their first trophy during his second stint as manager at Wembley.
In typical Liverpool final fashion, the match against Cardiff City proved to be very dramatic, keeping everyone on their toes until the very last seconds.

Liverpool were lively from the start and defender Glen Johnson nearly opened the scoring just two minutes in, but his effort hit just inside the crossbar.

It was the Blue Birds that surprisingly took the lead in the 19th minute with a shot by Joe Mason that went through keeper Pepe Reina’s legs. They would stay in the lead at halftime.

Defender Martin Skrtel put Liverpool’s mind at ease at the 60 minute mark. Stewart Downing’s corner kick went to Andy Carroll who headed the ball to Suarez. The Uruguayan struck the post but the ball ended up at Skrtel who then levelled the scoreboard.

The Reds did everything they could to prevent extra time at Wembley, but even with a series of corners to take advantage of the fulltime whistle blew at 1-1.

It was Dirk Kuyt, who came on in extra time to replace Andy Carroll, who lifted the spirits again two minutes after coming on the pitch. The Dutchman slid near the goal in a fruitful attempt to take the lead. The Travelling Kop made their voices heard in appreciation.

Liverpool may have thought a win was in the cards after nearly 120 minutes of play, but Cardiff fought long and hard the whole time not to go out like that. They equalised in the final moments of extra time. Ben Turner took advantage of a scramble from a corner and put the ball through Reina’s legs, leaving the game to be decided by penalties.

The Captain Steven Gerrard was up first. Unfortunately his shot was blocked by Cardiff keeper Tom Heaton. It was quickly forgotten when Cardiff’s Kenny Miller also missed.

Charlie Adam has no chance when his effort went clear over the bar. Don Cowie scored his penalty, leaving the Reds in an intense moment. But when Gestede missed after Kuyt scored, there was still no telling who would win.

Stewart Downing and Glen Johnson both scored their penalties, while the Blue Bird’s Peter Whittingham did the same. It was all down to Anthony Gerrard, Steven Gerrard’s cousin to keep the hope alive for the Welsh side.

However, Anthony Gerrard’s effort went wide, sending the players and fans into a frenzy after winning the League Cup for the eighth time.

Dalglish spoke of his respect for his rivals, saying “We're delighted to have won a trophy. It was a difficult game for us and I think Cardiff represented their football club extremely well. They tried everything.

"We've played well, come through some really hard games, and today was a really hard game because they were tough opponents. Malky (Mackay) can be proud of the job he's done there, and the people of Cardiff can be proud of the efforts they've put in.”

He also spoke of the relief of winning a trophy after a six year drought.

"Our people are absolutely delighted with their first trophy in six years, so it's been a very good day for us. We'll just continue to work hard and see where it takes us."

Dirk Kuyt said it was keeping the faith that led the Reds to the trophy.

"We never stopped believing and that is why we have won the trophy," he said.

"Even when Steven missed his penalty I said to him we would still get back into it as there were a number of penalties to be taken.

"The most important thing in football is belief and we showed today we have that in the squad. It's a great day for us."

Monday, 20 February 2012

Liverpool v Brighton Match Report

Liverpool soared into the next round of the FA Cup winning 6-1, with a little help from three own goals from Brighton.

Defender Martin Skrtel headed a ball from a corner kick in the early minutes to open the scoring. Brighton answered with a goal by Kazenga LuaLua from a free kick just outside the box.

The visitors may have made some intention known with the equaliser, but they seemed to lack any fighting power after that. Liverpool created most of the chances from there on.

Unfortunately for Brighton, they left their mark into their own net. The first of their own goals came just before halftime when a header from Reds’ defender Glen Johnson was cleared but then bounced back into the net by Brighton’s Liam Bridcutt.

In the second half, Andy Carroll stepped up to the plate, scoring from eight yards out after a fantastic pass from Stewart Downing.

Poor Bridcutt got his second own goal of the evening from a corner gone wrong. Reds’ captain Steven Gerrard was initially denied a goal but the loose ball was again bounced back in by Bridcutt, adding insult to injury.

Only three minutes later did Brighton’s final own goal come. Brighton’s Lewis Dunk attempted to keep Luis Suarez’s cross away from the goal with his knees. The consequence would be the ball going into his own net.

Suarez attempted to get on the score sheet finally when Dirk Kuyt was brought down in the box for a penalty. The Uruguayan missed his shot, but a few minutes later he redeemed himself with a goal.

It started out as a cross from defender Jose Enrique to Andy Carroll, who then headed it to Suarez. He then got his name on the scoresheet from one yard out, and ending the rout at 6-1.

Liverpool will now face Stoke City in the sixth round of the FA Cup.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Manchester United v Liverpool Match Report

Old Trafford hosted what is arguably the most heated game of the season when Liverpool visited this afternoon, but the Reds would walk away empty handed after Manchester United won 2-1.

The drama started before the whistle even blew. The eyes were more on Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra during the players’ handshakes. While it was expected for the two to shake hands and move on, it was Suarez who refused to shake Evra’s hand, leaving the Red Devils’ captain clearly angry.

Suarez soon seemed to be the distraction between Evra and Rio Ferdinand when the two defenders clashed, seeing Ferdinand land on his neck. A couple of minutes later the veteran would be up again.

Liverpool wasted no time putting the pressure on. Glen Johnson tested keeper David De Gea early on with a low shot but De Gea was able to get it away.

Formally retured Paul Scholes nearly put the Red Devils ahead with a close header but it went straight to Reds’ keeper Pepe Reina.

Danny Welbeck tried again but it was cleared by Daniel Agger when Welbeck made an attempt to find Wayne Rooney in the box.

Just before halftime, Liverpool were granted a corner kick. It was taken by Stewart Downing, and the ball went to Martin Skrtel who blasted it over the bar.

Suarez was left furious a couple minutes later when Ferdinand tackled him. The Uruguayan expected a free kick and was not given it. With his anger escalating, manager Kenny Dalglish kept motioning him to calm down.

More drama at halftime when there was pushing and shoving in the tunnel, with the police having to get involved. It took the players about five minutes to get to their dressing room.

Wayne Rooney scored the first goal of the game from a corner kick in the opening minutes of the second half.

Only a few minutes later, Rooney would double that lead. A pass from Valencia allowed Rooney to easily make it 2-0. It was poor defending from Liverpool.

He tried to make it a hat trick but finally the defense pulled through and the ball was cleared away.

Dalglish made some essential changed in the 61st minute with strikers Andy Carroll and Craig Bellamy replacing midfielders Stewart Downing and Jay Spearing. His final change would be Charlie Adam for Drik Kuyt with 15 minutes left to play.

With only ten minutes left, of all players it was Suarez who got the ball past De Gea to get Liverpool on the scoreboard.

Johnson’s powerful kick nearly leveled it up for the Reds but De Gea sprung it away over the bar. Nothing would come from the corner given.

Of course the scuffle could not be laid to rest. After the final whistle, celebrations from Manchester United players brought in front of Suarez caused more pushing and shoving from the two teams.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Liverpool v Spurs Match Report

Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur's meeting at Anfield ended in a stalemate in what was an important game for both teams.

While Liverpool were without defender Jose Enrique for the first time, Spurs were without their manager Harry Redknapp, who could not get to the game due to a glitch in transportation. The Reds also were able to include Luis Suarez back on the roster after the Uruguayan served his eight match ban (nin in total) imposed by the FA.

There was some excitement in the beginning however, when a cat occupied the pitch in the first ten minutes. It took a couple of minutes, but a steward managed to remove the feline from Tottenham’s penalty area.

Finally some real excitement started on the pitch about 20 minutes later. Charlie Adam curled a ball Dirk Kuyt’s way but the Dutch International was offside. A couple minutes later, young Jay Spearing took a shot from outside the box, just nicking the post.

Defender Glen Johnson tried his luck in opening the scoring five minutes before halftime but Spurs’ keeper Brad Friedel stopped it.

Gareth Bale responded for Tottenham but had no power behind his back-kick and Reina caught it.

The second half saw Liverpool even more alive against the Spurs. Even defender Martin Kelly got in on the chances by firing from 25 yards out, but again Friedel saved the effort.

Finally the most talked about man of the last few months was welcomed back onto the pitch. Suarez substituted Kuyt in the 65th minute. He immediately made his presence known by nearly opening the scoring himself but Spurs’ Scott Parker cleared the ball away.

Only a couple minutes later, Parker would find himself on the ground, responding to an accidental kick by Suarez. The Urguayan is booked for it.

Carroll had a brilliant opportunity to finally do it for Liverpool but the ball, which bounced back from the post after Daniel Agger’s attempted header, went clear over the net when the striker was less than ten yards out.

The Reds saw yellow again thanks to Martin Skrtel’s high-flying tackle into Bale.

Poor Carroll could not get that ball to go where it needed to. Glen Johnson’s cross found his head but Carroll headed it too wide.

Despite all the great chances for Liverpool left and right, it was Tottenham with the best chance. Bale had nothing but the ball and a lot of space, until Reina came out. Although a bit messy, the ball was cleared away.

The game ended with both teams taking away a mere point.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Wolves v Liverpool Match Report

Liverpool left Molineaux Stadium with three more points tonight in the Premier League after triumphing over Wolves 3-0.

Manager Kenny Dalglish omitted skipper Steven Gerrard from the night, rumoured to be out with a slight injury but Jay Spearing started after spending some time on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

After 30 minutes, Dirk Kuyt attempted a repeat of his winning goal only a few days earlier that knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup, but it was too high above the bar to make any threat.

But Wolves produced the best chance in the first half. Michael Kightly had a one on one with keeper Pepe Reina while just on the edge of the box but the ball just went wide right.

Charlie Adam for Liverpool created a great chance for Andy Carroll but it was blocked by Stephen Ward. Jordan Henderson tried his luck too but his shot was saved by Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey. It was not a convincing first half for either side as the halftime whistle blew at 0-0.

After halftime, Adam tried again with a fantastic cross right to Carroll who slotted the ball into the left hand corner of the net and finally opening the scoring in the 52nd minute.

Less than ten minutes Craig Bellamy battled it out between three Wolves defenders, taking a shot that Hennessey struggled to stop. It brushed his gloves into the net then doubling Liverpool’s lead.

It was Kuyt who finished it again with the third and final goal. Assisted yet again by Adam, Kuyt put another ball past Hennessey in the right corner of the net.

Although Carroll was obviously hungry for his second goal of the night and had a couple close calls towards the final minutes, the game ended at 3-0 with Liverpool claiming victory.

Reduc@te continuing to be a success at Anfield

Anfield is home to Liverpool Football Club and has been the stage for some highs and lows of English and European football.

There is another group, however, that call Anfield home.

For 13 years now, Liverpool have been running an educational programme called Reduc@te. For the youths that participate in the program, the draw is that it takes place at Anfield.

“I always believed that the principal initial attraction of the education centre was the location, for example here at Anfield, but the materials once here have to be of consistently top quality,” said Education Centre Manager Keith White.

“The combination of these two things leads to much improved educational interest and performance from the children of all ages who attend.”

Originally set up in 1999, Reduc@te is an after school programme for children in primary and secondary school covering numeracy, literacy and ICT (information and communications technology). The best part of Reduc@te for the kids is that they receive this tutoring right at Anfield, including learning experiences in the club store and museum, discovering the ins and outs of the financial side of a successful business.

Reduc@te is not only in the time after school. The programme offers full days, specifically focusing on certain activities such as Spanish and French, Football Globalisation days and Respect Weeks.

Students at secondary school get to enjoy Business days, where they learn about all sorts of activities off of the pitch to understand how the club generates revenue through business partnerships. They get to spend two and half hours with senior members of staff at Anfield to ensure the greatest learning experience possible.

The project was originally funded by the government, but since the introduction of the Coalition Government in 2010, the club has continued with the programme. White indicates that this can be a positive.

“Here at Liverpool we have kept going and even have a brand new centre,” he said. “With a blank canvass we can put on any educational programmes without any direction from Government, national or local,”

Due to no involvement from the government now either local or national, Reduc@te is not just limited to schools in Merseyside. Any school from anywhere can attend. White ensures that he helps design a curriculum suitable to what any attending school’s goals would be from participating in the programme.

“The curriculum is designed around what schools want from their visits and so to this end I and the schools work in partnership,” he said. “This is a successful tried and tested way of ensuring that all visits receive first class evaluations from schools which have visited.”

Because it combines quality learning tools, a specifically tailored curriculum and child-friendly atmosphere, Reduc@te has proven successful with children and leaving educators happy with the experience. After all, the chance to be involved with one of the biggest football clubs in the world would make any child eager to learn.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Liverpool v Manchester United FA Cup Match Report

In what is always a tense meeting between the two teams, Liverpool managed to knock Manchester United out of the FA Cup in the fourth round, 2-1.

Patrice Evra was inevitably greeted by boos and chants after the Luis Suarez debacle but despite the negativity thrown that way, United still dominated the ball.

However, it was Liverpool that opened the scoring in the 21st minute and in front of the United fans too.

Chris Smalling headed out an attempt by Liverpool’s Jose Enrique, allowing the Reds a corner. Captain Steven Gerrard took the corner and it was headed into the net by defender Daniel Agger.

But the Red Devils’ persistence paid off not long after. Ji-Sung Park put the ball past keeper Pepe Reina into the bottom right corner of the net from only eight yards out in the 39th minute.

The second half seemed a near repeat of the first. United continued to control the midfield, and Liverpool was giving the ball away too much for comfort. Manager Kenny Dalglish made some changes in the 63rd minute including Charlie Adam on for Dirk Kuyt and Dirk Kuyt for Jamie Carragher. Later, Craig Bellamy would replace Steven Gerrard. After all of the subs were made only then did United begin to falter. Alex Ferguson tried to avoid the prospect of a replay by also making changes including Berbatov for Ryan Giggs and Hernandez for Paul Scholes.

And it was Dirk Kuyt who saved the trouble of a possible replay at Old Trafford. In the 88th minute, the Dutch international easily blast the ball past United keeper David De Gea from a pass off of Andy Carroll. Anfield naturally filled with deafening roars of cheers.

Dalglish spoke highly of Kuyt and the rest of the team’s efforts after the match.

“For Dirk it's a fantastic day and it's a great day for us to go through to the next round of the FA Cup,” he said. “To beat Manchester United is a great achievement for everybody.”

Liverpool will now face Brighton and Hove Albion in the fifth round.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Liverpool v Manchester City Match Report

Liverpool secured their trip to Wembley with a 3-2 (agg) win over Manchester City in the second leg of the Carling Cup semi-final.

Defender Jose Enrique nearly opened the scoring in the fourth minute just eight yards from the goal but City’s Joe Hart had a fantastic save. Liverpool continued to make Hart work early in the game with a shot by Charlie Adam and in the 20th minute, an attempt by Craig Bellamy.

Bellamy tried yet again only a few minutes later only to be caught offside.

Nigel De Jong instead opened the scoring with a Manchester City goal with a brilliant curl into the net, giving keeper Pepe Reina no chance.

Liverpool responded immediately bringing the ball back to City’s half but yet again they were denied by Hart. Nothing would come from the corner they were given.

But Liverpool came back. Micah Richards hit the ball with his arms in the box from a Daniel Agger shot, giving Liverpool a penalty. Captain Steven Gerrard comfortably took it and brought the Reds back five minutes before halftime.

Liverpool continued the fight in the second half. A sneaky attempt by Martin Skrtel had Joe Hart scrambling but the keeper managed to save it. Bellamy could have added to the scoreline but missed the chance by mis-kicking. Instead, Dzeko did just that for City after a superb pcross from Kolarov and firing at close range in the 67th minute.

The Reds wanted it more. Bellamy finally got it past Hart after a great pass from Dirk Kuyt from the left and a quick pass with Glen Johnson. Immediately Liverpool tried for another but Kuyt just headed it wide.

Any effort by Manchester City after that was dealt with finely by the Liverpool defense. Bellamy was replaced by defender Martin Kelly with a couple minutes to go in an effort to keep the score the way it is.

And with that...Liverpool are Wembley bound to face Cardiff City in the final.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Bolton v Liverpool Match Report

The Reds’ suffered a devastating blow last night when they were defeated by Bolton at the Reebok Stadium 3-1.

Liverpool were woeful nearly from the start, when in the third minute Bolton’s Mark Davies, assisted by former Liverpool striker David Ngog, had no problems getting past Red defenders and keeper Pepe Reina to put the ball into the lower right corner.

Bolton doubled their lead in the 30th minute when again, the Liverpool defense seemed absent while Nigel Reo-Coker completes a near repeat of Davies goal earlier with a neat pass from Chris Eagles.

Seven minutes later, Craig Bellamy gave some hope of somewhat of a comeback for Liverpool. The goal itself is sloppy but Bellamy takes a pass from Andy Carroll, skips the ball over the keeper and it slowly made its way into the net with Bolton’s Zat Knight chasing after it with no hope of stopping the goal.

Bolton’s third and final goal came in the second half from a corner kick. Steinsson’s powerful shot into the lower left corner left Liverpool with little to no hope of making a comeback.

Manager Kenny Dalglish said after the match: “There's nobody been at this football club that's not had respect for other people. If that is what the problem was then, that they thought this game wasn't as important a game as the next one, then fine but they'll not be here.”

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Liverpool v Manchester City Match Report

Liverpool won 1-0 over Manchester City tonight at the Etihad Stadium in the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-finals.

The first half saw a lively Liverpool against a lackluster Manchester City. Andy Carroll could have opened the scoring five minutes into the match, but a delay in taking a shot allowed Manchester City keeper Joe Hart enough time to deny it.

Captain Steven Gerrard also took his chance five minutes later when again Hart blocked his low attempt.

But a couple minutes later, defender Daniel Agger was fouled inside the box by City's Stefan Savic. The Blues' defender kicked too high and into the knee of Agger, granted the Reds a penalty which Gerrard took and put past Hart into the bottom left corner of the net.

City striker Mario Balotelli, who only just returned from beingout with an ankle injury, took a free kick after a tumble with Liverpool's Charlie Adam. The Italian was obviously angry after Adam tapped his head before getting up, and he took his shot right into the wall.
Sami Nasri replaced Balotelli just before halftime and took the best chance for City in the first half with a shot from outside the penalty area.
Manchester City woke up in the second half. Nasri, Aguero and Micah Richards all gave keeper Pepe Reina a workout in the first 15 minutes.

Despite City dominating possesion in the second half, they failed to score with any of their chances. Nasri tried his luck again 20 yards out but it went flying over the bar. the Blues made sure that Reina continued to stay plenty busy.

Manager Kenny Dalglish substituted Craig Bellamy in the 80th minute with defender Jamie Carragher, with an aim to keep the Blues at bay.

A scuffle between Carragher and Nasri would see them both get the only yellow cards of the game. Nasri seemed to have went to head butt the Reds defender after Carragher furiously blocked his attempt at getting the ball.

Although Manchester still pushed for that equalising goal, creating several chances and close calls, Liverpool were the ones to walk away in victory.

The second leg is to be played at Anfield on the 25th of January.

Liverpool v Oldham Match Report

Liverpool triumphed in a 5-1 win at Anfield tonight in the third round of the FA Cup over Oldham Athletic.

Although the Lactics opened the scoring 28 minutes into the game with goal from 30 yards out by Robbie Simpson, Liverpool equalised shortly after with a ball into the lower corner of Oldham's net when Craig Bellamy deflected Jonjo Shelvey's shot.
Maxi Rodriguez was pushed in the box, allowing captain Steven Gerrard to take the penalty and the lead for the Reds before halftime.

Although in the second half, Oldham were as lively as they started in the first, nothing could become of it although Tom Adeyemi shined for the visitors.

Bellamy and Shelvey striked again when Shelvey got the goal this time from Bellamy;s assist, making it 3-1.

Two more goals came from substitutes Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing, his first since arriving from Aston Villa over the summer.

Manager Kenny Dalglish spoke after the match, explaining that some of player on the pitch tonight needed more time out there.

"It's a wee while since some of the players who haven't played as much as the others have had a game," the manager explained. "So it was important for us to give them a run out as well.

"It showed they needed games. There was nothing wrong with their application, but they did lose a goal.

"You can train as much as you want, but you cannot replicate what happens on a football pitch. Everybody will be better off for the game."

Liverpool will now face Manchester United in the fourth round of the FA Cup on the 28th of January.