Monday, October 29, 2007

A Point Each For Reds And Gunners

Liverpool 1 Arsenal 1
Gerrard 7 - Fabregas 80

Match Highlights

The 2 unbeaten teams in the league so far met last night at Anfield and they maintained its record as they drew 1-1, goals from Captain Steven Gerrard and Arsenal's man of the moment, Cesc Fabregas. Both midfielders were instrumental for their respective teams in the middle of the park.

It was an open and exciting game to watch. Rafa's rotation policy saw Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt, Andriy Voroninn all playing. With a 4-2-3-1 formation, the home side showed that they were going to play attacking football. Surprisingly, Steven Gerrard was played in the middle instead of the many-predicted right hand side which I was pleased to see him there.

Liverpool took the front seat in the beginning, spreading the balls to the wings, crossing into the danger area. Xabi Alonso got clipped by fellow international team-mate Fabregas on the edge of the penalty area and a freekick was given.

Up step Captain Stevie and he made no mistake with his thunderous strike through the Arsenal wall and gave the Reds the early lead. Gerrard's strike gave Arsenal goalkeeper Ammunia no chance at all. Excellent goal!

Despite conceding the early goal, Arsenal was calm and started playing their neat passes. On several occasions, they threatened the Liverpool goal with their defence splitting passes. I was thinking, it seemed sooner or later Arsenal would find the equaliser.

Liverpool struggled to get the ball most of the game. They were breaking down Arsenal passes, however, they were not able to hold on to the ball for long. On the other hand, Arsenal played more confidently as the game commenced and the current leaders did get their rewards.

Alexander Helb provided a beautiful through ball which broke the Liverpool defence, to the path of on-form Fabregas who kept his composure, toe-poking past Pepe Reina. It's a wonderful move by the Gunners and I couldn't deny the fact that Arsenal deserved the equaliser.

Lady Luck was on Liverpool side as Arsenal struck Reina's left hand post twice from Eboue and goal-scorer Fabregas. Arsenal controlled majority of the game while Liverpool did have several chances to score the second. Liverpool looked tired at the end after already made 3 substitutions earlier in the game. Fernando Torres and Xabi Alonso, both went off due to recurrence of their injuries. Hopefully, their injuries wouldn't be too long.

It has been sometimes I've hear the loud and energised Anfield crowd. The Liverpool is improving in terms of their play. Still, they have to move up their gear towards the season. Being still unbeaten in the league, there are still many games to play for. As long as the players keep going and maintaining their good form, I believe we still stands a chance.

With hope in your heart..

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Reds Bottom of Champions League Group

Beskitas 2 Liverpool 1
Hyypia og 13, Bobo 82 - Gerrard 84

Match Highlights

A mountain to climb before this match, now, a much higher and difficult one to climb. Liverpool had put themselves into a make or break situation. With only one point in the group, they are now in the bottom of the table.

Teams like Marseille, FC Porto, and Turkish club, Bekistas are the other 3 teams in the group. Based on Liverpool's European standards, these teams wouldn't have much chances. Sadly so, they took full advantage of Liverpool's poor form and had showed the world that they could even beat us at Anfield.

For us Liverpool fans, it seemed like an unusual sight. For the past seasons, we have been doing very well in the Champions League. I do not know why, the team didn't perform to expectations and hence, lagged behind.

Against the Beskitas, our defence was very poor. Sami Hyypia and Steve Finnan. The usual reliable ones were under-performing. Slow and positioning was always questioned during the game. I was utterly disappointed with the defence which we were always proud of.

Our attacks were threatening in the beginning. However, the problem of not able to score haunted us again. Aren't our strikers good enough? I don't think so. I believe the quality of Kuyt, Voroninn, Crouch and even Babel is definitely threatening. Just that our link plays in the team aren't working. Is the training the main factor? Or they are lacking of confidence? I hope it's not too late when they recover their form and touch.

Steven Gerrard, managed to get onto the scoresheet at the end with a top-corner header. It was too late for Reds though. Captain Stevie seems to be recovering his form back and I do hope that his good form would influence the team for better performances.

Liverpool just loves playing the hard way. The way they won the Champions League, the way they won the FA Cup, it tells it all. As Liverpool fans, we are all seems to be used to the team's disappointing results and get taunts from fans of Man Utd and Arsenal. On a personal level, I'm just hoping for the best, as I know, higher expectations would lead to higher disappointments.

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kuyt Penalties Gave Reds Derby Win

Everton 1 Liverpool 2
Hyypia (og) 38 - Kuyt Pens 54, 90

The 206th Merseyside Derby was won by the red half last night. A match full of non-stop action and controversy ended on a high note for Liverpool who managed to grab the stop-page time winner. Dirk Kuyt was the one who scored both penalties for the Reds while the Evertonians may feel a little unjust.

The first half probably belonged to the blue half. Everton was playing on a high tempo, pressuring Liverpool from the start. Liverpool had some half chances but still, the home side was dominating with Lescott the main man running down the left flank of the field. They got their goal they wanted by an bizarre own goal by veteran Sami Hyypia. His clearance seemed to have mis-kicked, off the post into his own net. It's a bad time to concede, considering Liverpool's current poor form.

Having said that, Liverpool came on top in the second. Captain Stevie, who was criticised for his poor form lately, launched onto a through ball from Voroninn, sprinting through the middle with only Tony Hibbert along with him. Gerrard was too strong and quick that Hibbert had no choice but to pull him down. To me, it's a clear penalty. Hibbert was then sent off for conducting a professional foul.

The TV replays showed that Gerrard seemed to have change referee Mark Clattenburg's mind. He was holding a yellow card on his hand, but gave Hibbert the red instead after hearing words from Steven. Dirk Kuyt was there to slot home the equaliser.

With our neighbours down with ten men, it's a great time for us to put more pressure and try winning the game. Steven Gerrard was beginning to play better as the game commences, however, Rafa Benitez substituted him with young Brazilian, Lucas Levia. This change was surprising, or I should say shocking for many Liverpool fans out there, even our captain himself. I do not know the main reason, but Rafa's mystery move gambled well.

Young Lucas came on in and performed pretty well. Much better than Momo Sissoko who was as usual poor, losing possession in the middle, missing a clear chance after a nice through ball from Kuyt. Many would have felt that Lucas should have replaced Momo, not Gerrard.

Lucas had a major part to play in winning the game for Liverpool. His shot just inside the penalty area was dramatically saved by Phil Neville, being a stand-by "goalkeeper". The former Manchester United player who scored an own goal against us back then, had no choice but to stick out his arm to save Lucas shot out of the goal.

It's an another penalty for the Reds, another sending off for the Blues. Kuyt was there with his cool finish towards the left slight touch of Tim Howards' arm. It was an big relief for the Liverpool fans, players and of course, Rafa Benitez. His decision of taking Steven Gerrard off would be heavily criticised if we fail to beat Everton.

Match Highlights..

A hard fought derby which handed up in our hands. With many tough games ahead, especially against Bekitas and Arsenal, we really have to improve on our play and keep the form going. Taking chances is crucial especially on tight games like these.

Walk on Reds, I've faith in you.

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Monday, October 8, 2007

Torres Grabbed A Point

Liverpool 2 Tottenham 2
Voroninn 12, Torres 90 - Robbie Keane 45, 47

Fernando Torres, saved Liverpool's blushes of losing at home consecutively with a 92th minute header right at the Kop End. The match ended in a 2-2 draw which we would have won easily in the first half. Tottenham played pretty well, managed to score 2 goals despite being a goal down.

Robbie Keane, the scorer of both goals, was superb on the day. Picking up on Berbatov's flick on for both occasions and broke Liverpool's record of not conceding in open play. Of course, Liverpool defenders has to be blamed as well. Not able to handle Berbatov and allowing Keane to get into his way. These are 2 big mistakes which Rafa was furious about.

I was angry as well. How can you make the same mistakes twice in a match? Keane scored just before the half ended and right at the start of the second half, you conceded another similar goal. What happen to the defence? A defence which used to be solid and hard to beat, yet conceded 2 soft goals, putting the team into a difficult situation.

Definitely, I'm glad that I saw improvements from the horror night against Marseille. We dominated the first half, was quick in tempo and managed to get in front early in the game through Andriy Voroninn. Steven Gerrard's freekick is parried out by fellow international colleague Paul Robinson and the Ukraine's striker was alert enough to tap the ball in.

We had several great chances which we didn't take. In football, you would be punished for not putting your chances into count. Liverpool paid for it and Spurs was leading 2-1 up at Anfield. It's an unusual situation for Anfield as the fortress which Rafa has built these years seems to be lacking of confidence and losing its fears.

There were frustrating moments in the game which I was swearing at these players. However, without any doubts, the Liverpool players didn't give up and shown character in the game. They kept on pressuring and pressing, and they managed to get their rewards at the end. Steve Finnan, who was the player playing better than the rest, cross a beauty which the met Torres' head and secured a point.

I'm glad that we managed to escape defeat. However, I'm clearly unhappy on how they are playing. Clueless on what happen to the lads out there. The way they play last night does have improvement but not to the standards they used to play. It's international break, and I truly hope this break would benefits the team but not the same way the previous break did to us.

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Hey Roberto!

An advertisment for Pringles. You can see our own Steven Gerrard, with the likes of Roberto Carlos, Totti, Cisse and Robbie Keane.

Hey Roberto!!

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Lousy Reds Outplayed

Liverpool 0 Marseille 1
Mathieu Valbuena 77

What else can I write about? I guess everything went wrong, all wrong. Rafa's team selection, players' performance from 1st minute to 94th minute. Extremely disappointed with the team's current form and standard. Totally unacceptable for a team name LIVERPOOL.

Credit to Marseille, they played superbly. Came with a brilliant game plan and executed perfectly. Pressed Liverpool all the way and scored a wonder goal which I believe no goalkeeper in the world could save. Looks like Bolo Zenden and Cisse are definitely smiling.

In a match which we were expected to win easily, we ended up in defeat, not having a single point. A draw would been a bad result for Liverpool, a loss is worse. Steven Gerrard & Co have not performed to their best, that's for sure. In this match, it clearly showed how dis-motivated the players are, how badly they play football on their very own pitch, Anfield.

It's very frustrating for millions of fans watching. Those at Anfield, the rest of the world, and over here in Singapore, we have to sacrifice our sleep to watch such a poor game. The gaffer and players themselves knew how badly they played. I really wonder what went wrong ever since they were back from international break.

Of course, there is no excuses for that. International break or not, a good team would be able to handle it. Just look at Manchester United and Arsenal. They are both doing well in the league and Champions League. Are their players better quality than us? I don't really think so. They are producing results week in week out, and their players were having internationals as well.

Liverpool have to learn, Rafa have to learn. We are simply not good enough. Based on such performance, we aren't going nowhere. We will struggle in the league and cups competitions, and before you realise, we may be going into another full of promise but disappointment season again.

All the players last night were outplayed. They had no idea on how to break down opponent's defences and this has been the problem for Liverpool so far. Passing were terrible, losing possession and nobody came up with extra efforts to change the game. It was just an horrendous match they've played.

1 point from 2 games, we have so much work to do. They might be knocked out in the first round, looking on how they are playing now. Forget about the Premiership title and any cups if the team continues their poor form. It's time to wake up lads.

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Stevie's Childhood

I was surfing youtube and came upon this video of our very own captain, Steven Gerrard.

He was captain then, he is still captain now.

You'll Never Walk Alone..