Thursday, December 27, 2007

Captain Stevie To The Rescue

Derby 1 Liverpool 2
McEveley 67 - Torres 12, Gerrard 90

Derby vs Liverpool at Pride Park. Many would have thought it would be an easy ride for the away side, who's working its way up to the table while the latter is struggling at the bottom of the table. I myself also felt that Derby would be no fight to Liverpool's standards. Somehow, I was proved wrong.

Liverpool as expected, started brightly in the game, controlling the pace and the possession of the game. Derby was running men behind ball most of the time and within 12 minutes, Liverpool got the lead.

26 million pounds striker, Fernando Torres showed to the world again that he's one of the top players around. Got the ball just at the edge of the penalty box, dribbled past two defenders and beat the goalkeeper brilliantly. World Class Finish Fernando!

Torres' Goal

After we gotten the lead, we had so much possession and chances to kill off the game. However, we didn't take our chances. We were wasting in front of goal and I knew it would punish us, which eventually did.

In the second half, Liverpool went to sleep and was in dreamland. Derby came on top of the game, credit to them, they didn't give up. They fought hard and Liverpool didn't play football at all. It's just matter of time the home side would scored. They got their rewards at the 67th minute. A free-kick from the right was totally missed by Fabio Aurelio, which rebounded onto the James McEveley, who didn't make any mistakes in front of goal despite being a defender.

Frustration and anger was definitely in the Liverpool camp. I was the commander and I was swearing at the way the Reds were playing. We woke up after conceding the equaliser. The players showed a little more urgency then. We had several great chances at the end. Xabi Alonso's shot was well saved by young goalkeeper Lewis Price. Gerrard's thunderbolt was denied by the bar.

At that very moment, I really thought we were going to lose the 2 points and a draw against Derby. Until this man, Steven Gerrard, who else, came to Liverpool's rescue. Took the ball from our own half and ran all the way to the other box. Nobody could stop his run.

Yossi Benayoun got the ball and cross to Torres whose shot was well saved by goalkeeper Price. Defender McEveley cleared the ball due to defender's instinct which rebounded off Gerrard's foot into the goal. I flew off my seat! There isn't time later than that. 90th minute!

2-1 was the final score and Gerrard gave Liverpool the 3 points. Derby would at least deserved the draw, I have to agree on that. From a Liverpool's point of view, it's an important win. Even the team didn't play well, we just needed the points. Though we got the win, we must reflect on our own performance and realised how poor we were.

Next stop, Manchester City.

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

AnfieldReds Wishes You
Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Poll Results, Champions League Draw

Do You Wish Harry Kewell To Stay At The End of The Season?
Poll Results
Yes - 11 (91%)
No - 0 (0%)
Doesn't Matter - 1 (8%)

This poll is up for several weeks and I believe many Liverpool fans like myself wishes to see Harry Kewell getting his contract at the end of the season. He has been injured for the past seasons and many have doubt his contributions to the team then. However, I like him wearing the Liverpool shirt. He has a strong mentality and I believe the fact that he's a natural winger has already said it all.

Rafa does loves him and every time he's back from injuries, he would be playing. Some may argued that he's getting old and is no longer as fast as before. I may agree on that, but his experience of the game is essential for the team and his ability to cross the balls into the box is something which I love a winger to do.

Let's see how he's going to play for the rest of the season and I do hope to see him getting the new contract. :)

Champions League Draw

Celtic vs Barcelona

Lyon vs Man Utd

Schalke04 vs FC Porto

Liverpool vs Inter

AS Roma vs Real Madrid

Arsenal vs Milan

Olympiacos vs Chelsea

Fenerbahce vs Sevilla

Next stop, Inter Milan. In the Champions League, there aren't such things as weaker teams. Every team in the last 16 is able to knock each other out of the competition. I still remember 2 years ago, when Liverpool drew Benfica. The whole world thought that it would be an easy ride for the 5 times Champions League winner. Somehow, we were knocked out over the two legs.

That's a lesson for us to learn and facing which team don't really matter. If you want to win the Champions League, we have to beat anyone. Rafa is aware of it, the players has experienced it before. Here we come, Inter Milan!

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Reds Romped Past Pompey

Liverpool 4 Portsmouth 1
Benayoun 13, Distin og 16, Torres 67, 85 - Benjani 57

A much needed win for the home side as Liverpool has lost the last 3 games recently. 2 losses in the league against Reading and Manchester United and the midweek Carling Cup defeat against Chelsea. A home game against Portsmouth, who is not far away from us on the table, proved to be very crucial for the morale of the team. Many would have predicted a tough game for the Reds, however, Rafa's men proved to Harry Redknapp's team that coming to Anfield is never easy.

Somehow, the telecast in Singapore had some problems. I managed to watch the first minute of the first half and the screen went blank since. I was pissed by the disability of showing the match. Nevertheless, I surfed soccernet to know the latest scores of the match.

Yossi Benayoun was first to break the deadlock. A pretty cross from the left by Harry Kewell was volleyed into the goal. The Israeli scored his 6th goal for Liverpool and most importantly, he gave Liverpool the lead.

3 minutes later, Torres was working towards goal with Sol Campbell on his back. Campbell was having a hard time containing him and his tackle was unluckily deflected off fellow defender Sylvain Distin's legs and into the goal. Tough luck on Portsmouth but from a Liverpool fan's point of view, we wouldn't mind that. :)

2-0 at half time and at that moment, the telecast was not back yet. I do not know what went wrong with the satellite?

The match was back on television in the second half. I do not know why again, once the telecast is back, Liverpool do not seems to be the team having a 2 goal lead. Portsmouth, with the introduction of ex Arsenal striker, Kanu, was controlling the pace of the game and they did got one back. Kanu's great ball from the left to the right picks out Benjani who didn't blink an eye shooting past Pepe Reina.

Credit to Liverpool, they didn't panicked even the Pompeys got one goal back. We managed to get control of the game and soon after, we were able to get the third. A nice through ball from Mascherano to Ryan Babel, whose pace caused havoc in the penalty area. The ball were rebounded off David James for Fernando Torres to score into the empty goal. He made it look so simple.

He added another in the 85th minute to make it impossible for Portsmouth to get any points from the game. A Gerrard's assist header was volleyed into the Kop-End and Fernando increased his goal tally.

A 4-1 win is considered a big margin and against a side which is considered the dark horse of the league, is not a bad result after all. Having said that, we have to look forward to the next match and work harder in bridging the gap from the top. It's still a long long way to go.


You'll Never Walk Alone..

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Liverpool Crashes Out of Carling Cup

Chelsea 2 Liverpool 0
Lampard 59, Shevchenko 90

As expected, Liverpool was not able to match the Blues at the Bridge last night. Suffered a 2-0 loss, goals from Frank Lampard and Andrei Shevchenko. There's not much to comment on as I could see Rafa took this opportunity to rest the main players and gave the younger ones a run. On the other hand, Chelsea fielded a strong first 11.

We didn't play that badly. Chelsea was struggling to break the team down. They needed a deflection of Jamie Carragher's legs to beat Liverpool goalkeeper, Charles Itandje who had an excellent game last night.

Sadly so, Peter Crouch was sent off last night with a reckless two leg challenge on Mikel. I guess he has lost his cool. He was not playing very well last night and frustration led him to tackle in the wrong way.

The positives were the fact that Xabi Alonso is back into the team and the young ones were able to hold on to Chelsea's superstars. Lucas, Hobbs, Babel and Sissoko were working really hard in the team. Lucas had the best chance to score if not for Cech's great save.

Nevertheless, as many would have agree, the Carling Cup is not being prioritised nowadays. We shall look forward to the next game, Portsmouth.

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Monday, December 17, 2007

Gutted Again

Liverpool 0 Manchester United 1
Tevez 43


There's nothing much to say as well. We lost, simple as that. If you don't score, you won't win.

Rafa, look at the owners' faces.

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Reds Showing Christmas Love

Got these pictures from Kop-tv, showing that the Liverpool team went to show some love to these homes, sharing the Christmas festive mood. :)

Momo Sissoko & Fabio Aurelio

Rafa Benitez

Rafa again

Harry Kewell. "Aww! He has such a sweet smile.

Dirk Kuyt and Kewell.

Sami Hyypia and Pepe Reina

Xabi Alonso, Martin, Leto, Fernando Torres & Voronin

Xabi Alonso & Martin

Look how Rafa cares for the kids!

Signature on a cast

Peter Crouch, Arbeloa, Lucas & John Arne Riise

Lucas, Crouch, Arbeloa

Big Sami

Oh yes! Javier Mascherano, what a smile!

It's great to see the lads doing such meaningful outing together as a team. I guess it's part of Rafa's plans of bonding the team and at the same time, helping the society. It's still better than PARTYING with drinks and girls! Hahaha!

You'll Never Walk Alone..

We've Got the Best Midfield in the World

A well-sang song by the Liverpool fans. Wishes to share this video with you guys when I was surfing youtube.

We've Got the Best Midfield in the World

Xabi Alonso, Momo Sissoko, Gerrard and Mascherano..

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Do You Believe In Rafa? Poll Results

I've put up a poll a few weeks ago, in which I was asking the fans out there whether they still believe in Rafa Benitez, the Liverpool manager. He was under lots of pressure after speculation of his rift with the American owners. Some even thought he might be leaving in January. Many would have disagree with his rotation system, however, over the last few weeks, he was able to get some great results in the league and even make it 3 out of 3 "cup finals" in order to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League.

The poll results..

Do You Believe In Rafa?
Yes ... 21 votes (91%)
No ... 1 vote (4%)
I do not know ... 1 vote (4%)

It's totally one sided. Many of the fans over the world still believes in Rafa who brought us the glory of Champions League in 2005 and FA Cup as well. Personally, I'm still rooting him though I may differ with his thinking at times. Nevertheless, I believe he's still the man who can break our Premiership duck since 1989.

The Rafa Song

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Liverpool Into Last 16, Winning 3 Out of 3

Marseille 0 Liverpool 4
Gerrard 4, Torres 11, Kuyt 48, Babel 90

Another match enters into the history of the Liverpool books. A night to remember which Liverpool completed their 3 out of 3 must-win games in the Champions League Group stages. This gave Liverpool qualification into the last 16 of the most prestigious European competition.

4-0 it stands at the Stade Velodrome. Marseille winning record against English opposition is finally broken as Liverpool is the first English side to beat Marseille at their home. The win was a much needed one in which this particular match could decide the club's upcoming future. Disability to qualify for the knockout stage is unthinkable which eventually would be a massive loss in income and revenue. Rafa's job may not be guaranteed if they have lost last night as well.

Liverpool treated the game as a cup final. Right from the start, they were looking to win and showed the hunger which we fans love to see on the pitch. Most importantly, we got our first goal early in the game. Steven Gerrard's superb run into the penalty box was brought down by Marseille defender, Laurent Bonnart. The ref was spot on and gave the penalty on the 3rd minute of the game.

Up step Captain Stevie. Somehow, he missed it, a great save from the home side goalkeeper. Still, he was there to finish the rebound off. 1-0 to Liverpool!

The second goal didn't came too long. Winger Harry Kewell passed a simple ball to Spanish striker Torres who was the edge of the box. From then on, he had only the goal in his mind. Dribbled past 2 defenders and slot home the second of the evening for the away side. World Class Finish.

This is what Tom Hicks and George Gillet paid 26 million pounds for. This is what Liverpool is lacking of over the years. This is the missing link which caused Liverpool to lose last season final against AC Milan. This is what we fans love to see. He's Fernando Torres.

2 goals up within 11 minutes. Marseille were left self-shocked. Silenced the crowd and I could only hear the songs from Anfield were singing. Loud and proud.

Marseille made substitutions one after another. By half-time, they had already made 3 with Djibril Cisse being the last one coming in. Despite the changes, Liverpool extended their lead.

Again, Harry Kewell passed a brilliant ball from the left which Kuyt captalised on the sleeping defence. He was onside and he was clinical in his finish. Nice shot Dirk!

With a 3 goals cushion, it's almost sure that Liverpool was qualifying into the knock out stages and sending the French side into the UEFA Cup. Liverpool was strong defensively. Marseille couldn't break the mighty wall which Rafa had already built right from the start.

Once again, Ryan Babel came on in the game and managed to get one himself. A Fabio Aurelio long ball was met with his frightening pace where he rounded off the keeper scoring the 4th for Liverpool which truly deserved to win the game. Credit to all the players in the team who worked really hard in the game. Mascherano, Kewell, Benayoun and the whole defence were superb on the night.

4 goals on an away European match with no goals conceded. What else can we ask for? It's no wonder Rafa was proud with his boys. I'm proud of them as well. I wore the same away jersey to school today with my head up high.

We shall enjoy this win and prepare for the upcoming match. The BIG GAME against Manchester United. It's time to be focus on the league.

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Unbeaten Run Ends At Madejski Stadium

Reading 3 Liverpool 1
Hunt 17, Doyle 60, Harper 67 - Gerrard 28

A strange match indeed. I just do not know how we lost last night's game against Reading. I'm pissed, frustrated and totally clueless on Liverpool's performance. As far I'm concerned, if you ever want to CHALLENGE for the title, you have to keep winning, I'm not talking about winning it yet.

In my opinion, there are several factors which cost us the 3 points.

Rafa is main culprit.
For the first time, I seriously felt that Rafa got it all wrong. Nobody knows what's on his mind and though he always emphasized on the fact on concentrating one game at a time, I believe he didn't. He has Marseille and Manchester United game in mind. Right from the start, for every Premier League game, you have to field your best team. It's 3 POINTS my dear boss. It's not any league cup game whereby you can field your weaker players to let them gain some first team experience.

Selection of players was a big mistake. Players like Jack Hobbs, John Arne Riise and the worst player of all, Momo Sissoko shouldn't be in the game. Did Rafa underestimated Reading? I guess so. He thinks that with his weaker players, he can win? I guess he's wrong. What formation did he play? 4-3-3? I don't think Liverpool suits that formation. Reading capitalised on that weakness in the 3 man midfield. Voronin and Crouch are strikers, they aren't wingers. How do you play 4-3-3 in this way? With Momo Sissoko doing nonsense in the middle, Jack Hobbs inexperience and John Arne Riise poor form, it's no wonder Liverpool lost.

So Rafa, please, field your best team for every game and stick to the winning formation. We were playing 4-4-2 so well with the wingers threatening opposition. We have great wingers like Harry Kewell, Yossi Benayoun and Ryan Babel. Why aren't you using them? Keep the players fit? Come on, to keep them fit and ending up sacrificing the 3 points, I do not take that.

Referee's blindness

Andre Marriner. What a stupid decision he made for the penalty which led to Reading's first goal! I do not care whether it's the linesman or Andre himself gave the ridiculous penalty, it's totally not a penalty. Tackle outside the box, penalty given. Sometimes, it gets so unbelievable to see such decisions given when it's so obvious.

Inconsistency in his decisions. I don't know who this man is, but all I know is his SMALL mistakes in refereeing cost us big time. You may argue, it's part of the game. Yes I agree. However, when crucial decisions in which a goal is concerned, it can totally change the game. Human error? If there's humans kept making mistakes, aren't we thinking of a solution? Technology. Everyone is using it. I do not know why FOOTBALL is not using it? Rugby is using it. It's such a rough sport yet it's fair. I truly believe video technology need to be introduced in the game before more and more teams are suffering from injustice and incredible decisions given against them.

Lady's Luck was not wearing Red
Simple as that. Liverpool lacked of luck last night. Hit the post twice and it just told me that it wasn't Liverpool day. Ref decisions was poor, caused the team to be frustrated and I could see from the players' faces that they had no idea what's going on. Wrong formation, a different style and somehow, the players seemed confused.

50-50 balls were always lost. We had at least 3 penalty calls, but all were not given, while Reading had a penalty when challenge was made outside of the box. Somehow, Liverpool was meant to lose this game. Sadly so, Lady's Luck was not smiling at Anfield.

The only goal scored was by Captain Steven Gerrard. Good teamwork with the team's best players. Torres chested the ball down from Reina's kick and was lay onto Steven Gerrard's path to slot it home. It looked so simple. Somehow, at that point of time, I thought Liverpool was able to bring the game into theirs and go on winning it. I do not know why, they played worse after that.

Rafa's job is not safe just yet. In football, things can change overnight. Though I always believe in him, he must realise the fact that how important are the 3 points. Somehow, I felt he just gave up last night and sacrificed the unbeaten run. I hate to see Liverpool conceding a goal, let alone 3. Reina would be disappointed not to keep a clean sheet.

I'm afraid Rafa's plan may backfire. Marseille game is a must win. What if they don't? Meeting League Champions Manchester United the following league game, will Liverpool beat them? We have to treat every game like a final. Win it.

The American bosses are watching and they are the ones who decide on Rafa's fate. Unfortunately, as Liverpool fans, we can't expect too much due to the fact that normally the disappointment would be bigger.

All I can do now is to wait and see..

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

4-0 Win Against Trotters

Liverpool 4 Bolton 0
Hyypia 17, Torres 45, Gerrard pen 56, Babel 86

Games Highlights

A great performance by the Liverpool team last weekend with a emphatic 4-0 win over Bolton, a team which has just appointed a new manager Gary Megson and also won Manchester United a week ago. Bolton has been producing some good results recently before coming to Anfield. Captain Stevie was influential in the whole game, playing to his best, leading his team in getting the 3 points. Man of the match performance.

It didn't take long for the home side to break deadlock. A freekick taken from the left was headed into the goal by big Sami Hyypia, leaving Jussi Jaaskelainen standing on his goal line. Liverpool didn't start very well in the game but was fortunate enough to got in front.

They were luckier later in the game when Bolton striker Nicholas Anelka missed a open goal when Jamie Carragher and Pepe Reina bumped into each other upon clearing the ball. It's an unusual scene for Anelka to miss a open goal and also Carragher-Reina miscommunication. The goal-line was 1-0 then.

Liverpool was fast enough to get the second just before the break. A great through ball from Steven Gerrard to on form striker Fernando Torres who didn't make any mistakes with his finishing. He had so much work to do even he got the ball from Gerrard. However, he made it look so simple. With so much pace, he chipped the ball over the outcoming Jaaskelainen. World Class Finish!

The second half was no doubt that Liverpool was going to take the 3 points back home. Here again, Gerrard crossed the ball into the area where Peter Crouch was being brought down. Penalty. It seems to me that Liverpool are getting penalties very match recently and there's no better candidate to take it. Steven Gerrard scored the 3rd for the Reds with a shot to his left. He shot to the right 2 games before. :)

Substitute Ryan Babel came on later in the game and once again, the flying Dutchman kept his habit of coming in scoring. A rebound from fellow international teammate Dirk Kuyt was nicely placed for Babel to slot in the home side' fourth of the day. He came on against Beskitas with 2 goals, Newcastle 1, and now Bolton 1 more. I do hope he can just keep scoring. It would be a boost to the team and himself.

It's job well done for the lads and of course, Rafa himself. There are still much rooms for improvements and of course, all the important matches are coming up which is all Must-Win games for us. The season is still a long path and Liverpool have to maintain the form and keep up with the pace. We can't afford to have any hiccups and be so generous in our points.

Come On Rafa and Co, I believe in you.

You'll Never Walk Alone..