Saturday, December 27, 2008

3 Points At Home, Finally

Liverpool 3 Bolton 0
Riera 26, Keane 52, 58

Boxing day matches always proved to be crucial over the years and it's nice to see Liverpool getting the win at Anfield which they have been working on for the last few weeks. 5 draws in the last few meetings have frustrates the Anfield faithfuls. 2 goals from under-fire Robbie Keane and Spanish winger Albert Riera.

All of us were wondering whether Fernando Torres and of course, our manager, Rafa Benitez will be back for this game. Their absence has been sorely missed by all and it just pleased me seeing both up in the stands at Anfield. This shows that both are getting fit and will be back to where they should be.

Fernando Torres

Here's Rafa in all smiles!

Back to the game, like for all matches, we have to breakdown the Great Wall built by opposition who comes to Anfield. Failing to score will naturally lead to a loss or a 2 points dropped. That's why we have been drawing too much home games, we just couldn't break down the defence. Fortunately, Liverpool patience passing and width across the pitch paid dividends.

Albert Riera was the first to the ball from a Steven Gerrard's corner and toe-poked into the net. Third goal for his first season and what a signing he has been. He was menacing on the left wing, gave Bolton defenders hell of a time with his twists and turns.

Once deadlock was broken, somehow there was relief around, knowing that Bolton would have to attack, the game would open up and the home side will have more space and attack. On the 52th minute, a brilliant through pass by Stevie was well finished by Robbie Kean with his left foot. You could see the difference of Robbie after his stunner at the Emirates.

6 minutes later, this goal just proved that we do can play counter-attacking football. A corner for Bolton was well caught by Pepe Reina. A quick throw to Xabi Alonso and you could see the whole red sea was going forward. Right to Benayoun who unselfishly squared to Robbie Keane finished his second goal of the evening.

3 goals, 3 points. Top of the league. With Chelsea and Manchester United both winning, we have to make sure we remains on top. Better performance, better attacking styles, better football. We got to keep it going, St James' Park up next.

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Monday, December 22, 2008

Points Shared At Emirates

Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1
VanPersie 24 - Keane 43

Normally, a point at the Emirates is a good result. However, looking at last night's circumstances and performance, I do feel disappointed that we didn't take maximum points at Arsene Wenger's backyard. With Sammy Lee standing in for Rafa, somehow, I could feel that something is missing. Rafa's presence is very important and even more especially in such a close and competitive match.

Still, the match has to go on and in just 24 minutes in the game, Robin VanPersie, had a moment of brilliance. Chested down the ball and struck an unstoppable shot past Pepe Reina. Bullet as it seemed, it was breathtaking.

Credit to Liverpool, we kept cool and maintained the shape of the team. We continued to press on and just before half time, a high ball by Daniel Agger met beautifully onto Keane's path, who didn't make any mistake with a half volley into the net. Brilliant strike! Somehow, we managed to get the equaliser which shocked the home team a while. We almost get the second just before half time, with Stevie missing a glorious chance.

I thought we could go on and get the second goal. But unfortunately, despite Arsenal having a man down, we didn't attack. Or I should say, our attacks were slow. No penetration and predictable in our plays. Was frustrated watching the players playing so cautiously instead of attacking, making use of the numerical advantage. I do not know why, is it because of Rafa's absence? Or the players were satisfied with a point?

Looking at this result, we have dropped so many points. Manchester United and Chelsea will be smiling seeing both Liverpool and Arsenal drawing. Just on our performance, you could see that we are not there yet, sadly so. It's just matter of time we would lose our leadership and end up chasing the rest.

Looks like we fans have to wait a little longer..

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2 Points Dropped... Again!

Liverpool 2 Hull City 2
Gerrard 24, 32 - McShane 12, Carragher (og)22

Once again, a disappointing draw at Anfield. What else can I say? Frustrated and many are scratching their heads, thinking whether Liverpool are title challengers material. 3rd or 4th draw at home? I don't know, I lost count. All I know all these draws are points being dropped dearly, which I pray hard, do not come back haunting right at the end.

This time, it's Hull City. Phil Brown's side came with confidence, knowing the fact that they have beaten Arsenal and Tottenham at their backyards. To become title contenders, we don't care who comes to visit us, we just have to grab maximum points. Strangely, our home form ain't that consistent as expected.

Hull got 2 goals early. Credit to Paul McShane's lopping header and our Jamie Carragher's own goal. It's ridiculous to see Carragher scoring an own goal again, under that kind of circumstances. With no one pressuring him, he just turned the cross into his own net. I simply don't understand what was going on with him. As far I'm concerned, this is definitely not the first time seeing him scoring such stupid own goals.

As always this season, we will never throw in the towel just yet. Credits to the players, they did continue to pressure and kept fighting. Captain Stevie, who else? Scoring both goals, bringing the game into equality within 10 minutes. I didn't celebrate for both goals which I normally will do. I'm probably still upset with the fact we conceded 2 early goals which made our life so difficult at the end. We seems to love to play the hard way.

Second half didn't give us any winners. We failed to score the third goal and we sorely missed Fernando Torres. There were chances created but were mostly failed at the final third or ball which I felt Torres would make a difference. Credits to Hull, they defended well and was resilent.

Another 2 points dropped, once again. Somehow, the other teams drew too. Lady luck is around the corner but I'm sure we will run out of it. We have to play better and get the right results. With just a point ahead, it is still everyone's game.

Up next, Emirates.


In other news..

As I'm typing this entry, the latest news have just shown that Paul Ince, our ex-Liverpool player has been sacked as manager of Blackburn Rovers. Sad to see him being sacked so early in his mangerial career. Yes, results are bad, but somehow, it's seems like a trend of sacking managers. Unfortunately, he was not given much time and patience ran out at Blackburn. All the best, Paul Ince!

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Top of Group!

PSV 1 Liverpool 3
Lazovic 37 - Babel 45, Riera 69, Ngog 78

It was not telecast live over here in Singapore, therefore I could only watch the highlights over the internet. Good goals by Babel, Riera and Ngog were enough for us to secure the top spot and this would mean that second leg of the next knock out round will be at Anfield. This is very important especially in a 2-legged knockout phase.

It's nice to see us winning even we did not field the best team, able to rest some key players and this is a big squad should be all about. Squad depth is essential especially for a long seasons with so many matches to play for.

Let's look forward who we draw next. :)

Match Highlights

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Critical Win At Ewood Park

Blackburn 1 Liverpool 3
SantaCruz 86 - Alonso 70, Benayoun 79, Gerrard 90
AR Match of the Match: Alonso

After 2 matches of home draws, Liverpool fans including myself are frustrated that we dropped 4 points in 2 games which we could have totally taken 6 instead. Leading on the top of table with just 1 point, it's very important for us to keep winning no matter what, as we know Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal would be just right behind us.

A line-up which saw Insua, Babel and Mascherano back. Dirk Kuyt was playing lone-striker, with Gerrard just playing behind. Blackburn was fast in closing down and they were fighting their lives out. Once a Liverpool player has the ball, they came flying in, without giving any chance of a second touch. The first half saw us with plenty of the ball but there were no width and penetration in our final third.

The second half was better and you could see Liverpool pressing really hard to get the most important goal of the game. Steven Gerrard was being man-marked all the time and credits to him, he managed to get rid of them, played really well in the middle. Left back, Insua had a decent game and it seemed that he could be another option for Rafa.

We got our rewards in the 70 minute. This time, Xabi Alonso scored with a brilliant pass into the goal. Placement as it seemed, you could see how intelligent Xabi is, giving Paul Robinson no chance at all.

9 minutes later, we got our second goal of the game through Yossi Benayoun. The Israel captain was showing that he could feature in Rafa's plans with a nice dribble past former Liverpool player, Stephen Warnock and finished it off in style.

Blackburn gave a scare with a goal back by Santa Cruz. Poor defending and concentration showed by the defence and there was no wonder Pepe Reina was furious concededing the goal. Rafa's men managed to held on, kept the ball and Stevie G added one more at the end, killing off any hopes of comeback from Paul Ince's men.

With the rest of the Big 4 winning, we have to keep up the pace and concentrate on the staying on top. Consistency is the key if we wishes to challenge for the title. On the other note, I do hope Blackburn would give Paul Ince more time to prove himself. I do hope to see our ex Liverpool player doing well in his managerial career, but of course, not against us.

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fernando Torres vs Hank

Want to see our number 9 against the Hank? Take a look!

Looks like Torres is having fun!

You'll Never Walk Alone..

Friday, December 5, 2008

Quick Update of Last 2 Matches

Liverpool 0 West Ham 0

A disappointing result and we lost a great chance going 3 points clear on top of the table. Failure to score, take chances and hence, frustration builds in more while the West Ham defence gained confidence in defence. There was no penetration towards goal and it couldn't help but feeling the pain of losing the chance of able to pounce on the loss of Chelsea against Arsenal. Nevertheless, like our King Kenny has said, let's just enjoy being on top.

Liverpool 1 Marseille 0
Gerrard 23

A Steven Gerrard header was good enough to settle for 3 points which led Liverpool to qualify for the last 16. Not the best and convincing performance but the result was the most important. 3 points in the bag, with one more game to go. The last game will then determine who will lead the group.


You'll Never Walk Alone..