Allen – Lucas return can push us on


Joe Allen believes that Lucas Leiva’s return to the Liverpool setup can help the club’s bid to secure a Champions League spot.

The Brazilian midfielder made his comeback in the Premier League clash with Southampton at the weekend following three months out with a thigh problem, which occured shortly after his return from a knee injury that kept him out for the majority of last season.

His return provided the Reds with a defensive surety that has been lacking in his absence, and both Allen and Steven Gerrard seemed to revel in the opportunity to play higher up the pitch.

An assured display from the midfield trio helped to secure a 1-0 victory which lifted Liverpool to within seven points of third-placed Chelsea, and Allen thinks the return of Lucas can help them close the gap further.article-2242180-164D770F000005DC-76_468x343[1]

“You’re always going to miss quality players like Lucas and it’s great to have him back in the side,” said the Welshman.

“His return, with the steel and quality he brings, is only going to help the team going forward.

“It’s a very important role. If you look at the top teams, they all utilise that position and have a quality player there and it is for a reason, it is vital for the way we want to play.

“With him back playing, I’m sure we’ll get the benefits of that in terms of points and our position in the table.

“We’ve closed the gap (to the top four) a bit and for a club like Liverpool, that has to be our target.

“We have got a run of games now where we want to pick up points and further reduce that deficit.”

Allen is also hopeful that the return of Lucas will allow him to play in a more advanced role, having had to deputise for the Brazilian as a holding midfielder in his absence.

“That’s more my natural position,” he added. “I haven’t played there for a while so I found myself trying to get back into the swing of things.

“I had that security of knowing that Lucas was there.

“It gives you the chance to express yourself further up the pitch, and try to get involved in creating and scoring goals.”

Liverpool draw away tie in FA Cup


Liverpool have been drawn to play either Lincoln City or Mansfield Town in the third round of the FA Cup. The away tie will be played on the weekend of the 5th/6th of January next year.

The Reds will be looking to progress one step further than last season – when Kenny Dalglish’s side were defeated 2-1 in the final by Chelsea – and this draw certainly stands them in good stead to progress into the next round.


Lincoln and Mansfield played out a 3-3 draw at Sincil Bank on Saturday, Matt Rhead earning Mansfield a replay with an injury time equaliser. The two sides will meet again in the replay next week to decide who faces the Reds.

Liverpool have no recent history with either club, having last faced Lincoln in 1961 and Mansfield in 1970.

Liverpool 1 – 0 Southampton


By jpa90, 01-12-2012, 18:27:27

Liverpool got back to winning ways with a 1-0 win against Southampton at Anfield in a game which the home side bossed. Daniel Agger’s header was all that separated the sides but the Reds could have won the game by a much bigger margin. Southampton offered very little in front of goal but after a poor result in the middle of the week, a clean sheet was a top priority for Brendan Rodgers’ side.

It didn’t take Rickie Lambert long to test his shooting capability when he released a long range effort early on. Although he couldn’t reach the ball with his diving attempt, Pepe Reina was happy to let it drift harmlessly wide.

Liverpool’s ability to control possession was allowing them to move the ball into attack and utilise the wide channels. The Reds’ first real chance came when Jonjo Shelvey attempted a volley on the edge of the box, but he hit his shot into the ground giving Paulo Gazzaniga an easy save.

Glen Johnson made several promising runs down the right side in the first ten minutes and the home side nearly took the lead when his cross flashed past the face of the goal without anybody getting a touch. Johnson again received the ball in space on the right wing, an area that Southampton were yet to tighten. When Johnson’s cross was deflected for a corner, the ball fell to Steven Gerrard whose fierce shot was deflected away from goal by Morgan Schneiderlin.

Shelvey forced a save out of Gazzaniga when he ran onto a clever pass from Gerrard. Despite taking it wide, Shelvey aimed his effort towards the far post but Gazzaniga was able to palm the ball away. Luis Suarez had an identical opportunity shortly afterwards but was again thwarted by Gazzaniga, who knew he was in for a busy afternoon.

The home side nearly took the lead when a route one pass from Reina found Suarez in Southampton’s penalty area. The striker worked the ball around Gazzaniga but after ricocheting off several players, the ball rolled wide. The resulting corner saw Martin Skrtel’s header loop over the bar and Liverpool’s familiar frustration of failing to make one of their many chances count was beginning to rise.

Whilst attempting to create an opportunity in the other half, the Saints gave the ball away far too easily and Liverpool pushed out of defence with a fast-paced counter-attack. Suarez found Shelvey with a superb through ball but his pass could not find Sterling. The ball fell to Gerrard who fed it back to Shelvey on the right. Shelvey released a powerful strike which came crashing back off the far post, leaving Southampton extremely lucky to still be level.

Gaston Ramírez brought down Suarez on the edge of the penalty area and the Uruguayan took the preceding free-kick, which pinged off the cross bar. Determined to take the lead, the ball was played back into the box and Daniel Agger met the cross with his head. His directed effort sailed over Gazzaniga and under the bar to make it 1-0 to the Reds.

Reina ensured that his team went into half time with the lead when he made a last-gasp leap to push Lambert’s long-range volley out for a corner. With the vast majority of chances and a deserved lead, Liverpool’s task was only half complete as they still needed to close out the game in the second half, a task that the Reds have struggled with this season.

The Saints started the second half in an attacking frame of mind, forcing an early corner and giving Reina the important job of preventing an early comeback. The Spaniard stopped an early shot but a determined Southampton were much more lively and willing to venture into Liverpool’s half.

Once Liverpool had taken Southampton’s early onslaught under control, they began working the ball down the right channel where they had enjoyed their best chances in the first half. Suarez was doing a fantastic job of creating space deep in Southampton’s half and the visitor’s defence was having a torrid time of trying to deal with his ingenious movement and skill.

Johnson was again involved in a well-worked Liverpool attack when he found Jose Enrique unmarked on the left wing. Liverpool were keen to close out the game but Jose Enrique’s shot was straight at Gazzaniga.

Unlike the first half, Southampton were making the most of their possession of the ball. The visitors could not work a pass into the box however and Liverpool were quick to push out of defence. Jose Enrique was again allowed to shoot late on in the game but his low shot was saved when Gazzaniga got down to his left.

Jose Fonte lost his bearings in defence and allowed Sterling to jump in and play a ball into Suarez. The striker got a toe to the ball but his attempt missed the target. Sterling was then unlucky not to double Liverpool’s lead when he was provided with a wonderful pass from Suarez, only to be closed down deep in Southampton’s penalty area.

One goal was enough for Liverpool to seal all three points although they could have easily scored more. Lucas lasted an impressive 88 minutes in his first game after injury and his performance exceeded what was expected of the midfielder after such a long time out.

Southampton have to regroup before one of the most important games of their season so far when they take on Reading next Saturday. Liverpool face West Ham United on Sunday but will be without their suspended talisman Suarez, who picked up his fifth booking of the season.

Kopworld man of the match: Glen Johnson

Suarez picks up award


Luis Suarez has picked up the Ten Goal Golden Boot award for being the first Premiership player to reach the ten strike mark this season.

The Uruguayan star has been in scintillating form so far this season with goals against Manchester City, Sunderland, Norwich City (hat-trick), Everton, Newcastle United, Chelsea and Wigan (brace).


“The manager has been a huge influence, not just on me but on every single player at the club this season. The position I am playing now is really the one I like the most- a free number nine. The manager tells me I can score goals and fills me with confidence to do well for the team.” Suarez said after collecting the trophy.

Ferguson slams Carroll price tag


Alex Ferguson has said that he would not have paid £35m for striker Andy Carroll.

The big Geordie joined Liverpool in January 2011 from hometown club Newcastle United after a prolific start to the 2010/11 season and Fernando Torres’ £50m move to Chelsea from Anfield.

Kenny Dalglish made the England international one of his first signings after returning to the Anfield dugout, but the striker only scored twice in that season for the club after arriving injured.


Carroll only went on to score four league goals for the team in his first full season and a goal in the FA Cup final nearly sparked a turnaround, but the Reds went down 2-1 to Chelsea.

Ferguson has chimed in after his side dispatched Carroll’s loan club 1-0 on Wednesday evening thanks to £25m man Robin van Persie’s first minute strike.

Ferguson said: “I’d certainly not sign that kind of player for that kind of money.”

“He’s still not had a lot of games but he is a big lad, aggressive and a great header of the ball.”

“He’ll be a handful for defenders.”

Carroll has only found the net once so far for the Hammers, with a header coming in a 3-1 defeat at White Hart Lane against Spurs.

Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 1 Liverpool


By AmericanKopite, 28-11-2012, 22:42:49

Seventh place Tottenham Hotspur welcomed Merseyside’s Liverpool FC for a clash of mid-table clubs looking to claw their way back to the top four. White Hart Lane saw a thrilling match of two lopsided halves to shake up the table.

Spurs were off to a flying start only five minutes in, forcing a corner from a rocket of a free kick from Gareth Bale. But it wasn’t the end for Liverpool’s worries early on as Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon caught the away defence sleeping and were able to make a quick one-two to knock in the first goal seven minutes in.Fortune favoured the Spurs as Clint Dempsey picked up a minor shove from Jordan Henderson in the 15th minute that led to a blistering free kick from Gareth Bale that caught goalkeeper Pepe Reina off guard and flew into the bottom left corner of the net for the two-nil.

Liverpool were not to be left behind in the dust as it took until the 35th minute for them to wake up and get good passing in. The away side gained valuable possession and made great use of it, slowing the tempo to their comfortable speed and landing shot after shot for the next six minutes, but to no avail.

Controversy struck soon after when Steven Gerrard received a push to the ground and into the knee of Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, but referee Phil Dowd shrugged off the challenge and allowed play to continue to the sound of a very frustrated Liverpool side. The frustration of the scoreline showed a minute later when Martin Skrtel was lucky to get away with just a yellow for his rash tackle from behind on Gareth Bale.

The halftime whistle was a much welcomed sound for the visiting side and the 15 minute respite would prove useful in their hunt for any points at all.

Liverpool were determined to change the story as the first half started with Jose Enrique taking his free-roam role with ferocity, charging to goal and landing a soft shot to the hands of Hugo Lloris 35 seconds into the half.

The Liverpool pressure continued to rain down with Brendan Rodger’s side making great use of wingers Jose Enrique, Glen Johnson, and Raheem Sterling to curve balls into the box all night.

54 minutes in is when Tottenham made their first second half attempt on goal through Moussa Dembele, but it was weak and miles above the net.

Moments later Jonjo Shelvey was seen having a chat with Brendan Rodgers over his job for the rest of the evening as a 62nd minute change would see him take the place of fellow midfielder, Jordan Henderson. A simultaneous change was made by Spurs as Gylfi Sigurdsson was brought on for American international Clint Dempsey.

Gareth Bale’s scoring intentions continued to look strong with another free kick that stretched Pepe Reina in the 70th minute, almost putting Spurs up three-nil. Jose Enrique was at the other end just two minutes later continuing his own scoring intentions with a weak header that was deflected for a Jonjo Shelvey corner.

The corner went to the head of Steven Gerrard on the far post who’s header was deflected down to the foot of Aaron Lennon who then rocketed a clearance straight into the face of Gareth Bale standing just inches away from Lennon. Bale, who assisted Lennon’s goal for Spurs was returned the favour and scored for Liverpool using his face.

Gareth Bale’s name remained on commentator’s lips as his dive earned him a yellow card in the 77th minute. In that same minute Brendan Rodgers made his second change with Moroccan international Oussama Assaidi coming on for Stewart Downing.

79 minutes in and the Liverpool corners continued to rain down with even more added pressure and clever play ending in a rocket of a shot from Luis Suarez standing right over the penalty spot that sailed over the net. Suarez’ kneeling expression of desperation said it all. Jose Enrique was determined to continue raining shots down when his 87th minute laser from 30 yards whistled past the left post.

88 minutes in and Tottenham used their final change when Tom Huddlestone came on for Moussa Dembele while William Gallas was receiving treatment for this injured thigh.

The pressure was ratcheted up when Luis Suarez was tripped in the area by the recently treated William Gallas, and the Tottenham was awarded a free kick away toward their attacking area after Raheem Sterling was charged will pulling a Spurs player down.

Phil Dowd’s questionable refereeing saw no end when the second yellow card was given out to Jose Enrique for Aaron Lennon’s dive on a touchline. But Liverpool didn’t give up, and neither did the away fans. Although their valiant second half effort was for nought.

This wild and controversial game of two halves ended Liverpool’s eight game unbeaten streak and their top four mountain only increase in grade.

Final score at White Hart Lane; Tottenham Hotspur 2 – Liverpool 1.

Weekend football resumes as normal on Saturday, 1st December, as Liverpool will host newly promoted Southampton. The Thursday after that will be a major test for Brendan Rodgers’ outfit as Liverpool travels to Italy for a win or go home Europa League fixture against Udinese.

Until then.


Academy youngster mourned


Liverpool academy youngster Stephen Packer has passed away following a brave battle against cancer.

Packer represented the Reds at Under 9 level, passed away on Sunday evening.

The club said on its official website: “Stephen was very highly thought of among the coaches and during his short time at the Academy, had demonstrated he possessed the skills to develop into a very talented young footballer.”


“Everybody at Liverpool Football Club is deeply saddened by the tragic news of Stephen’s death and would like to offer our deepest sympathies to his family and friends at this time.”

Academy director Frank McParland said: “Everybody at the club has been deeply shocked and saddened by Stevie’s passing.”

“He was very highly thought of by everyone he came into contact with. He was a really happy kid and always had a smile on his face.”

“Not only that, but Stevie was a really talented young footballer. He was the best athlete within his group and very speedy.”

“Stevie is going to be really missed by everyone here and we’d all like to offer his family and friends our condolences.”

Borrell gets a promotion and new academy coach arrives


Reserve team coach Rodolfo Borrell has been promoted to head of academy coaching to replace his compatriot Pep Segura – who quit his role as academy technical manager a few months ago.

The former Barcelona academy coach has overseen the development of the likes of Martin Kelly, Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom in recent years.

The U21 side is the only one unbeaten in the country so far this season with seven wins from ten competitive games – and they sit top of the U21 league as well.Rodolfo-Borrell[1]

“I’ve been extremely impressed with Rodolfo in my short period at the club,” Brendan Rodgers said of the coach.

“His thinking is very similar to mine in the best way to educate and develop players. His role will make richer the philosophy we are creating at the club from U9s through to the first team.”

Borrell is being replaced by the Tottenham academy coach Alex Inglethorpe, who recently oversaw the Spurs’ youth side’s 4-1 demolition of Barcelona in the NextGen series.

Liverpool’s academy director Frank McParland said of his appointment: “Alex also has great experience from working with the U18s at Spurs for many years, where he has helped to produce some fantastic players.”

“I’m sure he is going to help us push on at academy level. It’s a fantastic appointment and I’m looking forward to working with him over the coming years.”

Johnson denies that Reds rely on Suarez


Liverpool defender Glen Johnson has denied claims that the Reds are reliant on striker Luis Suarez for goals this season.

The Uruguayan has been the team’s stand out performer and is also top scorer with ten league goals.

But England international Johnson does not think that they rely on him.

“We are not relying on Suarez at all,” Johnson said.article-2238953-163500AC000005DC-453_468x308[1]

“Obviously he is our main striker, but we are not relying on him.”

“It’s everyone’s job to get around him and try and score.”

“You need a bit of luck in front of goal and on another day we might have had two or three. It’s a difficult one because with Jose’s goal I thought his feet were in line with the last defender.”

“His shoulders were offside but surely the advantage should go with the attacker. I have seen them given. It is frustrating for us but you can see why the linesman has given it if he can see some part of his body in front.”

“I never felt that we were in any danger but they dug in and defended well.”

Rodgers looking for ‘one or two loans’


Brendan Rodgers has said that he will be given money to spend in January and plans to make ‘one or two’ loan signings.

With a relatively thin squad available, the club have been linked with dozens of players ahead of next month’s transfer window.Rodgers[3]

Aside from signing Fabio Borini and Joe Allen in the Summer, Rodgers also got Nuri Sahin on loan from Real Madrid – and he is looking at more short term additions.

He told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show on Talksport: “The squad has been ultra-thin right the way through. There will be some money available.”

“There have been a million names linked to the club and the brutal honesty of it is that ninety nine per cent of those we haven’t been thinking about.”

“But there will be a bit of money to spend and hopefully we can get one or two loans in, if that’s possible, to reinforce the group.”