QPR 0 – 3 Liverpool


By jpa90, 30-12-2012, 19:07:44

Three goals in the first 30 minutes secured a win for Liverpool against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road. An unorganised QPR couldn’t stop Luis Suarez from charging through their defence and slotting home after ten minutes. The striker added another six minutes later after a clever run and neat finish, and Daniel Agger made it 0-3 when he rose highest to meet Steven Gerrard’s cross.

Rodgers was not present to oversee his side take on the West London side due to illness. Colin Pascoe was given the top responsibility and will have been happy with the way that Liverpool started the game. QPR were having difficulty in holding on to possession and the Reds were confident in moving the ball around in midfield.

With ten minutes gone, Jordan Henderson picked up the ball deep in the home side’s half and located Suarez with a decent pass. Suarez turned Clint Hill with ease and sprinted into the box, one-on-one with Julio Cesar. The striker placed the ball past the hapless keeper into the bottom left corner, giving the visitors a 0-1 lead after ten minutes.

With confidence in their ability to beat the home side’s defence, Liverpool were relentless in attack. Stewart Downing was forced wide on the right wing and found Suarez unmarked on the overlap. The Uruguayan jogged into the penalty area and placed a low cross towards Raheem Sterling in the middle. The ball deflected back out to Suarez who hit a powerful first time effort straight past Cesar and into the net.

With just over 15 minutes gone, Liverpool were 0-2 up against a sloppy QPR who were yet to settle into the game. Rangers had made very few chances early on and the closest they came was an overhead kick from Mbia that looped over the bar. Liverpool’s defence were busy in keeping Djibril Cisse and Adel Taarabt quiet but the visitors were easily winning the battle in midfield.

Liverpool’s constant dominance in attack forced a corner which Downing played short. Gerrard, with acres of space, swung a textbook cross into the area which Agger met with a powerful header. The defender’s effort bounced under Cesar’s flailing hand and into the bottom right corner, putting Liverpool 0-3 up within half an hour.

Hill and Armand Traore were having a torrid time in defence and could not prevent a persistent Liverpool attack. Suarez was able to travel into QPR’s area with ease and the home side’s last-ditch defending was all that was stopping Liverpool from adding more. Ryan Nelsen only just prevented a fourth when he cleared a deflected shot from Gerrard off the line.

Apart from a decent spell of possession towards the end of the first period, it was a half to forget for QPR. Taarabt had threatened with a decent shot that forced a strong save out of Pepe Reina but Harry Redknapp will have been extremely disappointed at his team’s first half performance. The Reds were rolling the ball into attack with ease and exploiting the obvious gaps in a terribly unorganised QPR defence.

Liverpool were quick to assert their dominance in the second half, playing with a high tempo and pressurising QPR’s defence. Jose Enrique and Sterling were linking up well on the left wing and the home side could not contain Gerrard’s distribution. Suarez released a rasping shot on the edge of the box but his high effort was turned over the bar by Cesar.

Rangers were playing with a higher attacking line in the second half, a risky tactic that left the home side susceptible to counter attacks. Taarabt and Mackie were playing with a high level of energy that was non-existent in the first half and the Hoops pushed a determined Liverpool defence.

Taarabt had a low shot comfortably saved by Reina, by far QPR’s best chance of the game before then. Esteban Granero had a chance to pull a goal back for Rangers with a free-kick in a decent position, but his effort trickled wide of the post.

Liverpool were losing possession in midfield and Mbia nearly capitalised on this when he received the ball on the edge of the visitor’s penalty area. Reina was happy to see the effort fly past the post but it was clear that Rangers were battling to get back into the game.

Redknapp’s men continued to drive forward but were unable to challenge Reina’s goal. Taarabt won another free kick on the edge of Liverpool’s box when he was brought down by Lucas. Mbia’s resulting free kick was on target but easy pickings for Reina.

The game fizzled out with neither side creating many chances in the last 15 minutes. Liverpool capitalised on QPR’s poor first half performance and a clean sheet was a result of hard work and concentration in defence. QPR remain at the bottom of the Premier League table whereas Liverpool move up to 9th. Rangers face a tough fixture against Chelsea on Wednesday and Liverpool host Sunderland.

Kopworld man of the match: Luis Suarez

Rodgers to miss QPR game


Brendan Rodgers will miss today’s clash with QPR at Loftus Road, after the Reds boss succumbed to illness.

Rodgers is one of three club employees that have been sent home from London ahead


of the Premier League clash after picking up what is believed to be a virus. This has made it impossible for him to be in close proximity with the players for fear of spreading the illness.

Head of performance Glen Driscoll and goalkeeper Brad Jones are the other two to be sent home by the club’s medical team.

Club doctor Zaf Iqbal said: “It was impossible for Brendan, Glen and Brad to attend the game. They are not fit to be at the match and any contact with the rest of the squad could cause the bug to spread to more of the playing staff.”

Colin Pascoe and Mike Marsh are set to stand in for Rodgers in his absence.

Reality Check


“Same old story” “Same old Liverpool” “Typical, story of our season” …. sorry it’s time to face facts … we are a mid table side. We can no longer hide behind these comments and throw away statements to make excuses as to why teams like Aston Villa and Stoke are humiliating us.


Luis Suarez, whose attitude of late has been fantastic considering how frustrated he must be, has been the one thing to take from the last few weeks, he is also the last big name in world football we will sign until we get taken over by a Sheikh. Beating Fulham, who have one of, if not, the worst away record in the league is not a corner turned. We are nowhere near a force and teams now WANT to play us. These are facts, our record over the last 2 and a half seasons is awful. At home, away, everywhere and when we retain players like Dagger, Skrtel, Suarez and Sterling it is always sold to us as “like a new signing in itself”… that does not fly with me. Yes, it’s great we can keep these loyal servants and great players who are loved by every fan here, but why wouldn’t players like that want to stay when they are not going to be loved like this anywhere else? Great that they are buying into Brendan’s ethic but until we get better players around them, we will win nothing that we want to, i.e. the League, Champions League Qualification and even the Europa League.

We are not a club that attracts big players anymore and we won’t be for years. Who would want to come to a club that got beaten at home by relegation fodder (I say that respectively as Aston Villa played us off the park but they are still one of the worst footballing teams in the league), whom the week after got spanked 8-0 (could have been 12) by Chelsea with EXACTLY THE SAME Starting 11 and 4:0 at home to a Spurs side, both of whom, a few years ago we were laughing at?

There are a number of reasons for this…BR trying to make our players play to a style that is not suited to their ability. That’s the reality. Swansea had no trouble doing it so don’t come at me and say our players are world class because they are not. A stonewall fact on recent performances. But his “style” is pass and move. Correct me if I am wrong but is that not “The Liverpool Way”? Everything the club stands for and built it’s foundation on? Players like Henderson, Shelvey, Downing and Cole are not good enough to adhere to this play. Some of the aforementioned players’ second touch is a tackle and can trap it further than most can kick it. Before you all tell me to go and support someone else, yawn, consider this… before Rafa lost the plot, we had a midfield of Gerrard, Alonso, Garcia and Mascherano. Now, it is Gerrard with bad knees, Lucas, who had a good season I admit and won us over but is not good enough, Downing and either Shelvey, Allen or Henderson. This is why we aren’t competing. Players who would not get into any other Premier League team. Joe Allen was made to look a much better player by partnering Leon Britton and is not the answer to our problem of getting goals as the boy is currently incapable of shooting. Nuri Sahin who was on the cusp of the Real Madrid team is with us and I can’t remember what he looks like, same as Assaidi, who BR brought in and has looked good when he has had his chance in the Europa League. Where are they? Give them a shot. It CANNOT be worse than what we have been seeing.

I know this is going to generate a lot of negative comments and hate but the current team is a million miles off competing and “rebuilding” is not a positive thing. We are Liverpool and we should NOT be in this position…. Until now. We are where we are because that is our ability level. I genuinely hope I am wrong and in which case you all have permission to email me on the hour every hour that I was wrong but I cannot see us miraculously being the Liverpool of old without a new plan and MASSIVE investment.

Stoke City 3 – 1 Liverpool


By EddieC, 26-12-2012, 23:26:54

Liverpool slumped to a 3-1 defeat against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium this evening.

It took the Reds just two minutes to take the lead when Luis Suarez won a penalty after being fouled by Ryan Shawcross. Steven Gerrard stepped up to slot the spot-kick past Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic.

The cheers of the away fans didn’t last long though as just three minutes later Stoke were level thanks to an equaliser from Jonathan Walters following a mistake from Pepe Reina.

Things went from bad to worse on 12 minutes, when the home side took the lead through Kenwyne Jones. Glenn Whelan whipped an in-swinging corner into the box, and Jones rose above the Liverpool defence to head home.

Despite the quick-fire turnaround in the scoreline, Liverpool’s confidence didn’t appear to be too badly dented, and the visitors pushed forward in numbers. All too often though the final ball was lacking, and the Reds were unable to find an equaliser before half time.

It took just three minutes of the second half for Stoke to find a third goal. Jones flicked the ball into the path of Walters, who controlled with his chest before firing a volley into the top right corner of Reina’s goal.

Only two clubs have managed to score more than one goal at the Britannia Stadium this season, and with a healthy lead secured Stoke reverted to the style of play they have become known for – defending with 10 men behind the ball.

The introductions of Jordan Henderson and Joe Cole did little to change Liverpool’s fortunes, and their search for a goal proved to be fruitless as Stoke saw out the game to secure all three points.

Liverpool 4 – 0 Fulham


By jpa90, 22-12-2012, 20:42:28

Stewart Downing scored his first Premier League goal for Liverpool as they cruised to a 4-0 win against Fulham at Anfield. An unorganised Fulham couldn’t stop Martin Skrtel firing home from close-range early on and failed to pick up Steven Gerrard for the second. Downing was lively throughout the game and fully deserved to score when he travelled into the box and released a deadly left-footed strike. Luis Suarez added a fourth in injury time to top off an impressive game for Liverpool.

Fulham, with a packed out midfield, started out keeping a tight watch on movement down the wings from Jose Enrique and Downing. Jose Enrique worked an early corner which when floated in by Downing, found Daniel Agger completely unmarked on the penalty spot. Agger got too much under the ball and his effort flew over, but a complete lack of marking highlighted big gaps in Fulham’s defence.

A deft flick from Jonjo Shelvey was blocked for another corner which Gerrard swung in. Again, the Fulham defence was left standing when the ball dropped to Skrtel, who controlled the ball perfectly. Avoiding an extremely overdue challenge Ashkan Dejagah, Skrtel’s half-volley rocketed past Mark Schwarzer and into the net, giving the Reds an early 1-0 lead.

With hardly any pressure in midfield, Liverpool were keen to take advantage of a slow-moving Fulham. Downing picked up the ball 25 yards out and smashed an effort towards the top-right corner. Despite the referee giving a goal-kick, Schwarzer made a good effort to turn Downing’s strike around the post.

The home side were using the rain to their advantage as Gerrard and Lucas were able to skim the ball across the slippery surface, providing excellent distribution to the wings. Fulham were yet to find their rhythm in the game, evident when Kieran Richardson knocked Downing to the ground after miss-controlling the ball.

After the Reds took a short free-kick, the ball was teed up for Gerrard on the edge of the box. His shot was deflected and ran to Suarez on the right side of the box, unmarked. Suarez released a low cross into the middle to find Agger two-yards out, only to miss the open goal completely with a touch that flew high into the upper tier of Anfield Road.

Richardson was the first to trouble the Liverpool goal with a fierce shot that Reina had to save with his feet. Fulham’s tempo remained slow and this did very little for their momentum.

Collecting the ball deep in Fulham’s half, Downing demonstrated fantastic awareness when he placed a pass into the path of Gerrard who had charged into the 18-yard box from midfield. Nobody had picked up the captain and he calmly struck a low shot across the keeper and into the bottom left corner, doubling Liverpool’s lead.

Liverpool, with a flavour for goal, did not hesitate to pressure Fulham for another goal before half time. Suarez located Suso in the box far too easily but the Spaniard hooked his shot wide from a tight angle. Glen Johnson then played in Suarez behind the defence and the striker’s short-range effort was pounced on by Schwarzer.

A two-goal advantage at half time was kind on Fulham as the visitors had let Liverpool control the game. The Reds were having an easy time of locating their front men behind Fulham’s defence and could have easily scored three or four in the first half.

Composure was important for the Reds if they were to hold onto their lead and Suarez missed a golden opportunity to extend his team’s lead when he missed a gaping goal when Downing’s deflected shot found him unmarked.

Liverpool were determined to add another however and when Downing received the ball on the right wing, he moved into the box unchallenged by ex-Red John Arne Riise. He hammered a shot towards goal and despite getting a hand to it, Schwarzer could not deny Downing his first Premier League goal for Liverpool.

Despite being 3-0 down, Fulham managed to force their way into Liverpool’s half. Reina was on hand to palm away a dangerous driven cross and the Liverpool defence were working hard at closing down.

The introduction of Raheem Sterling added to Fulham’s woes as the teenager ran hard at the visitor’s defenders. Gerrard nearly claimed his second after the ball fell to him six yards out from a set piece, but Schwarzer stayed on his feet and denied Liverpool a fourth goal.

Dimitar Berbatov’s attempts to get his side back into the game were in vein as the striker was denied by Reina on several occasions. The Reds were quick pushing out after winning the ball back and Sterling won a free-kick on the edge of the area during a counter attack. Schwarzer stretched to make a good save from Suarez’s effort, keen to prevent any further embarrassment.

Fulham came so close when substitute Hugo Rodallega hit the post from a nicely-struck free-kick. This didn’t faze the Reds as they raced up the field, with Jose Enrique darting into the box from the left side. The Spaniard put in a low cross for Suarez, whose first-time effort rolled into the bottom-right corner, making it 4-0.

With an all-round convincing performance, Liverpool move up to eighth in the Premier League at the expense of a sluggish Fulham. Both teams are back in action on Boxing Day when Fulham host Southampton and Liverpool travel to Stoke.

Kopworld man of the match: Stewart Downing

Liverpool draw Zenit in Europa League


Liverpool face another trip to Russia as they have been drawn against Zenit St. Petersburg in the Europa League.

The Reds will face the winner of Basel v Dnipro should they proceed against the Russian champions._64881097_liverpoolsupporters[1]
The draw in full:

Napoli v Viktoria Plzen

Tottenham Hotspur v Lyon

Borussia Monchengladbach v Lazio

Sparta Prague v Chelsea

Anzhi v Hannover

FC Basel v Dnipro

Ajax v Steaua Bucharest

Atletico Madrid v Rubin Kazan

VfB Stuttgart v Genk

Newcastle United v Metalist Kharkiv

Bayer Leverkusen v Benfica

Dynamo Kiev v Bordeaux

Zenit St Petersburg v Liverpool

Levante v Olympiakos

Inter Milan v CFR Cluj

BATE Borisov v Fenerbahce


Champions League- A distant dream this year?


steven-gerrard-istanbul-460-55126245-3255919[1]Last week I recall there was huge optimism that we would be a top four side after an unbeaten run, this quickly changed – a poor performance and a defeat and we are a poor side with questions asked of us? This is why I prefer to look at performance over a 10 game period.

I am not one to judge after a couple of games and believe manager’s should be given time to build their own side and implement their own style. Having a revolving door of players and manager’s holds no stability for any football club even the clubs with unlimited funds. When as a club we clearly don’t have unlimited funds and appear to be on a cut costing measure to trim our budgets but also be competitive. So we have almost reached the half way stage of the season we have played 17 out of 19 teams in the league just QPR and Fulham to complete the set.

I have done a quick comparison at to look at where we were in each of the last three seasons as feel we have had a serious of changes and upheaval during this period:-

12/13- from 17 games 5 wins, 7 draws, 5 defeats,23 scored,23 conceded =22 points-12th position
11/12- from 17 games 8 wins, 6 draws, 3 defeats, 20 scored, 13 conceded=30 points-6th position
10/11- from 17 games 6 wins, 4 draws, 7 defeats, 21 scored, 22 conceded=22 points-9th position

These statistics tell us very little pessimists will point out we have won the least amount of games, conceded the most amount of goals and have the lowest amount of points. The optimists will point to the highest amount of goals scored and the improved easy on the eye football style.

First I look at our league position and for everybody connected with Liverpool FC this is so hurtful, some say it’s a false position? When I look at it we have only beaten West Ham and Norwich who are currently above us, drawing with Man City, Chelsea, Stoke, Everton and Swansea a total of 11 points. The teams were are above we have beaten Southampton, Wigan and Reading and drawn with Sunderland and Newcastle the same total of 11 points. Looking at these two totals if we can gain any points against the remaining two sides to play after Christmas we could be in a more promising position to challenge for Europe.

I will always stand by the factor we are very much a team in transition and although I would have like to point out that only a certain percentage of transfers will ever be successful in the game so a year down the line when we see the success of some of Brendan Rogers signings and the failings of others. As fans we are desperate to regain our Champions league status are to begin challenging for titles once again we have a big January looming where the squad simply must be strengthened and I imagine take time to bed in.

The last four years have shown 69, 68, 70 and 72 have been enough to secure champions league football so from 21 games we are looking at around 50 points which is surely far too much of an ask but can we finish higher than last season probably more of a realistic target.

Hillsborough verdicts overturned


The original inquest verdicts of the Hillsborough disaster were today quashed by the High Court.

Following the release of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report in September, Attorney General Dominic Grieve had made the decision to appeal against the accidental death verdicts given in 1990.

The Independent Panel investigated thousands of previously unseen documents – revealing serious police misconduct and suggesting that up to 41 people could have survived had the emergency services reacted better.justicecourts-3712901[1]

New inquests will now be arranged to deliver fresh verdicts on the events of that fateful afternoon, which are expected to be held in Doncaster.

Ian Ayre, the club’s Managing Director, said: “On September 12, the world heard the real truth about what happened at Hillsborough which was a hugely significant and deeply emotional day for everyone.

“Today, the High Court has quashed the original inquest verdicts which is another positive step forward for the families and survivors in their search for justice.

“Everyone at Liverpool Football Club remains committed to supporting the fight for justice and we hope that every person affected by this can take some comfort from today’s announcement.”

A new enquiry has also been ordered into the actions of the emergency services on the day, led by former Durham Chief Constable Jon Stoddart.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “The findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel were truly shocking, but while the families have now been given the truth, they have not yet received justice.

“Jon Stoddart is a skilled and dedicated investigator who will bring a huge amount of policing experience to this demanding job.

“I am giving the IPCC new powers to investigate police misconduct, but this investigation will ensure nobody with responsibility for fan safety at Hillsborough will escape scrutiny.

“I am determined to see a swift and thorough response to the findings of the Hillsborough Panel to deliver justice for the 96 football fans who died and the families who have fought so hard on their behalf.”

Rodgers plans to rest Sterling & Allen


Brendan Rodgers is planning to give midfielders Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen a rest after acknowledging that fatigue played a part in the defeat by Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday.

Sterling has earned rave reviews since breaking into the Liverpool first team but the winger is still only 18, and has featured in the majority of the Reds’ games this season.

Speaking to the official site, Rodgers said: “There is no doubt Raheem is one who does need that breather.0,,12637~11495198,00[1]

“I’ve thought about it over the past couple of weeks. In order to do that you need to have that depth to take him out and put somebody else in.

“That’s something I’m thinking about – who to put in. He’s a naturally very, very fit boy but he needs that mental rest as well.

“For the kid, it’s about efficiency as well. Tactically he’s still very young. That time will come and he will get the breather soon enough.”

Joe Allen is another who has featured heavily for the Reds this season, despite the 22-year-old still getting accustomed to life at Anfield following his move from Swansea in the summer.

“There is no doubt, after working with Joe and seeing him, he’s another one.” said Rodgers.

“If we’re honest, there are a few who could do with that breather, especially mentally. It’s something for sure I need to have a wee look at.”

West Ham 2 – 3 Liverpool

Joe Allen and Jonjo Shelvey celebrate Liverpool's winning goal.
Joe Allen and Jonjo Shelvey celebrate Liverpool's winning goal.

West Ham were right to go into this match confident coming off their 3-1 home win against Chelsea, and now looking to topple Liverpool who are on a strong climb up the table and looking to break into the top half of the table since May 2012. Lee Probert was the official on the pitch for this affair at Upton Park.

Joe Allen and Jonjo Shelvey celebrate Liverpool's winning goal.
Joe Allen and Jonjo Shelvey celebrate Liverpool’s winning goal.

The first ten minutes of the match was a back and forth struggle of the counter attacks with promising finishes, but it wasn’t until the 11th minute that the ice was broken by ex-Hammer Glen Johnson.

Johnson made a run from the right wing to the top of the 18 yard box where he curled a beauty over Jussi Jääskeläinen’s head into the top left corner of the goal for his first goal of the season.

The relentless attack did not let up with attacking runs coming into the box from Johnson and shots raining down from Jonjo Shelvey and Raheem Sterling.

Very early action from the bench as Joe Cole was seen warming up and receiving instructions in the 25th minute for a peculiar 27th minute change for Full-Back Jose Enrique. Joe Cole has scored twice against West Ham in his previous days at Chelsea.

The substitution saw a revival for West Ham’s attack with crosses flying into the box and heavy pressure being applied to Liverpool’s defence with a box flooded full of claret and blue shirts.

A bit of respite was given to Liverpool when they managed to pressure West Ham in their own attacking area, but clever play led to a sharp counter attack that was thwarted by captain Steven Gerrard with a rash challenge from behind that earned him the first yellow card of the match in the 33rd minute.

The woes only got worse for Liverpool when a 37th minute penalty was given to West Ham after Joe Allen raised his right arm to deflect Mohamed Diamé. Mark Noble slotted the equalizing penalty into the lower left corner quick enough to outpace the correctly guessed dive of Pepe Reina.

It only got worse before the stroke of halftime. Matt Jarvis’ cross came screaming into the area and bounced the wrong way off the head of Steven Gerrard and behind the hands of Pepe Reina. Not much one can do about that. 2-1 to West Ham 43 minutes in. It was five minutes later that the whistle sounded for halftime.

West Ham made a change before play resumed when Guy Demel came off for George McCartney. But all eyes were on the visiting side to see how they would approach the second 45 minutes after their first half collapse.

Nothing changed in 35 minutes. The West Ham fans loud as ever, spurring their team on as the home side led 2-1. Liverpool showed a small bit of fight in the 70th minute before their second substitution was made when Jordan Henderson was sent out to replace the recently injured Lucas Leiva. Just moments after the substitution it was injury for Mohamed Diame that became shock as the Senegalese international collapsed on the right wing and clutched his hamstring right in front of corner flag. Diame was carried off the pitch in a stretcher and made way for 23 year old Olympian, James Tomkins.

So far this season, Liverpool have not scored in the last 15 minutes of a match, and that stat was snapped by the most unlikely of places. Joe Cole continued his scoring record against West Ham in the 76th minute when a beautiful through ball from Raheem Sterling gave Joe Cole space in front of the left goal post and Cole coolly slotted the ball in for the equalizer.

That wasn’t the end of the story when another former West Ham player, Jonjo Shelvey, had his say two minutes later. Shelvey had received a low cross from winger Jordan Henderson that Shelvey chipped up over keeper Jääskeläinen and watched it fall into the opposite side netting for the go ahead goal to make it 3-2 in the span of five minutes.

Modibo Maiga was the fifth switch of the match replacing Matt Taylor in the 85th minute. Simultaneously, Joe Allen was replaced by Uruguayan international Sebastian Coates.

Liverpool would play very defensively and very nervously up until the end of the match with Raheem Sterling nearly making it curtains with a dangerous solo counter attack in the 88th minute.

Much to the surprise and confusion of Brendan Rodgers, five minutes was the time added to the end of the 90 as “Justice for the 96” was chanted around Upton Park.

Massive controversy as Jonjo Shelvey was tripped in the area by defender Winston Reid who was in trouble a minute later for committing the same offense on the same man just outside the box.

After 96 minutes and 17 seconds the final whistle blew to send Liverpool Football Club into the top half of the table for the first time since May. What was certainly a roller coaster of emotions for both sides turned out to be an entertaining affair and certainly one to mark a highlight of the season.

With no European football to worry about until February, the focus is now on domestic competition as the next five matches will all be league matches starting with Aston Villa on Saturday, the 15th, and then a trip to Craven Cottage to face Fulham the Saturday after that.

Until then,