The Liverbird

LIVER BIRD – "Exactly The Same… We Go Again."

After a scintillating fixture with Manchester City last weekend, Liverpool fans find themselves ever more excited as the blue side of Manchester also slipped up against Sunderland in the week dropping more points. As the Reds assess their situation they could even draw with Chelsea now and still go on to win the league but first there is the yellow and green of Norwich standing in our way.Injuries for Liverpool are pretty much the same with Jose Enrique out long term. What looked like a bad injury for Daniel Sturridge though is thankfully not as bad as expected and the striker will be subject to a late fitness test for this one. Personally I would save him for the Chelsea game.For Norwich they are unable to call upon Yobo and Bennett but their captain Sebastien Bassong should be available to start for manager Neil Adams.Liverpool are currently still sitting loud and proud at the top of the table. After the defeat of Manchester City at Anfield the Reds really are feeling buoyant on 77 points and with a goal difference of 51.Our opposition Norwich currently find themselves sitting in 17th as I write this post. The Canaries are very much in the midst of a relegation battle and with some tough fixtures to come there is a lot of weight on Neil Adams’ shoulders! I personally don’t understand why they got rid of Chris Hughton at the time they did, it seems like a strange decision to me, but who knows they might well pull off an escape.Norwich have lost four out of their last six games in the league. Drawing one and winning their match against Sunderland.The last time the two sides met was in December last year. The 5-1 drubbing saw Luis Suarez pick up four goals in this clash against what appears to be his favourite team. Our last trip to Carrow Road also ended favourably with Liverpool once again getting five goals this time with no return from Norwich.The Canaries’ best performance against us of late was back in 2011 when they managed to hold out for a 1-1 draw. Craig Bellamy and Grant Holt were the goalscorers that day. To find a Norwich win over Liverpool we must go all the way back to 1994.Stat SandwichLiverpool have taken 31 points from a possible 51 in away games this season.Norwich have lost their last three games without finding the back of the net.Martin Skrtel is the league’s highest goal scoring defender this season having netted seven times.I asked you for your score predictions for this one and here are a few of the tweets I received.I am genuinely concerned about this game, just as I am with the Crystal Palace one. Those on Twitter will have seen me raising my thoughts about these games and I’ve probably covered it on the blog too. I find myself very confident for Chelsea at home and also the Newcastle game but Norwich and Crystal Palace for me are potential banana skins.You would hope with Norwich’s current run that they will not pose as much of a threat and with Liverpool’s momentum and goal scoring record, on paper it should definitely be a Liverpool win but football is a funny old game. I haven’t seen much at all of Norwich this season and whilst most appear to be writing them off before a ball has been kicked, I personally feel that is a very dangerous attitude to have.As Gerrard said “we go again”.Each game is as important as the last now, we need to face this one the same way we faced City and hopefully we can pick up another three points.I’m not sure I’m gonna be putting any bets on tomorrow as I don’t think I’ll get chance however I feel as though Norwich will get an opportunity to score most probably from a set piece, I can see them nicking a goal for this reason but I also feel Liverpool will eventually have the upper hand. If I was popping some money on it would be on 2-1 Liverpool and Skrtel anytime, my new favourite bet haha!Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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The Guardian

GUARDIAN – Touts selling Liverpool-Manchester City tickets for £5,000 a pair

Tickets for £52 seat advertised for £2,453 Cheapest Kop ticket costs £85 more than season ticketLiverpool supporters desperate to be at Anfield for Sunday’s game against Manchester City are being asked to pay 5,000 a pair by online ticket touts.With Brendan Rodgers’s team two points clear on top of the Premier League table, the demand for tickets was always going to rocket for what has been termed by Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho as the club’s “biggest game in 24 years”. Continue reading…

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The Liverbird

LIVER BIRD – Reds Aim To Hammer Home Their Title Credentials

Liverpool make the trip down south on Sunday afternoon as they prepare to face Sam Allardyce’s West Ham side. With the Reds sitting proudly on their perch, an away game against a side that can cause problems is a daunting task for Liverpool and as Brendan Rodgers has said many times we must take each game as it comes. The title is in our hands but we must win, continuously.Injuries for Liverpool are pretty much none existent with just Jose Enrique still missing. For West Ham, they are without the likes of McCartney and Collins. They also have a problem with front man Nolan who has suffered a back injury recently.Just in case you didn’t know, Liverpool currently find themselves top of the soddin league! On a very nice 71 points and with a plethora of goals the Reds must feel confident going into this game. West Ham find themselves 11th in the league currently on 37 points. Big Sam may not be famed for sexy football, sexy anything for that matter but he seems to have pleased the West Ham fan base in hopefully securing them another season in the Premier League.Liverpool have won all of their last six fixtures in the league whilst West Ham have won three and lost three and have conceded in every game.The last time the two sides met was in December last year. Liverpool won the game 4-1 with Suarez getting a brace on the day. Liverpool’s last trip to Upton Park was in December 2012, the game was a close one with a Gerrard own goal putting us behind in the game. Joe Cole found us an equaliser though and a winner from Jonjo Shelvey sealed the deal. The game ended 3-2.West Ham have picked up wins in recent times on their turf against the Reds though winning 3-1 in February 2011 and 1-0 in January 2008.Stat SandwichGlen Johnson has scored against West Ham in three of his last five games in this fixture.West Ham have had 20 shots from opposition hit the woodwork at Upton Park this season.60% of Liverpool’s goals have been scored in the first half this season.I’ve said this several times possibly on here and definitely on my Twitter, I’m finding myself really nervous for the smaller (no offence) clubs compared to the bigger ones. The perfect example for me was the Spurs game, I was nervous (of course I was considering what is at stake here!) however I was nowhere near as bad as I was before the Sunderland game.For me the likes of Chelsea and City simply have to open up and come at us which in my opinion suits us perfectly especially at Anfield, we’ll simply catch you on the break and score more goals that you. Teams like West Ham and Sunderland though? They’re gonna park the bus and make it extremely hard for us to break through and whilst I have confidence we will somehow find a way and grab a goal I still get mega nervous for these games!It makes it worse this weekend as I’m off on a city break to Budapest and my flight takes off the minute we kick off! It’s gonna be absolute agony.Nevertheless I am hoping and praying that Liverpool don’t slip up and I’ll go for a 2-0 win. Apologies for not asking you all for your score predictions this week, I didn’t know which day I would be doing this preview and so I never got chance to ask but feel free to drop me a tweet with your predictions anyway!Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!P.s. don’t forget the match report for this game will be missing from the blog, normal service resumed for the City game!!Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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The Liverbird

LIVER BIRD – Can Liverpool End March On A High?

Liverpool welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Anfield on Sunday as they aim to collect a more convincing win after a somewhat nervy 90 minutes with Sunderland midweek. After confidently beating Spurs on their own turf, Brendan Rodgers will surely have faith in his side to seal the deal in the reverse fixture this weekend.Liverpool are still in a strong position injury wise with just long term absentee Jose Enrique missing. Spurs on the other hand have a few injury worries with Adebayor and Dembele both being subject to late decisions and Capoue and Lamela out.Tottenham are currently placed 6th in the league on 56 points. The London side have had a tough run in of games recently losing to both Chelsea and Arsenal on the trot but picking up a win against Southampton at White Hart Lane.Liverpool are still sitting nicely in 2nd and as I write this there is a potential for us to go top tomorrow as Chelsea are having a bit of a mare (this surely can’t last?!). No matter what happens in that game though, the challenge remains the same for Liverpool who need to keep the pressure on and collect three points. Liverpool haven’t lost in their last 12 games and that loss came at the hands of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.The last time the two sides met was of course the 5-0 win for Liverpool back in Decemeber, it was an emphatic performance for the Reds. The last visit to Anfield for Spurs also ended in a loss with Liverpool winning that game 3-2, Suarez, Downing and Gerrard were on the score sheet that day.Stat SandwichLiverpool have only lost one game at home in all competitions so far this season.Spurs have not lost a game from a winning position so far this season.Liverpool have scored before half time in a record 21 games.I asked you for your score predictions for this one on Twitter and here are a few of the tweets I received.I’m strangely less nervous about this game than I was for the Sunderland one. I have no idea why but I feel more confident against the bigger teams I think they way they have to play enables us to fully punish them with our attack, something that didn’t happen perfectly against the five strong defence of Sunderland.However I am of course still nervous as this is a massive game, my punt for this one is 3-1 Liverpool.Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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The Liverbird

LIVER BIRD – Suarez Hat Trick In Cardiff Win

It certainly wasn’t plain sailing for Liverpool on Saturday as they conceded an early goal from Cardiff making it much more difficult for themselves. Things never seem to be simple with Brendan Rodgers’ side though, the way in which Liverpool play is always calling for risk but the plus side is the Reds know that they willscore more goals. It’s a gloriously exciting yet dangerous way to play football, especially at this stage of the season but it worked on Saturday for Liverpool.Brendan Rodgers made only one change to the team from the Manchester United game, opting to replace Raheem Sterling with Philippe Coutinho.Whilst on paper this game should have been a simple win for Liverpool, many fans appeared to forget that Cardiff were fighting for their lives and they would definitely get some chances on the counter attack. Unfortunately for Liverpool, these chances cropped up sooner than expected and with a less than alert defence the Reds conceded their first goal just eight minutes in.A poor pass from Joe Allen sent the ball to Fraizer Campbell in the box, he then set up Mutch who with a composed finish put his side in front. It was a shock to say the least and whilst disappointing, as a Liverpool fan this season, you knew the game was nowhere near over yet.On the back foot for a while Liverpool were beginning to make a few silly mistakes and were struggling to keep the ball. Social media was screaming at the likes of Allen and Henderson but it was far too early to start shouting the odds in my opinion.At 16 minutes some good pressure from Liverpool led to an equaliser. An assist from Glen Johnson allowed for an easy Suarez tap in and the Reds were right back in the game. The fun didn’t last very long though with Fraizer Campbell just nine minutes later finding himself weaving through our defence and with another good finish Cardiff had retaken the lead from a somewhat dumbstruck Liverpool side.Once again, it was frustrating, very much so but there were still goals in this game, especially for Liverpool and whilst panic did begin to set in, we knew there was plenty of time to sort this all out.Late in the first half Liverpool once again managed to get themselves back level. A Coutinho corner originally led to nothing but when the ball came back out to the Brazilian his resulting cross was just right for Skrtel to stick a leg out and convert Liverpool’s second of the game. I went mad for this one, it’s the first game I haven’t been able to watch this season so I had it on five live, was going mental because I was just so glad we were back level then I realised that I’d had a quid on Skrtel anytime too, only won 8 quid like but yer know, it all helps! Haha.Going into the second half the Reds had done well to finish the first half level with their opponents, it would have been much more of a struggle had Cardiff been in front.Seven minutes into the second half and in an almost action replay Philippe Coutinho once again stepped up for a corner, this time a free Martin Skrtel was able to get his head on the cross and score again to put Liverpool into the lead for the first time in the game!I love it when Skrtel celebrates because he seems to react exactly as the fans do… by going ape shit!The momentum kept flowing for Liverpool when three minutes later they were attacking the Cardiff goal again. This time the partnership of Sturridge and Suarez was in full force with a sublime back heel from the former to the latter resulting in a lovely finish from Suarez. Now 4-2 up, the worries of the first half appeared to have melted away, the Reds were in full force now and it still felt as though there were goals left.At 67 minutes Raheem Sterling replaced Philippe Coutinho. Whilst I did feel as though Sterling should have entered play I think it’s important to highlight the fact that Coutinho got two assists in this tie, he’s not always the most productive of players and can sometimes be a bit below par but he did well on Saturday.At 74 minutes Daniel Sturridge wanted to get in on the action. Once again working with his partner Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan did all the hard work and placed a perfect ball across goal to Sturridge who tapped home his effort with ease. Now 5-2 up the travelling kop was absolutely buoyant. Chants of “we’re gonna win the league, we’re gonna win the league” were ringing out and everybody was well and truly back in hysteria mode.A consolation goal for Cardiff appeared ten minutes later, there were many shouting the odds over clean sheets and goal difference but in my opinion I couldn’t care less about that at this stage of the season. Our goal difference is already the second best in the league, we score bags of goals too and I don’t think it’s gonna come down to goal difference this year to be honest. For me all that matters is those three points! Cardiff’s third was scored by Mutch after the ball was headed down by Kenwyne Jones. It was another simple finish.Finally in stoppage time Liverpool converted their 6th of the game via Luis Suarez. A clearance from Skrtel flew all the way to the Uruguayan who was strong beating the Cardiff defender, his continued run enabled him to be one on one with the keeper, after some teasing he eventually slotted the ball home completing his hat trick and sealing Liverpool’s all important three points.I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received, thanks to all who replied!Next up for Liverpool is Sunderland on Wednesday night, our game in hand is vital if we’re going to keep this pressure on for the title.Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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The Liverbird

LIVER BIRD – Penos-A-Plenty In Old Trafford Win

Liverpool walked away from Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon having collected all three points scoring two penalties and one goal via Luis Suarez from open play. The Reds were awarded three spot kicks but it could have been five or six in a game that saw some controversial decisions mixed with a truly poor performance from the once exuberant Manchester United.Brendan Rodgers had clearly put some thought into his starting line up for this one, opting once again to include Joe Allen in the midfield in order to help protect the back four. The added bonus for Liverpool too was that both Lucas and Sakho were back on the bench. A forward three consisted of Sterling, Sturridge and Suarez (complete with knitted boots!)The game got off to a good start for Liverpool who immediately sprung into action when a Henderson pass reached Daniel Sturridge, unfortunately his resulting shot went wide. Neither side to begin with was maintaining possession long enough but this perhaps worked in Liverpool’s favour as they took their chances to break via interceptions.Another early attack saw a ball from Flanagan reach Luis Suarez, a run into the box then saw the Uruguayan challenged by Fellaini. There were several fans asking the question of Suarez to go down and I do feel on this rare occasion he was being too honest as I feel there was something in it. However I wasn’t too disappointed that it wasn’t awarded what with a massive portion of the game left to play.Later in the first half an incident occurred involving Rafael and Steven Gerrard, Rafael was booked for his poor scissor challenge on the captain but it was the moments that followed that left Liverpool fans fuming.A lovely cross from Sturridge found its way to Luis Suarez in the box, as he began to fluster Rafael and make his way towards goal, Rafael absolutely blatantly batted the ball out the way. The penalty was awarded but Rafael after just being booked minutes earlier escaped a second yellow which I felt was a shocking decision. He should not have been on that pitch and even though Liverpool didn’t end up needing any extra help, playing against 10 men at Old Trafford would have been a huge bonus.The resulting penalty was taken by Steven Gerrard, as cool as ever he stepped up and placed the spot kick to the right of goal. Liverpool were 1-0 up.Up until this stage Manchester United had created nothing, Mignolet had not been called into action once until with two minutes left of the first half Wayne Rooney sprung to life. A stinging effort was saved by the superb reactions of Mignolet who must have felt relieved to have cleared that potential danger.I can’t stand Wayne Rooney for a multitude of reasons but in fairness to him, he was the only United player on the pitch yesterday that appeared to have any fight or urgency.The second half didn’t take long at all to get underway when only seconds in Liverpool were awarded another penalty! This one for me was a definite, Phil Jones completely clattered Joe Allen out the way and off the ball, it was a shocking decision from Jones to do that so early on in the second half but it was clear from some of the decisions that the United players were making meant they were struggling to deal with the waves of attack from Liverpool.Steven Gerrard stepped up once again to take the penalty and in an almost action replay he slotted home to the right of goal again to put Liverpool 2-0 up.Shortly after the Liverpool penalty this time there were shouts at the other end. A potential hand ball from Glen Johnson left the United players screaming and if I’m honest I think they could of had a case. However it was not as clear cut as the Rafael hand ball earlier on in the game.The next penalty incident came when Wayne Rooney decided to throw himself into Martin Skrtel OUTSIDE of the box, there were several United fans in the pub I was in going absolutely mad for this one but no way in hell was it a penalty.As United struggled to create anything Brendan Rodgers and his boys continued to boss the game, it’s a very long while since I’ve seen a team of ours play that well at Old Trafford and despite the fact we’d scored from penalties, United looked lost. They were never going to get back into this game no matter what decisions did or did not go their way in my opinion.The next moment in the game to note was a retrospective yellow card for Vidic after a challenge on Luis Suarez, initially this appeared to be less than problematic for United but that would soon change.Vidic was then involved in a penalty decision after what looked like a challenge on Daniel Sturridge, the penalty was awarded to Liverpool and Vidic was booked for the second time giving him his marching orders however the replays were not a nice sight.For me, there’s no bones about it, Sturridge dived, it’s unlike him and I don’t condone it but then Steven Gerrard missed the spot kick anyway sending his effort off the post and so for me justice was done. Ok, United were left with 10 players but I’m sorry, as I’ve said several times, they ALREADY should have only had 10 men on the pitch so for me the missed peno and Vidic going off just levelled things out.Just when you thought there had been enough penalty decisions in this game, Daniel Sturridge was once again challenged in the box, this time he was taken down by Michael Carrick and this time for me it was a definite penalty but was it given? No. Do you hear us droning on about it? No. Whereas almost every United fan I know at the moment appears to only be able to remember that Sturridge dive from the whole game… weird that.Shortly after this decision, De Gea was called into action when some Luis Suarez trickery left the defense dumbstruck, it was a quality save from De Gea to deny Liverpool a third.At 83 minutes Daniel Sturridge was involved in an attack once again, his shot however found its way to Luis Suarez who with a lovely finish sent his effort around De Gea and this time found Liverpool’s third.By now the away end at Old Trafford had gone absolutely mental and they continued to do so all the way to the final whistle.The amount of times we’ve had to sit through losses to Manchester United, it was so refreshing to beat them on their own door step and in style. A lot (not all) of Manchester United fans just seem to think they have the divine right to win, especially when playing us and it’s soddin hilarious that we’re now a massive 14 points in front of them. Oh well, good luck with The Chosen One n all that… hahahaha.I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received.Next up for Liverpool is Cardiff away.P.s. Just a pre-warning I didn’t realise but I’ll be on a flight to Budapest when we kick off against West Ham in a few weeks and I don’t return home until the Wednesday. For this reason there WILL be a West Ham match preview on the blog but the match report will be missing. Apologies! Normal service will be resumed for the City game!Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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The Liverbird

LIVER BIRD – Confident Liverpool Aim To Take Advantage At Old Trafford

Liverpool travel to Old Trafford on Sunday as they prepare to face old rivals Manchester United in an important Premier League tie. A trip away to United would usually pose some concern for Liverpool fans but with the way this season has panned out so far the majority of the fear has been dismissed and Brendan Rodgers must feel his side can get the better of David Moyes’ boys this weekend.Injuries for Liverpool have improved somewhat with Sakho and Lucas back in training, it’s unknown whether they will feature on Sunday though. Manchester United are also in a relatively strong position with Nani, Evans and Hernandez all newly fit and available.The Reds currently find themselves 2nd in the league, 7 points behind Chelsea but with a game in hand. Manchester City also have 3 games in hand however Liverpool have the advantage of facing both Chelsea and City at Anfield later in the season, thus adding great importance to this clash with Manchester United.Moyes’ side are currently sitting in 6th place on a lowly 48 points. They are also a massive 11 points off Liverpool and it’s hard to remember the last time the tables had turned so drastically in the run up to a tie at Old Trafford. It’s always a brilliant fixture when we face United but with all the additional aspects this season it is set to be one tasty game and it could be extremely fruitful for Brendan Rodgers.The last time the two sides met was in September last year in the league cup, United knocked us out winning the game 1-0, a reverse of the scoreline Liverpool notched up at Anfield in August when the two sides met in the league. Daniel Sturridge scored that day.Recent records against Manchester United haven’t been brilliant for Liverpool and the last win for us at Old Trafford was that momentous 4-1 rout in 2009. Despite the poor form against the Devils the Reds always put in a good performance, it’s always an intense game with chances being created from both sides and I feel this time out United are going to need more than the Theatre of Dreams to wake them up from their nightmare.Liverpool have been superbly strong in attack, defensively we haven’t been perfect and whilst Rooney and van Persie are bound to cause problems the Reds have benefited from a longer break this week allowing my preferred duo of Agger and Skrtel to hopefully work hard on their partnership, I hope it will be these two in the centre back pairing on Sunday.Stat SandwichLiverpool are unbeaten in their last nine league matches.Robin van Persie has scored six times in his last seven starts against Liverpool.The last time the Reds collected five wins on the trot in one season was in 08/09.I usually ask for your score predictions and I really wanted to hear them this week but I’ve been away on a field trip in Dorset for five days and so I never got chance to ask, apologies!It’s set to be a brilliant game on Sunday and as for my punts, I’ll probably have a Luis Suarez score cast of some sort but I’m also feeling a daft scoreline, I’m feeling confident haha! Keep an eye on my tweets on Sunday, I’ll let you know all my bets.Lastly before I go if you haven’t checked them out before take a look at the brilliant “The Redmen TV” it’s uncensored Liverpool FC television and it’s hilarious! Here’s a little preview of the sort of stuff they do.(Twitter:@TheRedmenTV)Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!COME ON LADS!!!Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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The Liverbird

LIVER BIRD – Reds Had To Fight For Glory At Fulham

It was a nerve-wracking 90 minutes to say the least for Liverpool on Wednesday evening as the Reds went behind twice in their clash with Fulham. Some sloppy defending created problems immediately for Liverpool but a more composed second half eventually ended with the Reds being awarded a penalty and Steven Gerrard saving the three points.Brendan Rodgers decided to field the same side that faced Arsenal for this fixture, it was a vital game for the Reds who needed to prove they are capable of beating the lesser teams and can also perform well away from home.Things didn’t start brilliantly for Liverpool though after Simon Mignolet was forced into a save very early on when Ryan Tunnicliffe took a chance. Shortly afterwards things got even worse. A cross from Richardson made its way into the Liverpool box, Kolo Toure had Darren Bent behind him and whilst I agree he had to do something I just can’t understand how he’s managed to slice the ball into his own net. It was a shocking mistake and coming off the back of his one at West Brom, it’s just unacceptable.Quickly after conceding Liverpool created themselves a chance when Suarez took a shot from the left of the box but saw his effort saved by Stekelenburg. As if Kolo Toure wasn’t having a bad enough day too he then proceeded to bash over the ref when returning to defence after being up for the corner. He needs some time on the bench in my opinion, I think all these mishaps have gone to his head.Thankfully Liverpool still had some players with their hearts firmly set on equalling things up. The Reds did not really deserve to be behind after conceding a goal in such a manner and at 40 minutes Steven Gerrard with a sublime pass set up Daniel Sturridge. The forward was played in beautifully and ahead of the encroaching defence he was able to finish confidently to put the Reds level.It was a good time to score for Liverpool who in some senses looked as though they needed half time but it was much better to reach that point having scored a goal. I fear if we were down at half time Fulham could have capitalised a bit more in the second half.The second half was a complete contrast for Liverpool though, this time they started in a very lively fashion and were piling the pressure on Fulham. Some early magic from Luis Suarez saw him back heel the ball in the air around Riether and keep running, Reither then made a challenge though and Suarez had won Liverpool a free kick.The Uruguayan stepped up to take the free kick which he sent just wide. A goal at this stage would have aided Liverpool who needed to ensure they made the most of this early pressure.Sidwell shortly after the Suarez free kick however fancied a pop and he caused some concern with Mignolet needing to remain focused as he saved the very long ranged effort.Suarez who by his standards is probably in the midst of a goal drought at present then found himself with another chance but had to watch his shot bounce off the right hand post. As the chances were failing to be converted it was looking like it was be going to be one of those days again for Liverpool who desperately wanted to win to close the gap on those above them and further cement their intentions of grabbing at least 4th place.A highlight I had to pick out from the game was also the point at which John Arne Riise broke all the way down the left wing. Steven Gerrard followed him all the way and finally managed to get him off the ball, this just reminded me of when they played together, you could see Gerrard desperately wanted to get him off the ball, some good banter going on there I reckon.Despite Liverpool’s almost constant pressure just after the hour mark Fulham had put themselves ahead in the game for the second time. After a cross bounced off the back of Martin Skrtel it was an easy finish for Richardson who was directly in front of goal. This was so frustrating because in my opinion Fulham were extremely lucky to gain their first goal and they didn’t really deserve their second, however Liverpool’s defence were to blame, it was just too easy and now there was a mountain to climb if the Reds wanted anything from the game.Ten minutes later, Liverpool had managed to find themselves an equaliser, much to the delight of the travelling Kop at a very chilly Craven Cottage!Daniel Sturridge spotted Philippe Coutinho and played him a ball, Coutinho then found himself some space and sent his shot around the keeper and into the back of the net, there was a slight deflection but the Reds weren’t too bothered about that as they turned their focus onto finding a winner.With just 20 minutes left there was a matter of urgency and a lovely ball over the defence at 73 minutes from Sterling nearly set up Luis Suarez, unfortunately though there was a collision between Suarez and Stekelenburg and the keeper eventually had to be substituted.Shortly afterwards a break lead by Riise saw him lose possession at a dangerous point, Suarez then set up Coutinho but his shot was sent wide to the left of goal.With things becoming increasingly desperate it didn’t look like Liverpool were going to be able to find that all important winner. In this game though it only takes a second for everything to change and a very clumsy decision by Fulham’s Riether saw him take down Daniel Sturridge in the box with 90 minutes on the clock.There’s always an element of nerves when anybody steps up for a penalty, it decreases a bit when it’s Steven Gerrard but I think the combined situation and importance of the game on Wednesday made this a huge responsibility on the captain’s shoulders and I’d bitten my nails down to the hilt.Thankfully Steven Gerrard was as calm as ever and he converted his spot kick removing his shirt in celebration as the Reds knew all they had to do now was see out stoppage time.And they did. It was hardly the best way to go about things but as many have said, if you’re going to finish in the top four you simply have to win games like that, it doesn’t matter how you go about it, all that matters is those three points.I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received.Next up for Liverpool is Arsenal in the FA Cup!Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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The Liverbird

LIVER BIRD – "We’re Just A Foal"

Brendan Rodgers distanced his side from being stallions after Jose Mourinho’s crazy horse talk this week but the Reds must feel as though they pose a serious threat now in the race after demolishing Arsenal on Saturday at Anfield. Liverpool found the back of the net on five occasions via Martin Skrtel, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge. Arsenal could only find a consolation via a penalty in the second half.Liverpool began the game in the best possible fashion when less than one minute into the game Mertesacker gave away a free kick after a challenge on Luis Suarez. Steven Gerrard stepped up to take the set piece and his ball found its way to Martin Skrtel who poked home the goal and proceeded to go absolutely mental. I too went absolutely mental, firstly because we’d netted against Arsenal within a minute but also because I’d popped a quid on Martin Skrtel anytime a few minutes before kick off haha! Bonus.Despite the fact everybody was elated it was obviously too soon to start thinking we could win this. Arsenal were top of the league and there’s no way they wouldn’t find a goal? Surely there would be an immense comeback…As the minutes ticked by though it didn’t appear as though Arsenal were prepared to create any sort of threat let alone a comeback. Liverpool looked dangerous every single time they pushed forward and just before the 10 minute mark Liverpool had scored again!Steven Gerrard once again set up the goal this time from a corner and Martin Skrtel converted with an absolutely cracking header. I knew Liverpool were capable of giving Arsenal a game but this was quickly beginning to look embarrassing for the visiting side and I still couldn’t comprehend that they weren’t even causing problems. Even with the two goal cushion, at this stage there was still worry for an Arsenal onslaught.A few minutes later though and Liverpool were at it again firstly after Sturridge sent his effort wide after being assisted by Suarez then the Uruguayan sent everybody’s hearts racing after receiving the ball from another Gerrard corner, having a pop from 20 yards and watching his stinging effort smash back out off the left hand upright.I just couldn’t believe my eyes. This was an exquisite performance from Liverpool but we were only a quarter of a way into the game and as a Liverpool fan, we all know what they can be like. The Reds needed to continue this brilliant play, treat it as a 0-0 and continue to smash Arsenal.And that’s just what they did.At 16 minutes star man Ozil was dispossessed by Jordan Henderson who then played the ball to Suarez. A lovely cross from him set up Raheem Sterling for an easy tap in past Szczesny. The Reds were 3-0 with 75 minutes left of the game!I was in my element watching this as I’m sure many of you were, it was hilarious how brilliant we were playing and how terrible Arsenal were and I quickly found myself back in that magical yet dangerous zone of “We could win the pissin’ league!” then reality set in and I began to calm down, that was until we’d scored yet again!Just before the 20 minute mark a dream pass from Philippe Coutinho found its way to an encroaching Daniel Sturridge. The forward was frustrated with his effort that went wide earlier in the game but this time his finish was perfect, Liverpool were 4-0 up and that famous dance came out. And yes, I too was doing the dance as always haha.As the first half ended there was almost an element of boredom setting in, is this what it feels like when teams win everything all the time? I was getting bored of us scoring and Arsenal showing no fight, quite frankly I don’t feel they should escape any criticism because they really were diabolical. How can they expect to win the title playing like that? Happy to allow us all the time on the ball, applying no pressure and messing things up completely in defence?The second half began and there were no signs that Arsene Wenger’s team talk had worked. It was very much the same situation just with the Reds this time attacking their favoured Kop End.Just five minutes in and yes, you guessed it, Liverpool had scored again! Sterling who was having a wonderful game saw his initial effort saved by Szczesny but the ball splayed back out to the youngster who then converted his chance.Just before the hour mark Arsene Wenger decided to make a triple substitution however I’m not certain the Reds were too concerned about the likes of Podolski, Rosicky and Gibbs entering play.In fairness though just after his introduction, Podolski did assist Jack Wilshere who had one of Arsenal’s six shots on target.Shortly after Wilshere’s chance Koscielny fouled Suarez and the Uruguayan stepped up to take the free kick for the Reds. His effort was crafted perfectly with the ball heading straight for the exact top right corner of goal but Szczesny had spotted what Suarez was trying to do and made a great save to deny him.At 70 minutes Arsenal finally got a chance for a small consolation when Steven Gerrard brought down Oxlade-Chamberlain in the box. Mikel Arteta took the spot kick sending it straight down the middle to beat a not so distracting Mignolet.Shortly after their goal a barge from Steven Gerrard left Wilshere on the floor, the Arsenal man was making a right meal of things considering he’d done exactly the same thing to Gerrard early on in the game. Wilshere really gets on my nerves, he seems to think he’s god’s gift to football and for me a stern charge from Steven Gerrard is exactly what he needed.A Flanagan challenge on Wilshere afterwards gifted Arsenal with a free kick late on with Arteta stepping up to take it. His effort curled around the wall but a great save from Mignolet meant Liverpool would not concede another.Chances from Sterling and Cissokho as the game died downed further instilled Liverpool’s dominance in this game even when Arsenal had a slightly improved spell and at 90 minutes hundreds of cameras proceeded to take that snap of the scoreboard as Reds fans basked in the delight of beating Arsenal 5-1.Simply brilliant!I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received.Next up for Liverpool is Fulham and the Reds must win that game if they are genuinely serious in their challenge.Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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