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Steven Gerrard.The mere completion of his name generates countless memories, moments of sheer genius and warrior like fight as he stood as captain of the football club he idolised so much.A legend. A talisman. A hero.A dreamer. A captain. A leader.A WINNER.Steven Gerrard has remained a Liverpool player for 17 years and 708 games (710 hopefully). I’d just turned nine years old when Gerrard made his debut against Blackburn Rovers and whilst I can’t claim to fully remember his cheeky face and slim frame, I was beginning to find my love for football. Little did I know I was watching a man I’d love more than football itself, a man who I would grow up with.There aren’t many footballers in the world that can have such an effect on a fans’ life. Players come and go for millions of pounds, you don’t relate to that, it’s unfortunately the norm. Gerrard however is the diamond in the rough, he’s just a regular person like you or me. He chased his dream and made it a reality. He mesmerised fans with his cross field passes, his long range goals, determination, tenacity, his refusal to ever give up.As I grew older it became clear what an important figure Steven Gerrard was to Liverpool Football Club. There are many poignant moments in Steven Gerrard’s career and many moments that went unnoticed in the grand scheme of things. It is hard to do his career justice in a short blog post.In 2003 Gerrard was given the captaincy by Houllier, a manager who the captain openly admired. I was 14 by now, Steven Gerrard posters beginning to plaster my walls. The adoration had quickly become an obsession. Who was this youngster from Liverpool, setting alight the starting XI, every single week?By 2005 I was besotted. Under Houllier, Gerrard was moulded into both the man and the player that he is today. Under Rafael Benitez? He flourished. Scoring 104 goals in 292 appearances, this is arguably when Steven Gerrard cemented his everlasting presence. Certainly in my book, my fondest memories of Gerrard are when he was playing under the Spaniard. Perhaps aided by a team of talent such as Mascherano, Alonso and Torres. Gerrard really shined in this era for me.That Istanbul final gave younger fans like myself a taste of the glory days, a glimmer of the success that could become a reality once again at Liverpool and it was all thanks to Gerrard. Throughout the whole Champions League campaign Gerrard carried his team, refusing to be beaten when everyone else had let the flame die out.His stunner against Olympiakos to get us to the final just wasn’t enough for the captain. Down and out looking at the Ataturk scoreboard to see his team losing 3-0 at half time, Steven Gerrard didn’t cave in. He’d worked too hard, through sweat, tears and a phenomenal Kop end goal, he’d dragged his side to Turkey.Gerrard’s header at 54 minutes is possibly the most iconic goal I’ll ever see. Collecting the ball, still faced with a pessimistic team backed by optimistic fans his arms began to pump. We’re not out yet. The remainder of that anecdote writes itself.Gerrard’s sheer determination is just one of his many irreplaceable attributes, there are too many to name, too many to discuss but when your team are on a run of poor form or in a cup final with no hope left, the Steven Gerrard factor is simply priceless.Life without Gerrard at Liverpool Football Club is a curious prospect to think about. Let’s not forget he’s our top goalscorer this season and his influence on younger players, his ability to command the midfield and captain the team is unrivaled.Liverpool can only dream of another like him, his loyalty will never be matched.As I risk dribbling on to a rather emotionally fueled recap of Gerrard’s whole career, I think the man’s words this week sum up perfectly: “We have dreamt together, chased those dreams together and achieved most of them together.”Gerrard, It’s been a wondrous ride.You’ll Never Walk Alone.___________________Crystal Palace PreviewInjuries for Liverpool mean they are still without long term absentees Jon Flanagan and Daniel Sturridge whilst Mamadou Sakho will be subjected to a late fitness test. For Palace manager Alan Pardew has a practically full squad to choose from for Saturday’s game.The last time the two sides met was on Valentine’s day this year, the Reds picked up a 2-1 win in the FA Cup tie with Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana on the scoresheet. The last meeting between the two sides in the Premier League was in November 2014. It was another poor result for Liverpool against Palace as the home side put three goals past us with just Rickie Lambert on the score sheet, netting after just two minutes.Prior to this was of course that heartbreaking 3-3 draw which I won’t even bother going into, you know the story there.Stat SandwichSteven Gerrard has scored 185 goals in all competitions for Liverpool.Crystal Palace have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 12 matches in the league.Liverpool have only scored seven goals in their last seven league games.I’m starting to hate playing Crystal Palace to be honest but I am hoping that the Reds will pull it out the bag tomorrow with the help of Steven Gerrard. Palace are on a poor run at present and I think it will be too much for them at Anfield on Saturday.Here’s hoping Steven Gerrard can find one last goal in front of the Kop!Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog
Image: express.co.ukI must admit when I sat down to watch us play QPR on Saturday afternoon, I wasn’t expecting it to be the most exciting sporting moment of the day. However after watching a relatively dull “fight of the century” in a snorefest atmosphere last night, having stayed up for close to 22 hours for the privilege… It was rather nice to celebrate an emphatic Steven Gerrard winning header!I would just like to take this opportunity to pay my respects to Rio Ferdinand and his family. Rio’s wife sadly passed away after a short battle with breast cancer. Both teams wore black armbands.The game started with a pathetic fly over banner from the extreme “Rodgers Out” brigade. Whilst I’m not personally Rodgers’ biggest fan at present, not by any stretch of the imagination I do find it embarrassing that some Liverpool fans (allegedly) have gone to the extent of paying for a plane to fly the message “Rodgers Out, Rafa In”. I love Rafa too, but lets get real here ay? Seriously embarrassing stuff.Thankfully Rodgers didn’t take any notice on Saturday and eventually led his side to a 2-1 win.QPR had Liverpool fans on tenterhooks very early on after a corner in the first minute looked like it had led to a goal for the away side. The ball was in the net but it had left the field of play from the corner.It would take the Reds a while to completely settle into the game after such an early threat but at 18 minutes Philippe Coutinho netted a lovely goal for his side. A break from the Reds left Lambert on the right wing in possession, the forward spotted Coutinho and played a lovely pass which the Brazilian controlled wonderfully, his resulting finish was perfect leaving goalkeeper Green with no chance.It was a lovely move from the Reds and it was nice to see Rickie Lambert heavily involved. I do feel though that Lambert on the whole was left somewhat lost in the system, we know by now how I feel about a lone striker and I honestly feel he still required a lot more support yesterday but that’s it, that’s my negative out the way.For the remainder of the first half QPR failed to make an impression on the Liverpool defence. Odd bouts of possession would result in little danger and the Reds remained in control going into the second half.Early in the second half Jordan Henderson created a beautiful long range cross which drifted nicely into the box for an encroaching Raheem Sterling. The youngster though missed an absolute sitter sending his strike wide to the left of goal. I have no idea how he missed that one.Ten minutes later the Reds created another decent chance after Steven Gerrard sent a long range shot agonisingly close to the bottom right of goal. Jordan Ibe who had replaced Adam Lallana was involved in the build up for this attack.A resulting corner from the Gerrard effort nearly saw Dejan Lovren send home a header but the Reds at this stage just couldn’t find a second goal. QPR in this period saw their chance to punish the Reds , during a confident spell the away side earned themselves a corner. Joey Barton whipped in the cross as Leroy Fer connected well and put QPR level, he was given far too much space by Liverpool who should really have had this game tied up.At 78 minutes Liverpool were awarded a penalty after a foul by Onuoha on Martin Skrtel in the box. If there’s one man you’d bet your house on to net a peno it’s Steven Gerrard but he soddin missed. I was certain this would be 2-1 but the Reds were left still searching for a winner with just ten minutes to go.A couple of minutes later and Onuoha made a very silly challenge on Jordan Ibe as he was breaking down the wing and was given his marching orders. It was a daft decision by the QPR man because his side were still very much in this game but the ten men definitely aided Liverpool.At 86 minutes the Reds finally found their winner and what a winner it was. A corner from Philippe Coutinho was met by a rising Steven Gerrard who with a fantastic header, smashed home Liverpool’s second of the game securing all three points.You wouldn’t think there could be such an emotional goal in a home game against QPR when you are effectively destined to finish 5th in the league but this header was special. The instant realisation that this could be Gerrard’s last in front of the Kop was enough to send Anfield into a frenzy and I’m so pleased for him.At 88 minutes Gerrard was subbed off receiving a standing ovation from the fans. He may have dipped below par this season and of course he’s not the Gerrard he used to be but it’s games like this that make you realise what a talisman he is. There is not a single player within our team at present in my opinion that is able to bring the fight and passion that Gerrard does, it is simply unique.Next up for Liverpool is Chelsea away, wouldn’t it be nice just to spoil a bit of the party by absolutely battering them? … We can dream.Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog
Liverpool notched up a win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Valentine’s Day for the first time since 1997. Love was certainly in the air as the travelling Kop celebrated goals from Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana. Despite concerted efforts from the Eagles they didn’t quite have enough in the tank to throw Liverpool off course.With several injuries to cater for Brendan Rodgers was forced to select a slightly different team but it was always going to be Daniel Sturridge playing up top. Mario Balotelli was forced to settle for a place on the bench.Things got off to a bad start for the Reds after Crystal Palace found the back of the net in just 15 minutes. The goal came after a sloppy defensive decision from the Reds when Martin Skrtel was forced to attempt a headed clearance whilst being pressured by Dwight Gayle. Unfortunately Skrtel couldn’t get enough on the clearance, which allowed Gayle to produce a headed shot, Simon Mignolet saved well but the ball fell to Frazier Campbell who finished confidently to put Palace ahead.As the first half continued Liverpool created chances via the likes of Lallana, Sturridge and even Joe Allen but the Reds could not find the back of the net. Whilst Palace were in the lead their meaningful attacks were few and far between however when they did get in the box they created real problems for Liverpool who had to ensure they kept themselves in the game.Dwight Gayle as always was at the forefront of the Crystal Palace attack but he was also trying to make a name for himself as an actor on Saturday. A dive that led to Jordan Henderson receiving a yellow card was bad enough but he would later miraculously fall over again and almost get Daniel Sturridge into trouble.As the second half started both sides made immediate substitutions with Liverpool introducing Mario Balotelli and Palace bringing on Puncheon.Liverpool had struggled in the first half to break through the centre of the pitch and this was perhaps made more difficult with just a lone striker to aim for or pair with. I was of course happy to see Balotelli enter play and hoped that two up front would combat some of our earlier difficulties in the game.At 50 minutes the Reds had found a way through. An assist from Jordan Henderson left Sturridge with the perfect chance to convert and with a lovely finish the striker levelled the game for the Reds. Its always fantastic to see Sturridge score and even more so when he’s just coming back from injury. His traditional dancing celebration was hilariously attempted by Moreno too as the Liverpool fans at Selhurst Park celebrated.The goal for Liverpool appeared to fluster Palace who took their foot off the gas and seemed more concerned with protecting the current scoreline than being too ballsy in attack. You had to wonder how long this defensive turn would last and whether it was a dangerous option for the home side. It turned out to be just that.Just before the hour mark Mario Balotelli won Liverpool a free kick just outside the box. I’ve probably said this before but this is yet another positive about Balotelli that people often forget. Balotelli is always a target for the opposition, defenders cannot stand him, their focus is pinned on him, they want to bully him and piss him off. Not only does this mean you will end up with fouls won in dangerous areas but also it detracts the attention from Sturridge or whoever the other forward may be meaning they can cause even more damage. I honestly think given the chance Mario Balotelli and Daniel Sturridge could form a pretty good partnership.After winning the foul Mario Balotelli stepped up for the free kick. Those who followed him in his time in Italy will know he is prone to scoring some quality free kicks however on Saturday he went for a low powerful drive. His shot though caused enough havoc and as it was parried out by Speroni there was Adam Lallana to follow up and score the winner for the Reds!Criticised in the week for not showing any emotion Mario had a beaming smile after setting up this one and Adam Lallana was chuffed. It was brilliant to see.As the second half eventually drew to a close both sides attacking flair petered out and it was Brendan Rodgers who was able to walk away knowing his team’s name would be in the hat for the quarter finals.I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received:@LFCKirstyLFC #LFC #Blog as arrogant as last year when we go behind, believe in ourselves ability to come back.— Dave P (@Sarkies_Proxy) February 14, 2015 @LFCKirstyLFC ref was a joke again , glad we now have fighting spirit to grind out results #YNWA— muchos crabbyarse (@plumbsackcity) February 14, 2015 @LFCKirstyLFC Moreno did the Sturridge. It was awesome.— Farewell Stevie (@PoeticRex) February 14, 2015Next up for Liverpool is Besiktas in the Europa League.Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog
Liverpool travel to London tomorrow as they prepare to face Crystal Palace in the fifth round of the FA Cup. The Reds have a Europa League tie with Besiktas coming up soon but the FA Cup is perhaps Brendan Rodgers’ best chance of steering his side to some silverware.Injuries for Liverpool mean they will unfortunately be without captain Steven Gerrard for this tie who is out for three weeks after picking up a hamstring injury against Spurs. Also unavailable is Lucas Leiva while Jordan Ibe is cup tied. Raheem Sterling will undergo a late fitness test.For Crystal Palace they are unable to call upon Jedinak and there are doubts hanging over the fitness of Sanogo and McArthur.Crystal Palace are currently behind Liverpool in the Premier League sitting in 13th place with the Reds in 7th. Palace drew their last fixture in the league after a 1-1 draw with Newcastle whilst Liverpool notched up a late win over Tottenham thanks to a Mario Balotelli winner.The last time the two sides met was in November last year. It was a sorry affair for Liverpool when the Reds fell to a 3-1 defeat at Selhurst Park. Rickie Lambert found the back of the net in just two minutes but it wasn’t enough for the Reds to collect any points.In the meeting prior to this, again at Selhurst Park it was even worse for Liverpool. In the midst of a title run and desperately needing a win Brendan Rodgers’ side somehow managed to throw away a 3-0 lead to eventually draw the game. It was devastating to watch and that’s not an exaggeration.So on the whole, we haven’t exactly been in brilliant form away at Palace of late. In fact, the last time we won at Selhurst Park was in 1997.Stat SandwichLiverpool have only kept three clean sheets in their last 19 FA Cup games.The Eagles have only won six of their last 29 matches in the FA Cup.Sturridge has scored nine goals in his last 11 FA Cup starts.I asked you for your score predictions and here are a few of the tweets I received:@LFCKirstyLFC 3-2 liverpool— mutley (@mutt1975) February 13, 2015 @LFCKirstyLFC I’m going for a draw & LFC win in the replay. We have a few knocks, likely to rotate a few & palace looking ok under Pardew— Andy (@YNWAANDY28) February 13, 2015I think it’s going to be a tough but exciting game tomorrow. With so many injuries as well it’s a good excuse for Brendan to try something new with the team, whether he will is a different story.For me I am of course hoping to see Balotelli after his goal in the week. I think this would be the perfect opportunity to pair Mario and Sturridge together but once again I doubt we will see that.Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog
Liverpool were in action against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday night as Brendan Rodgers aimed to get his side through to the next round of the FA Cup. With some huge upsets earlier in the day as Chelsea and Manchester City crashed out, it was a real opportunity for the Reds who unfortunately were unable to seal their place.However, we are still in the competition and with an away tie against Bolton you have to feel we still have a good chance, if we can solve our finishing issues!Brendan Rodgers fielded a slightly changed XI as the likes of Steven Gerrard and Martin Skrtel were dropped. Raheem Sterling however was placed up front again despite the very important Chelsea game on Tuesday evening.With Emile Heskey and Eidur Gudjohnsen up front for Bolton it seemed like destiny would write their names on the walls of history in the FA Cup but in reality Bolton offered little in front of goal.Liverpool as they have done so often of late were creating pacey attacks with Raheem Sterling as the linchpin but they just couldn’t find that final product.Adam Bogdan was partly the reason the Reds were unable to find the back of the net. On numerous occasions the goalkeeper successfully denied Liverpool an opening goal, he had an absolute stormer particularly when saving efforts from Coutinho and Borini. Undeterred the Reds continued to put the pressure on the Bolton net but the tactic of trying to walk it into goal just wasn’t working. It became very clear that it would have to be something special to beat the Bolton keeper if we wanted to progress in this year’s FA Cup.For Bolton their best chance of the game probably came from a stinging long range effort via Moxey. I felt sorry for whoever was on the end of that shot in the Kop end.As mentioned Fabio Borini managed to create himself some chances when he entered play late in the second half. The introduction of Markovic early in this half also added some movement for the Reds and there was also an incident that left the Anfield faithful questioning the referee’s decision.Markovic had broke on one of his blazing runs reaching the edge of the box only to be taken down. For me, he was through on goal and it was last man? I felt we were extremely unlucky to not even get a free kick for this incident, however, it probably wouldn’t of changed the game.Heskey left the field just before the hour mark to a well deserved standing ovation. He may not have caused any real problems for Simon Mignolet but you could tell our defence thought he was a right pain, he’s still got some real presence in set piece situations that’s for sure.As the second half trickled on the Reds unfortunately despite the mounting pressure against the Kop end couldn’t find a goal. The positive for the Reds of course is that they are still in this competition but with a replay against Chelsea and the beginning of the Europa League coming up soon the last thing Liverpool need is a fixture pile up.This though is now a real opportunity for Liverpool, as mentioned in the start to this post, big guns like Chelsea and City have already been knocked out and without meaning to disregard some teams, really, who is left that are a major threat? Arsenal and United?I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received:@LFCKirstyLFC Sad how we had a lot of chances that were wasted. Certain players shouldn’t have started as well.— //Coutinho is bæ// (@Dee_LFC_x) January 25, 2015 @LFCKirstyLFC we were like a knife with a blunt edge. Played well, but poor finishing and some bad luck cost us the win— Saransh Gehlot (@saransh2703) January 25, 2015 @LFCKirstyLFC finishing needs to improve. Also, refs allow championship sides to get away with blatant fouls against epl teams. Kills me!!— Rajpaul Gill (@RajpaulG) January 25, 2015Next up for Liverpool is Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, I cannot bloody wait for this one!Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog
Scroll through the numerous updates on social media regarding Liverpool Football Club and you’re guaranteed to find several tweets from disgruntled fans moaning about the fact we have to rely on Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert up front. Whilst some of the tweets will be completely warranted, others are unfounded drivel. Borini and Lambert are clearly not the perfect package but they are strikers and they will, given the chance, score goals.In Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa they both found the back of the net. It’s no secret that I’m not a big fan of playing without a striker and so to see Borini given the chance to start was very pleasing. In the second half most people were distraught at the sight of Rickie Lambert preparing to come on whilst I found myself again feeling positive.It was Liverpool who got the better start in the game at Villa Park and after just 24 minutes the Reds had found themselves an opening goal. A brilliant cross from Jordan Henderson found its way to Fabio Borini who with a fantastic finish slotted his effort home to put Liverpool 1-0 up. Running away with his famous “dagger in the mouth” celebration, it was brilliant to see the Italian rewarded for his efforts of late. You may dislike him but he desperately wants to prove himself here at Liverpool and I for one, at least for now feel he deserves to be given the chance.Shortly after the goal the Reds created some more half chances firstly a Coutinho header that was saved by Guzan followed by a break from Raheem Sterling that resulted in his chipped effort being saved.In the second half it was Aston Villa who began to force the tide to turn but not before another chance for Liverpool. A Jordan Henderson corner was whipped into the box and met by the head of Martin Skrtel, with some power on his shot a flick on from Fabio Borini almost sent the ball into the back of the net only for Guzan to save once again.As Villa began to raise the pressure things got troublesome for the Reds. A strong Benteke strike later into the second half was superbly stopped by Mignolet who then followed up with another save straight afterwards to keep his side in the game.Shortly afterwards for Villa a Fabian Delph corner found its way to Baker but he sent his header just over the bar. Delph was involved in the action for Villa’s next real chance too when he played a lovely ball through to Benteke. This time it was Martin Skrtel with a perfectly timed challenge who prevented the danger for the Reds.Baker would soon find himself with another brilliant chance for Villa when receiving the ball in the box. The number two completely missed timed his kick though and the chance passed him by.As Liverpool appeared to weather the storm it was Lucas Leiva up the other end of the pitch who had a pop at goal. An effort from range for the midfielder almost curled its way in but yet again Guzan got down well and saved.At 78 minutes, just eight minutes after entering play it was Rickie Lambert’s time to shine. A wonderful turn to take the defender completely out of the race left Lambert with a chance to secure the Reds’ three points. With a lovely finish the ex Southampton man celebrated emphatically with the rest of his team mates and Liverpool were 2-0 up.Again, it was brilliant to see Lambert score, just like Borini he deserves his chance I feel. With few options up front at the moment and the apparent stubbornness of Brendan Rodgers not to play Mario Balotelli, I will always back a striker (I say always, there are exceptions) today we played two strikers and two strikers scored.I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received:@LFCKirstyLFC it’s all about 3 points, play ugly, keep a clean, win. Henderson immense, grafting, hard working and skilled display today.— susan macneill (@liverbirdsuz) January 18, 2015 @LFCKirstyLFC Lucas’s leap into the crowd summed it up … Feels like we’re on the cusp of something now. Tricky second half but
Liverpool successfully ground out a 1-0 win over ten man Sunderland on Saturday after a Lazar Markovic goal in the first half sealed the deal for the Reds. It wasn’t a perfect performance from Brendan’s side by any stretch of the imagination but there were certainly positives to take from the game including the clean sheet and influential performance from Markovic.The Reds began the game in a very bright fashion with an early through ball from Philippe Coutinho reaching Markovic, the Serbian was then taken down by Wes Brown but the referee deemed the incident not to be worthy of a penalty.Luckily for Liverpool their next brush in with a refereeing decision worked very much in their favour. With just eight minutes gone in the game another quick break from Markovic down the right wing allowed him to pass the ball to Steven Gerrard. The captain then opted to pass to Borini who was quite clearly fouled as he attempted to get the ball back to Markovic, thankfully though the referee made a great decision opting to play advantage. Markovic then continued his run and slotted the ball through the keeper’s legs to put Liverpool 1-0 up.It was a well deserved goal for Markovic who despite not always being effective enters every game with exactly the right attitude. He’s willing to give his all and really push forward in attack, Sunderland were clearly flustered and not even a quarter of the game had been played.Another great chance for Liverpool arose shortly after the goal when Alberto Moreno won the Reds a free kick on the left hand side of the box. Steven Gerrard stepped up and with a brilliant effort forced Pantilimon into a save.As Liverpool continued to press in the first half whilst Sunderland struggled, it was Lazar Markovic again wowing the crowds. As the ball splayed out to Lazar who was hovering outside the box, he opted to go aerial in his effort, jumping before smashing an excellent shot at goal only to see it crash out off the post, onto Pantilimon and away from danger. It would of been an absolutely fantastic goal but luck wasn’t on Lazar’s side in that instance.Towards the end of the first half Fabio Borini was almost rewarded for his efforts in attack. A superb ball from Emre Can allowed the Italian to break into the box, his first touch took the ball nicely around the keeper but he was unable to find the end product from the tight angle. For me Fabio Borini had a great game. As many are aware I much prefer playing with a striker and whilst Borini is by no means the best he offers a lot to our game. His ability to draw the defenders’ focus on to him creates space therefore allowing players such as Markovic to break into the box and really create problems.In the second half things went from bad to worse for Sunderland who were still really struggling to create any real chances leaving Mignolet with no real job on. Bridcutt who had been booked in the first half found himself receiving a second yellow after taking down Emre Can on the wing. In my opinion it was pretty harsh to give Bridcutt the second booking here and I do think Sunderland were unlucky to see him sent off however the home side appeared to play a lot better once they were down to ten men.Sunderland’s best chance of the game fell to Adam Johnson who from distance in the second half struck a fluid shot. It’s movement had completely beat Simon Mignolet but the crossbar came to his rescue and ensured Liverpool would hang on to all three points.I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received:@LFCKirstyLFC Hard fought victory in difficult conditions. Markovic showed signs of potential while Lovren showed us why hes a liability— LFCKopiteReds (@alanredmen79) January 11, 2015 @LFCKirstyLFC Excellent first half then BRs poor tactics were exposed with the subsequent changes he made. 3 onfield changes for Gerrard!!!— Mia Culpa (@UBSixT) January 11, 2015 @LFCKirstyLFC important clean sheet.Markovic shows more of his potential. Coutinho another steady performance with class.Still need striker— Cliff Morton (@CliffMorton) January 10, 2015 For me of course all that really matters is the three points but it’s quite worrying to realise that the only reason you beat Sunderland was due to a decent decision from a referee. We still really struggle to be clinical and I’m not certain that will be fixed any time soon even with the return of Daniel Sturridge.However the Reds are on a positive run and I do try to remain positive going forward. Next up for Liverpool is Aston Villa away.Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog
There may be the small matter of an FA Cup draw later this evening but Liverpool have their eyes firmly on a very important tie with Basel in the Champions League on Tuesday night. Brendan Rodgers’ side must win in order to progress through to the round of 16.With memories flooding back of that emphatic tie against Olympiakos way back in 2005 it’s hard to fend off that magical Champions League spirit as a kopite at the moment, however Liverpool are struggling in both attack and defence and Basel will be a difficult side to deal with.The added bonus of the game being at Anfield means Liverpool can relish in the unique atmosphere our ground provides but the Reds need goals to win and at the moment they’re short in supply.Liverpool’s last meeting with Basel on the 1st October ended in a 1-0 loss. It’s an interesting tie because the Reds simply have to attack which will undoubtedly leave them open at the back. Basel however can go through with a draw and so the desire to go all out may be restrained in order to tactically see themselves through to the next round, making it hard for Liverpool to break them down.Injuries for Liverpool are still very much the same story with Sakho, Balotelli and Sturridge all out amongst others. For Basel they are without Ivanov.Basel have won their last four games in the league and have score 12 goals in the process. Liverpool have won two of their last four, lost one and drew one. Goals scored – five.I asked you for your score predictions and here are a few of the tweets I received:@LFCKirstyLFC 3 – 2 #LFC— Pedro Henrique (@hnrqpdr) December 8, 2014 @LFCKirstyLFC Liverpool 2-1 Basel— Luke Farley (@LukeFarley101) December 7, 2014 @LFCKirstyLFC 2-1 but will be very hard.basel are very good on counter.— christine_JFT96_LFC (@kittie_lfc25) December 7, 2014A lot of the tweets I received were predicting a 2-1 Liverpool win and if I managed to pop a bet on tomorrow that’s the scoreline I’ll be going for. To be honest it’s more wishful thinking than confidence I just hope that the combination of pressure and atmosphere will be enough to push Liverpool over the line and into the next stage.I bloody love the Champions League and it’s killed me having to wait this long to see us get back into it. To crash out now would be devastating for me and at the minute it doesn’t look like we’ll be returning any time soon!Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog
Liverpool kept only their fourth clean sheet of the season in a dismal attacking display against Sunderland on Saturday. The Reds managed just two shots on target whilst the black cats only managed only one. It was hardly a “must see” game for the neutral and whilst the Reds may perhaps feel happy they didn’t lose another game, the fact is we should be doing much better against teams like Sunderland.I didn’t get chance to watch the game yesterday because I was at work and so this is just a match round up, no real opinions as I’ve only seen highlights and there weren’t many highlights to mull over haha.The first moment of note for Liverpool in the game came when Martin Skrtel played a risky tackle in the box. Sunderland perhaps had reason to question the call from the referee but Neil Swarbrick called no peno.Coutinho from what I saw along with Sterling were the only real players of note for the Reds. A chance from Coutinho in the first half saw him shoot from inside the box but his effort was easily saved by Pantilimon.Sunderland quickly followed the Liverpool break with a similar one from Wickham. The youngster broke all the way into the box but went down far to easily when challenged by the Liverpool defence.A header from Wes Brown later in the second half flew over the bar and the ex Manchester United player should have done better.The second half for Liverpool saw no changes and it was Lucas Leiva a man who is very shy of goals who would have the first real effort for the Reds in the second half. His long range shot however was again pretty simple for the keeper and Pantilimon once again kept out the danger.At 66 minutes a rested Steven Gerrard entered the fray. Gerrard from what I saw had an immediate impact on the game with his passing and awareness but even a sprinkle of the captain’s magic was not enough to help the Reds find a goal.Perhaps the best chance of the second half fell to Coutinho. A simply sublime run from Raheem Sterling saw him weave his way down a significant length of the pitch and then into the box, his pass to Coutinho was perfect but unfortunately the Brazilian’s effort was saved.Shortly afterwards a long range shot from Gomez kept Simon Mignolet alert, it was a great save from the Belgian who had little to deal with really throughout the game.Finally in the latter stages of the game, Raheem Sterling appeared to be taken down in the box, the cries for a penalty were not met by the referee however Liverpool perhaps had a case. As I always say though, in games like this I absolutely hate the fact that we have to rely on the possibility of a penalty to push teams aside, it shouldn’t come to that!Nevertheless, at least we didn’t lose, which to be honest if it happened, I wouldn’t of been surprised. A clean sheet as well is always a plus but this is perhaps a bit deceptive, our defence didn’t have many attacks to deal with and so there is still a long way to go before we are secure at the back.I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received:@LFCKirstyLFC 2 clean sheets in a row, a point against a team growing in confidence. Worked hard but still lacking a cutting edge.— peter joyce (@cheshirevenom) December 6, 2014 @LFCKirstyLFC a bore draw Kirsty, only enjoyment provided by Gus Poyet on the touchline he was a hoot.— Peter Davidson (@Peterad49) December 7, 2014Normal service will be resumed for the Basel game which I will definitely be watching. Tune in for a match preview tomorrow night!Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog