Unfortunately Stevie G. is out tonight due to a minor injury he received last Saturday, Pepe Reina captains the Reds as Carra starts on the bench.
Starting XI : Reina, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Enrique, Spearing, Adam, Henderson, Kuyt, Carroll, Bellamy
Subs : Doni, Aurelio, Coates, Downing, Carragher, Shelvey, Kelly
Wolves Starting XI : Hennessey, Foley, Johnson, Berra, Ward, Jonsson, Frimpong, Kightly, Edwards, Jarvis, Fletcher
On Twitter @empireofthekop
Kick off today is at 7:45PM, come on Reds let us focus on the league now
Today is the last day of the transfer window
(Don’t expect any major fireworks)
Kenny reveals that there will not be any senior players moving in or out this window more…
(That is it with all the rumours)
The King also claims that we can fight on all 3 fronts more…
(Yes we can)
And Dalglish also reveals that Carroll is not upset with the Tevez swap rumours more…
Craig Bellamy talks about his charity work more…
However the club announces a deal with 3K batteries more…
(Great partnership for Kuyt)
A Liverpool fan found a Hillsborough ticket and wants to return it to it’s owner more…
(How can he prove who the owner really is?)
The club have confirmed that they have received a 31,500 ticket allocation for the Carling Cup final more…
(More info today)
Carroll is determined to fight for his future at LFC more…
The idiot who was making the racist gestures at Anfield has been bailed out more…
(Ban him for life)
And finally in Turkey some fans came up a great idea to prevent their banners from being taken away more…
On Twitter @empireofthekop
By Mark Sproule
They say a week is a long time in politics, well the same can be said of the beautiful game . A game which can frustrate or elate each one of us as we strive for success on and off the pitch for our favourite team. On the back of Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Bolton at the Reebook on January 21st Kenny Dalglish took an unprecedented step of publicly criticising a team of players he is normally so protective of: “If that’s the level they expect this football club to play at, they won’t be here long. The most disappointing thing for me was I don’t think they were ready to play the game.”
Harsh words from the manager, but what sort of response would they be met with? Exactly what he would have hoped for was the answer. Two massive perfomances in the space of four days saw the Merseyside club reach their first domestic final since 2006 and progress into the 5th round of the FA Cup at the expense of none other than the two Manchester teams, City and United who both lead the way in the Premier League, first and second respectively.
A heroic performance from the new favourite son Craig Bellamy (no doubt the transfer bargain of the season) in the City game set the tone for another fine display in the FA Cup on the Saturday to see off United in a much sweeter result that saw the reds earn a last 16 home tie with Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion. This finished off a week where sensationalist pundits gleefully questioned the progress which was, or wasn’t, been made by Liverpool Football Club in Dalglish’s second term of office. Whilst Liverpool fans are knowledgable and humble enough to realise that nothing has been won at this juncture, you do have to wonder how many of the aforementioned experts were eating humble pie by 2.35pm on Saturday, less than seven days since the defeat at the hands of Owen Coyle’s team was well and truly turned on its head.
Bear in mind this is a “work-in-progress” this Dalglish’s side, just one year into his second reign where the manager is in the process of bedding in seven new first team regulars who hadn’t played together until 6 – 12 months ago. Add to this the fact this has been an injury plagued season for Captain fantastic Steven Gerrard who has watched most of it from the sidelines, and all of a sudden the glass is very much “half full” at Anfield now Gerrard has returned. I make no mention of the fact that Liverpool have now played six games without one of the Premier League’s players of the season, Luis Suarez, for fear my loyalty and allegiance to the player in the midst of much controversy may be viewed as some misconstrued support for the Uruguayan who has been labelled a “racist” by all and sundry, without most knowing all the facts.
Much also has been made of the failures of Downing, Henderson and in particular Andy Carroll to live up to their expectation or transfer fees. You do wonder in the midst of all this negativity aimed towards the Merseyside Club, how much these numerous cases of misfortune have cost them. Despite all that Dalglish and his newly formed back-room team of Clarke, Keen and himself have done so wrong (in the eyes of the anti-Liverpool public that is) they have managed to reach a Carling Cup Final, last 16 of the FA Cup to date, and are currently sitting just 1 point and 6 points behind Arsenal and Chelsea respectively in the quest for that coveted fourth Champions League spot. There are 16 games or 48 points left to play for.
If only Kuyt hadn’t hit a barren run this season, if only Carroll, Downing and Henderson had chipped in with a few goals to turn those 7 home draws into wins, if only each time you hit the woodwork you were awarded a goal, if only we hadn’t missed 3 league penalties, if only Rome WAS built in a day. But for all these things Liverpool would be Championship contenders and Kenny Dalglish manager of the season, instead criticism from every angle rains down on the canny Scot.
I for one am delighted at how things have gone thus far. Frustrated admittedly at various points throughout the season, as all Liverpool fans have been with so many near misses that have thwarted better league progress. Human nature dictates we are impatient for success, but lets stand back for just a moment and reflect where the club has come from 6th October 2010 when from the brink of Administration we were rescued by Fenway Sports Group and John W. Henry. Almost as importantly from 8th January 2011 when team duties were passed from Hodgson to Dalglish. My thoughts are simple, the club has come a long long way and I cant wait to see what lies ahead.
Twitter – @MARKIESP
website at www.anfieldnews.com
Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United Match Report
The games are coming thick and fast right now for Liverpool Football Club and in what has been a pivotal week in shaping Liverpool’s season. With a trip to Wembley in the Carling Cup Final to look forward to after seeing off Manchester City on Wednesday, Liverpool now faced bitter rivals Manchester United at Anfield in the 4th round of the FA Cup. Liverpool lost to United at Old Trafford in last season’s FA Cup in Dalglish’s first match in charge on his return to Liverpool as manager. This would also be the first time the sides have met since the Evra, Suarez case which would add to the interest of this fixture.
Dalglish made 4 changes from the side that played against Manchester City on Wednesday night, with Carragher coming back into the side in a holding midfield role on his 34th birthday, also coming into the team were Martin Kelly, Andy Carroll and Maxi in place of Adam, Johnson, Kuyt and Craig Bellamy. It had a more defensive look to the team than what lined up against Manchester City, but with good attacking options on the bench.
As per usual there was a red hot atmosphere inside Anfield for this fixture as the game kicked off. The game started with both teams sparring for possession. Maxi tested De Gea early with a stinging shot that the United stopper dealt with.
United responded, with Giggs volleying straight at Reina from the edge of the box. As the game settled down, it was United who were having the lion’s share of possession with Scholes instrumental in midfield as he dictated the play as Liverpool sat deep looking to hit the visitors on the break. But in the 21st minute Liverpool took the lead when Agger headed in a Gerrard corner with De Gae caught out of position. Bouyed by taking the lead, Gerrard then shot over the bar after a trademark surging run by the Liverpool skipper.
But United drew level after Rafael surged past Enrique before cutting the ball back to Park who fired low past Reina silencing the Kop. Both teams went in level at half-time with everything to play for in the second half.
The second half started in similar style to the opening of the first half in cagey fashion. Liverpool had a shout for a penalty when Smalling fell on the ball, but referee Halsey waved away the appeals. Then Martin Skrtel saved Liverpool after Wellbeck got the ball past Reina on the edge of the box, before Skrtel managed to intervene.
Dalglish made a double substitution with Kuyt and Adam coming on to replace Maxi and Carragher as Liverpool looked to win the game in the latter stages. Gerrard forced a save from De Gea with a curling free-kick before leaving the field to be replaced by Craig Bellamy.
Liverpool pressed for a winner in the last 10 minutes and they got their reward with two minutes remaining when Kuyt fired past De Gea after Andy Carroll had flicked on a long clearance by Reina, sending the Kop wild with delight. Liverpool could have scored a third when Carroll headed against the upright before Kuyt fired the rebound wide. Liverpool held on to win, ending a perfect week for Dalglish’s team and plenty to look forward to in the remainder of the season.
I was amazed by Kenny’s team selection and thought he got it wrong but maybe that is why I am writing this and he is the manager of Liverpool. The team looked very defensive and I was worried that Carroll would be left isolated. United had most of the possession without threatening as Liverpool looked to hit on the break with Carragher protecting the defence. Liverpool scoring the first goal was very important and was not affected by losing the equaliser before half-time. Dalglish’s plan worked perfectly as he made attacking substitutions in the second half and pressed United back. A great time to score a winner by Kuyt with only minutes remaining. Liverpool’s defence was brilliant once again, limiting United to very few chances and Andy Carroll led the front line effectively as he worked superbly for the team. A great week for Liverpool, progressing in two cup competitions.
Man Of The Match – Skrtel – another superb performance by the big man. He really is improving all the time and has become one of our most consistent performers this season.
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