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The Redmen TV reveal the TOP 5 Reasons Why Liverpool Fans HATE Manchester United (Or at least, used to…).
A decent weekend. Not bad at all.
Before our evening kick off at St Mary’s Brendan Rodgers received the news that will have helped his team talk no end, Arsenal had lost at Stoke City. Get three points on the south coast and you enter the two week hiatus only a place behind leaders Chelsea, firmly on their coattails.
Looking at the forthcoming fixture list just as studiously as Brendan and his coaching staff, as a fan I’d thought that if we could emerge victorious against the Saints then I could upgrade my stance of a title talk from ‘possible’ to ‘cautiously optimistic’.
Since gaining promotion two season ago, Southampton have impressed many during their return to the top flight and were well worthy of the three points during their visit to Anfield earlier in the campaign. These are the games labelled ‘tricky’ by those in the know, highlighting the fact that Liverpool should win but if they don’t it may not be a real surprise. Previously this is the type of game that we would have faltered with but this side is a lot more clinical and, on Saturday at least, ruthless to get fooled by a tricky opponent.
Brendan Rodgers himself, in the aftermath of the 3-0 victory, claimed he was as impressed by this win as he was when we sent Arsenal back to London with their tails between their legs. I would certainly share those sentiments as it showed that we can stand firm amongst an onslaught of pressure, be clinical when we need to be and grind an opponent down as we place our mark on a game.
Our next array of fixtures could say just as much about the mentality of this side as the St. Mary’s victory did. A trip to Old Trafford awaits us next, followed by a week that features a trip to Cardiff before a return to Anfield four days later v Sunderland and then Spurs at home the following Sunday.
As March ends we could have accumulated twelve points out of twelve, an impressive tally having faced a rival away, as well as three games in the space of a week, and one that would make those around us firmly sit up and take note.
Against Cardiff City, as well as Sunderland at home to some respect, it may well be another game similar to that against Southampton, tricky. A game where needing to battle and let our talent shine through may work as a Plan A, showing that we do have another style of winning.
So far the season has gone well beyond expectations that many a reasonable minded supporter would have had. Keep it up and the success this side has this season could be unlimited.
Next stop, Old Trafford.
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never,in nothing, great or small, large or petty, never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” The words of Sir Winston Churchill.
After the weekend we’ve had, those are very apt words for Liverpool FC as we approach the last 10 games of the season. The final bend before the final furlong. The time to get the whip out and get the steed to focus on the line ahead. The final push where winners and losers are made. This season, contrary to Brendan Rodgers’ claim of being the “Chihuahua” of the Premiership, I’d say they’re more like the dark horse. The one that sneaks up on the outside to catch the favourites napping in their gallops of complacency.
Nobody had expected the team to be where they are at the beginning of the season. Yes, we won the first three games 1-0. Yes, those first three games included that lot from the wrong end of the East Lancs Road. And, yes, “An improvement on last year’s seventh place finish would do…” We all thought. Or qualification for European competition at best. Let’s be honest, nobody foresaw this. Second with 10 games left to go and only four points off the leaders. Rodgers would have taken this quicker than a life boat on The Titanic if you’d offered him this at 2:45pm on 17th August last year. In truth, wouldn’t we all.
We come back to Churchill’s words. “Never give in”. The entire Liverpool squad now has to stand up and be counted. The odds remain against us, and indeed we’re all pinching ourselves. I applaud the approach of Rodgers to the question of the title. Basically: Let’s just keep on improving and maintaining the level we’re at. The team has a new resolve this year. An attitude that epitomises the words of the great leader. Many a fixture this season, I’d have fancied us to lose given our recent history. Stoke away, Fulham away, Tottenham away and now Southampton at St. Mary’s this weekend. All games the team would have done well to come away from with a draw in the not too distant past.
Rodgers must be commended for the determination and steel the team has shown this season. Resolute has been the watchword for LFC this time round. With the exception of a couple of soft results away to Hull City and West Bromwich Albion. The team has shown steel in abundance to answer the questions that have been asked of them. Granted, the defence is still shy of what I’d expect from Champions elect, and I believe this will be the teams undoing in their efforts this season, but the performance on Saturday showed that the team can be on the ropes, take the body blows and still come out fighting. They never gave in.
In the last two games against Fulham and Southampton, there was signs of nerves from the team but for me, they have absolutely nothing to lose and should approach each game as such. Be bold. The next game is against Manchester United at Old Trafford and you have to fancy Liverpool. United will be up for it, to put a stop to the racket coming from their so-called noisy neighbours but I’m hoping the din will be too much for them to bear.
Like any supporter of any Premiership side, I think Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure was a massive gain for the rest of the league. And, a huge loss for United. Their demise has opened up the entire race and it’s been the most enthralling for years. This time last year United we’re 11 points clear at the top on 89. The year before they and Manchester City were a jaw-dropping 19 points ahead, tied on 89 points. Points do not equate to entertainment and I find the current state of fewer points at the top, 63 with a four point gap to second, more palatable than what’s been served up this last couple of seasons.
I’ve supported Liverpool for the best part of 40 years now and since the good times in the seventies and eighties, and the Champions League in 2005, there’s not been that much to shout about if the old grey matter serves me right. The team has recently had a knack of getting so far, then catching Englandattheworldcupitis – I think it’s called – and shooting themselves in the foot, just as they need to put said best foot forward. I daren’t dream just yet. I’m just fluffing up the pillow!
So, some words of encouragement to everybody’s favourite team over the next couple of months. Never, never, never give in. In the here and now, its totally clear, you have nothing to fear, but fear itself.
Follow me on Twitter: @Mrbengreen
A resolute performance from Brendan Rodgers’ men resulted in three points and a move up two places in the Premiership to occupy second behind leaders Chelsea.
Many LFC supporters, myself included felt this was going to be a stern test of Liverpool’s Premiership credentials at a ground which was beginning to become something of a hoodoo for the men from Anfield. The recent poor defensive performances, coupled with a decent Southampton side, the outlook was not great for Rodgers’ side, and I, for one, was prepared to settle for a point. Perhaps a sign of expectations resulting from recent seasons.
The first half began as expected. Southampton taking the game to Liverpool hoping to take advantage of potential defensive lapses. The Reds’ back line however had other ideas and it was clear Liverpool were looking to play a distinct counter attacking game. True to current form, it had to be said that the visitors were pretty shaky in the opening 45 minutes. I think it’s even fair to say they were lucky to go into the break one goal to the good, let off by the impressive Adam Lallana being denied an equaliser by the woodwork. All told, LFC rode their luck and Phillipe Coutinho particularly ineffectual on the day.
Liverpool looked more assured in the second period and it’s clear some words of confidence were given to them in the half-time team talk by Rodgers. It was also clear Coutinho was not having the best of games, however, and he was substituted on 57 minutes for Raheem Sterling who surprisingly was left on the bench in favor of Joe Allen. Within a minute of coming on, the teenager had put the visitors further ahead, latching on to a Suarez cross after he dispossessed the complacent Southampton defence to race clear. Suarez was celebrating his 100th game for the club and what a 100 games he’s had!
From this point on, Liverpool grew in confidence and, as clichéd as it may sound, should have had a couple more goals as Daniel Sturridge and Suarez both went close. Jordan Henderson also blazed over from close range. By now, the home side looked completely bereft of ideas and the visiting back line stood firm, held their nerve and avoided the individual errors that have blighted their performances this last few games.
Despite a few forward forrays from Southampton, Rodgers’ men were in complete control. At times it wasn’t pretty but effective. Is this the performance of champions. Will they be? It’s too soon to say but they’ve put themselves in the mix and only deserve credit. The final nail in the home side’s coffin came in the final minute of injury time as Suarez was brought down by a clumsy challenge from Jose Fonte as he stormed into the opponents’ penalty box. Captain Steven Gerrard stepped up coolly to dispatch the resulting penalty to the goalkeepers left and put the score line abreast of the teams performance.
Liverpool can now look forward to what will be a tasty visit to the fallen Champions Manchester United in a couple of weeks, comfortable in the knowledge that they have absolutely nothing to fear. It’s true the defence is still not good enough and does need strengthening but there is no doubt the team has made huge strides this season. With a few additions in the right areas, notably left back – not taking anything away from Glen Johnson who had a good game today – centre back and a holding midfielder. Perhaps a quality attacker, then there’s no reason why the Reds can’t mount a serious challenge next season. That’s assuming they don’t lift the trophy this time.
Midway through the second half, chants of “There’s only one Brendan Rodgers” echoed around the St. Mary’s stadium and this was a deserving touch for the man who has dragged the team from perennial pretenders, finishing in seventh place last season to genuine contenders this time. Do we dare to dream? Well, as someone once said “It’s a funny old game” so who knows.
A special shout goes out to the Under 18 team who done Newcastle United’s Under 18 side 4-1 at the Academy ground earlier in the day. Two goals from Harry Wilson and one apiece from Will Marsh and Daniel Trickett-Smith completed the scoring. Dan Cleary at centre back looks like a star of the future. Watch this space.
Follow me on Twitter: @Mrbengreen
Match report: Southampton 0 Liverpool 3
Liverpool’s 0-3 win means that they are now up to second in the Barclays Premier League table on goal difference, four points behind table-toppers Chelsea.
Luis Suarez ended his mini-drought as he scored after 16 minutes: his 1st goal in 6 games and that’s means that he has now scored against every team in the current Premier League. The perfect way to mark his 100th Premier League appearance for the Reds.
Southampton’s response came after Liverpool’s first goal as the Reds started to play sloppy, players like Coutinho and Henderson often lost the ball, which caused a lot of problems for Brendan Rodgers’s men. Lallana’s shot hit the post, and Mignolet kept Liverpool’s lead intact after Rodriquez steered a neat effort towards goal from close range.
The start of the second half saw little change in the balance of play, with the Reds pressed back and continually gifting possession to their hosts. Again Lallana – who played a good match – struck a weak shot at Mignolet, while on several occasion the visitors were fortunate a Saints player either chose the wrong final ball or failed to deliver one altogether.
As a result of that Rodgers decided to make a substitution after 57 minutes. Raheem Sterling replaced the poor playing Coutinho. Sterling made an immediate impact as he scored the 0-2, he tapped home at the far post. Suarez gave the assist, which means that El Pistolero has assisted five of Sterling’s six PL goals this season. On top of that Sterling becomes the 7th youngest player to make 50 Premier League appearances and he also marked this milestone with a goal, an important one.
After scoring in 8 straight PL matches, Daniel Sturridge’s run came to an end as he made way for Iago Aspas. Liverpool controlled the game after the 0-2 and tried to make a third but Suarez outside-of-the-boot effort ended wide and minutes before Gerrard’s long-range drive was turned behind by Boruc.
While the additional time came to an end, Suarez earned a penalty as he was brought down in the box by Fonte. Gerrard sent the penalty high into the roof of the net: 0-3. It was the last touch of the game, a fantastic result for the Reds and I think that it is fair enough to say that we really make a chance this season to finish first. The Kop is starting to believe it, so all I can say is: ‘fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride’.
Written by @LFC_blogger (Twitter)
LIVE Uncensored Match Reaction Show. Liverpool blew the title race wide open tonight with a 0-3 win over Southampton at St. Mary’s with goals from Suarex, Sterling and Gerrard (PEN).
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