So Liverpool won at Anfield to record their fourth victory in a row which many felt wasn’t possible. However it was an assured display from the Reds who dominated the game and had kept Chelsea at an arm’s length for the majority of the game. It was no surprise to see the team celebrate at the end as it was a great team performance.
Anfield was certainly rocking on Sunday and it will have given great encouragement to all the players and manager that they are certainly on the right path and taking a step forward. Also Torres has now scored 60 goals in 90 league appearances which show’s his quality. Astonishingly 44 goals have come in 47 appearances at Anfield which is a great feat considering the Spaniard has been struggling with injuries in the last few seasons.
Now we can’t get too carried away with what has happened but it does bring a new sense of optimism to the club and the fans considering just a few weeks it was thought that a club of Liverpool’s stature would be involved in a relegation dog fight.
Torres took his first after a beautifully flighted ball from Dirk Kuyt who just returned after five weeks on the sidelines from an injury with the Dutch national team over the heads of John Terry and Ashley Cole which Torres dispatched into the bottom corner with ease one touch to set himself the second to strike the ball.
The second came after the ball was won in the middle of the park which broke to Miereles who passed the ball to Torres who on the left hand side of the area cut inside Ivanovic and all Peter Cech and John Terry could do was watched as the ball curled into the top corner. The delight was clear to see on Torres’s face as the clubs top marksmen returned to goal scoring form.
The 4-4-2 formation worked for Hodgson as Torres had more support at the top of the pitch but also dropped back to help the midfield. Lucas worked tirelessly throughout the game even eclipsing Gerrard and was quick to close down Ramieres , Zhirkov and Mikel he gave them no room to breathe let alone make passes which left the creative talents of Malouda, Anelka and Kalou and the later Drogba stifled.
Even in the second half Liverpool had to withstand periods of large pressure from Chelsea after introduction of Drogba, even then the team stood firm with two lines of four which made it very hard to penetrate, each player stuck to the task with Kuyt again running around like the energiser bunny helping the midfield allowing Miereles to help Lucas and Gerrard by going into the middle. The defence also looked sturdy with Martin Kelly at the back doing a better job than what most people consider Johnson would have done.
During the large amount of pressure that the Liverpool defence had to with stand Drogba sent a free-kick wide. Ramires headed over. Malouda was thwarted only by a remarkable reaction save from Reina. Anelka also drilled in a shot saved by Pepe which came back off the bar only for Carragher to step in and stop Drogba from converting the chance and Reina to gather. That last ditch attempt to stop Drogba from getting the ball epitomised the character and spirit of the Liverpool side looking to secure all three points and leaving with a clean sheet.
Liverpool fought hard, throughout the game and this could be seen through the work carried out by Kuyt. Like Torres, the Dutchman received the compliment of a flattening by Terry. Kuyt took no notice and gave Terry a clattering later himself and soon made Cech pull out a superb save, before departing to a standing ovation. Gerrard was working overtime stopping dangerous Chelsea attacks, running back to cut out an Anelka cross from the left.
Liverpool held on to win and the delight was clear to see for everyone. The thing is as previously when playing well this season Liverpool have gone a step back, we need to use these wins as a platform and look at the performance yesterday and build upon it. There was a lot of positives to take, Gerrard was once again running the show in the middle, Lucas proved his many critics wrong by putting in another assured sterling display, Martin Kelly proved he can play against the best and also that he deserves a starting place the lad never put a foot wrong really.
Liverpool now have two tough away fixtures at Wigan and Stoke, let’s see how he sets up the team for these fixtures but at present the doom and gloom has been lifted for a while with the future looking a bit brighter with Liverpool in the top half of the table and their best performance under Hodgson who must be credited with his tactics and team selection doing something Liverpool fans have wanted and that’s playing two up front.
So it’s been a while since I last wrote an article but the major reason being was the turmoil surrounding the club also the results were worrying me and the fact I didn’t want to put a negative vibe out regarding the club.
Firstly I’d like to say that I’m greatly relieved regarding the ownership issues. I think us as collective group of fans did a great job with the pressure that we put on RBS and the board who ensured that Liverpool had new owners who would take the club forward. With this done you would have thought that things on the pitch would improve so it seemed I’ve not seen it.
The start to the season has been tough although it could be seen from the pre season results that it wasn’t going to be an easy season. Pre-season you hear me say, yes pre-season we didn’t do well granted it was fringe players trying to stake a claim in the first team squad for the upcoming season with many just returning after the World Cup but results as well as form and fitness is the platform from which the club hope to build on.
Right so my last article was after the 2-2 home draw versus Sunderland, many would have thought that after that game the players would surely go in to the home game versus Blackpool would be an easy three points not so as Liverpool slumped to a defeat at home. It’s been clear to see that there has been no real sense of urgency this season the team has looked lacklustre.
Blackpool piled the misery on struggling Liverpool with a famous 2-1 win at Anfield to leave the Reds rooted in the bottom three. Charlie Adam fired Blackpool in front from the penalty spot after Glen Johnson had brought down Luke Varney inside the box.
Varney added a second on the stroke of half-time to ensure Liverpool left the field at the break to a chorus of boos. Sotirios Kyrgiakos pulled a goal back on 53 minutes when he headed home Steven Gerrard’s free-kick, but despite some late pressure Blackpool held on for a deserved three points.
It was no surprise really as Blackpool had the better of the first half and played well enough to stifle the little creativity Liverpool did have and got the result. It wasn’t helped by the fact Torres had gone off 10 minutes into the encounter with injury this cannot be used as an excuse and you have to remember this is a team who got destroyed by both Arsenal and Chelsea.
The result was shameful for Liverpool and there is little that the manager can say at the moment to improve the confidence that many fans have in him as the performance of not just individuals but the team as whole has been awful. This was evident in the game versus Everton after the takeover was complete and there was no time for excuses, every player has to be ‘up for it’ in the derby, Liverpool simply did not turn up.
They were out played for the majority of the Derby with Everton taking their chance to pile further pressure on the Reds and the performance was summed up by mis-control of the ball on numerous occasion also a Gerrard shot was woefully off target when teed up by substitute Ryan Babel on the edge of the penalty area while Torres shot straight at Howard when he should worked the goalkeeper more.
All this in front of the new owner Henry who had planned to wait until Blackburn visited Anfield next week to make his formal entrance but because he was in the vicinity after completing his takeover, curiosity and the prospect of a Merseyside derby at Everton got the better of the Boston Red Sox owner.
Also some of the press conference and comments given by the manager are far from reassuring and I for one wish he would just concentrate on getting the team playing some decent stuff. So anyway on the topic at hand, I would say the Napoli game we got a decent result, fringe players where used 0-0 away from home not a bad result as Hodgson at this point was focusing all his energies on the Premiership.
This performance showed some grit and determination, though, and keeps Liverpool on course for progression into the knockout phase as they have taken five points from their three group matches so far, and still have home games against Utrecht and Napoli to come.
But they had a lucky escape in first-half stoppage-time when Maggio’s corner fell to Cavani who beat Jamie Carragher and fired in a low cross which Hamsik hit goal wards, with the shot taking a deflection off Christian Poulsen before Konchesky cleared off the line.
So after watching this game many fans where happy to see the likes of Jonjo Shelvy, Jay Spearing and Martin Kelly get a game. The question since the Napoli game has been why haven’t they been used in the league, the reason only the manager knows but I think it could be down to him thinking they are inexperienced but surely they can’t do any worse than the current players.
So this brings me on to the Blackburn game, during this fixture the reds looked better than they have at point this season and it also allow Fernando Torres to net his first goal since August.
They dominated for long periods of the game and should have taken the lead in a first half where Blackburn had Paul Robinson to thank for keeping them in the game.
But despite their attempts to give the Anfield crowd a scare when they threw away their lead within two minutes, Torres’s return to goal scoring form gave everyone a lift after a dark period at the club.
Torres showed his intent from the very start, chasing down fellow compatriot Michel Salgado despite leaving his boot in, and as early as the eighth minute Liverpool came to close to opening the scoring.
A good interchange between Maxi Rodriguez and Torres allowed the Argentine to cut the ball back from the byline for Cole, whose shot was well saved by Robinson, but it was Raul Meireles who had the best opportunity, failing to hit the target with the follow-up even though the goal was gaping.
A Gerrard corner lead to first goal by Kyrgiakos, this was then followed by a comical own goal by Carra, who could do nothing to get out the way of Konchesky’s goal line clearance. Hodgson must have felt like the unluckiest man in the world as he slumped in his seat but three minutes later Liverpool restored their lead, Cole’s cross from the left allowing Torres to end his goal drought.
It was his first goal since the 1-0 victory over West Brom on 29 August but despite the end of his barren spell Liverpool remained in the bottom three of the Premier League.
So brings me to yesterday’s game with Bolton. There was no real chance for either team as a late Maxi strike from a bit of brilliance what I like to call, other may say he got lucky but brilliance and ingenious is what I put it down too.
Torres had looked far from his best form as he squandered a good chance earlier to toe poke the ball wide of the on rushing Bolton keeper and also when clearly through gave up the chase of the ball looking at the linesman rather than playing to the whistle.
Gerrard also didn’t look himself as he had a chance at the end of the first half but he blasted well wide. Was this a sign of things to come for the rest of the game? Only time would tell.Sotirios Krygiakos, goal scorer in two of the previous three league games, forced Jaaskelainen to save from a Gerrard cross in injury time. Bolton pressured Liverpool at the start of the second half and twice forced Liverpool to clear unconvincingly without creating a clear-cut chance.
Gerrard tried to raise Liverpool’s fading tempo with a powerful run and long ball for Torres, but a promising attack was ended as Muamba collided with Lucas. Gerrard found good space on the edge of the box but his shot was deflected into the air and claimed easily by Jaaskelainen.
There was another twist in the tale as Liverpool suffered a blow just after the hour as Cole was forced off with what looked like a hamstring injury and was replaced by David Ngog.
Liverpool might have been struggling to produce the intensity their fans demanded but pieced together a move of genuine quality as Rodriguez finally got into the game midway through the second half. Rodriguez sent Gerrard away down the left with a clever back heel and the captain whipped in a cross for Torres.
Torres nodded back down for Rodriguez to attempt a spectacular overhead kick which went just inches over. Bolton replied as in-form Johan Elmander, looking for his first home goal of the season after hitting five away, showed great control and drove just wide of the post.
Zat Knight then headed over from the resulting corner and Davies also glanced a header wide from a free-kick as the Trotters enjoyed a strong spell. Liverpool managed to rouse themselves late on and carved Bolton open with a delightful move to set up the winner for Rodriguez.
Torres was the creator as he nutmegged Gary Cahill with a clever back heel and Rodriguez raced through. The Argentinean showed great composure as his shot went in off the body of Jaaskelainen.
So what can we take from this? Not a great deal really the team are still not playing well enough. Granted we know have a few more wins in league I’m still to be convinced by Hodgson, some of his comments make me think he’s still managing a small team and we are playing a negative brand of football. I personally think we need an attacking brand if Hodgson gets this right then it could turn our season around.
Much has been made of the squad and players that Hodgson has at his disposal, for me he picks the team, he also signed in my opinion are two worst players so far this season Konchesky and Poulsen. I also don’t understand why he’s playing Carra out of position at right back when he could give Martin Kelly a game, the more games he plays the better and the experience for him could prove to be invaluable.
Also the timing of his substitutions could be better and have a more attack approach and I can’t understand why Jovanovic who is a direct player isn’t in the team or comes on as sub, he should be used. I hope we sign some quality players soon but I also hope Hodgson isn’t the one choosing the players. I hope we can win the midweek game against Napoli which will improve the confidence of the squad going into the Chelsea game; I feel the recent results are just papering over the cracks.
I want to give a special mention to my friends at LFC Transfer Speculations on Facebook.
The primary aim of LFC Transfer Speculations is exactly as it seems. The main aim is to keep everyone up to date with the latest news and players the club are being linked with. The page also works very hard to ensure that all information is correct and I personally help with the page. It’s place where Liverpool fans can get together and swap views and opinions on certain posts and is a multicultural environment so anyone can join the page. The page has reached over 10,000 people and is intending to grow.
The link for the facebook page is below
You can also follow on twitter as well.
Please show your support for fellow Reds just doing our thing.
Sunday Oct 24Posted by: sam Comments Off
Unfortunately I don’t have the time to make a preview for today’s match. But I will make a video review which will be new and exclusive to Empire Of The Kop.
Here are some of the many things that will be included in videos. CLICK FOR BIGGER SIZE.
Monthly things will feature Goal of the month, and Player of the month.
This is where you can get involved.
Man Of The Match
After every LFC game I will put a poll up on Empireofthekop.com where you can vote your Man Of The Match.
This for me is the most fun. Predict scores to put yourself as high up on the Prediction Table as possible. You get 1 point if you don’t guess the right score, but you guess the winning team. You get 3 points if you get the score correct.
START PREDICTING NOW!
As the Blackburn game hasn’t yet started, you can predict your score now. Email me (email@example.com) your name and predicted score, or comment on this post with your predicted score. In The Red Result, you’ll see the prediction table.
I’m predicting Liverpool 1-0 Blackburn.
Until The Red Result, enjoy the game. YNWA
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These are indeed testing times for us fans, the players and everyone involved at the club. The Yanks excluded of course, their having a tough time getting fat checks in their pockets, pile of no good sh*t.
I have lost myself, my spirits are dim, but I know that Liverpool, when we bounce, its gonna be stronger and better!
Regarding sacking Roy,
I can’t say much, we saw earlier when he was appointed a lot of fans disagreed, we wanted King Kenny to take over but he didn’t. So we’re moving on, supporting Roy, as we’re loyal to our managers whomsoever they might be.
But his tactics seems, so far, bleak at best, we struggled in all of our games in the League. and lets not start pointing towards the Northampton disaster. I think the game at Utrecht was also dismal.
Team will improve but he needs to change tactics, and tweak a weebit with the defensive play.
Clearly, we’re missing a combative hardman in Mascherano, the diff between him and Poulsen is that he runs his lungs off and goes after every ball in front of the back four. But Poulsen is quite stationary and reacts in his own space. Yesterday our midfield were destroyed by the ever present side switches Blackpool are good at.
And we’re lacking width, and Roy had this to say about deploying Raul Meireles on the right;-
“We don’t play with wingers. The way he plays and the way Joe Cole plays, we think (playing wide midfield) is more than suited to their qualities.
I can see now that he wants to employ the diamond system, if I’m right with this, Correct me if I’m wrong, So Joey and Raul is being in the central wide. Thus allowing fullbacks to bomb forward.
But I think this system sucks, its gonna take a hell of a time to get used to. But its not possible. But we really need to gel and get some wins under our belt soon.
We’re going through one of the toughest times in Liverpool history, we need to brace this storm, as we know there’s a pot of gold at the end of it all. Walk On Lads, Chin Up and YNWA!
The club in partnership with Park Lane Champagne has launched an off-licence selling wine, sparking wine and of course Champagne private labeled with the club’s logos. Hopefully we will be able to crack open a few bottles of bubbly soon. The full press release is below.
18th September 2010
Liverpool FC has engaged Park Lane Champagne to launch and run an online
off-licence for the club which opens for business today at
The brand new, official LFC Off-licence (the first ever football club online
off-licence) stocks a range of champagne, wine and sparkling wines and this
is a range that will be constantly changing and evolving as new products are
sourced by Park Lane and approved by Liverpool FC. All LFC Off-licence
products at launch sport Anfield labels, and there is a range of bottles
that be personalised to include the name of someone special, a message or
even an image or photograph.
Speaking about the opening of LFC Off-licence Chris Jennions, Internet Sales
Manager at Liverpool FC said that “We felt that engaging Park Lane Champagne
to run and manage an online off-licence was the perfect partnership for us.
Park Lane bring their expertise and efficiency, as well as considerable
experience of supplying personalised champagne in the UK since 1995, to our
already market leading internet ecommerce platform, so that all our fans can
benefit from the combined service.”
The LFC Off-Licence is powered by the UK’s largest of personalised
champagne, supplying some of the UK’s leading organisations as well as
individual customers, www.parklanechampagne.co.uk . Park Lane Champagne and
Liverpool FC encourage responsible alcohol consumption.