Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Liverpool Knocked Out At The King Power

Sports - Football - League Cup - LCFC 2:0 LFC

Leicester rediscovered their winning ways, seeing Liverpool fall once again after dominating most of the play and wasting chance after chance, the League Cup clash ending 2-0 at the King Power Stadium.

Click here for my full ByTheMinute match coverage.

It was an impressive comeback by the Foxes after being dominated in the first half. The stats speak for themselves. The Reds didn't make their chances count and their defence made them trip and fall once again.

Both sides had made a lot of changes, as normal for the early stages of the cup competition. But it was the substitutions during the match that cost dearly, top for the hosts, flop for the visitors, the Reds eliminated OUT of the League Cup, first hurdle, third round.

The match started very competitive, a professional clash, high-tempo but missing the edge, the Reds on top but with still no lead at the break, Craig Shakespeare's men holding on solid and strong.

Andy Robertson created a lot with some fine runs and crosses, Philippe Coutinho showed some of his good old magic with some awesome moves and Dominic Solanke shared plenty of chances with both of them.

But LFC just could not find a breakthrough. Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looked more clumsy and wasteful, frustrating to watch, losing the ball too many times.

Why Jürgen Klopp opted to replace Coutinho with youngster Ben Woodburn after the break, hell knows. The Brazilian had created most and produced most quality and chances.

And the Reds were punished for their wastefulness just past the hour-mark.

Substitute Shinji Okazaki, who had come on for an injured Leonardo Ulloa not long after the interval, made no mistake. It was a scruffy finish after a couple of headers and Liverpool failing to clear a corner, Vicente Iborra the last one to head it straight into Okazaki, who put in the rebound.

Klopp then took off Georginio Wijnaldum and gave Danny Ings a run-around. Another questionable move, especially looking at the contrasting experience... And score-line!

Islam Slimani doubled the score a few minutes later with an unstoppable beauty, a left-footer into the top left corner, from the edge of the box. That was game over.

Simple: Liverpool hadn't taken their chances. Leicester have. The Coutinho substitution didn't help. And the defence was lacking and leaking once again.

Danny Ward made a couple of strong saves late one, denying Okazaki a double and Demarai Gray, who both starred for the home side.

Liverpool's defence let them down once again, no marking, too much space and question marks everywhere.

It will be the same clash again on Saturday, Liverpool back at the King Power Stadium, for the Premier League evening kick-off. Leicester will be on a confident high after this win.

The line-ups will surely change a lot, but will this trend of frustration, misses and leaks stop for the Reds??? It's getting too much!!! It's just not good enough! Beam me back to the Arsenal game, please! :-S #FFS

Was soll das Jürgen?!?!?! Scheiß-Dreck-Kack!!! -.- #COYR #ARGH

Leicester Goals: Okazaki 65' & Slimani 78'.

Leicester Line-Up: 12 Hamer, 18 Amartey, 16 Dragovic, 5 Morgan, 3 Chilwell, 11 Albrighton, 21 Iborra (booked 90'), 25 Ndidi (38 Choudhury 84'), 7 Gray, 19 Slimani, 23 Ulloa (20 Okazaki 55').
Subs not used: 8 Iheanacho, 13 Musa, 17 Jakupovic, 26 Mahrez, 29 Benalouane.

Liverpool Line-Up: 52 Ward, 38 Flanagan, 12 Gomez, 17 Klavan (booked 75'), 26 Robertson, 14 Henderson, 16 Grujic (booked 57'), 5 Wijnaldum (Ings 73'), 21 Oxlade-Chamberlain, 10 Coutinho (58 Woodburn HT), 29 Solanke.
Subs not used: 1 Karius, 7 Milner, 18 Moreno, 50 Markovic, 66 Alexander-Arnold.

HT Stats: LCFC 0-0 LFC
Possession: 24%-76%
Shots: 2-13
On target: 1-3
Corners: 2-3
Fouls: 3-5

FT Stats: LCFC 2-0 LFC
Possession: 30%-70%
Shots: 8-20
On target: 5-3
Corners: 4-6
Fouls: 9-10
Yellow cards: 1-2

Referee: Stuart Attwell
Man of the match: Shinji Okazaki
Ground: King Power Stadium

Click here for my previous LFC match report.

All pictures, stats and facts were taken from the BBC match report, BBC Radio and Sky Sports match coverage.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Premier League Picks Of The Week 5

Sports - Football - Premier League Week 5

The 5th week of the Premier League action saw:

21 goals - most by Manchester City = 6!!!
267 shots - most by Liverpool = 35!!!
73 on target - most by Manchester City = 10
100 corners - most by Liverpool = 12
206 fouls - most by West Brom, Arsenal & Manchester United = 15 each
30 yellow cards - most by Crystal Palace = 5
1 red card - David Luiz for Chelsea
1 penalty - 1 scored (Anthony Martial for Manchester United)

What a game! Laurent Depoitre woke everyone up with the opening goal at the John Smith's Stadium, but Jamie Vardy levelled the score from the spot minutes later, Huddersfield 1-1 Leicester, Andy King making the most of nothing by Chris Löwe to get the penalty. It was end-to-end stuff after that, the home side dominating but unable to take advantage in the end. Swansea's back five frustrated the hell out of Tottenham and earned the clean sheet and well-deserved point at Wembley. Spurs are still waiting for a league win at the NW London ground, having already dropped more points there this season than at White Hart Lane the whole of last season. Arch rivals Arsenal performed so much better, fighting out a point at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea's first league draw at home in 16 months. Both sides came close, creating a lot, but the Blues looked that bit more sloppy, giving the ball away too many times, whilst the Gunners stayed on top, covering and tackling well. David Luiz' stupid sending off late on added to the home side's clumsy and frustrating display and they will be relieved to have squeezed out a point. Antonio Conte's men have had as many red cards in their last five PL games as they had in their previous 73 games combined (3). Arsène Wenger meanwhile will just have felt that hint of disappointment his side couldn't capitalise and walk away with all the points after a het-up, intense, entertaining derby! 👊🏻👏🏻👊🏻👍🏻👊🏻

What a team! Crystal Palace are breaking all records - the Eagles suffered their fifth consecutive opening league defeat without having scored a goal! That's a first in top-flight history! And the longest run without scoring was broken after the 78th minute - a dry run of 439 minutes beating Newcastle's 438 minutes set in 2005-6. The rainy weather fit the mood at Selhurst Park on Roy Hodgson's return after 51 years. Next on the former Liverpool and England boss' fixture list: Man City away, United away, Chelsea at home. Will the 70-year-old still have a job end of next month? Frank de Boer's record shows that should and most probably will not be the case. Will Sam Allardyce be back in October? 💩🙈💩🙈💩

What a man! West Brom's Gareth Barry made a record-equaling 632nd Premier League appearance (Ryan Giggs the former king, now having to share the crown, surely to be beaten next week). How his keeper Ben Foster didn't see red for his full-on sliding tackle on Javier Hernández, I don't know. I think West Ham boss Slaven Bilić is still shaking his head now as I type. There's nothing more to write about the goalless draw. 😴😑😴😑😴
Wayne Rooney's return to Old Trafford was the most discussed topic this weekend, replays of his many top goals shown again and again. The Evertonian had a couple of chances but did not have much to shout about before he was substituted under great applause from both ends of the ground and even a handshake from United boss José Mourinho. The striker has never beaten the Red Devils in the Premier League. 🙈👏🏻⚽️👍🏻🙈

What a goal! Jermain Defoe scored his first goal since arriving at Bournemouth to make it 2-1 and a fine turnaround-win against Brighton. The match-winner came after a nice turn in the box and drill home by the former Sunderland forward. Substitute Jordan Ibe had set up both the winner and leveller, the latter with a clever backheel to Andrew Surman, who tapped it in easy. Solly March had given the visitors the lead ten minutes into the second half after Dale Stephens headed against the cross bar, Shane Duffy saw his header cleared and Davy Pröpper his follow-up blocked off the line by Surman. All that action and the goals after the interval made up for a dismal first half. ⚽️👊🏻⚽️👊🏻⚽️
Each of Xherdan Shaqiri's last six Premier League goals have been from outside the box, including the whacker that levelled the score for Stoke at Newcastle, nice one! 👏🏻⚽️👌🏻⚽️👍🏻 And Jamaal Lascelles' header off Matt Richie's corner gave the home side the lead and winner as it ended 2-1, a proper hard-fought win for the Magpies! 👊🏻⚽️👊🏻⚽️👊🏻
Antonio Valencia's opener for United against Everton in the fourth minute was a smacker! Edge of the box, right foot, smash, boom, bang, left corner of the net, Jordan Pickford had no chance! Unstoppable beauty! The 4-0 result was very harsh as the Toffees did come back stronger after the break, but just buckled under the pressure in the final minutes. Romelu Lukaku's goal and celebration added insult to misery. Either way, there are very happy Red Devils in second place, level on points and goals with City at the top, just the alphabet separating the two rivals. ⚽️😵👌🏻😵⚽️

What the hell?! SEVEN CHANGES FOR LFC! 34 SHOTS ON GOAL! But Burnley remained unbeaten away in the Premier League, after winning at Chelsea and drawing at Tottenham, but haven't won at Anfield for 43 years, Liverpool having won all three previous home games against the Clarets. Man of the moment Mohamed Salah equalised three minutes after Scott Arfield had given the visitors the lead with a nice volley. Ben Mee came close to net a winner, Joël Matip clearing off the line. Clarets keeper Nick Pope kept well and strong to deny Jürgen Klopp's men. The Reds were frustrated once again, similar to the Sevilla game on Wednesday. Argh! Just ARGH for all Red fans! 🙈😡🙈😡🙈
Loved seeing Elton John and Pep Guardiola chatting before the game at Watford! Only in England... "1-0 to the referee" chant by the Hornets fans was a brilliant response to Sergio Agüero's goal that gave Man City the lead at Vicarage Road. It was so close, even the Argentine was looking back at the linesman to make sure the flag wasn't up... But the game was sealed soon after, the same striker doubling the score a couple of minutes later, making it eight consecutive away games he has started and scored in (only RvP has a longer run of 9). Gabriel Jesus made it 0-3 before the break, another dodgy offside- looking one. What was the flag there for again??? Nicolás Otamendi added to the home side's misery in the second half and Agüero completed his hat-trick to make it 0-5 (his sixth in the PL, the only guys left to beat are Alan Shearer with 11, Robbie Fowler 9, Michael Owen and Thierry Henry with 8). Add a Raheem Sterling penalty to seal the deal 0-6, it was all too easy and ended Watford's unbeaten run. Why couldn't Liverpool do that?!?!?! City fans' reaction: "We're taking the piss!" -  with 15 goals to nil in three games for the Citizens, yes, you are taking the piss! Lol! 😂👏🏻👊🏻👍🏻😂
Oh, and how could I forget the Super Sunday clash between the Red Devils and the Angry Birds! 😈 v 🕊 yep, you read right! LMAO! 😂😈😂🕊😂

My Predictions - Actual Results
Bournemouth 1:2 Brighton - 2:1
Crystal Palace 0:1 Southampton - 0:1
Huddersfield 1:0 Leicester - 1:1
Liverpool 2:0 Burnley - 1:1
Newcastle 1:1 Stoke City - 2:1
Watford 1:1 Man City - 0:6
West Brom 1:1 West Ham - 0:0
Tottenham 3:1 Swansea - 0:0
Chelsea 2:0 Arsenal - 0:0
Man United 4:0 Everton - 4:0

Click here for last week's Premier League Picks.

All pictures, facts and stats were taken from the BBC match reports, MOTD, Twitter and SFR coverage.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Shaky Defence Costs Reds Again

Sports - Football - Champions League - LFC 2:2 SFC

Liverpool's leaky defence cost them two points as they drew their opening Champions League group game 2-2 against Sevilla at Anfield.

After being thrashed 0-5 by Manchester City at the Etihad on Saturday, confidence was low for the Reds, their weaknesses bared for everyone to see.

So, the Kop was extra loud, wanting and urging their side to bounce back in style on their European return after three years absence.

Click here to read my ByTheMinute match coverage.

But it took only five minutes for those dreams to be shattered.

The first attack for the visitors, a fine counter, Wissam Ben Yedder gave the visitors the lead with an easy tap in.

There was no one covering him, too much space, an easy conversion after Dejan Lovren missed and messed up his interception to block and clear the pass from the left in the buildup.

Liverpool pushed and pressed well at the front and on the counter with some great team play, but shaky and dodgy every time the ball came to their back line or anywhere near the box.

Reds attack Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino came close a couple of times, Sevillistas keeper Sergio Rico doing well in denying and frustrating both.

21st minute, finally the Reds got the breakthrough to level the score, Firmino netting after quality interplay and connections in the buildup with Georginio Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson.

All the pushing and pressing and breaking payed off again after 36 minutes when Mohamed Salah gave the Reds the lead thanks to great running and crossing by Wijnaldum again.

The couple worked well together throughout the match. It was an evil deflection off defender Ever Banega though that took the ball up and over keeper Rico to make it 2-1, but it was just what the Red doctor ordered.

And just a couple of minutes before the break, the home side won a penalty after Mané was brought down by Sevilla skipper Nicolas Pareja.

However, LFC failed to take advantage and build on their lead, seeing Firimino's spot kick come off the right sidebar.

Liverpool finished the first half on top, Alberto Moreno seeing his shot saved by Rico after another lovely counter.

That first half showed signs and shines of the Red side that thrashed Arsenal 4-0 before the international break.

Ups and downs, tops and flops, shining at the front, shaking at the back, the first half showed some lovely football with the odd cringe at the back.

And the second half grew more and more frustrating with cringe after cringe, Sevilla blocking out Liverpool again and again, whilst stretching and shaking the Reds at the back creating more of a threat.

With an hour gone, Sevilla boss Eduardo Berizzo was sent to the stands after throwing the ball away from Joe Gomez. Needless, childish stuff.

Reds boss Jürgen Klopp grew more and more frustrated, too, seeing chance after chance go to waste.

Just under 20 minutes to go, the Spaniards levelled the score out of nowhere.

Off a throw-in, sub Luis Muriel passed to Joaquin Correa who smashed in the equaliser with his right foot, again not much defence threatening either of them.

The Reds were like frozen. A couple of minutes later, Philippe Coutinho was brought on for Emre Can.

The want-out Brazilian was met with cheers and applause all round Anfield, but did not make any difference.

Quite the opposite, every time the wannabe-Barca-man got the ball, he lost possession, adding to the frustration for the home side.

The only other chance of note came in injury time, Wijnaldum heading the ball into Rico's gloves.

On the other side, Liverpool were lucky to see Muriel's shot go wide after the defenders were again unable to recover or cover.

And then to add to the Reds' misery, Gomez was sent off seeing a second yellow card in the 94th minute.

Loris Karius easily caught the high curled free kick just before the full-time whistle.

The under-fire keeper actually had an all-right game and is not to blame for either goal.

Klopp had a shout-out with the opposition's staff on the sideline. He was not happy. Nein! Nicht gut!

The HT and FT stats show the dominance, but not the edgy nerves and shaky slips at the back. The score reflects less the prior, more the latter, sad but true.

In the other Group F game, Maribor came from behind with five minutes to go to draw 1-1 against Spartak Moscow. So it's all even to start off with.

Liverpool goals: Firmino 21' & Salah 36'.

Sevilla goals: Ben Yedder 5' & Correa 72'.

Liverpool line-up: 1 Karius, 12 Gomez (booked 64', sent off 93'), 6 Lovren, 32 Matip, 18 Moreno (booked 39'), 5 Wijnaldum, 23 Can (10 Coutinho 76'), 14 Henderson, 11 Salah (21 Oxlade-Chamberlain 88'), 19 Mané (15 Sturridge 82'), 9 Firmino. 4-3-3
Subs not used: 22 Mignolet, 7 Milner, 17 Klavan, 26 Robertson.
Manager: Jürgen Klopp

Sevilla line-up: 1 Rico, 25 Mercado (booked 35'), 21 Pareja (c) (booked 41'), 4 Kjaer, 18 Escudero, 15 N'Zonzi, 10 Banega (booked 42'), 14 Pizarro (17 Sarabia 45'), 16 Navas (2 Corchia 82'), 11 Correa, 9 Ben Yedder (20 Muriel 70'). 4-3-3
Subs not used: 13 Soria, 6 Carrico, 7 Krohn-Dehli, 22 Vazquez.
Manager: Eduardo Berizzo

HT stats: LFC 2-1 SFC
Possession: 51%-49%
Shots: 14-2
On target: 5-1
Corners: 5-1
Fouls: 5-6
Yellow cards: 1-3

FT stats: LFC 2-2 SFC
Possession: 49%-51
Shots: 24-7
On target: 7-2
Corners: 10-3
Fouls: 14-9
Yellow cards: 10-3
Fouls: 14-9
Yellow cards: 3-3
Red cards: 1-0

Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED)
Assistants: Mario Diks (NED) & Hessel Steegstra (NED)
Additional assistants: Kevin Blom (NED) & Kamphius Jochem (NED)
Fourth official: Joost van Zuilen (NED)
Man of the match: Mohamed Salah
Ground: Anfield

Click here to read my ByTheMinute match coverage.

Click here to read my previous LFC match report.

All pictures, facts and stats were taken from the BBC match report, and beIN Sport match coverage.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Premier League Picks Of The Week 4

Sports - Football - Premier League - Week 4

The 4th week of the Premier League action saw:

28 goals - most by Manchester City = 5
237 shots - most by Crystal Palace = 23
87 on target - most by Manchester City = 10
118 corners - most by Crystal Palace = 13
212 fouls - most by Newcastle = 15
22 bookings - most by Everton & Newcastle = 3 each
1 red card - Sadio Mané for Liverpool
1 penalty - 1 scored (Jamie Vardy for Leicester)

What a game! Crucial/cruel results: Both Super Sunday games had the least goals, but hell they weren't missing chances nor action! Newcastle recorded their first win 0:1 at Swansea to Rafael Benitez's relief recovering in hospital from an operation, whilst Chris Wood made it two goals in two games for Burnley as they beat struggling Crystal Palace 1:0 at home, more to that below. West Ham recorded their first win of the season on Monday night, beating Huddersfield 2-0 at the London Stadium. Their first defeat brought the high-flying Terriers back down to earth, even-though it took a cruel deflection off Pedro Obiang to break the stubborn deadlock and concede their first goal since promotion to the top flight. It was a nice birthday present for Hammers boss Slaven Bilić, who would have been under even more scrutiny and fire, having lost all three opening games conceding 10 goals, making him odds-on one of the faves to be sacked first. It was Joe Hart's first league clean sheet in 23 games. The lead soon was doubled thanks to substitute André Ayew turning the ball in from close range, icing on the manager's birthday cake to bag the first three points this season. 🎂👌🏻😊👍🏻🎂

What a team! Brighton secured their first ever Premier League goals and win in style, high-firing 3-1 at home against West Brom, their first top-flight victory for 34 years, thanks to two goals by Pascal Groß. Crystal Palace on the other hand suffered their fourth defeat in a row, as mentioned above. They went down fighting though, 1-0 at Burnley, recording 23 attempts! The last top-flight team to lose their opening four matches without scoring were Preston North End in 1924-25. And as ridiculous as it is, it was no surprise to then get the news of Frank de Boer's exit after just 77 days. Sad but true. There is no such thing as patience in football nowadays. They obviously didn't watch the match! The team fought and played well. Just one (very costly) error early on by Lee Chung-yong decided the match in the end... But they will say it is the results that count. Former England and Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is set to take over the job at Selhurst Park. And oh, we all love him, don't we! 💩🙈💩🙈💩 Meanwhile, much in contrast to that, Watford have no such worries, going from strength to strength, up to fourth in the Premier League table after their impressive display, cracking goals and 0-2 win at Southampton. 👌🏻⚽️👏🏻⚽️👍🏻

What a man! And José Mourinho was at it again, distracting from his side's disappointing draw with his childish sideline and interview antiques. It was all about the post-match handshake-refusal after a tense draw and clashes with counterpart Mark Hughes as Stoke fought out a 2-2 draw against Manchester United at the Bet365 stadium. Man of the match Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's double for the Potters put an end to the Red Devils' 100% start to the season. And deservedly so! Their keeper Jack Butland starred with brilliant stops and breathtaking saves, whilst the whole back line kept stubborn and solid too, tackle after tackle, challenge after challenge, block after block, chance after chance. Impressive. No matter what the Portuguese boss says. ⚽️👊🏻👏🏻👍🏻⚽️

What a goal! Harry Kane's 100th Tottenham goal was more oops than woo, but they all count. It looked like an attempted cross from the right but looped over home keeper Jordan Pickford and in. Christian Eriksen doubled the score and Kane added his 101st to make it 0-3 and an easy away win for Spurs at Goodison Park. It could have been 0-6. For all the money they spent and players they signed, Everton are still cracking and crumbling. Worrying. Not a good day for either Merseysiders, see below for more details. N'Golo Kanté scored against his former side Leicester handing Chelsea an edgy away win. Wood scored on his full debut for Burnley thanks to Chung-yong's back-pass giveaway, as mentioned above, handing the Clarets the 1-0 win and heartbreak for the Eagles. Cruel, cruel, cruel. Bournemouth were downed to their fourth consecutive defeat as well, well beaten 3-0 at Arsenal thanks to Danny Welbeck's double. Can't see anyone calling for Eddie Howe's head though! Not even mentioning good old Arséne Wenger. They love him. Really. Right?! 😝😜😘😜😝

What the hell?! The red card at the Etihad divided opinions, both managers Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola mouthing their disapproval in their post-match interviews. WTF? It was a high, dangerous boot by Sadio Mané taking out keeper Edison Moraes. In. The. Face. By the book that is red, full stop. And it doesn't excuse such a pathetic performance. Liverpool got absolutely hammered 5-0 by Manchester City. The defence was non-existent! It ended up being a fun kick-about for the home side. Having their main striker sent off may explain why they didn't score. But too absolutely fold, collapse, give up, dramatically, completely, uncharacteristically as the Reds did - explain me that! Here is my full LFC match report. Rant over and out. ⚽️👊🏻🙈👎🏻⚽️

My Predictions - Actual Results
Man City 2:2 Liverpool - 5:0 or my full LFC match report
Arsenal 2:1 Bournemouth - 3:0
Brighton 1:1 West Brom - 3:1
Everton 2:2 Tottenham - 0:3
Leicester 2:2 Chelsea - 1:2
Southampton 2:1 Watford - 0:2
Stoke 1:2 Man United - 2:2
Burnley 3:3 Crystal Palace - 1:0
Swansea 1:1 Newcastle - 0:1
West Ham 0:0 Huddersfield - 2:0

Click here for last week's Premier League Picks.

All pics, stats and facts were taken from the BBC match reports, MOTD, SFR and Twitter coverage.

Monday, 11 September 2017

City Crush 10-Man Reds 5-0

Sports - Football - Premier League - MCFC 5:0 LFC

Liverpool were thrashed 5-0 by a ruthless Manchester City at the Etihad after seeing Sadio Mané sent off for a high kick at keeper Ederson Moraes in the first half of the lunch-time kick-off on Saturday.

The game had started competitive, both sides creating chances, putting the pressure on.

The Reds fell behind to Sergio Agüero's cool finish around Simon Mignolet in the 24th minute, the Sky Blues enjoying too much time and space with the ball.

Then eight minutes before the break, referee Jonathan Moss showed Mané red for his high challenge on Ederson, who required treatment for the cut in his face before he was replaced by Claudio Bravo.

The competition vanished from then on, City were all over Liverpool, the second half looking more like a kick-about than an actual competitive match.

Young defender Trent Alexander-Arnold didn't know what hit him, struggling to cover all the sprints, leaks and gaps, no one else marking, closing down or tackling.

Gabriel Jesus doubled the lead for the home side before the break and was handed a second by an unselfish Agüero to make it 3-0 just eight minutes after the restart.

Substitute Leroy Sané added two late goals sweeping in Benjamin Mendy's cross at the near post and curling in a left-footer to complete the 5-0 thrashing, City's biggest win over Liverpool since 1937.

The Reds just folded, collapsed, gave up, dramatically, completely, uncharacteristically.

The red card divided opinions, both managers Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola mouthing their disapproval in their post-match interviews.

It was a high, dangerous tackle, which by the book is red, full stop. And it doesn't excuse such a pathetic performance, total collapse.

After thrashing Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield before the international break, confidence was high.

Ask new signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who came on for Mohamed Salah after the interval: He became the first player to lose 4-0 and 5-0 in two consecutive Premier League games with different clubs.

This was Klopp's heaviest defeat in all competitions as Liverpool manager and his joint-heaviest ever managerial loss since October 2006 when Werder Bremen beat his Mainz 6-1.

As always after such a devastating defeat, lots of critics and protesters suddenly emerge = #KloppOut. Here's another stat:

This was the German's first Premier League defeat away from home to one of the last season's top seven sides (P10 W5 D4 L1).

So, it's not all doom and gloom, still early days. Liverpool will have to pick themselves up and learn from this.

And what better way to do this than in their next fixture, back in the beloved Champions League, group match against Sevilla on Wednesday.

Manchester City goals: Agüero 24', Jesus 45'+6 & 53', Sané 77' & 90'+1.

Liverpool: Mané sent off 37'.

Manchester City line-up: 31 Ederson (1 Bravo 45'+1), 3 Danilo, 5 Stones, 30 Otamendi (booked 6') (15 Mangala 71'), 25 Fernandinho (booked 28'), 2 Walker, 17 De Bruyne, 21 Silva, 22 Mendy, 10 Agüero, 33 Jesus (19 Sané 57').
Subs not used: 8 Gündogan, 18 Delph, 20 Bernardo Silva, 47 Foden.

Liverpool line-up: 22 Mignolet, 66 Alexander-Arnold (booked 19'), 32 Matip, 17 Klavan, 18 Moreno, 5 Wijnaldum (7 Milner 58'), 14 Henderson, 23 Can (booked 80'), 11 Salah (21 Oxlade-Chamberlain 45'), 9 Firmino (29 Solanke 67'), 19 Mané (sent off 37').
Subs not used: 1 Karius, 6 Lovren, 12 Gomez, 15 Sturridge.

Match stats: MCFC-LFC
Possession: 66%-34%
Shots: 13-7
On target: 10-3
Corners: 8-3
Fouls: 10-9
Yellow cards: 2-2
Red cards: 0-1

Referee: Jonathan Moss
Man of the match: Kevin de Bruyne
Ground: Etihad
Attendance: 54,172

Click here for my previous LFC match report.

All pics, stats and facts were taken from the BBC match report, MOTD, SFR and Twitter coverage.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Premier League Picks Of The Week 3

Sports - Football - Premier League Week 3

In the third week of the Premier League action we saw:

20 goals - most by Liverpool = 4
270 shots - most by Tottenham = 26
78 on target - most by Liverpool = 10
103 corners - most by Tottenham = 10
201 fouls - most by Brighton = 18
38 yellow cards - most by Man City & Bournemouth = 5 each
2 red cards - Raheem Sterling for Man City, Miguel Britos for Watford
1 penalty - 0 scored (first miss of the season goes to United's Romelu Lukaku, saved by Kasper Schmeichel, see below for more details)

What a game! Liverpool were totally in charge at Anfield and could have scored more against Arsenal in the Super Sunday clash. The first goal was great, a nice header from Roberto Firmino.  The second was a superb counter attack with Sadio Mané finishing off nicely with a curled effort after a quick run on the left. The Reds were dictating nearly everything and Arsène Wenger had to make changes after the break. Shambolic stuff followed after the interval, Hector Bellerin giving the ball away off an Arsenal corner for Mohamed Salah to pounce on it, with a clear run on goal, and slot it home to make it 3-0, a cool finish past Petr Cech. No one was left back by the Gunners. The Reds were left free to dance and prance all over them, sub Daniel Sturridge making it 4-0 with just under a quarter of an hour to go, heading the ball in with plenty of time and space. Cech has conceded 30 goals against Liverpool, more than any other side in the Premier League. It was 10-0 in shots on target. It was the first time since 2014 Arsenal didn't get any attempts towards the goal. Embarrassing. Wenger in? Wenger out? Definitely shaking all about! Click here for my full LFC match report. Meanwhile, it was a comfy win for Chelsea in the earlier kick-off at Stamford Bridge, 2-0 against Everton, dominating and downing their opponents as well, it could have been a much worse score too. Disappointing as a better competition was expected by the big spending Toffees.

What a team! Huddersfield went top at least for a couple of hours remaining unbeaten and recording another clean sheet and point after a goalless draw at home against Southampton. It's the first time since 1965-6 the Yorkshire side have kept a clean sheet in each of their opening three games to a league season. The Red Devils soon took the Terriers' place though, more to their cruel win against Leicester below. At the other end of the table, Crystal Palace served Swansea their first win of the season, an easy 0-2 at Selhurst Park. That means the Eagles have now lost their opening three matches of the Premier League season under new boss Frank de Boer. They have failed to score a single goal, conceding five in two home matches. True misery. West Ham are also struggling, losing the third game in a row, thrashed 3-0 at Newcastle. The last time they did this was 2010-11, they finished bottom.

What a man! Kasper Schmeichel made some brilliant saves in the first half to keep Leicester in the game at Old Trafford on Saturday evening. Peter Schmeichel's son also denied Romelu Lukaku from the spot not long after the interval, the former Red Devil will have been gutted but oh so proud at the same time, seeing his son break his record of penalty saves at Old Trafford (father 0-1 son). But the deadlock was eventually broken by substitute Marcus Rashford converting a corner, in off the Danish keeper, with 20 minutes to go. It was stoppable. Such a shame. The 30-year-old stopper deserved a clean sheet! Substitute Marouane Fellaini added to that misery in the 83rd minute, knocking the ball in from close range, which looked like an offside position, to double the home side's lead and keep United's 100% start to the season on track and going. Their unbeaten run at home has stretched to 31 games. Four goals have come off the bench already for José Mourinho's men this season, compared to six in the whole of last season. Progress. Harsh result on the Foxes though.

What a goal! Bournemouth's opener was stunning in the early kick-off on Saturday! From the tightest of tight angles, former Leyton Orient defender Charlie Daniels whacked the ball bouncing off the top and side netting and in! Just to be heartbroken by Man City's later than late winner by Raheem Sterling (97') after Gabriel Jesus had levelled the score before the interval and Joshua King hit the bar. The former Liverpool man was then sent off for his celebrations with the City fans (99'). What a comeback and late drama! Cherries boss Eddie Howe was understandably gutted, his counterpart Pep Guardiola a very relieved man! For the first time since 1994-95, Bournemouth have lost their first three league games in a campaign, that was in the third tier. They have never beaten City in 11 meetings (2D, 9L). Burnley's club-record signing Chris Wood shocked Tottenham with a last-minute equaliser, calmly slotting the ball into the bottom corner from close range in the 92nd minute to make it 1-1. It was a deserved leveller for the Clarets, despite Spurs' dominance, the home side were very wobbly at Wembley, once again.

What the hell?! Uruguayan defender Miguel Britos was rightly shown a first-half straight red card for his high and reckless challenge nowhere near the ball on Brighton's Anthony Knockaert, who was very lucky to escape injury. The Seagulls recored their first ever Premier League point after the goalless draw at Vicarage Road, but were left gutted not to have taken advantage and downed 10-man Watford, and still waiting for their first Premier League goal since their promotion. West Brom's 100% winning start to the season came to an embarrassing end when a defensive mix-up between Ahmed Hegazy and Ben Foster gifted Peter Crouch an equaliser and Stoke a point at the Hawthorns.

My Predictions - Actual Results
Bournemouth 0:3 Man City - 1:2
Crystal Palace 0:0 Swansea - 0:2
Huddersfield 3:2 Southampton - 0:0
Newcastle 2:2 West Ham - 3:0
Watford 2:1 Brighton - 0:0
Man United 2:1 Leicester - 2:0
Chelsea 1:1 Everton - 2:0
West Brom 2:1 Stoke City - 1:1
Liverpool 4:4 Arsenal - 4:0 or my match report
Tottenham 4:2 Burnley - 1:1

Click here for my previous Premier League Picks Of The Week.

All pictures, stats and facts are taken from the BBC match reports, MOTD, SFR and Twitter match coverage.

Liverpool Thrash Sorry Arsenal 4-0

Sports - Football - Premier League - LFC 4:0 AFC

Liverpool thrashed Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield, no competition, full stop.

The Reds were in total control from kick-off to the final whistle and could have scored more against the Gunners in the Super Sunday clash.

The first goal was great, a nice header from Roberto Firmino with 17 minutes gone, off a cross by Joe Gomez, who did well down the right.

The second was a superb counter attack, Sadio Mané finishing off nicely with a curled effort after a quick run on the left and Firmino picked him out spot-on.

Jürgen Klopp's men were dictating nearly everything and Arsène Wenger had to make changes after the break.

But neither Francis Coquelin nor Olivier Giroud or Alexandre Lacazette made any difference, the first brought on at the start of the second half, the other two just past the hour.

Shambolic stuff followed after the interval, just before the double-change was made by the visitors.

Hector Bellerin gave the ball away off an Arsenal corner for Mohamed Salah to pounce on it, with a clear run on goal, and slot it home to make it 3-0, a cool finish past Petr Cech.

No one was left back by the Gunners. And it didn't get any better, they just didn't wake up.

The Reds were left free to dance and prance all over them, sub Daniel Sturridge making it 4-0 with just under a quarter of an hour to go, heading the ball in with plenty of time and space.

Cech has conceded 30 goals against Liverpool, more than any other side in the Premier League.

It was 10-0 in shots on target. It was the first time since 2014 Arsenal didn't get any attempts towards the goal.

This no-show performance by Arsenal was even worse than the 5-1 thrashing I attended with my boyfriend (who is an Arsenal fan) back in February 2014.

Liverpool were just hungrier, more organised, sharper and quicker, pressing, squeezing and squashing anything and everything out of their opponents, not giving them any breathing space or chance whatsoever.

Klopp had raised eyebrows by letting out-of-favour number one Loris Karius start ahead of in-form-ish keeper Simon Mignolet for a clash that is not exactly known and remembered for its lack of goals. Quite the opposite.

But apart from the odd shaky reaction to pass backs and not the best kicks, the German stopper didn't get anything to deal with or worry about.

Arsenal were just embarrassing. They didn't offer or form any kind of counter, opposition, cover, defence, form or even will!

Wenger in? Wenger out? Definitely shaking all about!

Meanwhile, this very convincing win will take Liverpool into the international break and transfer deadline day very confident and comfortable up to second place in the league table, two points behind high-flying rivals Manchester United.

Liverpool Goals: Firmino 17', Mané 40', Salah 57', Sturridge 77'.

Liverpool Team: 1 Karius, 12 Gomez, (booked), 32 Matip, 6 Lovren (booked), 18 Moreno, 23 Can (16 Grujic 83'), 14 Henderson, 5 Wijnaldum, 11 Salah, 9 Firmino (7 Milner 80'), 19 Mané (15 Sturridge 73').
Subs not used: 52 Ward, 17 Klavan, 29 Solanke, 66 Alexander-Arnold.

Arsenal Team: 33 Cech, 16 Holding (booked), 6 Koscielny, 18 Monreal, 15 Oxlade-Chamberlain (9 Lacazette 62'), 8 Ramsey (34 Coquelin 46'), 29 Xhaka (booked), 24 Bellerin, 11 Özil (booked), 7 Sánchez (12 Giroud 62'), 23 Welbeck (booked).
Subs not used: 13 Ospina, 14 Walcott, 20 Mustafi, 31 Kolasinac.

Match Stats: LFC-AFC
Possession: 49%-51%
Shots: 18-8
On target: 10-0
Corners: 4-3
Fouls: 6-9
Yellow cards: 2-4

Referee: Craig Pawson
Man of the match: Sadio Mané
Ground: Anfield
Attendance: 53,206

Click here for my previous LFC match report.

All pictures, stats and facts are taken from the BBC match report, SFR & Twitter match coverage.