Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Reds fall against the Blues at Anfield

Sports - Football - Premier League - Liverpool 0:2 Chelsea

Liverpool blew the Premier League title race wide open again, after frustratingly falling to their first defeat of the calendar year, 0-2 against Chelsea at Anfield.

Steven Gerrard of Liverpool

Jose Mourinho's men took advantage of two errors at the end of each half, giveaways which saw them leave Merseyside with two goals and three points.

Despite missing keeper Petr Cech and defender John Terry due to injury and midfielder Ramires banned, the Blues kept a strong back line, slowing Brendan Rodgers' men down, keeping them frustrated by holding them back, no matter how much possession or pressure the Reds held against their visitors.

Steven GerrardSo, when non-other than veteran skipper Steven Gerrard slipped and gave away the ball to Demba Ba, the striker made no mistake and beat Red keeper Simon Mignolet one-on-one, cool as you want, seconds before the break, it was just what Mourinho ordered, taking the lead against the run of play.

The hosts kept pressing after the break, Joe Allen seeing his smacker of a shot saved by stand-in keeper Mark Schwarzer just before the hour-mark.
But no matter how much and how hard the Reds pushed, the London side kept solid.

In one of the few blue attacks, Andre Schurrle was denied by a nice Mignolet stop.

LFC huffed and puffed, but never crossed the line, metaphorically and literally speaking.

Chelsea celebrate a goal at AnfieldWith seconds to go, Chelsea took advantage of another giveaway, this time by Daniel Sturridge, non-other than former Red Fernando Torres and Willian breaking forward, the latter slotting in the prior's return-ball comfortably from close range, to double the score and hammer the nail into the Ref coffin.

The Reds, without suspended Jordan Henderson and ineligible Victor Moses, despite dominating in all areas and stat tables, fell to their first league defeat of the calendar year, and the first since the Blues beat them at Stamford Bridge after Christmas.

Chelsea meanwhile, completed the double over Liverpool, ending their 11-game winning streak, and closing the gap to the top of the table to two points, with two games to go.

Both sides will hope City will slip up, too... The race is heating up hotter than hot...

Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea

Chelsea Goals: 1.: 47:32min Demba Ba (19), 2.: 93:00 Willian (22).

Liverpool Team: 22 Mignolet; 38 Flanagan (9 Aspas 81'), 17 Sakho, 37 Skrtel, 2 Johnson; 24 Allen, 8 Gerrard, 21 Lucas (15 Sturridge 58'); 10 Coutinho, 7 Suarez, 31 Sterling. 4-3-3
Subs not used: 1 Jones, 4 Toure, 5 Agger, 6 Luis Alberto.

Chelsea Team: 23 Schwarzer; 3 Cole (booked 93'), 33 Kalas, 2 Ivanovic, 28 Azpilicueta; 21 Matic, 12 Mikel; 14 Schurrle (23 Cahill 77'), 8 Lampard (booked 42'), 15 Salah (booked 21') (22 Willian 60'); 19 Ba (9 Torres 84') (booked 93'). 4-2-3-1
Subs not used: 16 van Ginkel, 27 Ake, 40 Hilario, 47 Baker.

1st & 2nd half Match Stats: Liverpool-Chelsea
Attempts: 8-6 & 18-5
On target: 0-2 & 8-2
Offsides: 1-0 & 0-0
Corners: 6-3 & 8-0
Free kicks: 4-6 & 3-3
Possession: 69%-31% & 73%-27%

Opta Match Stats: Liverpool-Chelsea
Attempts: 26-11
On target: 8-4
Blocked: 7-4
From outside the box: 21-6
From inside the box: 5-5
Shot accuracy: 42.1%-57.1%
(General Play)
Possession: 73%-27%
Duals won: 47.9%-52.1%
Aerials won: 37.8%-62.2%
Interceptions: 5-14
Offsides: 1-0
Corners: 14-3
Total passes: 624-226
Long passes: 9.6%-20.8%
Passing accuracy: 85.9%-67.7%
Pass.Acc.Opp.Half: 76.8%-62.3%
Total Crosses: 39-6
Successful: 17.9%-16.7%
(Defence & Discipline)
Tackles: 23-19
Won: 69.6%-68.4%
Clearances: 22-54
Fowls conceded: 9-7
Yellow cards: 0-4
Red cards: 0-0

Referee: Martin Atinkson
Attendance: 44,726
Man of the match: Demba Ba

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Reds stay top after hard-fought win at Norwich

Sports - Football - Premier League - Norwich 2:3 Liverpool

Liverpool recorded their eleventh consecutive Premier League win for the first time, keeping them five points clear at the top and favourites in the title race, after beating Norwich 2-3 in a tense encounter at Carrow Road.

Raheem Sterling (left) scores Liverpool's opener at Norwich

Raheem Sterling gave the Reds the lead after just four minutes, with an unstoppable strike from outside the box.

Moving on from scorer to provider, the young English striker played part in a lovely buildup, to set up Luis Suarez for his 30th Premier League goal of the season, an easy tap-in finish to make it 2-0 in the 11th minute.

After a comfortable first half for the Reds, who were missing injured Daniel Sturridge and suspended Jordan Henderson, the game became more frantic after the break.

Brendan Rodgers men gave the home side too much time and space to play, which led to an error when a high cross by Robert Snodgrass was punched away by Simon Mignolet, only to come of Martin Skrtel and find Gary Hooper, who made no mistake of slotting it home to make it 1-2, his first goal since Boxing Day.

But Sterling regained the two-goal cushion, seeing a lucky deflection in and past John Ruddy, after a great individual run, with just under half an hour to go.

Neil Adams' men hit back again though, thanks to a Snodgrass header in the 77th minute, to keep the Red nerves boiling for the last ten+ minutes.

Mignolet reacted nice and quick to deny substitute Ricky van Wolfswinkel late on, condemning the Canaries to their fourth consecutive league defeat, which leaves them hovering just two points above the relegation zone in 17th.

The Reds meanwhile, stay top, five points clear of Chelsea in second after their first home defeat against Sunderland.

Jose Mourinho's men will be coming to Anfield next Sunday, which, depending on Manchester City's results, could be a title decider.

Three games to go!!!

Norwich 2-3 Liverpool 

Norwich Goals: 1.: 53:35min Gary Hooper (11), 2.: 76:49min Robert Snodgrass (7).

Liverpool Goals: 1.: 3:39min Raheem Sterling (31), 2.: 10:14min Luis Suarez (7), 3.: 61:25min Raheem Sterling (31).

Norwich Team: 1 Ruddy; 23 Olsson, 6 Turner (booked 45'), 2 Martin, 3 Whittaker; 8 Howson (booked 72'), 10 Fer (31 Murphy 78'), 4 Johnson; 7 Snodgrass (booked 29'); 11 Hooper (9 van Wolfswinkel 78'), 22 Redmond. 4-3-1-2
Subs not used: 13 Bunn, 15 Gutierrez, 18 Garrido, 24 Bennett, 27 Tettey.

Liverpool Team: 22 Mignolet; 38 Flanagan (booked 79'), 17 Sakho, 37 Skrtel (booked 65'), 2 Johnson; 10 Coutinho (12 Moses 76'), 21 Lucas, 8 Gerrard, 24 Allen (5 Agger 81'); 7 Suarez, 31 Sterling. 4-4-2
Subs not used: 1 Jones, 4 Toure, 6 Luis Alberto, 9 Aspas, 20 Cissokho.

Opta Match Stats: Norwich-Liverpool
Attempts: 13-14
On target: 5-6
Blocked: 6-2
From outside the box: 4-3
From inside the box: 9-11
Shot accuracy: 71.4%-50%
(General Play)
Possession: 42.4%-57.6%
Duels won: 45.5%-64.5%
Aerials won: 45.5%-54.5%
Interceptions: 18-17
Offsides: 0-1
Corners: 8-3
Total Passes: 362-538
Long Passes: 13%-7.4%
Passing Accuracy: 76.5%-86.4%
Passing Accuracy opp. half: 64.8%-76.2%
Total Crosses: 38-4
Successful: 21.1%-25%
(Defence & Discipline)
Tackles: 22-36
Won: 72.7%-75%
Clearances: 9-53
Fouls Conceded: 16-10
Yellow Cards: 3-2
Red Cards: 0-0

Referee: Andre Marriner
Attendance: 26,857
Mon of the match: Raheem Sterling

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Liverpool thrash woeful Tottenham to go top

Sports - Football - Premier League - Liverpool 4:0 Tottenham

Liverpool went top of the table for the first time since Christmas after recording their eighth successive Premier League win thrashing Tottenham 4-0 at Anfield.

Luis Suarez

Before the game, manager Brendan Rodgers told the Kop to stay calm, but that didn't last long as the Reds took the lead after just 97 seconds thanks to Younes Kaboul back-heeling in Glen Johnson's cross.

After a nightmare start for Tim Sherwood's men, things did not get better. Halfway through the first half, Jan Vertonghen was injured and replaced by Michael Dawson, who seconds later gifted the ball to Luis Suarez for the Uruguayan to break clear and double the home side's lead.

And it should have been 3-0 before the break, both Daniel Sturridge and Suarez missing close calls before Simon Mignolet denied Spurs a breakthrough goal with a brilliant save, punching away a fine Roberto Soldado curl.

Any second half comeback the visitors hoped for was quickly nullified when Philippe Coutinho made up for Jordan Henderson's miss. 

Younes Kaboul: Puts Liverpool ahead just two-minutes in
The Brazilian finished off a fine breakaway drilling the ball into the back of the net to make it 3-0 ten minutes after the break.  

Spurs made a double-substitution with half an hour to go, but if anything, the only thing it changed was the pace of the game, as both teams slowed down, Liverpool keeping fine control even with their changes.

And the Londoners were just looking on when Henderson's low slide free kick found the back of the net, Suarez pointing out to his team mate to confirm the scorer.

With that goal Liverpool have broken Manchester United's Premier League record by scoring four or more goals in a game on 11 occasions.

The win took Liverpool top of the table as Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City all dropped points in the title race and if the Reds win their remaining six games, just as they have done the last six, they will win the league and end their 24-year drought!

It is in their hands!

Liverpool 4-0 Tottenham

Liverpool Goals: 1.: 1:37min OG Younes Kaboul (4), 2.: 24:02min Luis Suarez (7), 3.: 54:49min Philippe Coutinho (10), 4.: 74:17min Jordan Henderson (14).

Liverpool Team: 22 Mignolet; 38 Flanagan, 5 Agger, 37 Skrtel, 2 Johnson; 10 Coutinho (24 Allen- 64th min), 8 Gerrard (21 Lucas- 70th min), 14 Henderson; 15 Sturridge, 31 Sterling (12 Moses- 83rd min), 7 Suarez. 4-3-3
Subs not used: 1 Jones, 9 Iago Aspas, 17 Sakho, 20 Cissokho.

Tottenham Team: 25 Lloris; 3 Ross, 5 Vertonghen (20 Dawson- 24th min), 4 Kaboul (booked 33rd min), 16 Naughton; 22 Sigurdsson (booked 46th min), 42 Bentaleb (19 Dembele- 60th min); 23 Eriksen, 21 Chadli, 7 Lennon (17 Townsend- 60th min); 9 Soldado. 4-2-3-1
Subs not used: 24 Friedel, 30 Sandro, 37 Kane, 62 Winks.

Opta Match Stats: Liverpool-Tottenham
Shots: 11-15
On Target: 5-4
Blocked: 0-5
From outside the box: 6-8
From inside the box: 5-7
Accuracy: 44.5%-40%
(General Play)
Possession: 58.6%-41.9%
Duels Won: 58.1%-41.9%
Aerial Duels Won: 44.4%-55.6%
Interceptions: 10-9
Offsides: 2-1
Corners: 5-7
Total Passes: 527-364
Long: 11.8%-10.2%
Accuracy: 86.3%-82.1%
Opp. Half: 72.1%-71.9%
Total Crosses: 11-16
Successful: 25%-31.3%
(Defence & Discipline)
Tackles: 24-11
Won: 58.3%-81.8%
Clearances: 21-23
Fouls Conceded: 9-10
Yellow Cards: 0-2
Red Cards: 0-0

Referee: Phil Dowd
Attendance: 44,762
Man of the Match: Luis Suarez