Monday, 31 July 2017

125th Anniversary: HBSC 0-3 LFC

Sports - Football - Pre-Season - HBSC 0:3 LFC 

Dominic Solanke, Georginio Wijnaldum and Mohamed Salah made the 125th anniversary match a comfortable 3-0 win for Liverpool against Hertha at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.


Philippe Coutinho captained the Reds in the German capital, while Emre Can and Sadio Mané made their first appearances of the summer.

'You'll Never Walk Alone' echoed around the Olympiastadion before kick-off, the one noticeably very red corner being noticeably very loud.

Jürgen Klopp's men took the lead in the 15th minute when Adam Lallana curled a ball into the box that Solanke gratefully nodded over keeper Rune Jarstein.

The Reds lead was doubled just over 20 minutes later when Solanke pinched the ball high up the pitch and fed Mane in the box, who passed it on to the late-arriving Wijnaldum.

The Dutchman made no mistake with a low finish into the corner.

But the third goal topped them all with just over an hour gone.

Barca target Coutinho dinked a perfectly weighted pass up and over for new man Salah to lift the ball over the goalkeeper and into the net.

Pál Dárdai's side were down and out.

'We Are Liverpool' echoed around the Reds supporters who certainly enjoyed the trip to Berlin.

It was an awesome atmosphere, another good run-out for the Reds and another pre-season victory.

Vielen Dank und auf Wiedersehen! ⚽👌😘👍⚽

The next pre-season warm-up comes thick and fast: Audi Cup clash against Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena.

Liverpool goals: Solanke 15', Wijnaldum 38' & Salah 61'.

Hertha XI: 22 Rune Jarstein, 28 Fabian Lustenberger*, 21 Marvin Plattenhardt*, 4 Karim Rekik, 23 Mitchell Weiser*, 10 Ondrej Duda*, 3 Per Skjelbred*, 11 Mathew Leckie*, 6 Vladimir Darida*, 19 Vedad Ibisevic*, 8 Salomon Kalou*.
Subs: 17 Maximilian Mittelstädt*, 26 Arne Maier*, 29 Florian Baak*, 12 Jonathan Klinsmann*, 30 Julius Kade*, 32 Pál Dárdai*, 2 Peter Pekarík (booked)*, 14 Valentin Stocker*, 7 Alexander Esswein*, 24 Genki Haraguchi*.
Coach: Pál Dárdai

Reds XI: 22 Mignolet, 12 Gomez, 32 Matip*, 17 Klavan, 18 Moreno (booked)*, 23 Can*, 5 Wijnaldum*, 20 Lallana*, 19 Mane*, 10 Coutinho*, 29 Solanke*.
Subs: 73 Grabara, 26 Robertson*, 6 Lovren, 38 Flanagan*, 53 Ejaria*, 14 Henderson*, 9 Firmino*, 27 Origi, 15 Sturridge*, 11 Salah*, 40 Kent*.
Coach: Jürgen Klopp

*all subbed in the second half

Match stats:
HBSC 0-3 LFC
Possession:
49.1%-50.9
Shots: 8-13
On target: 3-6
Blocked: 3-1
Corners: 4-3
Offside: 0-1
Saves: 3-3
Fouls: 13-13
Yellow cards: 1-1
Red cards: 0-0

Man of the match: Dominic Solanke
Ground: Olympiastadion
Attendance: 54,279


Pictures, facts and stats taken from own attendance and the LFC match blog.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Liverpool Lift PL Asia Trophy

Sports - Football - PL Asia Trophy - LFC 2:1 LCFC

Liverpool lifted the Premier League Asia Trophy after beating Leicester 2-1 at the Hong Kong Stadium.



Click here to relive all the action with my ByTheMin coverage.

The 2016 champions took the lead after 12 minutes with a lovely goal.

Defender Christian Fuchs got to the byline, crossed from the left, finding Algerian forward Islam Slimani towards the far post, who headed it in, to complete a nicely worked goal.

Another Algerian midfielder was the shining light for Leicester in an action-packed opening 15-20 minutes.

Riyad Mahrez created and produced most, team mates Daniel Drinkwater and Jamie Vardy helping him out nicely, with some lovely team play.

Liverpool looked more clumsy, defender Joel Matip especially, not having a clue what to do with the ball, taking too long, giving it away, too much, too many times.

Red boss Jürgen Klopp was going mental on the side-lines, ranting at one of the officials.

The crowd was having their fun with it, chanting and cheering to see if the loud German would be cautioned...

But he remained in the technical area. Jawohl.

It was hard to believe this was a friendly.

A nice run and great cross by Barca target Philippe Coutinho set up striker Mohamed Salah to head it past Kasper Schmeichel and level the score 1-1 with 20 minutes gone.

And just before the break, the little magician was at it again.

A right-footed smacker of a strike by the Brazilian from the edge of the left corner of the box gave Schmeichel no chance made it 2-1.

The crowd were on their feet and in awe, and Klopp much happier.

The second half saw a bulk of substitutions and more changes throughout, continuously changing the flow of play and action.

Liverpool kept dominating possession and play though, Leicester missing most opportunities.

It was not to be for Craig Shakespeare's men, the Reds seeing them out of the competition holding on to their fine lead.

The Red fans are left hoping and definitely believing that this is just the first of many trophies, just a warm-up of what is to come.

Liverpool Team:
1 Karius; 66 Alexander-Arnold*, 32 Matip*, 6 Lovren*, 7 Milner* (c); 5 Wijnaldum*, 20 Lallana*, 10 Coutinho*; 11 Salah*, 9 Firmino*, 27 Origi*. 4-3-3
Substitutes: 12 Gomez*, 14 Henderson*, 15 Sturridge*, 16 Grujic*, 17 Klavan*, 18 Moreno*, 22 Mignolet, 29 Solanke*, 38 Flanagan*, 40 Kent*, 58 Woodburn*.

Leicester Team: 1 Schmeichel; 18 Amartey*, 5 Morgan* (c), 15 Maguire, 28 Fuchs; 26 Mahrez* (booked), 22 James*, 4 Drinkwater*, 11 Albrighton*; 19 Slimani*, 9 Vardy*. 4-4-2
Substitutes: 2 Simpson*, 10 King*, 13 Musa*, 16 Lawrence*, 17 Jakupovic, 20 Okazaki, 21 Iborra*, 23 Ulloa*, 25 Ndidi* (booked), 29 Benalouane*, 31 Elder, 32 Barnes, 33 Moore.

*Subs made, most in the second half

HT Stats:
LFC 2-1 LCFC
Possession: 58%-42%
Shots: 6-3
On target: 3-1
Blocked: 3-1
Offside: 1-1
Passes: 220-161
Touches: 311-231
Tackles: 8-6

FT Stats:
LFC 2-1 LCFC
Possession: 64%-36%
Shots: 11-6
On target: 6-2
Blocked: 4-2
Offside: 2-1
Passes: 541-314
Touches: 704-450
Tackles: 12-15 

Referee: R. Madley
Man of the match:
Ground: Hong Kong Stadium

Click here to read my last LFC match report.

Pictures, stats and facts taken from the LCFC and LFC matchday blog and Sky Sports match coverage.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

1st Pre-Season Friendly: TRFC 0-4 LFC

Sports - Football - Pre-Season - TRFC 0-4 LFC

Liverpool warmed up nicely and strongly in their first 2017-18 pre-season friendly, thrashing Tranmere Rovers 4-0 at Prenton Park.


It was a good chance for Reds manager Jürgen Klopp to give all of his players their first run around after just eight days of training back from the summer holidays, making ten changes after the interval.

Both halves were dominated by the visitors, with possession and chances galore.

Micky Mellon's side were made to work hard and gave their all, goalkeeper Scott Davies and the back line keeping well and solid...

Until James Milner broke the deadlock from the spot with just over half an hour gone after Tranmere stopper Davies brought down Sheyi Ojo in the box.

Marko Grujic doubled Liverpool's lead with a cracker a few minutes before the break, picking up the ball from 30 yards out, working his way through and finishing off nicely.

All changes brought a new and fresh wave of dominance and opportunities for the Reds, Pedro Chirivella netting nicely four minutes into the second half after Dominic Solanke's turn and shot.

And youngster Ben Woodburn converted Liverpool's second penalty sealing the deal making it 0-4 to the visitors after the Welsh midfielder was fouled in the box by Davies.

No discrediting the National League side, but the result reflects the Red dominance and nice start to the pre-season warmup.

Liverpool Goals: Milner pen 33', Grujic 41', Chirivella 49' & Woodburn pen 79'.

Tranmere Rovers lineup: 1 Davies*; 3 Ridehalgh*, 6 Sutton, 5 McNulty, 2 Buxton, 7 Duggan*; 11 Norburn*, 18 Hughes, 8 Harris*; 10 Norwood*, 9 Cook*. 5-3-2
Subs: 11 Jennings*, 25 Pilling*, 14 Clarke*, 15 Gumbs, 16 Dunn*, 17 Solomon, 4 Owusu*, 19 Mangan*, 20 Rokka*.

Liverpool 1st half lineup: 1 Karius; 7 Milner, 21 Lucas, 32 Matip, 66 Alexander-Arnold; 6 Wijnaldum, 14 Henderson, 16 Grujic; 15 Sturridge, 9 Firmino, 54 Ojo. 4-3-3
Subs: 2 Clyne, 12 Gomez, 17 Klavan, 29 Solanke, 35 Stewart, 38 Flanagan, 40 Kent, 50 Markovic, 56 Randall, 58 Woodburn, 68 Chirivella, 73 Grabara.

Liverpool 2nd half lineup: 1 Karius*; 38 Flanagan, 17 Klavan, 12 Gomez, 2 Clyne; 58 Woodburn, 35 Stewart, 68 Chirivella; 40 Kent, 29 Solanke, 50 Markovic. 4-3-3
Subs: 56 Randall, 73 Grabara*.

*Subs made in the second half

Match Stats: TRFC 0-4 LFC
Shots: 6-21
On target: 2-10
Offside: 2-0
Corners: 0-8
Tackles: 20-12
Tackles won: 80%-10%
Free kicks: 12-11
Bookings: 0-0
Possession: 30.2%-69.8%
Passes: 306-696
Passing accuracy: 73.5%-92.2%
Crosses: 9-33
Successful crosses: 11.1%-15.2%

Referee: Mike Dean
Man of the match: Trent Alexander-Arnold
Ground: Prenton Park

Click here to read my last LFC match report.

Pictures, stats and facts taken from the LFC matchday blog and LFCTV match coverage.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

2016-17 Premier League Tops & Flops

Sports - Football - 2016-17 Premier League Tops & Flops

So, last season we saw:

- 296 wins, 168 draws
- 1064 goals, 942 inside the box, 122 outside the box, 36 own goals
- 9731 shots, 253 hit the woodwork
- 1455 offside
- 109 penalties, 82 scored, 17 saved, 10 missed
- 1392 yellow cards
- 41 red cards

And the teams to blame the most and/or least for those stats are:

TOP TEAMS

Chelsea were the main gainers of course, the champs, 43 points and 9 places better off than last season!

Tottenham and Liverpool were the next best improvers, going from strength to strength, both with 16 points more, finishing one and four positions higher respectively.

Everton were worth mentioning too, 14 points and 4 spots stronger and higher.

Here is the full comparison table how all teams did 2016-17 in comparison to the season before.

Most wins were produced accordingly by the Blues with 30, Spurs 26, Arsenal and Manchester City with 23 each.

Least defeats were suffered by Tottenham with 4, Chelsea and Manchester United with 5 each and City and Liverpool with 6 each.

Top scorers were Spurs with 86 goals, followed by the champions Chelsea with 85 and Sky Blues with 80.

Tottenham produced most of those goals from inside the box (74), followed by Chelsea and City (73) and Arsenal (70).

Top scorers from outside the box were Liverpool with 13, Chelsea and Spurs with 12 and Leicester with 9.

Most shots also came from Tottenham with 669, the Reds and Sky Blues the next best with 640 and 633 respectively.

Liverpool, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough avoided putting the ball into the back of their own net.

Spurs, the Eagles and Blues conceded the least spot kicks with only 2 each.

Swansea were flagged offside only 49 times, Boro 51 and Bournemouth 53.

Least cautions went to the Cherries with only 52 yellow cards, the Reds with 54 and Swans with 56.

Chelsea, Spurs, LFC, West Brom, Palace and Sunderland were clean with no names on the red cards list.

The most action-packed weeks were: Follow the links to read and relive my picks of that week.

Most goals: 37 in week 14 & week 38

Most shots: 295 in week 1 & week 10

Wrote most: week 13 & week 14, week 31 & week 32

FLOP TEAMS

Leicester are the biggest losers, 36 points and 11 places worse off, oh Claudio!

Southampton and West Ham deflated by 17 points, two and four positions respectively.

Sunderland imploded/dissolved/destroyed completely, relegated having dropped 15 points and three spots.

Here is the full comparison table how all teams did 2016-17 in comparison to the season before.

Least wins came from Middlesbrough with just 5, Sunderland 6 and Hull City 9.

Most defeats crushed The Black Cats with 26, The Tigers with 22 and Swans 21.

Boro found the net the least with only 27 goals, followed by Sunderland with 29 and Hull with 37.

The Smoggies also recorded the least number of goals from inside the box with 26, outside the box with just 1 and shots with 351, the Black Cats following them nearly as miserably with 387, 26 and 3 respectively.

Burnley didn't give their fans much more to shout about with just 31 attempts converted from inside the box, Hull 33.

Crystal Palace don't like distance with only 2 goals from outside the box and Everton 3.

Most own goals went to Bournemouth, Hull, Stoke and Swansea with 5 each.

Hull City topped the penalty list with 13 conceded, followed by Arsenal with 10 and Southampton and Swansea with 9 each.

Burnley saw the offside flag most, a whole 101 times, whilst United missed out on the century with 99 and Arsenal 95.

Watford collected most bookings with 84 yellow cards, followed by West Brom with 80 and MUFC, Sunderland and the Hammers with 78 each.

Hull, Watford and West Ham saw red most with 5 sent off each.

Weeks to forget were: Follow the links to read and relive my picks of that week.

Least goals: 14 in week 28 (5 games postponed) & 16 in week 35

Least shots: 123 in week 28 (5 games postponed) & 158 in week 34 (3 games postponed) & 174 in week 9.

Biggest rant: week 36

TOP PLAYERS

Tottenham's front man Harry Kane tops the league scorers list with 29 goals, followed by Everton striker Romelu Lukaku with 25 and Arsenal forward Alexis Sánchez with 24.

Manchester City's boomer Sergio Agüero produced most chances with 139 shots, Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen and Gunner Sánchez just behind him with 133 and 129 respectively.

Most assists came from Manchester City's winger Kevin De Bruyne with 18, Spurs man Eriksen the next best with 15 and Swansea playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson with 13.

De Bruyne has also hit the woodwork most with 9 smackers, United's Paul Pogba saw 6 come off the bar, Eriksen, Sánchez and team mate Jack Wilshere 5 times each.

Chelsea full-back César Azpilicueta has seen most of the ball with 2,459 passes, Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka behind him with 2,299 and Citizen Fernandinho with 2,180.

Burnley keeper Tom Heaton has spoilt most chances with 141 saves, followed by relegated Sunderland (now Everton) stopper Jordan Pickford with 135 and Swansea saviour Lukasz Fabiański with 117.

FLOP PLAYERS

Watford midfielder José Holebas has been cautioned most for his indiscipline with 14 yellow cards, followed by Leicester right-back Danny Simpson with 12 and a whole bunch of players with 11 bookings each (Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter, Everton middle man Idrissa Gueye, Arsenal centre back Shkodran Mustafi and Saints defensive midfielder Oriol Romeu).

Watford centre back Miguel Britos, City's Fernandinho and Gooner Xhaka are the most convicted serial offenders with two red cards each.

WHO IS IN? WHO IS OUT?

A few weeks to go and we already know:

Arsene Wenger is in, for another two years. Happy Gunners?

Mauricio Pellegrino replaces Claude Puel. Change of fortune for the Saints?

Big Sam says bye bye, hello Frank de Boer at Palace. Boom or boo?

Watford welcome Marco Silva as their new boss replacing Walter Mazzarri after the Portuguese saw Hull drop down into the Championship. Ha or hm?

Rafa's back with Championship winners Newcastle! Brighton and Huddersfield joining them on the promotions list. Yay or nay?

Red Devils skipper Wayne Rooney has returned back to his Toffee roots... Whilst Lukaku went the other way. Part of a swap deal or not, good or bad? Happy or sad? Mad either way!

Big bosses Pep Guardiola (MCFC), José Mourinho (MUFC) and Jürgen Klopp (LFC) will feel the pressure to step up and heat up the competition and keep title winner Antonio Conte (CFC) on his toes next season. They're all busy bees in the transfer market and rumour mill that's for sure!

Can Spurs do it again? Or even top the outstanding season they had? All eyes will be on Mauricio Pochettino and co...

To be or not to be... Which Leicester will turn up? Only Craig Shakespeare knows...

Whatever will happen, I know one thing: I CANNOT WAIT!!!

Most facts and stats were taken from the official Premier League website.

Pictures were taken from my weekly Premier League Picks blogs.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

2016-17 Premier League Comparison Table

Sports - Football - Premier League Comparison Table

Here is the full Premier League comparison table, how it has changed from the 2015-16 final positions to end of last season 2016-17, how much better or worse the teams ended up:

1. Leicester -37 points, 11 places down = 12th with 44 points
2. Arsenal +4 points, 3 places down = 5th with 75 points
3. Tottenham +16 points, 1 place up = 2nd with 86 points
4. Man City +12 points, 1 place up = 3rd with 78 points
5. Man United +3 points, 1 place down = 6th with 69 points
6. Southampton -17 points, 2 places down = 8th with 46 points
7. West Ham -17 points, 4 places down = 11th with 45 points
8. Liverpool +16 points, 4 places up = 4th with 76 points
9. Stoke City -10 points, 4 places down = 13th with 41 points
10. Chelsea +43 points, 9 places up = 1st with 93 points
11. Everton +14 points, 4 places up = 7th with 61 points
12. Swansea -6 points, 3 places down = 15th with 41 points
13. Watford -5 points, 4 places down = 17th with 40 points
14. West Brom +2 points, 4 places up = 10th with 45 points
15. Crystal Palace -1 point, 1 place up = 14th with 41 points
16. Bournemouth +4 points, 7 places up = 9th with 46 points
17. Sunderland -15 points, 3 places down = 20th with 24 points
18. Newcastle promoted with Rafa, winning the Championship*
19. Norwich finished 8th in the Championship &
20. Aston Villa 13th!

*other teams promoted to the Premier League: Brighton & Huddersfield

Up & straight down: Hull City & Middlesbrough