ANOTHER nervy finish but another Liverpool win. I’m not sure we want to become 1-0 specialists. I’m not sure it suits our abilities or my stress levels. But you’ll take it for now.
Liverpool actually should have had much more. We’re getting better at 0-0 but still not solving enough problems at 1-0 up to take the game away from the opposition. But hopefully these wins mean we all start feeling a lot better about life. And confidence and composure grows.
Simon Mignolet 6
One dodgy moment when he should just clear Jermaine Defoe out the way. Generally looked a lot more comfortable though, maybe due to the familiar surroundings. Good punch at the end at a time my screams for the referee to blow up were getting higher and higher.
Nathaniel Clyne 7
Nice ball onto Firmino’s head first half. Solid defending throughout.
Alberto Moreno 7
His recovery speed is such an asset. Sensible rather than spectacular with the ball.
Dejan Lovren 6
Too slow out to Fabio Borini for his first half chance. Isn’t terrific for Borini’s second half chance either. But some commanding headers, and is growing in stature.
Mamadou Sakho 6
Slowly getting back there. Daft dangerous free kick just before half time aside.
Jordan Henderson 5
Was clearly injured early-ish. Was right to go off, as it was effecting his play. Especially his tackling.
Emre Can 7
A couple of slack passes first half, but was a real asset with his direct running second half. Valuable without the ball too. He takes some getting round.
Adam Lallana 5
Pretty anonymous really, non-deliberate assist aside.
Philippe Coutinho 5.5
Wasn’t his best night. And is shooting too much with players ahead of him. But still moments of class. Looked annoyed to be taken off. Good.
Roberto Firmino 5.5
Awful touch early on when he was through. Then hits the post with a piledriver. Generally thought his midfield play was improved. Not sure about that clearance straight up in the air though….
Christian Benteke 6
Keeps winning games for Liverpool. Seems to be working on his movement and some of his link up play was sublime. Put that one in at the end though mate. Could have saved my nails.
Lucas Leiva 7
Thought he was very impressive. Won loads of tackles, and intelligent with his passing.
Jordon Ibe 5
Looked a bit too eager. Relax mate. You’re dead good.
Kolo Toure 10
What a great fella
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Happy new year Gibbo. Thought Sahko’s knee was done for but he seemed OK.
Should have been 3 or 4 nil easy this.
Thought Lovren was man of the match, to be honest. Solid and commanding. Will have to watch his play on those two Borini attempts again but thought Sakho and Hendo respectively were more culpable than him on those two chances.
Re watched it. You’re right about Lovren on the two Borini chances, especially on the second (Sakho wasn’t great on the Defoe chance and Hendo wasn’t very clever on the second Borini chance, but maybe hopping on one leg was the reason). That aside, thought Lovren had a very good game.
That punch from Mignolet was the match moment for me. Possibly as important as the goal. Loved it.
They’re all too rubbish to win the title in this really bad league. 0s for all bar Kolo who has won leagues in a former life. He gets 1. (Remember how good both sides looked in City vs Liverpool Boxing Day two years ago? WTF happened?)
Cheer up Tom
I know, I know…
Happy New Year, Tom. a new year with new hopes…we go again.
having said that, I would take 6 points from these two Christmas games anytime though. Klopp seems to be making 2nd nature in the team to fight for every 1st and 2nd ball, before improving the attacking side of things.
and Walter lad would love your comment about 2 years ago :). cheers
Feliz Ano Nuevo!
Three years ago, the Stoke 3-1 defeat was the catalyst for a strong 2nd half push. Two years ago, Chelsea and Man City losses post-Crimbo launched an onslaught. One year ago, Burnley and Swansea wins marked the beginning of a run of 22 games (all comps) with just one loss.
This year, quiet 1-0 wins against Leicester and Sunderland can be the start of a big push up the table. YNWA in 2016!
Nice one Gibbo.
Watched this at a Bitter’s house, so all the more enjoyable (even if he is a sound lad).
Thought the same as DaleG on Lovren. Looking more and more assured every game. Playing at the back is all about partnerships (with your other C-H and full-backs) and the Lovren-Sakho-Clyne-Moreno ensemble can now boast 5 clean sheets in 7 starts together. Not a good time to be Skrtel.
Benteke was 1 goal n every 192mins for us prior to tonight. I can’t be arsed to do the maths, but he is better than a goal every two games for us now. And this is a side without a settled combination up front and the team not firing on all cylinders.
Strikers are judged on goals, or so everyone says, until it’s Benteke at Liverpool at which point a lot of people seem eager to rewrite that particular rule. Go figure.
The thing with Benteke (and it’s been said over and over again, I know) is that the team doesn’t play as fluidly with him in the side.
However, if you forget purchase fees for a minute (and Klopp can afford to do that because he didn’t buy them), from the way Klopp has picked his teams, you could say Benteke is third or fourth in the striker pecking order. Studge and Origi are all better suited/preferred to him (from what we’ve seen to date from the boss), Firmino has been picked ahead of him too, and you get the feeling that Ings could be a perfect Klopp choice.
In this case, we’re getting a lot out of a third/fourth choice (aside from two injury time howlers, we couldn’t ask for more from a third/fourth choice), and the team’s last two performances are therefore credible given this context. (If you don’t have your first choice strikers, you expect a loss in fluidity but need to keep it extra tight at the back).
Of course, there’s no getting around the fee paid for Benteke, and you can’t have a third/fourth choice costing that much without the obvious residual pressure and criticism.
But again, there’s grace (or there should be) given Klopp didn’t buy him. And if Benteke doesn’t adjust his game (or fluidity with him simply isn’t possible), he’ll be an expensive bench warmer for the rest of the season (as players return from injury) and leave in the summer.
The game at Southampton was a glimpse of what this side can do with a striker(s) who shows the correct movement.
(Sorry for the waffle. Too much time on my hands.)
Spot on, DaleG. I once mentioned Big Ben as our perfect Plan B (or plan A2), and a few fellow fans here countered that it was too expensive an option for the bench..
the point is (as you mentioned) that the cost should not be a factor for JK. Because it is a sunken cost. history. already spent.
Benteke – he should score at the end there.. But he scored with very few clear chances. He definitely can find the back of the net. This is now clear. Now all the midfield players need to do, as is their responsibility, is provide him more opportunities and he’ll score more. It’s fairly simple.
Not related to the ratings but a comment you make – “Good punch at the end at a time my screams for the referee to blow up were getting higher and higher.
Fuckin hell. Look, I’m really happy tonight. At half time I remembered that whatever Sunderland are like we still have to beat them and it’s not a given so to get any win makes me absolutely ecstatic but just reading that line filled me with anger again to the point I had to take a deep breath and work on calming down.
There was 4 minutes of added time. That’s fine. We made a sub. I presumed we’d now play 4 mins 30. That’s fine. On about 4 mins 20 they got a throw. The ball went missing for 10 seconds. Ok, if we have to, let them have those 10 seconds back even though we don’t add on time during the match for a ball that’s been slowly retrieved at a throw in. They then passed it across the width of the pitch with no urgency. Where the fuck was the whistle? It was like he was saying, take your time, i’ll wait for your to mount one last chance which they eventually did (long over the 4:30). It’s then put out for a corner and still he carries on. Oh go on then, I’ll give you one final chance. Even when Mignolet punched he waited before he made sure the chance was over.
We were nearly at 1 minute over. Forget all this bullshit about ‘it’s a MINIMUM of 4 minutes’. That’s only if something happens within those 4 mins. A goal (30 seconds), a sub (30 seconds), an injury, time wasting. It’s all laid out for them. Apologies for the rant but it could have had huge implications not only for the team but for all of us too. I said to my mate before the corner, if they score now I’m gonna fuckin lash this glass at the screen. A pathetic thing to say and not true but a reflection of how angry it made me. It’d be a huge injustice. I want an explanation from the ref where the extra time came from. It seems to me that it’s just the discretion of the ref based on how exciting he thinks the extra time might be. It’s wrong.
Apart from that, really happy and in a great mood. Happy new year!!
Ref was fucking awful i thought.
Lallana worked his bollocks off.
Seems to be a focus about the team no-one smiling till the jobs done.
Onwards and upwards.
I wish Benteke would smile. Always looks so bloody serious.
We benefited from similar add-on time at the end of 1st half in Chelsea for Phil’s goal though :)…andfortunately for us Sunderland didn’t score last night from theirs..cheers
Josh, I’m fine with it if it goes in our favour or if we’re pushing for a late winner or equaliser. I’m talking specifically about when we’re winning and time is up. That’s where the rules need to be adhered to more stringently. Anyway, it came to nothing last night. Just saying johns article reminded me of the anger I was about to unleash had they scored. It’s not nice. Disappointment is bearable. That anger after games isn’t. All the best mate. Cheers.
I must be nuts but I absolutely loved how we played these last two games. I love it. Maybe watching on a laptop stuck at the relatives because of a flood (in December. My cousin got me a great thumping warm LFC hoodie but I’m stuck wearing a 6 year old short-sleeved Mascherano Jersey that while seemingly official is also rather itchy) and maybe it’s the fact that since the Atlantic Ocean dictates my grandmother frowning upon heavy drinking before 3pm I’m writing this with one eye open (bless ye word prediction) but I’m absolutely thrilled. Can, my God do the Can Can (cha cha?) what a buy. Munich gets everything they want but they didn’t get him eh? Quick and easy, quick and easy,I’ll make this quick and easy. Christ on the cross what was the Bodge doing to Moreno? Was he beating him? Leaving him outside at night? Did he rip his morning paper and poop in his slippers? Moreno is, that speed. That arrogance. That skill to back it up. The boy even likes getting stuck in. I mean IN. Moreno you have won my heart. But what I love about these guys under Kloppelghanger von Weakling (aye, you’re lucky they held him back Sam, would have had a heart attack, Klopp doesn’t consume lard pure) is that they are a buncha characters. Clowns and fools sometimes, magnificent and fluid at others) but they look like they want to play. Warms my heart almost as much as beer with an abv on the right side of 9.
Haha brilliant comment.
Everyone, including John and Kolo, is 10 to me. well done and looking forward to the full year and full season under JK.
Happy New Year, ladies and gentlemen.
I’m not getting on the Lallana band wagon of getting on the back of Lallana….
But I hope he gets a rest on Saturday. Putting aside his fee and the real reason we purchased him; he is still useful in a Klopp team because of his energy, and clever foot work in tight midfield spots, but I’m certain some one else could do similar.
I’d much rather win badly than win the possession…
No shit..but in the long run. The winning and good possession usually go hand in hand.
Nice ratings..Toure is the victory cigar every team needs
If one rates a player proptional to the time spent on field, Toure basically made the only tackle he attempted with aplomb so indeed. 10.
Funny you mention that. I read the other day that the average possession of winning teams in the first half of the season was around 48/49%.
Another sign of how strange the season has been so far.
An Aussie footballer called Johnny Warren – a great analyst and passionate fan of the game, said that football is the most unfair game because you can have 90% possession and still
lose. It is the one game where the best team doesn’t always win. Warren saw that as one of the beauties of the game, and I am inclined to agree. It’s the feature of our game that allows Steeple Sinderby Wanderers to dream about, and actually winning, the FA Cup.
Bit harsh on Firmino, Gibbo. Understand the mistakes take him down a notch and make you roll your eyes, but what a shot that took the most fingery-tippish save imaginable from the keeper plus great headed effort too- he is unquestionably getting used to this league slowly but surely- only a matter of time now before a few of those start bulging the onion bag.
Agree with that John, my concerns are putting the game to bed when you’ve got the chance while not conceding ground once you open the scoring, I thought once we scored we looked almost scared but we took control again shortly after, I agree with Carra about the 3 no 10s though and for me we need an extra striker or winger in the to be getting up beside Benteke, Lallana was ineffective but I think Ibe or a striker could have caused them so much more problems! But a wins a win and six points puts us right back into the mix again so bring on the hammers… Happy new year Reds…
Spot on for Toure!
Happy New Year all!
We managed to beat the team currently in 19th with a goal difference of -19. Just. I’ll take it. Runs are built on teams crossing the finish line. Only 9 points off the pace. If we go on another 11 game winning streak, anything is possible!
Klopp saw his team rise 11 spots in the second half of last season, so going from 7th to first should be a cakewalk. As long as we have a fit Marco Reus.
As for ratings, anyone notice that Emre Can seems to be the anti-Joe Allen? Solid at best performances seem like very good ones, whereas the perception of Allen seems the opposite? Little Joe may have a great beard, but Can looks a big unit and who doesn’t love a big unit in the middle of the park? Still seems a goal threat despite just one goal in 45 league matches, but I’d be nervous in the upper tiers behind the keeper.
On the flip side, I am developing this weird appreciation for Benteke as a goal poacher. Is it too early to call him the new Robbie Fowler? A slightly taller version, of course.