THE easiest way to win a cup final is to be the better team.
Even if you can’t be the better team on the pitch in the 90 or 120 minutes, you can have the better players to win a shoot-out. Despite what people tell you about it being a lottery.
Manchester City have got more good players than Liverpool. They also set up well and showed the right desire. So what do you do? Hang in there. Hope for the best. Hope for more from the ref than we got.
It’s not a long-term solution. Long term we need more accomplished footballers to compete. More time for the manager to improve some and discard others.
In the meantime you have to acknowledge that those on the pitch couldn’t have done much more. And go again.
Simon Mignolet: 8
At 50 minutes I’d have shot him. No one should score from there. But for the rest of the game he was brave, athletic and heroic. Deserved a win today.
Nathaniel Clyne: 5
Was given a tough time by their lads, especially Sterling. Could have done more, but the test was about as tough as it gets.
Alberto Moreno: 5
I sat closer than usual to the pitch, which meant I appreciated what people often say, which is how well he controls it at such high pace. Seemed to get caught out of position though.
Lucas Leiva: 8
Risk to play him but paid off. Won tons of headers and was great one on one, too. Would have banked on him scoring a pen, but never mind.
Mamadou Sakho: n/a
Honestly can’t remember. Feels so long ago. Fell over for Aguero’s first chance, but that may have been injury related.
Emre Can: 5
Thought he struggled with it all, although he was up against high-class opposition. Cool as you like from the spot.
Jordan Henderson: 7
Great captain’s performance. Passed it well and all over the field.
James Milner: 5
At this level he can’t really play right as he won’t hurt the opposition. Did alright at left back though.
Philippe Coutinho: 6
Felt for him at the end. Took his goal really well. Didn’t seem to connect with Sturridge at all, strangely.
Roberto Firmino: 5
Probably the biggest disappointment. Feels like his job to link, but he’s not really doing it. Some nice touches but needs to stamp himself on the game.
Daniel Sturridge: 5
A funny performance. Can’t blame him for the lack of service, but had real mixed results dropping deep, dancing past defenders one minute, giving the ball away cheaply the next. Couldn’t walk by the end.
Kolo Toure: 6
Was worried about him coming in cold but did as well as could be. Seemed to kill his brother at one point, but Yaya had the last laugh, I guess.
Adam Lallana: 6
Thought he did well. Helped change the momentum. Took up some great positions, which meant he was often an option that hadn’t been there.
Divock Origi: 6
Helped change things too. Looks a decent bench option. Holds it up pretty well, too.
Tks John for taking the time to write this even after the disappointing result.
Fans in the stadium: 10. noise, colour, excellent.
Fans in my regular Reds pub: 10. never seen the pub so packed (no standing room left)
we lost to a more talented team. I could not and wound not find a scape goat for this result. Strangely, the team didn’t click apart from very few best exchange of passes.
Lucas was the hero. Mig, even with that Typical Mig Soft Goal, was a hero too with his various saves.
Looking forward to a team with fresh legs against Man City mid week.
Thought Firmino played quite well and Coutinho was very disappointing especially in the first half. Mignonet made the mistake that cost us the only goal so couldn’t give him an 8. The rest pretty much agree with, especially Lucas who I thought was outstanding throughout.
This season is such a write off. Does anyone honestly believe we will win the Europa league? Klopp must have several volumes of notes. Let’s hope he can build a team he can work with next season. Good effort to the lads in red but we showed that lack of winning experience and inconsistency that has been all too common this season.
I don’t think anyone who isn’t drugged or drunk thinks this team is capable of deciding to win anything.
Get used to it. This is the business model.
Great spirit from the lads today but, as you say, there isn’t enough quality. We need upgrades this summer.
Can’t say I agree with your ratings for Mignolet, Moreno or Henderson but I’m not gonna fall out with you about it!
Don’t expect to see Albie or Mignolet in red (or green) shirts next season. Not sure about Milner or Bobby either. Coutinho really needs to improve his consistency and Hendo’s a real worry. Let’s hope this injury hasn’t stalled his Liverpool career for good.
agree with you about Moreno but klopp seems to like him. I would have been playing Flanno the past few weeks but Klopp keeps picking albie so I reckon he will stay on. Bobby will come good, Klopp will whip into shape!
That was embarrassing until the last 10 minutes of normal time. Thought they were still better than us, after that, but there wasn’t such a chasm.
Klopp said he hasn’t really prepared for penalties and that he’d left the players to take a few practice kicks under their own initiative.
That’s what it looked like had happened, as well, when it came to the shootout. A complete shambles. Worse than England in major championship games.
If we were ever going to win this, it would have been on penalties. Don’t care if I get slated for this…
Rafa would have found a way to win that game, with that set of players. He made sure that better teams paid for not taking their chances against us.
City have basically downed tools for their lame-duck manager and still looked a class above us. A 5th major trophy for city in the Man City era (and there will be many more), in which we will be just a footnote.
Hey, Lady In the Van. Fuck Off.
Maybe someone would take you seriously if you picked a username from a decent Bennet play rather than a hack piece of work.
‘City have basically downed tools for their lame-duck manager and still looked a class above us.’
That is such a lazy, thoughtless assumption with no foundation. The kind of thing someone who bases their opinion on mainstream media narrative would say. Those players are top level professionals. The likes of Hart, Kompany, Silva, De Bruyne, Aguero etc don’t ‘down tools’.
Anyway, yes, they may have looked better than us on this occasion but having better players in pretty much every position is going to have that effect isn’t it? We did well not to let the game get away from us, get ourselves back into contention and even have them rocking in extra time.
It’s a sickening loss to take but not a disaster.
‘Rafa would have found a way to win that game, with that set of players. He made sure that better teams paid for not taking their chances against us.’
Again, ridiculous. I love Rafa as much as anyone. One of our all-time great managers without question, but his situation could not be more different to Klopp’s and it’s another lazy ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda’ statement.
Rafa came into Liverpool and had Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Riise, Hamann and Gerrard to work with from the off. He also had some time to perform the Alonso masterstroke.
Klopp has inherited what simply must be our weakest squad in decades. That he has managed to do anything with them is remarkable.
Our squad’s full of 20-30 million pound players who did well before joining us. Top players are more likely to down tools than lesser players, because they wield so much power.
Gerrard downed tools for us, at one stage, when he got annoyed with Rafa. It happens.
I saw no downing of tools in Kiev or London by this City side,
There squad has 35-50 million pound players who did well before joining them.
Lovren, Lallana, Firmino and Benteke cost something in the region of the figures you just quoted, so the squad is hardly ‘full’ of them is it? We can count Markovic too perhaps but then Klopp hasn’t yet worked with him.
You’d have a hard time arguing this isn’t the weakest squad we have had in decades in my opinion.
As for the downing tools thing, I know ‘it happens’ but that doesn’t mean it has happened at City. They got beat by Leicester at home but they got thumped by us at home too and that was well before Pep had been announced. The only player who looks like he has downed tools is Yaya Toure, and that owes more to the fact that he is a naturally lazy, half-arsed cretin who claims to be a world class player.
YaYa – You may be such a big star
Personally think the squad is as strong as I can ever remember it depth wise. Just missing some star dust IMO and the midfield mix (or lack of) is horrible.
If I remember correctly we lost a few finals under Rafa too!
Pretty spot on really. Though I think I would take Moreno’s points and give them all to Lucas. To me it seemed like he was constantly out of position and Lucas was covering two positions while marking the best striker in the league. And as for the heel tackle on Aguero, that should have been a pen? Unbelievably brainless.
I actually though Can was pretty good, particularly in breaking up play. He usually frustrates the shit out of me, but tonight he made a few impressive interceptions and looked calm.
Mignolet is getting slaughtered in The Guardian – which is weird because I thought he was brilliant. The goal was a mistake, but it wasnt a complete clanger. Three of those saves off of Agueo were worldies and I really think he kept us in that game.
The front three never clicked. Dan looked like he was on his heels a lot and I think Origi showed what a fully fit Sturridge could have added. Firmino is frustrating in that set up in that he seems to be in the way constantly. Like John mentioned he’s meant to link up play, but doesn’t seem to have a natural combination going with anyone. He actually looks a completely different player playing the false nine role. As far as Phil is concerned I think that you have to take your hats off to City and the way they generally handled him.
Lallana and Div made a big impact on coming on. Anyway, a gutsy effort that the lads will learn/ grow from.
Love your comment Luke except about Mignolet… 8 generally is too high for him for yesterday, rather a 6 or 6.5 from me…
You’re probably right mate. The first goal definitely put us on the back foot and effected confidence. I thought it wasn’t a bad game by his recent standards, still not good enough for us though.
Not sure we really deserved it but when they missed the first spot kick I thought it was ours. Mignolet 8? I was seriously pissed he went the right way for 3 penalties and saved none. Said to my mate before Coutinho took his that he would try and be too clever. Goal aside I thought he was really poor and though at least Bobby was always showing. Too many just seemed unfit.
Bloody Moreno. I couldn’t give 2 shits if he can trap a ball, as long as he’s blindly swinging a leg behind him in the penalty box, or giving away daft free kicks outside the box just minutes later he’s gonna make blood boil. It’s not just today either. He does something stupid in most games. He was totally losing it today and I hope a huge, final bollocking from Jurgen accompanies his completely warranted hauling off. It’s definitely Flanno’s chance now.
Hard Luck Reds, if Graft won games (and it sometimes does) then the Lads deserved to win the silver today. But mainly it is Craft that wins out in the end and today we just came up a little short.
No scapegoats for me, all of the team were honest today. Although I would just question the constant offside positioning of Firmino. Those blow-ups are as devastating to progress as fouls, and he needs to be more aware
We will be back #YNWA
I know this is hugely in appropiate. But I am so so frustrated about every time I post something negative on the “This is Anfield website” they will never post it. So my below is response to TIA’s player ratings……
Sturridge 6.5 !!! And Firminio 5!!! They both deserved 3 maybe 3.5 if I am nice. My 16 old son could have done a better job than Sturridge, absolutely shocking lack of grid and determination every single time he lose the ball. He then start jocking 3 steps and then walking – total waste of space. Benteke would have looked like a rocket ship in comparison. And then Firminio gets court offside 6-8 times talking about lack of game brain. Makes Sterling look like freaking Einstein!!! Sorry lads but this was nowhere close to a proper Liverpool performance. Needed a proper scouser ->> Like Flanno, who will actually play for the shirt. Expected but still very disapointing – like I have said elsewhere the cup final came a year to early for Klopp. Just wondering if our owners will sack Klopp now? They got rid of the King after winning a trophy and getting to the FA cup final. Hope not – still think Klopp offers hope for the future. YNWA. Don’t really expect to see my post cause every time I am critical of TIA’s ratings they never posts my post.
Well we are all really glad you posted it here. Thanks mate.
Wattsy – I know am embarrassing myself but I am so exhausted after yelling at my TV for 18 month flat!!!!! Please bare with me
TAW has not edited/deleted any of my comments, including the one where I suggested one match ban for John for giving out extremely low scores once :)
Josh, TAW comments section is perfect. I was having a go at TIA.
It’s not your telly’s fault mate. And, it’s only footy. If it’s as infuriating now as it was 18 months ago, it’s probably just time to chill out, go for a stroll in the park in the winter sun. It’s lovely.
Wattsy I will take your advice though I will execute a little different. My wife told me this morning why don’t you take your Harley for a long ride next weekend (I live in Florida) and forget about LFC and your frustrating teenage kids for once!!!!
Great effort getting this out for us Gibbo. Heartbreaking day for all reds. Is it next season yet? :(
Thought we’d do it our usual ‘hard way’ when Coutinho equalized and they looked shaky. Not to be.
I actually thought Clyne played well and Milner put in a good shift. Lucas was immense
The real disapointment was the front 3. Sturridge coming all the way back to the half way line to start attacking moves is not where we want you, lad. Coutinho was under par for most of the match – on the periphery of everything apart from the goal. Firmino’s lack of awareness of the offside rule was only slightly less irritating than his giving the ball away constantly. His first 3 passes in the game went to a City player and that set the tone for his game.
Moreno is beyond a fucking joke – that was a nailed on penalty.
Klopp has instilled a lot more sprit and fight than his predecessor. Sadly, he has inherited the same tools. He ha a helluva job on his hands.
Agree with all of that. Particularly Clyne who both shut down Sterling then made him look slow in a foot chase.
I always enjoy John’s ratings but to give a keeper 8 after a ‘Weetabix’, one for those of us of a certain age, is lavish even allowing for two particularly good saves. Henderson was not worth more than a 6, he was busy but ineffective which typifies him these days. Lucas was 10 all day long, a warrior and a proud Red.
Typical John Gibbons ratings. Thanks for not disappointing.
Clocked Gareth Roberts outside Wembleyish looking fairly zen not too unlike myself. Scouse stoicism is underrated. Everyone get a fucking grip. If your man Kloppo doesn’t win us a league while we’re all still young then you can start panicking
10 out of 10 to you John for putting this together. I’m so flat I can hardly write this comment.
I don’t really understand the Henderson score particularly.
Injury or not he’s not offering anything constructive. If you’ve given him a 7 because you like him, because he ran around a lot and screamed his head off for throw in’s and then screamed ‘F*ck Off’ when he didn’t get it, then fair enough. For me Captain’s performance is what Lucas put in today.
I think he and Can were both worth around the 4-5 mark myself. We are struggling because we have a midfield 2 that tactically do not look disciplined and go AWOL with concerning regularity. It was interesting that we looked to have a bit more about us when we swapped to a diamond around the 70 odd minute mark.
Captaincy is about more than shouting at linesmen when decisions don’t go your way. Jordan does far too much of that and (from what I can see, admittedly) far too little of the good stuff at the moment. We need some leaders in the summer.
Spot on Paul
Paul, that’s right about Henderson. He’s never looked convincing and lost what little authority he had when allowing Mario to grab the ball and take that pen.
Imagine Souness putting up with something like that, when he was captain.
Not sure how Milner and Moreno get the same mark. Milner was prob a 6 at left back and a 5 before that. Moreno was somewhere between 1 and 2. Mig has to lose points for the goal – he was just set wrong again. Sucks to lose on pens but would have been worse to lose 2-0 to a Sterling tap-in. Thanks for that Raheem.
spot on. at one point I was concerned we might end up with 3-0 scoreline. Shootout could have gone either way. And the team gave everything.
Thanks John. I think the overall point of us not being good enough is spot on but can’t fault the effort.
I was heartbroken to see Lucas’ pen saved. Defeat would have been a lot easier to take with one more Lucas song.
Up the reds.
£29m for Gok Wan though……Jeez
Emre Can a 5? I thought he played well and broke up the game well with some vital tackles in midfield.
Moreno I would of gave a 3, an absolute liability and should have given away a pen for his ridiculous backwards tackle on Aguero.
Wattsy on Moreno – post of the year.