THE South Coast Everton 0 Liverpool 2.
The Reds went into this afternoon’s game with the knowledge that a win would well and truly ensure second place is all of our business, and they delivered against a side who love a “boo” so much at the mere sight of anything Liverpool related, it felt like we were up against our discontented neighbours at times.
By the end, I was surprised they never showed their displeasure at the advertising hoardings every time The Reds’ former sponsor Carlsberg appeared. Wait until they cotton on to the fact their gaffer spent six months walking around Melwood showers stark, bollock naked in 2005. He’ll be out the door quicker then you can say “long thin pork sausage”.
Anyway, Liverpool done the business in Southampton’s cup final on a weekend where unexpected points dropped elsewhere enhanced the mood further. Porto awaits on Wednesday, Liverpool in and around the elite European knockout stages again and back vying for second in the league. All of that:
Loris Karius: 8
His most progressive and assertive performance to date, first half especially. Great starting position, two very good saves, aggressive off his line. Has to play Wednesday, if we’re saying he’s our best goalkeeper do not clip his wings in any way from now until the end of the season.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7
It’s easy to underestimate how much games like this will enhance his development. These are the bread and butter, cliched encounters that act as muscle memory for a career to come. Was front foot and sprightly throughout. A lot of benefits to him playing in a back four with Virgil van Dijk.
Joel Matip: 7
Has a steady game without issue. Could slightly open his body up more at times instead of going straight back to his ‘keeper but I’m nitpicking. Remained concentrated throughout.
Virgil van Dijk: 8
Deals with the pantomime without any fluster. I’m constantly encouraged by his bemusement at some of the things not happening around him that clearly should be. Will only get better in a Liverpool shirt. Was begging for his second-half run to end in a goal.
Andy Robertson: 7
A bundle of energy, finds his way and settles better along with the team after the break. Not great for their chance at 0-1. Can sometimes get too tucked into the centre backs, as we’ve seen with our full backs this season.
Emre Can: 6
Another one who improved after the interval. Sometimes feel like he needs his own defined area of the pitch to operate in to fully engage him. Won his battles and carried the call forward a lot better when the game opened up. Remains a polarising footballer at times.
Gini Wijnaldum: 7
Encouraging performance, thought he started well, dipped off and influenced when the spaces opened up on the hour. Ninety minutes and a performance that will only benefit him.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 6
Didn’t quite happen for him. Looked better being back in centre midfield but couldn’t get to grips with anything. Needs to try and forge better patterns of play with his full back and wide forward to fully engage in this team’s Modus Operandi.
Sadio Mane: 6
This is either one of three things; poor form, injury or the fear of, or a lack of concentration at key times. In any case, it feels like it’s just not happening for Mane at the minute, but I also think some of the criticism is unwarranted. He desperately needs a huge, match-winning game soon. Doesn’t stop trying but something continues to forestall him at key times.
Mo Salah: 9
When it starts to feel obligatory, like it is something you can rely on in so many magnificent, varying ways each and every week, that’s when you know you’re watching something and someone special. Don’t worry about or question it, just enjoy it, in all its brilliance. So strong, so productive, so much more of a centre forward with each passing game.
Roberto Firmino: 8
That backheel though. A backheel that takes three lads out of the game. Make no mistake, this player is playing in a front two partnership now. The telepathy between him and Salah is phenomenal and looks like it’s only getting better. Brilliant finish for the first, harder than it looked.
James Milner: 6
A good substitution. Milner coming on and playing his own game felt exactly what was needed at the time.
Adam Lallana: 5
Felt like a smart move to get him on the pitch after the week he’s had and ease any frustrations that may be present. Was surprisingly booed.
Dejan Lovren: 10
Felt like the most needle-iest of subs going. Nil-two down, back in the bottom three, all got off, all booed out. Cop for this fella who you hate more than anyone else. Man of the match shared between him and Jürgen Klopp.
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Some great lines in there.
Sadly not in the comments.
great read as ever. Bit harsh on Mane though maybe , who I thought was a constant threat throughout ,but is snatching a bit at goal chances. Also Lallana seemed to speed up our game when he came on. All good though
Is it wrong to say I was aroused by the Bobby F flick?
TAA – doesn’t look old enough to shave everyday. No pressure cause he’ll have bad and mad games/weeks/months. But you can see by the time he’s 21/22 he’ll be our (and England’s) RB for 10 years.
Matip still worries me – just doesn’t look 100% assured – looks weak at times.
Thought Wini, Matip, Can, Ox and Mane were close to awful to be honest. The rest were either good or very good. This was a great result, but a long, long way short of a good performance. I honestly can’t believe how bad they were – offered absolutely nothing after the second goal and created little despite owning the ball from 15-45.
None of those five had a ‘close to awful’ game, especially Gini who had one of his best away performances that I’ve seen.
Not every game has to be a blistering 6 goal thriller, especially 3 days before a CL knockout game. Just enjoy the reassuringly boring wins for what they are!
Up the defensively competent reds!
Emre Can watches Virgil and wonders how he makes the game look so fucking easy. He looks at Matip and feels a little better.
mad how a 2 o away victory, where the opposition main chance came from Andy Roberston missing a header – and its Joel Matip getting pelters for doing nothing wrong.
No need to mention Robertson completely failing to shepherd the ball out and getting it nicked from him either….
In fact, Robertson got caught twice at the far post in the first half – both requiring decent saves from 6 yards by Karius.
In a very easy game I thought Matip was bobbins. If it is VvD plus one then I’d rather that was Lovern until the end of the season.
Good to see Karius make some saves and I too hope he plays against Porto. Not his biggest fan but if he is to be our No1 he should play every game.
But these are minor quibbles. Came was beyond dull but the team with the better footballers won it. We need about 8-10 of these a season when we have been routinely getting 1-2. Hears to finishing 2nd within 10 points of City.
Bravo Danny Morgan!
Luv ya on TAW.
Big Yank Chuckweiser
Bravo Danny M.
Honestly feel like Sadio is overthinking. And it seems to be since he messed that chance up against Everton. Seems to be second guessing himself instead of trusting his instincts. I still think he’s doing alright though, to be fair. Certainly not bad for someone who is supposedly out of nick.
Mane should be getting 2 more shots on goal than he did. He is a good player but bobby and mo need better percentage passes into them now they are ahead of him a lot. Matip does a lot right but can looked stressed when covering positions .
I think Mane is struggling with the role – he seems to constantly be switching between right mid in a midfield 4 to a wide attacker in a front 3. And I think he’s stuck between the two at the minute. It’ll get there for him as he never stops working and is still finding good positions.
Thought Matip, TAA and Can were poor and didn’t deserve the rating given. Sure Mane could have done better at times but his scissors kick was fantastic. He’s also being stuck on the left. I’m not saying he’s been sacrificed for Firmino and Salah, but he’s the one that’s accommodating the other two. Oh and by the way I think Firmino is our best player.
I think TAA is looking a bit lost at rb to be honest, teams are targeting that area and he looks like he’s unsure where he should be in certain situations, it’s not really fair on him though especially playing next to Reggie Miller!
I Despise Southampton. Robertson continues to impress. I think his work ethic and contribution to the team is massive. With VVD the entire defence looks more organised and effective as a consequence. Karius needs till the end of the season between the sticks. Bobby and Mo are the hottest double act in Football. Surely £500m if sold as a pair.
Why’d you give Lallana a 5?
I would give Virgil an extra mark just for pissing himself laughing every time he got booed!!
I was sooo curious what kinda remark Karius would get from Ben Johnson; that dude seems to hat our goalkeeper.
Danny Morgan instead and I fully agree with the ratings.
I crave these kinds of wins. I was dead certain Southampton would throw it all at us second half but they knew the game was up. We just conserved ourselves for the more difficult challenges on the horizon.
We were good in the two moments we needed to be, took the game away from them and then engaged in a Sunday afternoon stroll.
Karius, Van Dijk, Robertson, Gini, Salah, Mane & Firmino all impressed. Mane, for a player supposedly out of sync, is such a threat on a consistent basis. Thought he was particularly good second half. It was also reassuring to have Lallana coming on to slow the play down a bit and help us see it out with no fuss. They didn’t bother booing him too badly as van Dijk is the new target of their ire, not that he cared even remotely. He was genuinely taking longer on the ball first half just for the sheer needle. He had both full-backs on for a pass every time but he waited for midfield options to open up just to soak it up that bit more whilst laughing his head off. Loved it.
I was a bit disappointed actually. Hard to see where our next transfer is coming from. Bertrand is decent bit maybe that bird has flown.
Thought Lemina was decent, especially considering he was ill. Big season last season at Juventus too. He is the next most likely…
Sweet win, like every win at St. Mary’s! By the year Southampton is losing my sympathy, their fans are getting more clueless by the year…
Anyway, on course for second place. Could be worse halfway February. On top of that:
– Karius is improving (never thought I would say that). His haircut remains shite though…
– Ladies and gentlemen, we have a leftback! He is Scottish, he’s called Robertson, he runs his lungs out and he can put a cross is. All you need to be a Liverpool left back, isn’t it?
-Ladies and gentlemen, we have a right back! He is a Scouser, he is 19 years young and he looks like a brilliant one already. All you need to be a Liverpool right back, isn’t it?
-Lovren over Matip right now (never thought I would ever say this…). In fact, always play Lovren at St. Mary’s, just to piss their fans off!
-Virgil van Dijk, boss tha, lad! On and of the pitch. Brilliant post-match interview! Showed them exactly what they will miss!
-Gini was alive in an away game!
-Can FSG please sign Bobby up for 50 years? Wonderful player, underrated (but not by us, Liverpool fans). Let’s all boo Match of the Day for not nominate any of his brilliant January goals for their Goal of the Month competition!
-Can FSG please sign Mo Salah up for 50 years? Unless he scores a double hattrick in Kiev, there’s no way he should be allowed to leave next summer!
-Throwing in Lallana and Lovren when you’re 0-2 up and just to piss those southcoasters off: brilliant, Jürgen!
Next up: Porto! Cancelled the Valentine diner already (sorry, love…)
Up the Reds!!!
Long thin pork sausage… ha! Great ratings, Up the Reds!!