Friday, November 7, 2008

Liverpool 1-1 Atletico Madrid, a last gasp equalizer saves the day

After an unlucky loss at White Hart Lane, Liverpool were bound to bounce back to their winning attitude. Liverpool FC started the game really well . The first deadly occasion created saw Agger nearly score. It was unfortunate that Liverpool did not get a penalty at that moment as Agger was clearly pushed by a Madrid defender, in an attempt to prevent him score. Other goal scoring occasion fell Liverpool's way, the best one being a superb overhead pass that found Keane who shot just inches wide. Gerrard, Riera and even Mascherano attempted to score but it wasn't to be. Atletico is known for its quick counter-attacking football, which effectively earned them a goal, scored by Maxi Rodriguez. I was really furious. Football is sometimes unfair.

In the second half, Liverpool continued to press Atletico, forcing them to defend. Again Liverpool should have been awarded a penalty kick due to what seemed like a blatant hand ball in the box by Perea. Liverpool were still unlucky. Liverpool's domination continued until Gerrard was fouled in the box during injury time. This time Liverpool weren't going to be denied of the penalty spot. The foul on Gerrard was clear and it was as well wise thinking by the captain who knew if he won the header, the defender might foul him. Gerrard then made no mistake to convert the penalty kick into goal as Anfield immediately erupted in joy for this sweet escape at last gasp.

It is very clear that Liverpool are playing well, but the finishing touches lack accuracy. With a bit of luck and more concentration, players like Keane and Kuyt could well and truly become great heroes of the Anfield faithfuls. Keane and Kuyt are already big players but they have to add credential to their status by scoring when Liverpool are mostly in need of that winning goal. Liverpool are currently joint top of the CL table as well as the PL table. So far, it has been a good season for Liverpool in the CL and PL alike. The next Premier League match will see Liverpool host West Brom at Anfield. The good news is that Torres could make the starting line up on Saturday.

Tottenham 2-1 Liverpool, an unlucky loss

I would never have imagined to come here and write about a Liverpool loss against a Tottenham side that we dominated in most parts of the game. As from the first half, the scoreline must have read 3 or 4 nil in the favour of Liverpool FC. The balls which went off the bar and the own goal by Jamie Carragher were all signs that Liverpool were unlucky. And Tottenham used our bad luck to form their own luck as Pavyluchenko made it 2-1 in the dying seconds of the match.

Even Rafa was clearly disappointed by this Liverpool loss. He himself stated that it could have been 4-0. But this is football. Many teams had been caught against us, as we found the winner in the late stages of the game. Man U, Manchester City and Middlesbrough were all victims of a late Liverpool comeback. Similarly, we were victims of a late comeback by Tottenham.

Seen the way Liverpool are currently playing their football, every Liverpool supporter will talk about how proud he is of his team. It's been a long time since Liverpool have shown the character they are now showing. Not to forget, Torres is still injured and yet Liverpool have managed to win their matches before this loss. Certainly, confidence is high at Anfield. Rafa is doing a great job and once again Riera has been a precious buy.

Next up is Atletico Madrid at Anfield. With a bit of luck and the never say die attitude, I am pretty sure Liverpool will get back to their winning ways.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Liverpool 1-0 Portsmouth, a tiny win that speaks big

Liverpool's unbeaten run in the PL was kept ongoing in style when a changed Liverpool side made no mistake to defeat Portsmouth at Anfield, courtesy of a Steven Gerrard penalty kick which sent the red arena ablaze. Liverpool won the match by the tiniest of scores to secure an additional 3 points to remain top of the PL table. Rafa changed 4 men from the side that faced Chelsea. Hyypia got the call to the starting line up and so was Pennant, Babel and Lucas.

It was on the very rarest of occasions that Portsmouth threatened the Liverpool goal. Crouchie was well marked as were a host of other Portsmouth players. Undoubtedly, Liverpool were the better side attacking their opponent and creating goal occasions which they could not convert. Clearly Liverpool should have won the match by more than a goal, but as most will agree, a win remains a win. From my point of view, Pennant didn't perform at all. He was going down too easily and his runs weren't fruitful. He very rarely crossed the ball. Come January, i bet he'll be placed on the transfer list. It seems to me that he's not the player with the right mentality that Benitez needs.

The introduction of Benayoun in the second half to replace Pennant enabled Liverpool to attack with more venom. It was clear, Pennant couldn't do in an hour what Benayoun did within just minutes of entering onto the pitch. Besides, Babel is a player who is always going to progress. He is young and his techniques on the ball will become better. His pace and ability has many times threatened the Portsmouth players during the match. Gerrard was again our captain fantastic controlling the midfield alongside Alonso. As for Lucas, well, i have not much to say. Let's give him one more season to prove himself. Not to forget, Keane nearly opened his PL scoring account during the dying minutes of the match, after he had just been introduced on the pitch.

All in all, Liverpool's performance didn't come close to that demonstrated at Stamford but it was enough to beat a resilient Portsmouth side. Match 10 is now over, with hard earned 26 points for us fans and Liverpool players alike to savour. Next up is Tottenham at White Hart Lane. If we can overcome Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, there is no reason why we cannot snatch 3 points from White Hart Lane. Belief and hard work will be the key attributes for a possible win.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool, fantastic Xabi seals the win to give Liverpool top spot

It was not much of a surprise when Liverpool beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge to claim a 1-0 victory that ended Chelsea's 86 unbeaten home games. Xabi Alonso gave Liverpool FC the lead when his deflected shot successfully found the net. Liverpool seemed too strong tactically for a quality Chelsea team. Pepe Reina hardly had an important save to make throughout the whole match. Though Chelsea had lots of possession, they were out of ideas. Every Liverpool player played for the shirt and worked their socks off to make Rafa Benitez's tactics outshine that of Scolari. It was their first encounter for the new season and Liverpool came out winners in style.

It was really pleasing to see a such determined Liverpool side. After years of watching Liverpool FC play, for the first time I'm starting to believe that we now have the players with the right mentality to win us the Premier League. Kuyt was once again outstanding. Gerrard was brilliant and Riera was absolutely a joy to watch. All in all the whole team showed character. Liverpool FC showed that they can win a match against a top side without their star striker Fernando Torres. Out due to injury, Torres must have undoubtedly wished he could play a part in Liverpool's win on Sunday.

It was a moment of jubilation to see Liverpool win and claim top spot in the PL table in style. Better was Man U's draw at Everton. 9th round cleared and 23 points already secured, Liverpool keep their momentum towards challenging for the holy grail. The win at Chelsea has unmistakably sent a message to every team in the PL: Liverpool are back in business. So, let's keep on watching. Belief is the key for our first PL trophy since 18 years. The PL 10th round will see Liverpool play Portsmouth at Anfield. 26 points after 10 matches would be the perfect start to a genuine title challenge.

Atletico Madrid 1-1 Liverpool FC, a fair Liverpool performance.

Once again Liverpool showed why they are one of the most respected teams in Europe. The first half of the game at Vicente Calderon saw Liverpool control the game and dominate possession. The blistering pace of Gerrard was always going to setup Keane for a magnificent occasion which he made no mistake to convert. Albert Riera was instrumental in the wide area giving problems to the defenders. But Liverpool should have killed the game in the first half when a superb cross by Gerrard was wrongly negociated by Robbie Keane who failed to make it 2-0. While this seemed to be the miss of the night, there was plenty of positives to take from the match even though Atletico found the equaliser in the dying minutes of the second half.

Atletico played well in the second half as they introduced Aguero who helped to create enough space on the pitch. On the other hand Rafa had to substitute three key players in the name of Gerrard, Keane and Alonso. Gerrard was tired while Alonso had received knocks and Keane had a muscle problem. This definitely provided enough area on the pitch for Atletico to build their game. But from my point of view, Liverpool played well and a draw at Vicente Calderon speaks for itself.

With three matches already played and 7 points safely in the bag, Liverpool FC have confirmed a good start to their CL campaign. Liverpool's 2008-09 campaign will undoubtedly send a warning to all those doubters. Has the giant finally woken up? I have not stopped saying: this can indeed be our year. So let's keep on watching. Next up is Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Can Liverpool break Chelsea's home record of 86 unbeaten matches? Let's wait to get this answer on Sunday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Liverpool 3-2 Wigan Athletic, Kuyt and Riera ease Liverpool to a fantastic win.

I nearly thought i would come here and write about Liverpool's loss but that simply wasn't to be. Once again Liverpool have got something out of nothing. Liverpool again showed the character to overcome a 2-1 deficit at first half to win the match 3-2. I must say what a great performance by Dirk Kuyt and company. One more time Riera was impressive but this time his work was paid in goal. The absence of Torres in the attack is missed. On that day, while i watched Keane play, i kept on saying that the lad is unable to fill Torres's boots. I am not criticizing Keane. We all know how good a player Keane is and what he offers to the team. His runs and his never say die attitude say it all. He's just lacking the finishing touch, which in my opinion will come after more training with his new teammates.

Before the kick off against Wigan i was pretty confident that we would win the match rather comfortably. Reflecting on the opening 10 minutes of the first half, I can say that Wigan were all over us. Their 2-1 advantage in the first half explained that they had indeed come to Anfield with a victory or at least a draw in their minds. But the match changed as soon as Valencia was red carded. Rafa was very wise to switch to a more attacking formation allowing El-Zhar and Benayoun to come into play. The tactic employed by Rafa immediately made an effect as Liverpool gained the equalizer through Riera and eventually the winner thanks to a magnificent strike buy Kuyt.

There are certainly positives to take from this match but there are as well negatives. Liverpool have to start to make their lives easier. They need to secure the win as from the first half against the Wigans and Stokes of the Premier League. It isn't as easy to do as to say. But Liverpool are a match to anyone and can certainly play good football and score goals. The biggest positive for me with Liverpool this season is the mentality to come back and win a match. Am I starting to see a Liverpool with the character of the 80's? I wish that this could be our season. But it's too early to predict anything, especially with Chelsea gathering points and goals alike. If we can beat Chelsea at Stamford, which in my opinion would be tough but not impossible, we then stand a good chance, especially with Man U playing catch up.

Eight matches cleared and 20 points in the bag, Liverpool stand close second with Chelsea. Next up is Athletico Madrid for the CL group stages. As Rafa says, let's think about one match at a time. So' we'll speak about the Chelsea match later on.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fernando Torres- the kid with an eye for the goal

It has been a really long time since Liverpool have bought a striker as prolific as Fernando Torres. During his very first season, Fernando Torres scored 33 goals in all competition. He found the net 24 times in the Premier League on his debut season, a feat that saw him overtake Ruud Van Nistelrooy to become the most prolific foreign striker in England. All the Liverpool supporters have been so proud of El-Nino, including myself.

Numerous have been the times when i would be seen jumping and celebrating after Fernando Torres has scored. His presence on the spearhead of Liverpool's attack alongside teammate, Keane, makes watching them play all the more jubilating. Everytime Torres touches the ball inside the penalty area, you would feel he can score at any moment. Fernando Torres can beat defenders with his pace and his ability to find the net while targeting the most acute corners of the woodwork is just mind blowing.

Only a season at Anfield and Torres is already an idol. The song: "We bought the lad from sunny spain, he gets the ball he scores again" says it all. Anfield would erupt at times on the tune of this song to encourage Torres or after he has just found the net. Liverpool have a new legendary number 9 after the shirt was available due to Fowler's departure.

Before Torres signed for Liverpool he had already spent around 12 years at Atletico Madrid. This states that since his boyhood, Torres played at Atletico. The blow to the fans can be felt when Torres decided to move to Liverpool. He went on to become Atletico’s youngest ever captain at the age of 19 before bagging 21 goals in the 2003-04 season. His first senior International game saw him make the debut against Portugal in 2003. His first ever International goal at senior level came against Italy. He then went on to find the net three times during the World Cup in Germany.

As the song mentions: “His armband said he was a red…”, it was clear that Torres had his heart set on Merseyside. After a couple of months of speculation, Torres was finally signed from Atletico for 20 million pounds. He made his debut for Liverpool against Aston Villa on August 11, 2007. The following week saw him score his first goal in the PL for Liverpool after he made a great run past Chelsea’s defender to slot the ball comfortably in the far corner of the net to set Anfield ablaze. His scoring form kept on rising as he scored successive hat tricks at home versus Middlesbrough and West Ham.

Euro 2008 saw Torres score the only goal as Spain turned out to be winners of the tournament. It was the icing on the cake to seal a glorious season for Fernando Torres. The start of the 2008-09 season has already been fruitful for Torres, having already bagged 5 goals in 7 outings. He scored two successive doubles, notably against Everton and Manchester City. I feel the best is yet to come from Torres. El-Nino will not cease to amaze us all.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Steven Gerrard- the name of a true legend

Once in a while there comes a player such as Steven Gerrard. He is a man who plays with passion for the red shirt. Everytime he steps on the pitch, it is with pride that he wears his number 8 shirt. Since his inception in the Liverpool first team squad, Stevie Gerrard has made a name for himself at Anfield. Steven Gerrard is arguably one of the most respected players in the Liverpool squad. His presence on the pitch gives a driving force to the team. His passes are excellent and has one hell of a right boot. Numerous had been the times when Stevie G has made us all happy with his goals. No Liverpool supporter can forget the winner he gave us thanks to his long range missile against West Ham in the FA Cup Finals at Cardiff. This day has already gone down in history as Steven Gerrard's day.

Steven Gerrard is undoubtedly an all rounder and certainly one of the best midfielders in the world. I have never seen such a complete player. He has pace, awareness, strength, power and most importantly a never say die attitude. His abilities were given more credentials and he gained even more respect when he captained Liverpool to an emphatic victory in the CL Finals at Istanbul in 2005. Throughout his career at Anfield and as senior player, Gerrard has amassed just about every trophy and medal, except the Premier League. It's unquestionable, Gerrard wants to have the PL trophy as a Liverpool player before he retires.

Aged nine, Liverpool discovered Gerrard as he was playing for Whiston Juniors at that time. Nobody knew that the very nine year old would grow to become a gem. After 8 years of training at LFC, Gerrard became ready for first team action and went on to sign his first contract as a professional footballer. On November 19, 1998, Gerrard made his first team appearance against Blackburn Rovers as a second half substitute. During his first season, Stevie G played around 13 games. Having endured ups and downs in his career due to injury problems, Gerrard managed to establish himself as a first team regular at the start of the 1999-00 season . His first ever professional goal came at Anfield against Sheffield Wednesday.

Since then Gerrard has progressed enormously as a player. He was once again the key player to a magnificent treble in the year 2001. It was the same year when Liverpool tasted European glory as they beat Alaves by 5-4 to claim the UEFA cup. Gerrard was one of the scorers and was voted PFA Young Player of the Year for his wonderful achievements. After years of striving on the pitch Gerrard was gradually handed the captain armband in place of Sami Hyypia. His achievements saw him become one of the nominees for the most respected Golden Ball Award. He as well gained the title of UEFA’s most valuable player.

Steven Gerrard has now 100 goals to his account as a Liverpool player. He scored his 100th goal in a Liverpool shirt against PSV Eindhoven in the 2008-09 CL group stages. He has also scored in 4 major finals, a feat that any other English player has yet to match. Gerrard has tasted lots of success at Anfield. But he has also known how to handle defeats. His optimism was clear after the 2-1 CL finals defeat at Athens when he penned a 4 year deal which will keep him at Anfield until 2011.

It would sadden me and every Liverpool faithful around the globe when Gerrard will part ways with Liverpool. Gerrard’s love affair with Liverpool had been a passionate one and will forever be remembered. As for Gerrard, he will unmistakably go down in history as one of Liverpool’s most legendary players.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Manchester City 2-3 Liverpool, a sweet double by Torres and a wonderful late strike by Dirk Kuyt gives Liverpool the winner

Manchester City v Liverpool has undoubtedly been one of the most breathtaking matches since the start of the season. Liverpool overcame a 2 goals deficit to win the match 3-2 after an injury time strike by Dirk Kuyt. This proved once again Liverpool's intent for a serious challenge in the EPL. Rewind a year back and you would have seen Liverpool losing such matches. And what a time for Dirk Kuyt to open his scoring account in the EPL. It was the first time since November that Kuyt scored in the PL and it gave Liverpool the winner.

Fernando Torres was once more outstanding, scoring a double to give Liverpool the equalizer. He scored Liverpool's 1000th goal and at the same time became the most prolific foreign striker ever to wear the red shirt. As much as the win was sweet, every Liverpool supporter would not forget the injury of Martin Skrtel. I was really sad to see the lad taken out of the pitch. Clearly he was in agony. Reports later confirmed that he had damaged his cruciate ligaments, which could see him out of action for more than 8 weeks.

Albert Riera's impressive form was striking throughout the whole match. It seemed like he is starting to gel well with the whole squad. The training sessions are working well for him as he gave Zabaletta a tough time on the left flank. Everytime he got the ball, he got the better of him and could find space and make some dangerous crosses. Give him a couple more months and he will be the key to most of our wins. He gives Liverpool's game a new dimension and dominates the left flank remarkably well, feeding the ball to the strikers when they need it.

Both goals conceded by Liverpool were due to defensive mistakes. But on the whole, Liverpool played a great game and came out with 3 points. 7 matches played and 17 points in the bag, Liverpool stand second, after Chelsea in the table. Now, Liverpool have to score as much goals as possible to close the gap in goal difference with Chelsea. Liverpool players will take their international break with smiles on their faces. Next up is Wigan Athletic at Anfield Road.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

LIverpool 3-1 PSV Eindhoven, Kuyt, Keano and Gerrard inspire Liverpool to an emphatic win

Liverpool have kicked off their 2nd match of the Champions League yesterday with a 3-1 win over PSV Eindhoven at Anfield. Thank you Kuyt, Keane and super captain Stevie G. It was a superb thunderbolt of a free kick that hit the back of the net with enormous power. And not to forget, we also witnessed the first goal for Robbie Keane in a Liverpool shirt. Oops...i nearly forgot. Gerrard as well hit a century of goals in a red shirt. I was so proud yesterday of the whole LFC squad. As soon as we were pressing PSV, it was resulting in a goal. Though not playing at the best of our levels we beat PSV 3-1 with ease from my point of view.

There are lots of positives that can be drawn from this display. Liverpool are now really starting to gel as a unit and you can sense the winning mentality in each player. Every time Albert Riera plays i am impressed. Kuyt and Keane are such hardworkers. At times we even saw Keane running to the other end of the pitch to defend. And the next moment he was forward constructing the attack with Gerrard and Torres. For me, Torres was a bit unlucky yesterday. He slipped a couple of times in the box and we had all seen that the first goal was created due to his shot parried by the PSV keeper.

Torres' ability to find space is amazing. We all saw how he rose up for a header that went wide. As soon as Gerrard got the ball, he was finding the space and running at defenders. And the Robbie Keane goal was setup by him. He was a key player in the game yesterday. He can only improve as he is still 24 years of age. But there is one player who has to improve, it's Lucas. He is still very young, yet playing at this level of football. We'll see how he improves in time cause at the moment, he gives the ball away too much.

I for one am very happy with Liverpool's performance yesterday night. With 6 points already on board, we are heading for a neat qualification. Of course there are more matches to come, but the most difficult thing has been done. A draw at Atletico would be enough in my opinion. In the PL, Manchester City awaits us on Sunday. It's definitely going to be a tough game but we need to keep concentrating on winning. We can play them off their own park and take 3 points home. We just need to keep fighting and believing we can do it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Everton 0-2 Liverpool, a maginificent Fernando Torres double ensures the win for Liverpool

Fernando Torres sealed the win for Liverpool in this Merseyside derby as he scored twice to place Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table. Liverpool played well and controlled most of the game. Once again Rafael Benitez got the better of David Moyes as he masterminded a breathtaking Liverpool victory. 5 matches already played in the PL now, Liverpool are really starting to look strong. The football looks more fluid and the new boy, Riera, is starting to gel well with the entire team. After a lack of form in the recent matches, Torres has showed to all doubters that he's there to hit the back of the net.

I am very happy with the current display on the pitch by the redmen. Crucial as this match has been, the victory tastes sweet. It is these types of matches that we have to keep on winning. This victory certainly underlines Liverpool's serious bid for the title. We looked strong, composed and classy. Even without Masch around, we managed to get the ball as soon as Everton tried to build. More encouraging was the fact that we were being able to create space. Gerrard was again outstanding, throwing passes, defending at times and shooting when he got the opportunity.

In all, this had been a great day for all LFC supporters around the world. Another 3 points in the bag, we will be heading full of confidence to our next match against PSV Eindhoven at Anfield on Wednesday night. Yet another win in the Champions League would see Liverpool with 6 points and certainly with more things to gain than to lose. So lads, let me remind you again: the full time score at Goodison Park here, it's Everton 0-2 Liverpool. Let's keep them wins coming....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Can we witness a bright future at Liverpool FC?

The season, in my opinion has started brightly for Liverpool FC. Though, poor performances Liverpool have managed to grind out results, which, a season back, had been a lacking in Benitez's side. Some had even called this as winning ugly. Some matches under their belt, Liverpool FC have started to progress slowly, confirming their will to make a serious challenge after beating Man U at Anfield. Undoubtedly, this had been a great day for all Reds fans around the globe. The euphoria of triumphing over Man U at Anfield was finally found and people were already talking about winning the League.

Forward one week after the Man U game and you'll be frustrated to see a boring 0-0 full time score at Anfield against Stoke City. Now people were talking about sacking Benitez and Liverpool's lack of firepower. How come minds change like that? This does not apply to all LFC fans but a handful ones, whom I agree have lost the patience. It is understandable. Every Liverpool supporter want the EPL to come back home. Even, I sometimes lose patience, but i keep saying, Rafa is the man. He certainly knows what he's doing.

If you cast a glance back in time, you would see how Rafa has improved the squad. We now have Torres, Babel, Agger, Skrtel, Aurelio, Benayoun, Mascherano, Keane, Reina, Riera, etc compared to Smicer, Cheyrou, Pongolle, Biscan, Traore, Heskey, etc. Clearly the team Rafa has now assembled and organised is a more capable one. The breed of youngsters that he's brought speak for themselves. Champions of the Reserve League North twice in a row does not happen by fluke. The emergence of some really promising talents such as Pachecho, Bruna, El Zhar, Plessis and Nemeth among many others will certainly be ready for full team action after they gain more maturity.

I for one, can see a bright future at Anfield in the coming years. We will be producing our own talents regardless of the fact that we can or cannot compete against the likes of Man U, Chelsea and the new born giant Manchester City in the transfer market. On the other hand, I really do hope that someone with good intentions for Liverpool FC, unlike the Yanks, will come forth with an interesting bid to buy our beloved club. More years ahead, the face of football would have already changed and I fear that we struggle to shrug off competition to capture the players we want.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Liverpool 2-1 Crewe Alexandra- the ticket to 4th round

The Carling Cup is vital to blood youngsters. Such has been the case with Rafael Benitez as a host of youngsters made the starting line up for this crucial match. Daniel Agger was handed his debut for the reds and reserve goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri was also given first team action. Daniel Agger's free kick gave Liverpool the lead on the 15 minutes mark. It was a low drive that hit the back of the net past keeper Steve Collis. The equaliser came 10 minutes later from O'Connor who made no mistake to score from close range. The lead was restored on the 58th minute after a brilliant display by Pennant on the flank who served Lucas well to beat Crewe keeper Collis with a header. Later on Torres was introduced, and his lack of form was again clear. He failed to seal the game and score the third Liverpool goal by blasting the shot straight at the keeper.

The win seemed to be a hard fought one for Liverpool. The full time score read in favour of the reds but Liverpool need more accuracy to kill off such games. Even Benitez admitted on Setanta Sports News: "As always in these kinds of games, if you don't score the third goal and finish the game, then things can get a bit nervous". Round 3 is now clear for the reds. Next up is Everton at Goodison Park.

Liverpool 0-0 Stoke, a frustrating game for reds fans

Liverpool vs Stoke City had undoubtedly been the most frustrating match for reds supporters around the globe. I for one still cannot understand why Steven Gerrard's goal was refused. As from 2 minutes into the game I started to celebrate but my joy wasn't going to last. The goal was cruelly refused and the scoreboard sadly read 0-0. From start to finish, Liverpool dominated the game but it wasn't going to be. Inaccurate crosses mixed with shots going begging into the crowd, Liverpool had close to 30 occasions to score but simply couldn't. It was evident that Fernando Torres hasn't hit his form yet. Stoke were defending all the way until the last minute and created only a couple of chances throughout the game. Liverpool tried really hard, but on this day, it seemed to me that it was impossible to score.

After beating Man U, Liverpool had to build on this game and gather points by bagging the so called 'small matches'. It was a bad result for us and it certainly seemed like a victory for Stoke. Full credit to them, they defended well. Nonetheless, we are still in a good position in the league with Man U already playing catch up. Man U's 1-1 draw with Chelsea could not have been better placed. We now stand 3rd in the table behind Chelsea and Arsenal after 5 matches played and 11 points in hand. Not bad, really, but we should have been clearly on top with 13 points.

Liverpool have to concentrate on winning. Beating the less important teams will bear its fruit at the end of the season. Do I have to mention the significance of beating the other big 3? With enough points gathered by beating the small teams, Liverpool could be on for the holy grail after 18 years of abstinence.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Marseille 1-2 Liverpool FC- a sweet start to the Champions League campaign

After the fantastic win over Manchester Utd during the week-end, Liverpool were prepared to kick off their Champions League campaign full of confidence. Olympic de Marseille were hosting Liverpool at Stade Velodrome. Marseille started the game brilliantly, winning the ball and passing it all over the park. On the other hand, Liverpool FC rarely struggled and even created some chances which were missed. In fact, the better chances were created by Liverpool but Marseille dominated the game. Marseille's domination was rewarded after midfielder Benoit Cheyrou set up Loric Cana with a great overhead ball which saw him beat Pepe Reina from close range.

Liverpool immediately reacted after the goal creating some occasions until Steven Gerrard hit a thunderbolt from around 25 yards which the Marseille keeper could do nothing about. Liverpool continued to press and again Ryan Bael performed a piece of magic. He was fouled in the Marseille's box after a brilliant display on the ball. The referee pointed to the penalty spot which Gerrard made no mistake to convert into goal after his first attempt was disallowed. At half time, the scoreboard read an impressive 2-1 in favour of Liverpool.

The second half saw Marseille attack with venom. Liverpool got few chances, the best ones seeing Ryan Babel failing to beat the keeper from close range. Most of the second period was dominated by Marseille whom, you could sense, were trying hard to get a result out of this match. Liverpool's defence was working hard, trying to send the ball as far as possible down the pitch. Near the end of the match, Liverpool's defence looked weak as they were troubled when Marseille nearly got the equaliser after a wonderful effort from Niang. The match ended in a Liverpool win.

Once again Pepe Reina demonstrated his abilities and proved why he's actually the best keeper in the Premier League, and certainly among the top ones in the world. It was not such a convincing display by Liverpool FC but the result is what counts at the end of the day. With 3 points already in the bag, Liverpool FC are now looking to seal another couple of wins to ascertain their qualification in the last 16th.

Liverpool 2-1 Manchester Utd- an unforgettable triumph on home soil

It's Saturday 13th of September 2008. Liverpool FC supporters all around the world have been waiting for this day since the start of the season. After a slow start to the season, and victories coming after unconvincing displays, Liverpool stood with 7 points in the table after 3 matches. Liverpool fans had been waiting for the sweet victory over their fierce rivals Manchester Utd in the league since 4 years. The clock was slowly ticking and the pressure of the match was slowly starting to rise. It became more and more apparent that it would soon be kick off time at Anfield.

12:45, the match finally gets under way. Liverpool FC fans, including myself were confident that today could be our day. But our hearts sank as the opening goal came from Man U only after 4 mins in the game. On this day, Liverpool handed the debut to the Spanish winger, Albert Riera. Soon after the goal, Liverpool upped the tempo of the game, flooding Man U's box. Crosses were coming from the flanks and the new kid was making an impressive debut. Liverpool's effort was paid in goal when Alonoso's deflected shot caused an own goal by defender Wes Brown after Albert Riera had put sufficient pressure on him.

Upon the start of the second half, everyone witnessed a completely changed Liverpool. We were all over Man U, winning the ball as soon as they started to build. Liverpool FC played Man U off the park once again. Crosses were coming right and left but the stalemate still remained. I was starting to believe that Utd would escape once again from our claws. But the subsitution of Ryan Babel brought all the positives that Liverpool FC could produce. In my heart i said: "perform your piece of magic". After a great display by Mascherano and Kuyt laying off the ball sweetly to Ryan Babel, the lad made no mistake to slot the ball comfortably at the back of the net. Anfield immediately went ablaze. We could sense this victory coming after so many years.

The final whistle saw Liverpool come from behind and win the match 2-1. This had undoubtedly been Liverpool's greatest match of the year. Building on this result can make us, Liverpool fans, believe that this could indeed be our season.