Sturridge scores twice in Reds win over Villa

Benteke, Firmino and Lovren (to the relief of most) were ruled out with injury while Sturridge returned after being rested against Carlisle to pair alongside Ings who was fresh off scoring in the mid-week fixture.

For what nearly seemed high-pressure game for Rodgers given the speculation around his continued tenure at Anfield, the Reds got off to a terrific start as captain James Milner opened the scoring inside 2 minutes with a low drive into the bottom corner after Coutinho found him at the edge of the box.

Liverpool had control of the game and the ball for most period of time, pushing Villa back into defending with nearly all players back during the first half. We had couple of chances to increase the lead but didn’t manage to capitalize on that.

Into the second half, Sturridge scored his first goal of the season after such a long injury spell and what a goal that was he strikes a volley from outside of his left foot, across the keeper into the goal. It was a beauty after managing superbly well to control the ball before finishing it.

Villa pulled one back with Gestede but Sturridge double his tally and restored the 2-goal by slotting the ball past the keeper after some brilliant interplay between Coutinho who set the goal up by a sweet backheel.

Gestede again got a goal back for the visitors with a towering header, and the keeper couldn’t have done anything about that. They managed to twice walk over our defence which made it slightly nervy end to the goal but we played with lots of determination and attacking intent. While defence would still need a lot of work, it is a great boost to have Sturridge fit and kicking. It was 3 points at the end as the game finished Liverpool 3-2 Aston Villa and Brendan Rodgers lives to fight another day.

Reds held to 1-1 draw by Norwich

Daniel Sturridge (yes, finally!) and Coutinho return to the lineup against Norwich City after a disappointing spell of games, and having played out a 1-1 draw mid-week against Bordeaux.

First time this season we had our best available striking partnership up front with both Sturridge Benteke leading the team out. Sakho, back of signing a long-term contract with us, and Moreno also came into the side after their encouraging performance in the Europa League tie.

The first half didn’t have much for either side to show for as it ended goalless. There were few off chances for both sides but nothing coming out of it. This sparked a half-time substitution by Rodgers to replace Benteke (injury?) with Danny Ings – and this reaped immediate return as Ings grabbed his first goal for the club inside 3 minutes of coming on after calmly controlling a sweet through ball by Moreno before carefully slotting it past Ruddy (who was up to anything and everything that we threw at them, expect for this one occasion).

Russell Martin level the scoreline at 61′ minutes by lobbing the ball past Mignolet, who wasn’t able to punch the ball into safety and instead dropped to Martin – and he made sure we were punished for that.

Ings had a wonderful chance to get another after what was a good build-up play between him and Lallana to force their way into the penalty box full of defenders but he lost control with a heavy touch after having dribbled past the keeper. Coutinho also had a chance as he was set one-on-one with the keeper after the Referee allowed a good advantage for Reds, but his shot was right at oncoming Ruddy and was pushed away to safety.

Coutinho, Lallana, Ings and Moreno seemed in better shape today playing in their natural positions and were creating few openings late into the second half. Obviously this was too little too late, and yet again Firmino (who came on for Lucas in the second half) didn’t make much impact.

Boos rang around Anfield (even the Kop end if you’d believe!) at the final whistle as Liverpool failed to make the most of the chances created in the second half and the game ended with a point for each side. Disappointing, yes – but atleast we created chances. Don’t get me wrong, a draw against Norwich at Anfield is bad and what is more pathetic is that we are without a victory in the last 5 games. And the increasing majority want a change at the position held by Brendan Rodgers as the heat just keeps on increasing.

Next up – Carlisle United in the Football League Cup Third round on the Wednesday, 23rd September. Gone are those days when we could actually be sure about any game. It might as well be a completely different struggle when we face off the League Two side.

No consolation for Reds

Liverpool came into this game one point better off than same time last year as they visited Old Trafford for a face-off which is known all round the world for one of the fiercest rivalries in football. The Reds (nah, not Man United) secured Christian Benteke who scored both home and away last season against the Red Devils for Aston Villa; David De Gea returned to the Manchester United side after his Real Madrid move fell through.

Both teams were missing some of their stars – Danny Ings replacing the suspended Philippe Coutinho (Henderson and Lallana still out with injury) while on the other end, Marouane Fellaini was named up front instead of Wayne Rooney who missed the game as precautionary measure ahead of the their Champions League group stage match against PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday.

The first half of the game was lackluster, with neither side having a single shot on goal. The possession was largely dominated by the home side and Liverpool were susceptible at the back. Benteke could do very little in the striker position with no one there to support or feed off him.

Into the second half, Ashley Young replaced Memphis Depay to try and liven up things. And shortly after coming on, he won a free-kick at the edge of penalty box after being fouled by Clyne (who was booked as well). Daley Blind sidefooted the ball into the goal net from the low free-kick, giving home side the lead at the 49th minute mark.

Liverpool tried pushing United back a little with what was the first shot at goal in 54 minutes when Ings controlled the ball inside the penalty box and took a shot, as he was lost his balance, which bounced awkwardly but was saved by De Gea. That marked the end of what little spell the away side had in control of the ball. Much like the recent few games, we were far too careless by giving the possession away and at the same time not making the most of it when actually on it.

Firmino offered very little in the game and was replaced by Jordan Ibe moments after somehow not managing to put the ball into the net after a goal-line clearance off of Skrtel’s attempted header. That aside, United remained in control of the game and could afford to offer Anthony Marshals who came on to replace Mata. Shortly after that, Ander Herrera was brought down by Joe Gomez, giving away a penalty and the opportunity to double the lead; and that’s exactly what Herrera did from the resulting spot kick.

Divock Origi was given his competitive debut for Liverpool when he was substituted in for Danny Ings, but that really wasn’t a move which was meant to turn things around with the home side sitting comfortably 2-0 ahead and still controlling majority of the ball play.

WIth 6 minutes remaining on the clock, Benteke pulled one back with a magnificent bicycle kick as De Gea could do nothing to stop that from going in. Although we clearly didn’t do much to deserve a single point here, much less win, that goal gave the players little bit of hope. However, it didn’t last for long as owing to shambles in our defence with Skrtel the main culprit on this occasion, Marshals restored United’s two goal lead by slotting the ball past the helpless keeper.

The positioning was terrible to start off the game with Ings and Origi (who came on later) were put on the wings while Benteke remained all on his own up front, Milner not allowed to go much forward and Firmino missing in action the game was, much like the season and recent performances under Brendan Rodgers, was in complete disarray.

More people join in to call for Rodgers’ head and with performances like this, it is you can’t argue with that. There needs to be an assessment of how the season is headed so far and contingencies need to placed – someone has to take the accountability because this much more than coincidences and bad luck. Bordeaux in mid-week would probably be a good springboard 4 consecutive home games follow it before heading into the Merseyside Derby.

Hammer drop at Anfield

After a good performance at the Emirates, Brendan Rodgers continued with the same lineup as West Ham visited Anfield for what was the home debut for Roberto Firmino, while James Milner filled in the captain’s position in absence of Jordan Henderson who is was unable to make a full recovery after picking up a knock in the last game.

The game got off to a terrible start for the home side as Manuel Lanzini scored 3 minutes into the game. And soon enough, the visitors doubled their lead when Mark Noble slotted the ball into the bottom right corner from center of the box after a continued spell of pressure.

In less than 10 minutes into the second half, Philippe Coutinho picked up his second yellow card (harshly I might say as the the player seemed to bump into him) after first getting just before half time. That dismissal essentially put the nail in the coffin for Reds’ confidence and the game was huff and puff affair with intermittent bursts of attacks from our side – needless to say, none of them materialized into a clear opportunity.

The Referee leveled the red card count when Noble was booked (again, for a challenge which really didn’t deserve a straight red) after having already blown the whistle for a West Ham free-kick (at the edge of their own penalty box) as he deemed it to be too strong. However, the momentum of the game didn’t change much as we failed to create little to any chances to make a comeback.

While defence has really proved to be a weak point for us, with just Benteke playing upfront, at home, and even after being 2-0 down really sparks the question of our attacking intent.

And into stoppage time, Diafra Sakho puts the game to rest (as if there was any doubt – even with 7 minutes added on) by capitalizing on some defensive slip-ups (nothing new here) to end the game with the final scoreline of Liverpool 0-3 West Ham United.

Needless to say, worst thing that could have happened to us going into the game with Manchester United. Rodgers out? It appears his Fergie time is on and he would soon run out of it if such appalling performances continue.


Asia Tour – Guangdong Sunray Cave 3-4 Liverpool – Match Report

The Reds kick started their 2011/12 campaign with a 3-4 win over the Chinese side Guangdong Sunray Cave.

It was end-to-end, high-tempo and very entertaining game. And was topped off with the brilliant vocal support in the stadium.

However, Reds were the better side during the majority of the game, as expected. David Ngog had lots of chances during the game. After his left-footed shot was saved by the weaker early on in the game, Ngog later on had a chance to put Pacheco through on goal but failed to find as he delayed his pass for just too long.

Liverpool weren’t going to be denied for long. Christian Poulsen side-footed the ball into the net from the cross from Joe Cole.

Reds continued the momentum and within couple of minutes were 2-0 up after David Ngog slid the ball past the goalkeeper.

Dani Pacheco should have scored on the half hour mark after brilliant one-two between him and Jay Spearing let the Spaniard through on goal, but was unfortunate as his shot was whiskers wide from the post.

Right before the half-time whistle, Guangdong pulled one back as Ricardo headed the ball after a superb cross from the left.

At half time, Liverpool made lots of changes. Charlie Adam made his debut. Maxi Rodriguez, Andy Carroll, Alberto Aquilani, Brad Jones, Andre Wisdom, Sotoris Kyrgiakos, Daniel Agger, Jack Robinson, Conor Coady and Dirk Kuyt. Brad Jones was later replaced by Martin Hansen.

The home side started to look weary as the game progressed. Liverpool capitalized on it when Andy Carroll found Conor Coady who struck a superb shot into the corner of the net. The youngster had a dream debut.

With five minutes to go, Andy Carroll also got on the score sheet, taking full advantage of the bad defending from the home side.

But we lost our focus just before the end and Guangdong scored twice in the added time. Lu Lin and Ying Hongbo were the scorers of the late goals.

The game finished Guangdong 3-4 Liverpool. Though, it wasn’t a confident win nor was it a defensive performance, the Reds certainly knew where the net was.

There were several glimpses of brilliance by Adam and Aquilani. This being the first game in a while for most of the players, it can only get better


Christian Poulsen (20′)
David Ngog (22′)
Conor Coady (72′)
Andy Carroll (85′)

[Guangdong Sunray Cave]
Ricardo (45′)
Lu Lin (90′)
Ying Hongbo (90+2′)