TRUE KOPITES WE ARE THE REDS COMMUNITY PAGE
Saturday, 31 December 2011
LIVERPOOL 3-1 NEWCASTLE MATCH REPORT
With the games coming thick and fast at this busy time of the year Liverpool were next to face a Newcastle side at Anfield who have had a great start to the season, but have started to struggle a bit in recent times. Liverpool went into the match trying to sort out their home form having drawn far too many for Dalglish’s liken. An added interest in this fixture is former Newcastle favourites’ Enrique and Andy Carroll facing their old team.
Kenny made two changes to the side that drew with Blackburn on Boxing Day, with Bellamy and Spearing coming in for Maxi and the suspended Suarez. So all eyes were on Andy Carroll in the absence of Luis Suarez to find his goal scoring form against his old team. The defence was unchanged leaving Carragher once again on the bench with Adam and Spearing in the middle of midfield and Bellamy on the left and Downing playing once again on the right. Gerrard started on the bench as he looks to get his match fit.
Liverpool started on the offensive and Adam miscued an early chance in the first couple of minutes. Then Agger made a surging run from defence only to drag his shot five yards wide. Liverpool kept up the pressure and Downing had the next chance with a near post drive but Krul was equal to it.
But Liverpool was stunned in the 25th minute when Taylor sent in a dangerous cross which was flicked on by Cabaye only to be diverted past Reina via Agger’s arm. It was a real shock to the home side who had been on the attack for most of the half.
But Liverpool responded quickly and drew level just 4 minutes later when Bellamy fired in a low drive after good work from Adam. The home side continued to press and Martin Skrtel almost made it two but he headed just wide from a corner.
The second half started with Liverpool struggling to get possession as Newcastle found their passing game. There was a feeling inside Anfield that this could be another one of these games that would end up in a draw. Dalglish brought on Gerrard with half an hour to go and he lifted the whole stadium. Suddenly Gerrard was orchestrating Liverpool. Gerrard sent over a superb cross from the right but Carroll just failed to connect and then Gerrard found Carroll inside the box with a superb pass but the big striker’s control let him down when clean through.
Then in the 67th minute Liverpool were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out, Bellamy’s shot flew past Krul thanks to Carroll making a nuisance of himself in front of Krul, cofusing Simpson and Krul. There was relief all around Anfield. But Newcastle almost equalised when Ba got behind the Liverpool defence, but his clipped effort was brilliantly cleared off the goal line by Skrtel who ended up in the net.
Next Gerrard whipped in a dangerous cross which Carroll headed off the crossbar, but Liverpool got their deserved third goal when a good move ended up with Gerrard bursting into the left side of the penalty area before slotting the ball underneath Krul from a tight angle sending the crowd wild in celebration. Liverpool saw out the rest of the match comfortably giving them a much needed home win.
Great to see Bellamy come back into the side with Carroll up front in the absence of Suarez. I was very worried when we fell behind to a freakish goal as we were struggling to create many chances. Bellamy was superb and took his goals superbly. Jay Spearing was superb and lucky to have both legs intact after being on the end of a horrific tackle. But I felt this is the fewest chances we have created in a match and yet we scored three goals which is very pleasing. But the turning point was the introduction of Gerrard who produced so many quality crosses and passes and what a goal. Great credit to Skrtel who produced an amazing clearance off the line. Great to see us get a much needed win at home.
Man Of The Match – Bellamy – scored 2 goals and was dangerous all night, great energy and pace shown.
Posted by james walker at 23:17
Thursday, 1 December 2011
CHELSEA 0-2 LIVERPOOL MATCH REPORT
Liverpool’s recent tough fixture list continued with another trip to Stamford Bridge in less than a fortnight and only 50 hours after playing against Manchester City in a 1-1 draw. So as Liverpool continue in their quest to reach the new Wembley they are not going the easy route to get there with another away trip in this quarter final clash. But Liverpool go into the match with confidence high on a 10 match unbeaten run and buoyed by their recent defeat of their opponents just over a week ago.
Dalglish made 7 changes to the team that faced Manchester City on Sunday with Bellamy, Carragher, Coates, Kelly, Spearing, Maxi and Carroll returning to the side. Enrique, Reina, Lucas and Henderson being the only players that started on Sunday. Former Liverpool favourite Torres started for Chelsea.
Liverpool had an early scare when Luiz was upended by a challenge from Coates inside the penalty area, but referee Phil Dowd showed a yellow card to the Chelsea defender for diving. At the other end Andy Carroll fell under a challenge from David Luiz but again no penalty was awarded.
The game was turning out to be a very tight affair with not many chances in a keenly fought midfield battle. Then in the 22nd minute Alex handled an Enrique cross giving Liverpool a penalty and a great chance to take the lead. Andy Carroll took the spot kick straight down the middle but it was well saved by goalkeeper Ross Turnbull.
Not many chances were created during the rest of the first half as the midfield battle raged on, but Chelsea almost scored in stoppage time but Lukaku headed just wide from a Bosingwa cross.
Liverpool started the second half brightly and were looking dangerous on the counter attack. Bellamy curled an effort just over in one of these dangerous attacks. Chelsea almost took the lead in the 55th minute when a Ramires looping header came off the crossbar, Coates cleared off the goal line as Luiz looked to pounce.
Then Liverpool took the lead in the 58th minute when Henderson’s defence splitting pass sent Bellamy racing down the right and his low pass left Maxi with the simple task of tapping into the goal from close range sending the visiting supporters wild in celebration.
Just 4 minutes later Liverpool doubled their lead when a dangerous Bellamy free-kick was headed into the net by Martin Kelly who found himself unmarked in the penalty area. It was Kelly’s first goal for Liverpool and what an important one.
Chelsea seemed disheartened after this second goal and they struggled to respond as Liverpool were rarely threatened by the Chelsea attacks. A Torres header which was well saved by Reina and a chance for substitute Anelka were the best of their chances as Liverpool cruised into the semi-final of the Carling Cup. The only bad news of the night was the injury to Lucas who was stretchered off with 20 minutes remaining.
A superb performance by Liverpool, especially with so many changes to the side which could have made it difficult with so many players not featuring in the first team often this season. Liverpool did get lucky at the start when Chelsea were denied a stone wall penalty when Coates brought down Luiz. I thought we had missed our chance when Carroll missed the penalty, so it was great to see the miss not affect the players. The defence played superbly with Carragher and Coates immense after that early slip. Kelly was superb down the right and great to see him get his first goal for the club. Spearing and Henderson and Lucas worked their socks off in midfield, but sorry to see Lucas being stretchered off in what looks a bad injury. Bellamy was very lively and caused the Chelsea defence all sorts of problems. Andy Carroll never let his penalty miss get to him as he never hid and worked so hard for the team. A great result for Liverpool with a semi-final to look forward to in the new year against Manchester City.
Posted by james walker at 06:17