Arsenal Blown Away With Ease

Liverpool were at their scintillating best as they swept aside one of their big rivals, Arsenal. Following on from their impressive attacking display against Hoffenheim a few days earlier, Liverpool totally dominated the Gunners. In fact it is fair to say that Arsenal were blown away with ease.

The game ended 4-0 but in all fairness, 4-0 flattered the team from North London. It could have been 7 or 8 as Liverpool ripped into their lack lustre opponents. Such was Liverpool’s dominance, Arsenal did not manage one single shot on target at all.

Liverpool were on fire throughout. Leading 2-0 at half time through goals from Bobby Firmino and Sadio Mane, Liverpool went on to score another two in the second half. The pace and power Liverpool displayed throughout was so very impressive. Gone was the back four jitters. Mind you that was just as much down to Arsenal’s ineptitude as well as Liverpool’s defensive improvements.

Goals by Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge in the second half really put a gloss on a superb performance.

Liverpool’s ability to play against the big boys has never been in doubt. If only they could replicate this kind of form against the so called lesser teams. Having said that though, Arsenal’s approach is totally different to the low block defensive style of others. The way Arsenal play and set up is ideal for Liverpool.

Arsenal Blown Away With Ease

See the highlights of Liverpool’s dominant performance below.

There were so many candidates for Man Of The Match. Mohamed Salah has certainly hit the ground running since his summer move from AS Roma. Bobby Firmino has also started the season well. As everyone can now see, Sadio Mane justs gets better and better.

If Philippe Coutinho stays beyond the transfer window, then Liverpool may be set for an exciting season.

Hopefully much more to come from the Reds. On this evidence there is plenty to look forward to.


Liverpool Sign Mohamed Salah

Finally Liverpool have signed winger Mohamed salah from Italian Serie A side AS Roma. The fee is a reported £34m – with add-ons it is expected to eclipse Liverpool’s previous £35m transfer record paid for Andy Carroll.

We say sign finally because we were so heavily linked with signing Salah in January 2014. It was rumoured then we had offered his club at the time, Basle, £8m for his services. Basle wanted £12m. They wouldn’t budge, we wouldn’t budge, so just before the January 2014 window closed, Chelsea signed him for £11m. We all have a degree in hindsight, but would it not have been wise to stump up the extra £3m to £4m in 2014?

As it happens, things did not work out for Salah at Chelsea. He was subsequently loaned, then sold to AS Roma, where he really stepped up to the plate.

Salah At AS Roma

His 2016/17 in particular was very productive. This form saw that Liverpool were justified in going for him, even though the fee has raised some eyebrows. Nevertheless, transfer fees are going through the roof nowadays, so it is to be assumed that this is the going rate.

We at Fields Of Anfield Road wish him well in his Liverpool career.

Check out Mohamed Salah’s successful 2016/17 season here…..

 


The Return Of Champions League Football

You could sense the nerves throughout the stadium for 45 minutes, but eventually Liverpool secured their Champions League return. Nerves turned to cheers as already relegated Middlesbrough crumbled at Anfield. Liverpool are the way back to the return of Champions League football.

As top-four rivals Arsenal were leading against Everton, Liverpool huffed and puffed. They were sterile in attack and jittery at the back for almost 45 minutes. But up stepped Georginio Wijnaldum. His strike in first half injury time lifted the tension. His bursting run into the box and cool finish at the near post settled the nerves.

A trademark Philippe Coutinho curling free-kick six minutes into the second half was just the ticket. His strike was quickly followed by Adam Lallana slotting in. This provided the Reds with a comfortable cushion to enable them to coast to the final whistle.

The Return Of Champions League Football

What we should be saying though is that Liverpool have qualified for the Champions League qualifying game. Actual return to the Group stages is of course not guaranteed. Fourth place was confirmed as Manchester City thrashed Watford. Having come this far, surely the Reds won’t fail to reach the group stages?

Manager Jurgen Klopp was all smiles at the end of the match. As is now a normal end to a match, he congratulated his players for efforts. The team’s display however underlined the need for significant summer investment. Watching owner, John W Henry, will no doubt have noticed this himself. If Liverpool get through their qualifying game it will be their first Champions League appearance since the 2014/15 season.

That season however, the challenge fizzled out in the group stages. Brendan Rodgers’ side struggled without the departed Luis Suarez and were found wanting. If Liverpool’s first half performance is to be the norm, then a similar fate will ensue.

What now seems to be the norm, Liverpool struggled against deep-lying opposition. Another recurring problem also raised it’s ugly head. The soft centre of their defence was almost exposed when Patrick Bamford got the wrong side of Dejan Lovren and had a strong claim for a penalty denied.

Approaching half time however, Wijnaldum’s powerful opener changed the whole mood. The fans in the stands seemed more relaxed as did the team on the pitch. The second half interchanging between Roberto Firmino, Coutinho and Lallana was close to Liverpool at their scintillating best.

Squad Strengthening Is A Must

It is important though that Liverpool recognise their shortfalls. It is imperative that they add the necessary recruitments to recreate that form more consistently. If, as hoped, they enter the bigger stages next season, the squad will not be so much stronger. Credit to Jurgen Klopp and his team though in collecting an impressive 76. This tally ensured finishing the season above Arsenal and Manchester United.

Although no silverware was on display it is felt that this is a successful season though. The target has always been to reach the Champions League. So, from a League viewpoint Liverpool have achieved that. Surely the aim next season will to be bigger and better. Let’s hope there are more exciting times ahead.

You can see the highlights of this important season finale here……Liverpool are heading to the return of Champions League football.

Opening Of The New Main Stand

Opening Of The New Main Stand

Finally the new Main Stand has been completed. And what a stand it is. At Liverpool’s request, the Premier League allowed Liverpool to begin their 2013/14 campaign with three consecutive away games. This was so that the new stand could be satisfactorily completed.

I can well remember the opening of the new Centenary Stand (the old Kemlyn Road Stand) in 1992 and not being overly excited by the occasion. To me, stand is a stand. Nothing to get excited about really. So when the news gathered pace about the opening of the new Main Stand, there was still the recollection of the underwhelming feelings of the Centenary Stand grand baptism.

However, when Saturday 10th September 2016 arrived, quite rightly the main thoughts were focused on the visit of the surprise reigning Champions – Leicester City. But once arriving at the ground you could suddenly see what all the fuss was about.

New Main Stand - Anfield 2016

New Main Stand – Anfield 2016

The steps you can see in the photo above was modelled on the new Wembley apparently. The new structure certainly gave the whole area an uplift. It’s modern, stylish appearance is a welcoming feature when approaching the ground via Walton Breck Road.

An added attraction is the inclusion of Paisley Square. Immediately to the right of this photograph there is now a stage area where you can listen to live music and watch a giant screen video. Also, as expected there are plenty of fast food kiosks selling a variety of hot food. Adjacent to the food kiosks is the LFC TV studio. This is a strange looking building. In truth it looks like an old shipyard container with windows……

LFC TV Studio-Paisley Square

LFC TV Studio-Paisley Square

Liverpool 4, Leicester 1

As you can see from the scoreline, Liverpool did the new stand opening proud with a thumping 4-1 victory against the 2015/16 Champions. Liverpool dominated the game and scored some good goals. The game however will be just as well remembered though for Leicester’s goal. Goalkeeper Loris Karius took a short goal kick to Lucas Leiva to the left of the penalty area. Inexplicably, Lucas got himself into a tangle and while his legs were all over the place, he simply rolled the ball back across the face of the Liverpool goal, straight to Jamie Vardy. Vardy won’t score a simpler goal. To be fair it was the only sniff Leicester got, but at the time the goal made the score 2-1. So things may have got a bit more nervy, but thankfully Liverpool were so dominant it did not have a huge impact.

You can see highlights of Liverpool’s victory below. The new Main Stand was well and truly christened.

Highlights of Liverpool 4, Leicester 1

Liverpool With Stunning Comeback

Liverpool quite brilliantly staged one of the most stunning comebacks Anfield has ever seen. Well, not only Anfield for that matter. The magnitude of the comeback in terms of the quality of the opposition was quite staggering.

In the first leg a week before, Liverpool earned a credible 1-1 draw in what must have been a very emotional occasion for former Dortmund manager, Jurgen Klopp. Divock Origi had given Liverpool a well earned half time lead at the Westfalenstadion stadium. But a Mats Hummels equaliser early in the second had set up the tie for a thrilling second leg. And it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Before the game both sets of fans commemorated the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster with an impeccably observed minute’s silence. The fans also joined together in a rousing rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone. They really raised the roof. See more here……

You’ll Never Walk Alone

What followed in the next 90 minutes plus can only be described as an absolute thriller. A game that will be well remembered for all the right reasons for generations. A game full of great attacking football from both sides, sheer excitement throughout and a finale that sent Anfield wild.

The game and the tie however looked all over as early as the 9th minute. Dortmund were well out the traps and struck twice inside the first nine minutes. First through Henrikh Mkhitaryan and then Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added the second. Both goals stemmed from quality swift breaks. Aubameyang’s strike in particular was despatched with a crisp 14-yard strike. This put the Bundesliga giants 3-1 ahead in the tie. So many inside Anfield thought “game over”

Even more reason to think was that Dortmund looked well capable of adding to their lead. They contrived to miss numerous more chances to extend their lead as Liverpool struggled to cope with their attacking threat.

Even when Divock Origi pulled a goal back early in the second half, there was some who thought that may be a consolation only. Especially as Marco Reus restored Dortmund’s two goal cushion some 10 minutes later. Now trailing 4-2 and with three away goals against them, Liverpool now needed to score three without reply. This looked to be highly unlikely.

As the game reached the last 25 minutes, the mountain to be climbed seemed to be unsurmountable. A goal by Philippe Coutinho in the 66th minute lifted the mood and the atmosphere around Anfield however. Could Liverpool pull off the impossible?

In the 77th minute the fans thought so as Mamadou Sakho stooped to head a third for Liverpool. Cue borderline hysteria inside Anfield. That goal though would be all to no avail however if Liverpool couldn’t sneak another. Added to the uncertainty was the obvious threat Dortmund carried. Having said that though their threat was somewhat blunted by now compared to what they were producing in the first hour or so.

Injury Time – Could Liverpool Do It?

As the 90 minutes were up, all Liverpool fans were looking for the board to see how many minutes were to be added. Quite spectacularly, they didn’t have to wait long as a brilliant James Milner cross to the far post was met by Dejan Lovren. His towering header was emphatically put away in theKop goal. Now cue absolute pandemonium as the ball nestled behind Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller. Liverpool had done it. Such drama, such wild celebrations. Lovren’s header will ensure it’s place in Liverpool folklore.

The tournament favourites were beaten. Anfield was rocking. Now onto the semi finals. Could Liverpool go all the way?

Relive this night of huge drama here. This is truly a “I was there” moment to treasure.

On This Day-20th September 2006

Our “On This Day-20th September 2006” trip down Memory Lane is a corker. We have all seen spectacular goals at Anfield. Stevie G against Olympiakos in the successful 2004/05 campaign for instance. So many more of Gerrard’s to remember as well. How much time would you have relive the many belters from Luis Suarez?

Robbie Fowler in the 3-0 win against Aston Villa. A quick turn leaving ex-Red Steve Staunton floundering then a piledriver from 30 yards.

John Barnes mazy dribble in the 4-0 demolition of QPR in 1987.

There are so many to recollect. Up there with the best surely is this one……

On This Day-20th September 2006

An incredible strike from Xabi Alonso and Dirk Kuyt’s first goal for Liverpool endured victory against Newcastle.

Dirk Kuyt was the one to end Liverpool’s five-hour goal drought when he slid in to convert Steve Finnan’s cross. This came after Xabi Alonso’s exquisite pass had created the opportunity.

But to use the analogy of waiting for a bus. You wait ages for a bus then two turn up. As welcome as Kuyt’s opener was, it did not catch the headlines as much as the second. This is because after the break, Alonso produced yet another moment of brilliance. Collecting the ball about 35 to 40 yards away from his own goal (yes, that’s right, facing Liverpool’s goal at the Anfield Road end), there looked little danger for Newcastle. Alonso then turned though to face the Newcastle goal that was being guarded by Steve Harper.  Nobody expected what was to follow though. In fact it very nearly didn’t as referee, Mark Halsey inadvertently got himself in the way.

It looked as though Alonso was looking for a forward pass option. As he was looking around he obviously spotted Harper off his line. In a flash, Alonso looked up and unleashed a spectacular 70 yard effort towards the Kop goal. This incredible effort from inside his own half left the slipping Steve Harper groping air.

It may have been a one-off, incredible moment for Alonso to savour. But not so as he had history. He also spectacularly scored from his own half against Luton Town in the FA Cup the previous season. Nevertheless, still a stunning moment to relive. This goal, if anything, was not only more spectacular than his Luton one, but arguably more important.

Relive This Incredible Goal Again Here

Not a moment that Steve Harper will cherish however. Most definitely not his finest hour. The strike ensured a quite comfortable victory for Liverpool against an outplayed Newcastle. What a goal and what a player.

Farewell To A Legend-Steven Gerrard

In many quarters, especially with Stoke City fans, the 24th May 2015 will be remembered for Liverpool’s 6-1 hammering that day. But to Liverpool fans it meant more than that. As bad as the memory of that defeat is, we would like fonder memories to relive. The day represented a “Farewell To A Legend-Steven Gerrard” occasion.

For those of us old enough to have seen his whole career, what memories to enjoy. Who remembers his Liverpool Premier League debut on 29 November 1998 against Blackburn Rovers? Or his first goal against Sheffield Wednesday the following season in a 4-1 win? Quite significantly, it was Gerrard who scored Liverpool’s consolation in that Stoke thrashing. This game though was not his defining moment. Between his debut and his Stoke City swansong, there is so many great memories to recollect.

Farewell To A Legend-Steven Gerrard

In his 17 years dedicated service to Liverpool, Gerrard – affectionately known as Stevie G to the fans – scored some very important goals, made many match saving tackles and generally represented his boyhood club brilliantly. We have covered much of Stevie G’s brilliant Liverpool career on these pages:

Stevie G – 1998 to 2004 – http://www.fieldsofanfieldroad.com/steven-gerrard-1998-2004/

Also see – Stevie G – 2004 to 2007 – http://www.fieldsofanfieldroad.com/steven-gerrard-2004-2007/

And finally – Stevie G – 2007 to Present – http://www.fieldsofanfieldroad.com/steven-gerrard-2007-present/

Clicking these links will give you so much more information about the great man.

It is also worth briefly mentioning Stevie’s life before and outside of his football career.

Stevie G – Things You May Not Know

Seeing him on the football pitch it is hard to know that Gerrard was born with a club foot. Also, did you know that he is a practising Roman Catholic. He has an older brother, Paul. This is not the Paul Gerrard who used to play in goal for Everton. His cousin, Anthony Gerrard was also a footballer. In fact, the cousins played against each other in the 2012 League Cup Final. Anthony missed his penalty in the sudden death shoot out. Liverpool went on to lift the trophy.

Stevie G married his wife, Alex (maiden name Curran) in a Catholic ceremony in Wymondham on 16 June 2007. They have four children. Daughters Lilly-Ella, Lexie, Lourdes, and son Lio.

None Football Honours

On 13th December 2007, the Councillors of Knowsley voted to make Stevie a Freeman of the Borough. Also, two weeks later, he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the Queen in her New Year Honours List, for services to sport. In addition, he received an honorary fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University on 26 July 2008 as recognition for his contribution to sport. Some really prestigious awards to add to his fine array of football honours.

You can see a full biography of Stevie’s career and life generally HERE

Thanks For The Memories

Sorry Stoke fans but we are not making too much of the 6-1 mauling you gave us on the 24th May 2015 as a Stevie G landmark. We have too many happier moments to cherish. Here are just a few videos to remember him more fittingly……

Steven Gerrard – The Story

In Addition – His Top 20 Legendary Goals.

So difficult to pick the best.

And Finally – Steven Gerrard – The End

Thank you so much for these fabulous memories Stevie. Farewell to a legend-Steven Gerrard. Let’s hope you will provide us with many more in your new role as a part of Liverpool’s coaching staff.

Norwich 2, Liverpool 3 – A Real Nail Biter

Firstly, let me begin by saying that as our magnificent run has developed and progressed, our expectations have changed dramatically. The goal posts have well and truly been changed. At the start of this season if anyone had said that we would qualify for an automatic Champions League spot four games before the end of the season, we would all have jumped at that chance of that opportunity happening.

Instead of a sub title saying “A Real Nail Biter” we would have expected a more celebratory statement. More of a euphoric – Superb!! Champions League Football Is Back!! But such is the ride we are being taken on at the moment, the prize has suddenly got much bigger. Top of the league with a five point lead with three games to go!! Wow, who would have expected this at the start of the season, or indeed as relatively recently as Christmas time.

We have, without any shadow of a doubt, been absolutely superb this season. The three Cup Finals left are title rivals, Chelsea at home, Crystal Palace away and our last game of the season on May 11th, at home to Newcastle United. Liverpool will be absolutely buzzing for the next two home games.

Manchester City, don’t forget, have that extra game in hand and of course, Chelsea will pose a huge threat next Sunday. Crystal Palace are on a great run themselves, so nobody is taking anything for granted. But often in football, momentum is a key factor in ultimately deciding outcomes.

For instance, most pundits thought Sunderland were dead and buried but then a draw at the Etihad (could have been three points) and a fantastic win at Stamford Bridge (take a bow Fabio Borini) has suddenly given all Mackems fresh hope. And of course they now have some momentum with them, so who would bet against them getting out of trouble?

In our situation, our victory against Norwich on Sunday was an illustration of how a team’s momentum can carry a team over the line. With the momentum we have, comes confidence. With confidence comes inner belief, that even in the face of sustained pressure or adversity, we will prevail. To say that Norwich gave us a run for our money is a huge understatement, but the eventual outcome of another 3-2 victory wasn’t so much expected but more of a case of no surprises that we ultimately hung on to gather another much needed three points.

Raheem Sterling gave us a fabulous start with an absolute corker of a goal on four minutes. How his game has developed and improved over the last six months. Many fans I know, even as recently as Christmas time, were writing him off saying that he will never make it. Admittedly there was an element of him often running down blind alleys and failing to deliver a telling final ball when he was used mainly as a wide player, so these negative verdicts were maybe not too far wide of the mark.

Brendan Rodgers clearly has faith in him and not only that, saw something in him that maybe not many others did. The transformation has been remarkable. How much of the team’s performances lifted him…or how much of his performances have lifted the team. The two scenarios go hand in hand it would seem. Many Liverpool fans were critical of our failure to strengthen the squad in January. If we had, would Sterling have been the one to make way for a new signing? Who knows. But one thing is for sure, let us give Brendan Rodgers the credit and the respect he deserves. That well worn fans cliche banner of “In Whoever We Trust” is so deserving in Brendan Rogers case. So let us not forget…”In Brendan We Trust!!”

Sterling’s thunderbolt goal oozed class and confidence. Liverpool a goal up within the first few minutes of a game as we have been so many times this season. Seven minutes later, Jon Flanagan brilliantly side-stepped a Norwich player on the halfway line, spotted Sterling’s brilliant run into space, played him in and now seeing Sterling in that sort of position a sense of expectancy arises instead of the previous thoughts of “bet his cross hits the first defender.” In other words, Sterling has now become a “bums off seats” player. Sure enough, he did not disappoint, as he delivered a sublime ball across the box to Luis Suarez, who didn’t have to break stride to simply guide the ball into the bottom right corner of John Ruddy’s net.

It was still a great finish by Suarez though. As the ball came in from Sterling from the left, who else would you want to see on the end of it. Liverpool 2-0 up within 11 minutes and seemingly cruising. But oh how the game was to change. For the rest of the half Liverpool seemed to play within themselves while Norwich huffed and puffed really. Their greatest threats were coming from the steadily growing list of needlessly conceded free kicks.

The second half however saw Norwich come at us with more purpose and conviction. Clearly they could see that if they could get crosses into the box, they would have a chance. Sure enough, on 54 minutes another searching cross came in. We all know that it should have been dealt with by Simon Mignolet, but his flap at the cross fell invitingly at the feet of Gary Hooper who, as expected, slotted into the empty net from about five yards out. I’m still unsure about Mignolet. Great shot-stopper undoubtedly but his decision making of when to come for crosses and when to stay is so poor at times.

Nevertheless, we were still in front and eight minutes later our two goal cushion was restored when Raheem Sterling intercepted a wayward Bradley Johnson pass on the halfway line, to sprint clear and ruthlessly capitalise on the midfielder’s error. Liverpool 3-1 in front, surely we will now see the game out. As with some of our other roller coaster games this season (eg the Swansea 4-3 and the Stoke 5-3) though, the game was to be poised on a knife edge when on 75 minutes Liverpool again failed to stop a routine cross coming in and Robert Snodgrass rose above the static Mamadou Sakho and Jon Flanagan to head home.

Fifteen minutes plus injury time left. Most definitely game on. I felt the introduction of Victor Moses for the last 20 minutes or so provided us with more of an outlet up front as at times Luis Suarez was looking more and more isolated in the second half. It was Moses’ tenacity that helped Luis Suarez bear down on goal in the final few moments. Most fans expected him to finish the move off himself but instead he squared the ball to Lucas Leiva who’s two attempts from about six yards were blocked.

As it happened the miss was not costly as the final whistle sounded soon after much to the relief of the travelling fans and players. Another vital three points for Liverpool. We did deserve the three points but it was evident that we missed Jordan Henderson (who’d have said that a year ago!?). Lucas came in but looked a bit rusty at times. He still made some great tackles and interceptions but I just wish he’d cut out giving away cheap free kicks in dangerous areas.

Three more Cup Finals left, starting with Chelsea next Sunday at Anfield (April 27th, 2.05 pm kick off). As  Steven Gerrard would say…..WE GO AGAIN!!

And finally…..CONGRATULATIONS LIVERPOOL ON REACHING THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE!!

Let me know what your thoughts are by leaving a comment below (click the “Comments” link).

If you haven’t seen them yet or would like to see them again, here are the highlights to the game……(commentary is not in English though).

 

Hillsborough – The 25th Anniversary

Like every year, emotions were running high yesterday as an estimated 25,000 people packed into Anfield to show their respects to the 96 Liverpool fans who, on 15th April 1989, went to a football match and never came home.

The tone for yesterday was set on Sunday really with an emotional Steven Gerrard shedding a few tears at the end of the Manchester City game. As he said afterwards, the 3-2 win on Sunday was dedicated to the 96.

Manchester City fans played their part with their “YNWA 96” banner in the Anfield Road end, as did all other clubs with the minute silence before all games up and down the country.

Yesterday seemed to be more significant because it was the 25th anniversary. 25 years? Has it really gone so quickly? A quarter of a century. The weather yesterday was so reminiscent of 15th April 1989, with the spring sunshine engulfing Anfield as it did Hillsborough 25 years ago.

The proceedings began with a rendition of “Abide With Me” soon followed by the reading of the names of the 96 victims. This part of the Service is always highly emotional as families memories, as always, focus on their departed loved ones. To see so many names of all ages – from 10 years of age (Steven Gerrard’s cousin, Jon Paul Gilhooley) to 67 years of age, Gerard Baron is heart wrenching. For the full list of victims, go to our main website by clicking here

As always, players and officials past and present were there to show their support and their were some extremely poignant and rousing speeches delivered. All Liverpool fans know, our neighbours from across Stanley Park, Everton have stood shoulder to shoulder with us throughout the 25 years. Everton themselves held their own Memorial Service as a mark of respect. After all the tragedy affected a whole City and not just one football club.

Everton manager, Roberto Martinez, was asked to deliver a reading and a speech. His fantastic contribution on the day was so fitting off the man and aroused so many emotions. You can catch his speech here….

Everton manager Roberto Martinez’s speech during the Hillsborough Memorial at Anfield, 15/4/2014. During his speech, Sky News’ Kay Burley interrupted live co…

Thank you to Mr Martinez and everyone else connected with Everton Football Club for your unstinting support.

All Liverpool fans are now so well aware of manager, Brendan Rodgers’, eloquence and assertiveness. His impeccably delivered speech and the reading of Psalm 23 was very moving. We truly have a manager who not only knows his football, but also gets and embraces everything about our fantastic club.

You can watch his speech here…..

Five years ago, the MP, Andy Burnham, was booed as he delivered his speech on the 20th anniversary. It was after this however when he started the political wheels in motion to reopen the inquiries. A major step that brings justice so much closer. Thank you Andy Burnham….

As ever, the Chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG), Margaret Aspinall, who lost her own 18 year-old son James, spoke with such feeling and emotion and gave heartfelt thanks to a variety of people.

As 96 balloons were set free into the blue sky, it was left to Gerry Marsden and the congregation to honour the victims with another fantastic rendition of the club’s anthem – You’ll Never Walk Alone.

With the reopening of the inquests and the proceedings ongoing in Warrington, we can only hope that the Fight For Justice is nearing an end and, after 25 years of tears and heartache, the families can finally achieve what they have fought so hard for and their loved ones can finally Rest In Peace.

JFT96…..YNWA

 

 

Liverpool 3 Manchester City 2 – Now We Are Beginning To Believe!!

In recent months test after test have been placed before Liverpool and to their credit they have not only overcome most of the hurdles placed before them but have done so with some style and panache. Sunday was no exception. Each year for the last 25 years the home game nearest to the anniversary of Hillsborough on the calendar is understandably an emotion charged affair. This season’s encounter with Manchester City had of course the added spice of two of the title challengers going head-to-head and arguably, the two best teams in the country as well.

It would not be enough to just talk about the game itself. The fans – yet again – before, during and after the match showed why they are the true 12th Man when it comes to lending support to the cause. The flags, the banners, the songs and the outpouring of feelings was so intense it was intoxicating. What the players from both sides made of the coach ride down Anfield Road is anyone’s guess. To the Liverpool players it would have been awe-inspiring and uplifting, while for Manchester City’s players there may have been a hint of trepidation creeping in as the coach crept along Anfield Road.

See for yourself the truly unique and inspirational “Welcome To Anfield”…..

 

Liverpool FC fans welcome the team coach to Anfield ahead of Manchester City's visitLiverpool FC fans welcome the team coach to Anfield ahead of Manchester City’s visit
Liverpool fans lined the route outside Anfield to welcome Brendan Rodgers’ side before their title showdown with Manchester City.

The game had been billed as the “Game Of The Season” by many. And on that score it certainly didn’t disappoint. Like in so many games this season, Liverpool went at their opponents from the very first whistle with such pace, power and urgency. The movement and the interaction between Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho at times is mesmerising. Quite how, where and why defences are supposed to stop them in full flight is a poser that will continue for many a season no doubt.

The first goal came as a result of Luis Suarez dropping deep and out-muscling Martin Demichelis to then thread a beautiful through ball to Raheem Sterling. Still with plenty to do, Sterling showed plenty of composure beyond his youthful 19 years, to bamboozle Vincent Kompany and City keeper Joe Hart and slot the opener in the Kop goal. Cue hysteria from the stands.

So much credit has to go to Brendan Rodgers for getting the best out of Raheem Sterling and of course, much credit to the player himself as he has worked hard and seen his career move into overdrive. Whenever Rodgers employs him at the front tip of the diamond formation in midfield, Sterling has relished the role and with his pace, movement and trickery he has found himself at the fulcrum of many of Liverpool’s best attacking moments.

If the ground was rocking after the first goal, Martin Skrtel’s header for Liverpool’s second on 26 minutes nearly took the roof off the Kop. Liverpool were seemingly coasting at 2-0 but not unsurprisingly City came more into it as all class sides will eventually. As the first half was drawing to a close, City managed to finally get a foothold in the game, but couldn’t pull a goal back before the break.

Ten minutes or so into the second half the pendulum did change towards City as Manuel Pellegrini introduced the hugely underrated James Milner into the action. Milner made an immediate impact and offered City so much more than the departing Jesus Navas had in the first half. City’s shape and effectiveness was transformed and it was no big surprise when they pulled themselves level with two goals in seven minutes. David Silva is a player of such quality and enterprise. He scored the first and engineered the second, an own goal by Glen Johnson.

Now all of a sudden, City were in the ascendency and looked the more likely to go on and grab a third. The introduction of Joe Allen however for the clearly injured Daniel Sturridge enabled Liverpool to plug some of the gaps David Silva, Samir Nasri and James Milner were exploiting. The game seemed to even out in terms of possession and it did seem as though whoever scored next would go on to grab all three points.

There is no doubting that Vincent Kompany is one of the best defenders in the Premier League, if not the world, but when he makes a blunder, he does so good style. His miscued clearance on 78 minutes fell to our own little magician, Philippe Coutinho, who finished with aplomb. Remember me saying cue hysteria earlier? Well, multiply that by at least 10 when Coutinho’s shot nestled in the net at the Anfield Road end.

The goal wasn’t Coutinho’s only telling contribution to the game. He was immense throughout and for someone who is supposedly lightweight, he put himself about and won so many crucial balls in the middle of the park. He has always had the tricks and the skills you would expect from a Brazilian, but now he has added steel and a huge work-rate, he is emerging as a really effective and potent talent. Long may it continue.

So, we won the game 3-2 and stayed top of the Premier League and put some daylight between ourselves and Manchester City. Four Cup Finals now. Steven Gerrard took time out during the post match celebrations on the pitch to remind the rest of the team that we have to do it all again next week against Norwich. See his rally cry here in the impromptu huddle…..

 

Gerrard Post Match HuddleGerrard Post Match Huddle
Steven Gerrard’s post match huddle after they (Liverpool F.C.) win Manchester City F.C. 3-2 in a significant match on Sunday 13th April 2014 13:37 kickoff.

He was still very emotional in his post match interview…..

 

Liverpool Vs Manchester City 3-2 - Steven Gerrard Interview After Crying - April 13 2014 - [HD]Liverpool Vs Manchester City 3-2 – Steven Gerrard Interview After Crying – April 13 2014 – [HD]
An emotional Gerrard gives his post match reactions after Liverpool beat Man City 3-2.

A special mention must go to the Manchester City fans who not only observed the pre-match minutes silence impeccably, but also unfurled a touching banner in memory of the 96 and a full page advert in the match day programme. Respect to all at Manchester City.

YNWA 96: Man City have taken out a full page advert in today’s …

YNWA 96: Man City have taken out a full page advert in today’s Liverpool programme


2 days ago Simon Hughes (@Simon_Hughes__) April 13, 2014. Kudos to Manchester City
for this excellent gesture. It may be the biggest game of the …

 

You can see the highlights of the Game Of The Season here….

Liverpool vs Manchester City 3-2 Full Match HD Liverpool vs Manchester City 3 2 Liverpool vs Manchester City 3 2 Liverpool vs Manchester City 3 2 Liverpool v…