BURNLEY 0 – 1 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool had a shaky start today, but came through it to manage a victory with a single goal.
After some disappointing results against teams we usually would be beating this season, we came through another “expected win” with the result we had gone there to achieve.
Our lineup was as expected, mostly. Brendan Rodgers put Brad Jones in goal (he said he was going to keep doing that game after game, recently) in the starting 11 and on the substitute bench there was a player from the Academy called Sheyi Ojo who was picked for the squad but not used in the game. He was assigned number 54 on his shirt.
Sheyi was born in Hemel Hempstead (making him English) in June of 1997 and has Nigerian family. He’s an attacking midfielder who is usually seen playing on the wings (both left or right). I just think it’s a shame we didn’t get to see him play as the manager never brought him on. I like seeing youngsters from the Academy get their chance to prove their worth. We’ve seen Jordan Ibe and Jordan Rossiter play very well this season and it would have been good to see Ojo show what he can do for Liverpool.
The starting formation was 3-5-2, which we have seen Brendan Rodgers use before. The three defenders – Kolo Toure, Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho all did well enough to keep a clean sheet today. Lucas, Henderson, Gerrard, Markovic and Coutinho all played their part in midfield and Lallana and Sterling would be up front, providing our strikeforce at the top of the pitch.
The first half did not go as well as the Reds fans would have expected, a few chances to score here and there but we were really letting the home side take control of the game at this point and we didn’t dominate them, they were allowed to create their own chances and at times it was very dangerous, they could have made us pay with goals of their own, though we were lucky this didn’t happen. We would do enough to make sure we didn’t concede but also couldn’t manage to take a lead in the first half, we went in with the score Burnley 0-0 Liverpool at half time.
There was a Burnley attack that led to the injury of Brad Jones early on, he was replaced by Simon Mignolet at the 15 minute mark and Rodgers was stuck with using the goalkeeper he had claimed was “out of form” very recently and dropped him from the starting 11, though Mignolet didn’t let any goals in today so he may just have made a point… that he’s still the best man for the goalkeepers job. Jones has only one option right now – recover from injury FAST, or lose his spot to Mignolet who knows his position is in danger if Jones is fully fit. With the transfer window opening soon in January, there has also been transfer talk of Liverpool buying Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa who was in the Mexico World Cup squad that made it to the knockout rounds of the tournament this year. Competition for the number 1 spot will be a three man battle if all players are fit.
I don’t know what the manager said to the players at half time, but it seemed to have worked. We were like a new team in the second half, we kept possession and tried to keep their players away from the ball as much as possible. Interestingly, at the start of the second half, Brendan Rodgers took Kolo Toure off and replaced him with Emre Can as we now played a 2-6-2 formation which could have been disastrous if we had allowed Burnley to keep the ball and make their attacking plays as we had done in the first half, but it seemed to pay off as the 6 midfielders outnumbered their opponents in the middle of the pitch and kept the ball flowing to our strikers who had more and more assistance from multiple players with every attack we made. Lallana and Sterling had plenty of help and it really changed the game for us, as we now dominated and only looked like scoring (instead of perhaps conceding) goals.
Around the hour mark (60 minutes) Steven Gerrard was working well with Coutinho and Coutinho took a shot which hit a defender and unfortunately went clear of the goal. Shortly after that, Coutinho continued to show his magic as he provided a beautiful through ball to Raheem Sterling who would dribble around the Burnley goalkeeper and put the ball in the net.
Liverpool had more chances to score but couldn’t find another goal, although it was not needed to take all three points. I think when Brendan Rodgers replaced Coutinho with Rickie Lambert in the 73rd minute, he was probably hoping Lambert would provide a second goal but many would still consider Coutinho as being “Man of the Match” for his efforts in the game before he was substituted. Steven Gerrard has described Coutinho as a “magician” for his spectacular footballing skills (which he displays even in training, according to Gerrard) and we all have seen his magic once again. He doesn’t score an awful lot, but he provides more assists for goal than most other players in the squad and the Reds fans, we all love his magic.
A MERRY CHRISTMAS for all the Reds it is then and hopefully we can make it a “happy new year” aswell by the time we play Leicester on New Years Day (January 1st). Before then, we still have Swansea to play in the Premier League too, on December 29th.
Until then, walk on with hope in your hearts, Reds. You’ll Never Walk Alone… your Anfield Family is walking with you.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so i was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.
I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet.