Liverpool’s last game of 2016 was a victory!

A largely unchanged squad saw only Emre Can added to the starting lineup from the last game we played and won.

Both teams were highly placed in the Premier League before this game started. Liverpool were 2nd and Manchester City were just below us in 3rd. With league table positions like that after half the season has been played, it wasn’t going to be easy for either side.

Liverpool started with attacking tactics, putting City under pressure whenever possible. We’d have our defence kept quite busy to deal with counter attacks but they seemed to be dealing with it well enough.

Raheem Sterling was busy running around the right wing most of the time but Klavan and Milner dealt with him so well that Mignolet didn’t have to barely at all and even our fans were doing their part to distract him as every time he got the ball, he would hear “BOO” from the home fans at Anfield. I’m sure you know why that is.
He once started asking Liverpool to improve his contract from £80,000 per week to £150,000 per week. When the club refused to almost double his salary, he started looking for a new club who would pay him that much and found that Manchester City were eager to give him all the money he wanted and off he went to Manchester to claim his cash prize. So, he became known as “Raheem, the money-grabbing traitor”. By his own doing. He would have been welcome to keep playing at Liverpool if he hadn’t of started getting so greedy about his salary. We respected his talent, but we don’t respect greed. Liverpool reward loyalty and major achievements (like winning trophys). You don’t just get given a million pound annual bonus without earning it, first. Not at this club.

The first half started well for Liverpool. In under ten minutes, we would have the first (and fortunately, ONLY) goal of the game. In the 8th minute, Adam Lallana made a run down the right wing with the ball, then would throw a wonderful cross over to Wijnaldum who he had seen running deep into a dangerous position. Wijnaldum didn’t even have to wait for the ball to come down to the pitch, he hit it in the air with a solid header that sailed to the far left corner of the net, beating Manchester City’s defence and goalkeeper.

This would be Adam Lallana’s 7th assisted goal of the season, he’s really becoming one of the most helpful teammates in the Liverpool squad. Plus, he’s scored 7 goals of his own too.  We appreciate your efforts, Adam.

The game would continue until the final whistle in much the same way it had been already, just with less goals. Some fans complained about the quality of the game by the time it was over but it was actually rather standard for playing a difficult side that wouldn’t be a pushover, even at Anfield. I saw it as a hard fought victory.

Simon Mignolet did well when he was tested by Manchester City’s offense and the best of their attackers could not score past him. He’s kept another clean sheet against one of the best teams in the league and we’re proud of him for it. Well done, Mignolet. You’re now repaying the faith put in you by the manager (and fans) when we had brought in a new goalkeeper. IF you continue to keep clean sheets and play this well, you will not be “replaced”. Karius will stay on the substitute bench. I’m confident this is going to happen.

Man of the Match

Georginio Wijnaldum was in the right place at the right time and did what he needed to, scoring the match winning goal and helping us obtain our victory. He has got a lot of potential and high standards to try and achieve set by the previous Dutchmen who played before him at Liverpool. People like Ryan Babel and Dirk Kuyt. Little by little, we’re seeing him fulfill this potential as he continues to impress our fans. His goal was important, giving us the three points we needed to stay in 2nd place in the Premier League table as we chase league leaders Chelsea who are generally 6 points ahead of us when both teams have played the same amount of fixtures. We’ll still have to play Chelsea at Anfield on January 31st and we could bring the gap to 3 points by winning that game. Then it’ll just be up to the rest of the league to see how many points they can steal from Chelsea as Liverpool would try to surpass them and win the league for the first time since 1990.

What’s next?

Liverpool’s fixture list for the new year will be very busy. All games will occur within less than a week of each other in January (every 6 days or less) starting with Premier League action against Sunderland, away.

So, keep walking on with hope in your heart. You’ll Never Walk Alone, Anfield Family. Oh and, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

[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 (more than 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.

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