LIVERPOOL 1-0 BOURNEMOUTH

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KLOPP HAS HIS FIRST WIN! Some of our “perfectionist” fans had been expecting victory since the time of Klopp’s arrival. Draw after draw after draw just wasn’t good as they wanted, for these Reds. Myself, I’ve been content with simply being “undefeated” (at least not losing our fixtures) but I’m happy to say that “everyone is happy” now that the manager has been victorious, instead of just drawing. Long may it continue. I really don’t like to see unhappy Liverpool fans and if Klopp getting victories instead of defeats or even draws makes you happiest, then I hope we can keep up the winning streak for you.

a picture I took of the Kop, taken from the Centenary Stand.

As I said in my previous article, I was going to attend the League Cup game Liverpool had to play at Anfield. I was sat in the Centenary Stand, pretty close to the pitch. Close enough that the players probably heard me yelling praise and encouragement at them for the whole game.

Jordon Ibe runs down the pitch right in front of me

Jordon Ibe runs down the pitch at Anfield, right in front of me

The crowd weren’t as loud as the Rubin Kazan game this time, but that’s probably because the away fans were actually in the stadium this time, thousands of them. English fans don’t find it anywhere near as difficult as Russian fans to make their way to Anfield. It helps if you live in the same country as the stadium you wish to watch your football team in. Even travelling from Bournemouth (and other parts of England) to Liverpool can be just a simple car, coach or train journey, there’s pretty direct ways of making your way throughout the country to get to your desired football stadium. Most fixtures are “sell outs” – meaning there’s enough away fans to fill up the seats allocated for the opponents team supporters in almost all games. That’s a lot of travelling for many thousands of people, even in just a single season. Not so hard for those people.

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Stands are clearly marked on the map attached to the wall at Anfield

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It’s hard to get lost if you look at the detailed map of Anfield to see where you are.

I’m lucky enough to live in the city of my favourite football team and don’t have to travel too far to get to our team’s stadium, Anfield.

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Anyway, this particular game was to be a bit of a try out for players that wouldn’t normally get a game. Cup games are often like that for managers, they use the “fringe” players who aren’t typically used in regular first team fixtures. And so, we saw Ryan Fulton, Jerome Sinclair, Adam Bogdan, Connor Randall, Cameron Brannagan and Joao Carlos Teixeira given opportunities to play for the first team.

The youngsters and stars from the Academy all did very well. I was very impressed with Teixeira, Bogdan and Randall. Bogdan did great for our first line of defence and many fans praised him, stating that he is not our regular goalkeeper but played just as well as Mignolet could have and keeping a clean sheet was an admirable achievement for him. Teixeira had his moments in attack, making offensive plays and linking up with our striker Divock Origi rather well, supplying him with some balls that lead to exciting attacks. In fact, in the lead up to the goal scored by Nathaniel Clyne, it was Teixeira’s saved shot that had led up to Clyne putting the rebounded ball into the net for Liverpool. Quite an impact on the game for him, he’d almost had the goal himself.

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Connor Randall was making his first team debut and played primarily as right back, though we saw him make his way far down the right hand side of the pitch in this game, creating chances for Jordon Ibe and Divock Origi as he pushed offensively and deep into the opponent’s area of the pitch. I don’t always like players being “out of position” but I admired the youngster for his willingness to adapt to the current gameplay, allowing some of the other right sided players more freedom to move about the pitch into dangerous positions that the opposition did not expect to see our players in. Marking players who don’t do as they’re expected to do is very difficult, no amount of research prepares a team for that happening. Bournemouth would have expected to only see Randall in the right back’s defensive area of the pitch, not making dangerous runs into the far right side of the midfield and even pushing into their penalty area with our striker. Plus, if our opponents tried to take advantage of Randall being “too far” up the pitch, he’s so young that he can quickly get back and make a tackle in decent time.

I’d happily watch Randall again, hopefully this isn’t his only game of the season. If he’s lucky, Klopp will continue to pick him at least for the Cup games and we of course are continuing to progress in this competition.

Young players like Jordon Ibe did not disappoint the Reds fans

Young players like Jordon Ibe did not disappoint the Reds fans

Other than these youngsters, I was most impressed with Jordon Ibe. He played a part in most attacks that were happening, running at our opponents defence and causing them major trouble as often as he could.

Firmino played very well and was troublesome for our opposition too, I did value his contribution to the game highly but I did rather more enjoy watching the gameplay as Ibe got a hold of the ball. It was exciting and mostly unpredictable, apart from the fact that you could predict great football would soon happen as he moved around the pitch. Despite the fact that Ibe did not score our winning goal, I would like to name Jordon (Ibe) as the Man Of The Match. Sorry Nathaniel Clyne, I’m happy you scored your first goal for us but your single admittedly rather lucky rebounded effort (from a saved shot that had originally been Teixeira’s shot) finding it’s way into the net did not outshine the efforts of Jordon Ibe’s constant attacks, which lasted most of the game. We pushed our opponents back down the pitch as we attacked so they had to defend and most of the time, it was Ibe doing the pushing.

Ibe worked harder than any player on the pitch, I am quite certain of. There was crazy runs which no defence could stop. If he wanted to make his way into their penalty area, he did it and they would even have problems successfully tackling him as he usually made an assist, passing the ball away to a teammates when it looked like he had a tackle coming in, forcing them to keep attempting to win the ball from him but failing to do so. Clever football is what that is.

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Our manager was positive about the result of this game. After it finished, Klopp said:

“My first win feels better than a draw. I’m really satisfied because this team had never played together and the young players did really well.

We had many chances against a side which played with nearly their first team. We were dominant, played football and got the win we deserved.

It was very important to win because we decided to go with a new team. To win is always good for the feeling of the whole team.”

This win of course takes Liverpool to the next round of the League Cup, a Quarter Final we will be playing against Southampton, it’s been drawn and announced already. Before then, we’ll also have fixtures including our next game against Chelsea who haven’t been achieving great success this season, with their position in the league table slipping down to as low as 15th place.

It’ll be a pleasure to watch Liverpool show them what we can do as we aim to keep up our winning streak.

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I hope you enjoyed our new manager’s first victory as much as I did, Reds.

You’ll Never Walk Alone, Anfield Family.

[written by] Stuart Drewery.

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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.

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