SUNDERLAND 0-1 LIVERPOOL

The Reds played their socks off and came away with another win. It’ll be a happy new year thanks to Jürgen Klopp’s team once again, only shortly after beating Leicester.

The weather was good as we played in dry conditions from 7:45PM (in England), the players could run around the pitch without slipping over, it would not rain at all on this clear evening. Our opposition certainly can’t blame severe weather conditions for their defeat at their own stadium.

Sunderland are a team that have been in the relegation zone for a large part of this season. We’re talking even worse than Chelsea, here!

Despite the fact that they do have some quite talented players like former Liverpool player Fabio Borini and former Everton and Manchester City player Jack Rodwell, Sunderland have had twice the amount of goals they had scored (19) put into their own net (38 goals scored against them), leaving them with an awful goal difference and not very many points from all the fixtures they’ve played.

Liverpool would add to their miserable season with more misery as we left them without any goals or points to show from this game and with them still placed deep down in the league table, at 19th place.

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Jürgen Klopp would have a variety of players available to him, including the on form striker Christian Benteke for this game. It was very similar to the line up we had in the second half against Leicester, with Benteke being the main striker instead of Origi (who was injured in the first half of the Leicester game).

Adam Bogdan would remain on the bench, likely to stay there for quite a while now after his poor performance in the Watford fixture Liverpool lost recently. I’m happy that our goalkeeper was once again Simon Mignolet. He kept a clean sheet once again just as he has done 16 times this season, a Premier League record which no other goalkeeper has managed to achieve in 2015. Quite a record breaking year for Simon.

Liverpool went into this game with no doubts that we were the stronger team, but also no misconceptions. The manager would say in a pre match interview shortly before kickoff – “we expect this to be a physical game” and he was right, we really fought hard in every attack and for the single goal which we won the game with. From the first moment of the first half to the last moments of the second half, there was a tough defensive force being shown by Sunderland, who even if they couldn’t score themselves clearly wanted to stop their opposition from scoring either. It was like they wanted a 0-0 draw, but they would not get it.

The first half saw Liverpool take the few chances they were able to create as shots from Benteke, Coutinho, Firmino and Henderson all were blocked by defenders or saved by the goalkeeper. Fabio Borini would come close for Sunderland but Mignolet had been quite determined not to allow a former teammate to score against him, protecting his remarkable clean sheets record as he kept the ball from going into his net.

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Liverpool’s half time team talk consisted at least partly of Jürgen Klopp telling his team to “push forward”, the manager would reveal after the game. Liverpool did push forward and made a large impact by doing so within the first minute of play in the second half.
Lallana and Benteke were the two players in the center circle as the referee blew his whistle to start play again. Benteke gave the ball to Lallana and made a run towards the opposition’s goalkeeper. Lallana would give the ball to Firmino, who was out on the right wing. Firmino ran with the ball for while, then decided to try and give the ball to Benteke who was now in a dangerous position in the Sunderland penalty area. The ball did not go directly from Firmino to Benteke, Lallana would distract the defenders by adding an extra unexpected pass from Firmino’s original ball. It was enough to make sure that Benteke would receive the ball and be able to have the space he needed to shoot and score. Sunderland 0-1 Liverpool

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Benteke has proven himself yet again while Liverpool have some strikers injured and still need an on form goalscorer. With Origi and Sturridge out at the moment, it’s good to know that we can rely on someone else for goals. I’m awarding “Man Of The Match” to Benteke for his continued outstanding performance and hard work against a side that really kept it’s defence tight for most of the game. It could have easily been a 0-0 draw, but Benteke made sure that we would have at least one goal to show for our visit to Sunderland’s stadium and three points to celebrate as we bring in the new year which as Christian said himself on Twitter, are the most important thing.

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The Liverpool players and fans get to end 2015 with good feelings as we managed to defend well (thanks to our defenders and goalkeeper doing a great job) and grabbed the goal which would provide us our win.

Liverpool have more away fixture coming up which will last until the middle of January. The next one will be West Ham, so we travel to London in the early new year.

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I know you’ll all be happy as we enter 2016 although West Ham have a chance to break our run of good results soon. But I have hope they won’t do that.

Walk on with hope in your heart, Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.

[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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