Top Six Side = Another Point Gained

Liverpool 1 City 1

Report by Ian Bason

With none of the regular match reporters available, my first trip to Anfield saw me making mental notes throughout the trip. The selection panel of 3 in the car all agreed that given the successes against Chelsea and Man City, and having conceded 4 at Wolves, that the team selection would see the return to  the defensive midfield three against the table toppers, but this is Claude (who appears to tinker more than Claudio), so when the team was announced 3 changes to the Wolves line up, with Morgan, Simpson and Barnes all benched in favour of Evans, Allbrighton and Maddison.

The discussion over the excellent value £4 for fish, chips and mushy peas from a local chippy (which would have cost double that in the ground) was whether we could finally make a good start to a game.

We kicked off, and we instantly wondered why Allbrighton had started in central midfield and while we were busy trying to work that one out, we had a quick answer to our chippy debate, as Mane waltzed through the defence and tucked the ball in the bottom corner after 3 minutes.

For the next 10 minutes we feared more goals were to follow, with Maddison not keeping wide and Chilwell being drawn forward while being overloaded with Shaqiri plus one other, it felt like a matter of time and only a good save from Kasper from Firmino and Mane putting the ball wide meant we held on.

Then Claude switched Allbrighton to the right, Grey left and Maddison to the centre who instantly came more into the game and for the rest of the half City were the better side. Having heard the hearty rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone before kick off, City’s growing confidence resulted in a subdued home support, leading to several “Is this a library” chants from the 2,900 away contingent.

Like most top clubs, many in the home section closest to us visiting fans, came into the “tourist” category of people at the game, an observation made by the friendly nearby steward pre-match, the half/half scarves giving this indication.

At the other end of pitch there looked a good shout for a penalty when Maddison went down, but I haven’t seen a replay to know if the ref waving away any appeals was the correct decision. Another key referring decision followed when Mcguire made significant contact with Mane, and while he seemed to indicate that he didn’t see Mane coming, as the ref went for his pocket I feared a last man red card may appear, albeit it was nearer the half way line, but a yellow was shown

A few minutes prior to that booking and City were now looking the more likely to score and as we were already on our feet, as the ball came to Maddison, we were jumping as a start of celebrating when somehow his header went wide. Just as I was settling for a one goal half time deficit, Liverpool failed with several attempts to clear from a corner the last attempt was met by a powerful Chillwell header from the edge of the box which found Mcguire unmarked to tuck the ball into the corner. 1- 1 and after a poor start we started to look forwards to the second half.

Other than the half time ball competitions on the pitch, watching the groundsmen clearing all the snow in the penalty area that Liverpool would attack but not touch the other end seemed an unfair practice, although it did remove the risk of our defenders slipping over and enable better ball control, so perhaps backfired. Is it time the authorities should consider if this practice (along with only watering one end of the pitch) is acceptable?

As the second half progressed City created a number of chances, the best of which came in the 72nd minute when Gray opted to shoot having failed to look up to see Maddison who had made a good run into the box and would have had a tap in.

Claude then decided it was time to show the players his plan for game management by replacing Maddison with Choudhury who was asked to play a defensive wide right, with Allbrighton switched to the left and Gray behind Vardy. In part I suspect this was to allow Ricardo to go on forward runs with better security behind him for break away’s.

Although Liverpool had a growing level of possession as we sat deeper, there were no serious threats on goal, with one the greatest threat being another Mane run stopped by a superb sliding challenge by Choudury. City started running down the clock with late substitutions replacing Gray and Vardy with Okazaki and Iheanacho.

1-1 it finished, and more points taken from a top 6 side. Performance wise, it was Mcguire’s and Ndidi’s best showing for some time, although I would have given my man of the match to Ricardo. Is now the time to give the Evans and Mcguire partnership a run of games ?

Now the challenge is to give the 29,000+ home fans a good performance, rather than saving our best for the travelling Blue Army. Perhaps the visit of Man Utd, with the more attacking intent of their new manager, will provide a game more suited to our current squad

With the loan signing of Youri Tielemans confirmed tonight, it will be interesting to see how he is utilised in the games ahead, can he provide the additional creativity to break down the stubborn defences we struggle to beat ?

City (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; Ricardo Evans, Maguire, Chilwell; Ndidi, Mendy; Gray (Okazaki 83), Albrighton, Maddison (Choudhury 75); Vardy (Iheanacho 89), Subs not used: Ward, Morgan, Simpson, Barnes

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation

Read More

View from the Opposition – Liverpool

View from the Opposition – Liverpool

A bit about you:

Name: Liam Leesom

Current home town: Liverpool

Birthplace: Liverpool

How long have you supported your team? 35 years

Overview of your club:

Favourite thing about your home ground: Kop in full voice with you’ll never walk alone

Favourite match played by your team & why: Wednesday, 25 May, 2005 …. Need I say anymore!!!

Favourite player of all time who played for your club: King Kenny Dalglish

About our forthcoming match against you:

Your favourite current player in your squad and why?  Mohamed Salah – scoring for fun

Player in your squad we should most fear and why? As above

Player in our squad you most fear and why? Vardy – always scores against us.

Up and coming prospect in your squad? Trent Alexander-Arnold

How do you think you’ll do against us? A nervous 2-1 win

General Questions:

Where do you think you’ll finish this season?  We are going to win it!

Who do you think will get relegated?  Huddersfield are down, Fulham will join then but I could see Southampton being the thirds team.

Next Up Liverpool – 30 January 2019

Next Up Liverpool – 30 January 2019

Manager        Jürgen Klopp

Founded       1892            Ground         Anfield

Address       Anfield Road, Liverpool L4 0TH

Capacity        53, 394     

Squad:

3          Brazil               MF      Fabinho

4          Netherlands     DF       Virgil van Dijk

5          Netherlands     MF      Georginio Wijnaldum

6          Croatia            DF       Dejan Lovren

7          England           MF      James Milner

8          Guinea             MF      Naby Keïta

9          Brazil               FW      Roberto Firmino

10        Senegal            FW      Sadio Mané

11        Egypt              FW      Mohamed Salah

12        England           DF       Joe Gomez

13        Brazil               GK      Alisson

14        England           MF      Jordan Henderson (Captain)

15        England           FW      Daniel Sturridge

18        Spain               DF       Alberto Moreno

20        England           MF      Adam Lallana

21        England           MF      Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

22        Belgium           GK      Simon Mignolet

23        Switzerland     MF      Xherdan Shaqiri

24        England           FW      Rhian Brewster

26        Scotland          DF       Andrew Robertson

27        Belgium           FW      Divock Origi

32        Cameroon        DF       Joël Matip

47        England           DF       Nathaniel Phillips

48        England           MF      Curtis Jones

50        Serbia              MF      Lazar Marković

51        Netherlands   DF      Ki-Jana Hoever

56        England          DF      Connor Randall

58         Wales             FW     Ben Woodburn        

62        Rep of Ire        GK      Caoimhin Kelleher

64        Portugal           MF      Rafael Camacho

66        England           DF       Trent Alexander-Arnold

68        Spain               MF      Pedro Chirivella

We have tried our best to ensure factual accuracy at the date of going to press – apologies in advance for any errors or out of date information.

For the very latest updates please follow the link below to the club web site www.liverpoolfc.com

Going to Liverpool ?

Liverpool – L4 0TH

By Car: Anfield is accessible from all major routes. Follow the M62 to Liverpool until you reach the end of the motorway (beware of a 50mph speed camera about a 1/4 of a mile from the end of the motorway). Then follow the A5058 towards Liverpool. After three miles turn left at the traffic lights into Utting Avenue (there is a McDonalds on the corner of this junction). Proceed for one mile and then turn right at the Arkles pub for the ground. If you arrive early (around 1pm) then there is street parking to be found.

Approx 120 miles, 2 hours 30 mins

Parking

Recently a residents only parking scheme has been introduced in some streets around the ground, so check any signs first. Otherwise it as an idea to park in the streets around Goodison and walk across Stanley Park to Anfield, or you can park in a secure parking area at Goodison itself which costs £10.

Walton Breck road and Anfield road are also closed prior to kick off.

By Rail: Lime Street Railway Station is two miles from Anfield. You can take a taxi from Lime Street (fares usually cost between £7- £9) or buses go from nearby Queen Square Bus Station. On matchdays you can use the Merseyrail network to link with the Soccerbus service from Sandhills Station.

There are no trains back to Leicester after the match

By Bus: From Liverpool City Centre, take the 26 or 27 from Paradise Street Interchange, 17 from Queen Square Bus Station or the 917 from St Johns Lane, directly to the ground. The 68/168, which operates between Bootle and Aigburth, and the 14 and 19 (from Queen Square) stop a short walk away from the ground.The 'Gillmoss Park and Ride' facility is available on a matchday for fans.

For more information go to www.merseytravel.gov.uk/travelling-around/timetables/AllTimetables

The Soccer Bus runs from Sandhills Station, on the Merseyrail Northern Line, to Anfield for all Liverpool home Barclays Premier League and cup matches. The Soccerbus runs two hours before each match (last bus from Sandhills Station is approximately 15 minutes before kick-off) and for 50 minutes after the final whistle (subject to availability). The Soccerbus will run for the match but other services may be limited.

Where to drink

The Arkles pub near to the ground is known as the away fans pub, but as can be expected it can get extremely crowded. The Flat Iron is a five minute walk away and usually mixed home/away fans.

Please note large bags are not allowed in the stadium.

Please check the cost and times of trains etc. All information is provided in good faith but the Foxes Trust cannot be held responsible for any errors.

Read More

LAST-GASP GOAL SEES CITY’S SLIDE GO ON

Wolves 4 City 3

Report by Colin Hall

Leicester City slipped to a third successive defeat, as a strike by Diogo Jota deep into stoppage time gave hosts Wolves a 4-3 victory at Molineux.

After abject humiliations by Newport and Southampton in the previous two games, there was little surprise when Claude Puel again rang the changes, giving Harvey Barnes his first Premier start as well as recalling Danny Simpson and Demarai Gray to the side.

As too often this season, though, a poor start to the game left the Foxes facing an uphill task.

Wolves pressed strongly from the kick-off, with Neves forcing Kasper Schmeichel into a spectacular save within the first three minutes. But the home breakthrough was not long denied, with Jota netting from a Moutinho cross a minute later following a series of avoidable defensive errors.

City mounted a frenzied response, with Jamie Vardy being denied by home keeper Rui Patricio and Harry Maguire heading over from close range.

The hosts weathered the mini-storm, though, and extended their lead after 12 minutes with a goal that was contentious on two counts. First of all, Moutinho's corner, as TV footage confirmed, was some way outside the quadrant. Secondly, many referees would have called a foul on Bennett's overtly physical challenge on City defenders before heading home.

However, referee Kavanagh – who has featured with remarkable frequency on City's travels this season – ruled nothing was amiss and allowed the goal to stand.

To their credit, City continued to take the game to the home side in the wake of this setback, though clear-cut opportunities were few and far between. Meanwhile, Wolves continued to threaten on the break and only good work by Schmeichel prevented further additions to the scoreline.

Many travelling supporters were bemused when Puel sent an unchanged side out after the break. Yet, within six minutes of the restart, his faith was vindicated as City managed to restore parity.

Vardy, finding space for once, pounced on a loose ball to send Gray clear for a clinical, composed finish.

Then Barnes blasted the equaliser, via a deflection from home defender Coady, after a long range effort from Ben Chilwell had been blocked.

TV replays showed Barnes' shot appeared to be heading goalwards before the deflection, and the league should be as respectful to him as they would have been to, say, Harry Kane or Mo Salah in such circumstances. Although the goal was officially credited as Coady's, there is provision for an appeal, and it is to be hoped City will make use of it.

In between the goals, City were forced into a defensive switch when Maguire limped off with what appeared to be a recurrence of the knee injury that sidelined him for a month before Christmas.

This change did little to ease the wobbles that had been evident in the visiting back line throughout the afternoon, and Wolves regained the lead when Jota outpaced Wes Morgan to fire past a somewhat indecisive Schmeichel.

Once again, though, the Foxes were able to grab a lifeline, when James Maddison, on for the tiring Barnes, produced a superbly-weighted free-kick which found Morgan at the far post for the skipper to net his first league goal in two and a half years.

City, perhaps unnerved by the raucous, frenzied atmosphere, pushed hard for a winner in the closing stages when a more considered approach may have served them better.

As the game entered stoppage time, Jota looked certain to complete a hat-trick when he burst through on goal, only to overrun the ball and allow Schmeichel to recover.

But the Portuguese striker still had the final word – and the match ball to go with it – when Jimenez burst through a weak City offside trap and presented him with another chance to win the game. This time, he made no mistake.

The scoreline was a replica of that from City's only previous Premier League trip to this venue in October 2003. While the circumstances were slightly less harrowing this time around, the Blue Army still found them difficult to digest.

Results later in the day mean that despite City's current abysmal form, a 7th-place finish – and a potential Europa League place – still remains within reach.

Whether Puel can inspire his charges to rouse themselves to mount a challenge for this prize, though, remains in serious doubt.

It is more likely that, as last season, the campaign will be allowed to drift fitfully through the closing months, and that, once again, the potential within the squad will remain unfulfilled. 

Wolves (3-5-2): Rui Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Saiss; Otto, Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho (Gibbs-White 81), Vinaigre (Doherty 73); Jimenez, Jota. Subs not used: Ruddy, Cavaleiro, Costa, Giles, Traore.

Goals: Jota (4, 64, 90 + 3), Bennett (12)

Bookings: Bennett, Jota, Otto. 

City (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; Simpson (Iheanacho 83), Morgan, Maguire (Evans 48), Chilwell; Ndidi, Mendy; Ricardo, Gray, Barnes (Maddison 73); Vardy. Subs not used: Ward, Fuchs, Choudhury, Albrighton.

Goals: Gray (47), Barnes (51), Morgan (86)

Bookings: Mendy, Ricardo, Ndidi. 

Referee: Chris Kavanagh              Attendance: 31278

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation

Read More