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Wednesday, 23 February 2011





Thursday, 17 February 2011

Sparta Prague 0-0 Liverpool: Match Report

Liverpool will take a creditable goalless draw back to Anfield following a laboured Europa League last 32 first leg clash with Sparta Prague.

Article from LFCTV.

Kenny Dalglish's first ever continental match in charge of the Reds will not live long in the memory - but it was the visitors who were the happier come the final whistle.

The contest will now be decided on Merseyside in one week's time to see who will face Braga or Lech in the last 16.

All the pre-match hype centred around the inclusion of four Youth Cup stars in the squad, though only England U19 skipper Conor Coady would be in with a chance of taking part after being named on the bench.

Instead it was an experienced Reds side that took to the Generali Stadium pitch on a freezing night in Prague - the one exception being 19-year-old Danny Wilson operating at left-back in a 4-4-2.

Liverpool set about controlling the early possession but it was 13 minutes before either side created an opening worth writing about.

It was Jozef Chovanec's men who broke through following a mix-up between Fabio Aurelio and Raul Meireles in midfield. Their blushes were spared by Keric's inability to direct his shot on target.

Still, the hosts were roused. Matejovsky was next to probe with a 25-yard drive that spiralled wide of Pepe Reina's goal. Minutes later Pamic powered an angled shot towards our No.25, who dirtied his knees with a diving palm away.

At the other end David Ngog was becoming isolated up front, something supporters have not been used to seeing from Dalglish's Liverpool. In fact it took those in white 29 minutes to muster a shot - and even then Aurelio's bouncing effort was never going to trouble Blazek in between the sticks.

Pamic tried to volley the home side in front on 35 minutes, while it took a superb block from Sotirios Kyrgiakos to deny a goalbound smack from Matejovsky.

It was turning out to be a tepid affair - and one of Liverpool's players would not be sticking around to endure it as injury apparently forced Aurelio from the pitch to be replaced by Joe Cole as half-time approached.

It made little immediate difference to the football on offer, with the Reds carving out just one more chance before the break, Ngog nodding on a Meireles corner kick only for Dirk Kuyt to make insufficient contact with the ball.

The second half started with equal slumber, though entertainment could at least be had in counting the number of Liverpool's outfield players wearing gloves. Two was the answer: Meireles and the assured Lucas Leiva.

One change was the sight of Glen Johnson charging up and down the wing with far more abandon, though no one was getting on the end of his crosses.

Again it was an age before either goal came under threat: 17 minutes to be precise. Kweuke was the architect with a decent header which he strained to reach without reward.

On 70 minutes Johnson decided to take matters into his own ungloved hands by cutting inside from the right, navigating several defenders and poking oh so close but not close enough.

Further excitement emanated from the stands when a smoke bomb was set off in the Sparta end, sending a cloud over the pitch and requiring the referee to temporarily pause the action. Sighs of relief could be heard in the press gantry, though Liverpool would not complain about the lack of spice if the result remained goalless heading back to Anfield in a week's time.

Kweuke came reasonably close to denying them that outcome but Reina again stood firm against his shot. Matejovsky struck a long-range effort which almost curled into the top corner on 82 minutes, while Vacek also fired wide from outside the box, but it wasn't to be.


Liverpool Lineup Announced

The lineup for tonight's Europe League clash with Sparta Prague has been announced and is as follows:

Johnson, Carragher, Kyrgiakos, Wilson
Maxi, Lucas, Meireles, Aurelio
Kuyt, Ngog

Subs: Gulacsi, Skrtel, Kelly, Cole, Jovanovic, Pacheco, Coady.

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Pictures: Liverpool Training In Prague

As Liverpool prepare for tonights clash with Sparta Prague, we have some great photo's of our lads in training yesterday night.


Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Liverpool Squad For Prague Trip

Our 23 man squad for the trip to Prague has been named, but Steven Gerrard and Daniel Agger are absent through injuries.

Neither has recovered from the injuries that kept them out of Saturday's draw with Wigan and will not be risked by Dalglish.

Christian Poulsen also misses the clash after his wife went into labour.

Joe Cole is set for a return after tweaking his knee and Meireles has recovered from the bug that saw him withdrawn early in the second-half against Wigan.

Dalglish said: "There's no point being irresponsible with any of the players at this moment. If it causes them a bit of a problem we are as well nursing them through."

When quizzed on Andy Carroll he said: "He won't be considered for the game but will travel just to get in and amongst the lads. It'll help him to feel a part of it."

There are also places on the plane for youngsters Conor Coady, John Flanagan, Jack Robinson, Raheem Sterling, and Tom Ince, although it is unknown if any will play a part in the game.

The boss added: "The lads were all going. Most of them were going anyway. There's nothing any of the boys did on Monday night (Liverpool Youth 9-0 Southend United Youth) that surprised us."

The full squad is as follows:

Reina, Jones, Gulacsi, Johnson, Flanagan, Aurelio, Robinson, Kyrgiakos, Wilson, Carragher, Kelly, Skrtel, Meireles, Cole, Maxi, Jovanovic, Lucas, Coady, Ince, Sterling, Pacheco, Kuyt, Ngog.


Monday, 14 February 2011

Liverpool Youth 9-0 Southend United Youth

Raheem Sterling scored five times as Liverpool U18s stormed into the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup with a 9-0 win over Southend United at Anfield.

Match report from LFCTV.

Three strikes in six first-half minutes put the Reds into an unassailable lead, with Sterling bagging a brace and Conor Coady firing home from the penalty spot all before the midway point of the opening period.

Sterling completed his hat-trick on 35 minutes and Stephen Sama and Adam Morgan headers made it six for Liverpool before half-time.

The winger added his fourth and the Reds' seventh on 56 minutes with another jinking run and finish.

Sterling bagged a fifth with a cool finish on 85 minutes and Toni Silva wrapped up the scoring as Rodolfo Borrell's side booked their place in the last eight in emphatic fashion.

The U18s had comprehensively dispatched Notts County and Crystal Palace en route to the fifth round - two results that contributed to the seven-match unbeaten run they took into their showdown with Southend.

Borrell's men kicked-off aiming to set up a mouth-watering last eight clash with either Manchester United or Newcastle as they continued their bid to reach a fourth Youth Cup final in just six years.

The Spanish tactician named the same starting XI that had taken to the field against Palace in early January, while Southend included two players with first-team experience in their team in the shape of Alex Woodyard and Julian Okai.

The hosts nearly made a dream start when Jack Robinson almost somewhat inadvertently steered Suso's corner onto the base of the post inside the opening 60 seconds.

Sterling went closest next, cutting in from the left and curling an effort over the bar on 15 minutes.

But the Shrimpers were in no mood to lie down in the opening exchanges and they almost broke the deadlock themselves moments later. Woodyard's cross was misjudged by Duane Ofori-Acheampong, but the ball dropped invitingly for James Stevens.

The Southend skipper scuffed his attempt goalwards, but the ball was creeping into the bottom corner until Sama cleared off the line.

It was a real let off for Liverpool - but the visitors were soon made to pay for their profligacy.

It was Sterling who put the Reds into an 18th minute lead. Tyrell Belford's long goalkick was allowed to bounce through and find the winger's run, and he made no mistake with a composed finish beyond Daniel Bentley.

If there was a slight suggestion of fortune in Liverpool's opener, then Sterling's second on 21 minutes was all down to sheer talent.

Collecting the ball on the left wing, the diminutive No.7 surged into the area, dancing beyond three Southend defenders, before dispatching an effort into the Kop end goal.

Three minutes later and Borrell's side added a third. Morgan was brought down inside the area by Dominic Iorfa, allowing Coady the chance to crash a penalty into the roof of the net.

Liverpool were totally dominant - and Sterling duly completed his hat-trick on 34 minutes.

Craig Roddan's challenge on Stevens 25 yards from goal allowed the ball to break for Sterling inside the Southend box. The end result was never in doubt as he finished with aplomb.

The Reds were showing no signs of letting up and Sama headed home Krisztian Adorjan's corner to make it 5-0 eight minutes before the break.

There was still time for another before the break and Morgan nodded home Adorjan's free-kick to extend the Reds' advantage even further in stoppage time.

The hosts' onslaught continued after half-time and after Sterling's swerving effort had narrowly evaded the post, substitute Toni Silva saw an effort deflected onto the crossbar by Bentley.

But Sterling was not to be denied his fourth and on 56 minutes, he again burst beyond three Southend defenders before slipping a low shot out of Bentley's reach and into the top corner. It was simply sublime stuff from the former QPR teenager.

Substitutes Joshua Sumner and Jason Banton combined well on 67 minutes, resulting in the former rolling a strike against the post, while Ofori-Acheampong looped over on a rare sortie forward from the guests.

With five minutes left on the clock, Sterling guided a low shot across Bentley and into the bottom corner to claim his fifth of the night before Silva wrapped up the scoring on 90 minutes.

It proved to be the final act on a night that will live long in the memory for Liverpool fans, and Borrell's troops can now look forward to an Anfield quarter-final date with either Manchester United or Newcastle.

On this form, neither of those two sides will be looking forward to the clash with the Reds.


Saturday, 12 February 2011

Liverpool Lineup Announced - Suarez Starts!

The lineup for today's big game against Chelsea has been announced and is as follows:

Kelly, Carragher, Skrtel, Johnson
Maxi, Meireles, Lucas, Aurelio
Kuyt, Suarez

Subs: Gulacsi, Kyrgiakos, Wilson, Poulsen, Pacheco, Jovanovic, Ngog.

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