Liverpool v Stoke // FA Cup

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Post by Art Morte Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:20 am

Stoke haven't won at Anfield for 53 years. I'm sure we won't let that change now, so FA cup semi-finals, here we come. Right?
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Post by mr-r34 Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:39 am

draw and a loss at their home, don't jinx it
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Post by donttreadonred Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:37 pm

Team News:
Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Skrtel, Enrique, Maxi, Spearing Gerrard, Downing, Suarez,

I'm guessing 4-4-2 / 4-4-1-1. It looks like a pretty positive lineup with us starting both Carroll and Suarez. Hopefully, Maxi can pull together one of his "right place at the right time" performances as he did in the run-in of last season.
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Post by Fahim89 Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:16 pm

any stream people??
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Post by McAgger Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:54 pm

Suarez goal :bow: what a beauty that was. I feel we were unlucky, their goal wasn't even a corner :facepalm:
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Post by Nishankly Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:00 pm

http://www.firstrowsports.eu/watch/114144/1/watch-liverpool-fc-vs-stoke-city.html
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Post by _LMG_10_ Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:25 pm


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Post by _LMG_10_ Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:39 pm


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Post by McAgger Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:58 pm

Semifinals.......We're edging closer and closer to another trophy. Both goals were great today. MOTM was Skrtel for me, didn't put a foot wrong all match.

I think Kenny understands that without Adam we're better.
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Post by Arquitecto Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:13 pm

Very happy with this performance.

We actually looked to have some purpose in the midfield, some drive, some belief aside from usual circumferential passing with no end product in the final third.

Best thing was we won legitimately against a team we haven't scored against all season and come off with one loss and one draw.

Notables for me were Skrtel who was our defender and continues with his superb run of form. Kelly for me was inconsistent going forward yet solid in the back although untested. Carra made a few lapses yet marshalled the back admirably while Jose looked dangerous in his forward forrays and combinations with Downing.

Speaking for Downing, I always had the feeling he couldn't cut it against the tougher opposition. Yet despite some of his invisibility, he has shown if given confidence he can trouble even the best of opposition.

Spearing for me played a bit too safe, but I am continuously impressed with his technical skills and tenacious marking. Yet, he needs to stick less on just one man and concentrate of the whole on rushing midfield.

Gerrard to me is great. I've noticed that even with all his injuries, he seems to have actually gathered more pace as when I see him at full flight, he just glides past midfielders and proceeds to make his signature crosses and passes. Point being he definitely looks better without Fatty adam who renders our midfield in cohesive.

Maxi for me was invisible as predictably he doesn't provide anything of note aside from his occasional tap ins.

Carroll seems oh so near to a goal and has improved even more in his general play. I notice though, that his aerial threat increasingly is not functioning since right when the ball is crossed to him, defense usually is smart enough to double mark his fierce aerial threat. Need to hoof less.

In the end, we are in the semi-finals. I personally prefer to face Sunderland as with Everton as usual, the match can go either way.



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Post by stevieg8 Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:52 pm

Arquitecto wrote:Very happy with this performance.

We actually looked to have some purpose in the midfield, some drive, some belief aside from usual circumferential passing with no end product in the final third.

Best thing was we won legitimately against a team we haven't scored against all season and come off with one loss and one draw.

Notables for me were Skrtel who was our defender and continues with his superb run of form. Kelly for me was inconsistent going forward yet solid in the back although untested. Carra made a few lapses yet marshalled the back admirably while Jose looked dangerous in his forward forrays and combinations with Downing.

Speaking for Downing, I always had the feeling he couldn't cut it against the tougher opposition. Yet despite some of his invisibility, he has shown if given confidence he can trouble even the best of opposition.

Spearing for me played a bit too safe, but I am continuously impressed with his technical skills and tenacious marking. Yet, he needs to stick less on just one man and concentrate of the whole on rushing midfield.

Gerrard to me is great. I've noticed that even with all his injuries, he seems to have actually gathered more pace as when I see him at full flight, he just glides past midfielders and proceeds to make his signature crosses and passes. Point being he definitely looks better without Fatty adam who renders our midfield in cohesive.

Maxi for me was invisible as predictably he doesn't provide anything of note aside from his occasional tap ins.

Carroll seems oh so near to a goal and has improved even more in his general play. I notice though, that his aerial threat increasingly is not functioning since right when the ball is crossed to him, defense usually is smart enough to double mark his fierce aerial threat. Need to hoof less.

In the end, we are in the semi-finals. I personally prefer to face Sunderland as with Everton as usual, the match can go either way.




to be perfectly honest, i disagree with a lot of this. i'm very happy with the win and that we went through, but i was far from satisfied with the performance. take it with a grain of salt - we got the result, and that's all that matters, but i do feel the need to point some things out.

while both goals were excellently taken, they were moments of brilliance that seemed lacking the rest of the game. granted, this is what we need and have lacked all year against teams parking the bus, but i was very disappointed with our play for extended stretches. our passing was woeful all game long, misplacing short balls directly to stoke players or over the line, with kelly, enrique, maxi and spearing being the main offenders. gerrard to me seemed invisible most of the game. there are simply times when we are playing when it feels like our players are not technically sound. even under pressure from a good defensive team, we should be able to accurately place 5 yard passes on a fairly regular basis, and a lot of our attacks fell apart from a failure to do so.

don't get me wrong, there were a lot of positives. suarez looked like his old confident self and took a good goal, and we managed to get two through a camped out stoke defense, both good signs. the defense was immense all day, especially skrtel, and we were robbed of a clean sheet by a few poor calls on stoke's one goal. and of course, finally, we're through to the semis and booked another wembley trip this year. it's just that there were quite a few issues i had while watching.
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Post by donttreadonred Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:47 pm

Well analyzed Arq.

The defense yesterday was much more solid than I had thought prior to the match. Enrique and Skrtel both put in their usually solid performances. Carragher was much more stable against the hoofing than I had anticipated. However, tactical know-how is not his problem. Neither Crouch, nor Walters is going to blow past defenders with pace. So, I suppose my concern there was rather unfounded. In truth the defense had a great day, and sufficiently defended Stoke's set pieces, barring Carroll's error in marking Crouch. (To be fair, Reina was flailing and trying to get around the Stoke player who was blocking him. He might've called Carroll off prior realizing he was cut off... Just an observation.) In any case, the only real downside in defense was Kelly's performance. In truth it wasn't his defending that was suspect at all, he merely was not up to his usually high standard going forward. He looked to be a liability in possession at times, misplacing passes and not providing quality crosses. I suppose he was due an "off" game after several very good performances.

As Arq said, the midfield was certainly a high-point in our play. Interestingly enough, we looked more composed and assured in possession with 2 midfielders (both of which came through the academy) than we do with 3 (two of which cost the club somewhere in the region of 25 million). Gerrard looked very good, especially considering his amazing effort against Everton and the short recovery period. I was expecting to see a somewhat more fatigued performance, but he looked like a 28-year-old out there at times. However, Spearing was the real highlight. He was calm and collected in possession and imposing in his duties protecting the back four. He did make the occasional positioning error, as Arq pointed out. In defense he would occasionally focus too much on a single threat, opening space for others to make runs. On offense he would occasionally get excited moving further up the field than I would've like to see him. This is only because it forced Gerrard to hang back to cover the counter. All of these are signs of a young footballer excited to be getting regular playing time, and I can't fault him too much as he did represent himself well on both sides of the ball. In short, I would take Spearing's "a little too safe" approach to Adam's hollywood-passes and head-down runs which became all too common in his last few starts.

Downing was at times on the periphery, but overall I felt he contributed well to the play when he did get on the ball. He also tracked back well to help cover Stoke's wide players. In short, I felt he made the most out of his opportunities and contributed to the attack. This was the type of performance we bought him for, and I'm hoping his first influential goal for the club helps to boost his confidence so that he can repeat this type of performance regularly.

Maxi was Maxi. He disappeared for long stretches then popped up to contribute to a promising attack. He played a nice one-two pass with Suarez for the first goal, and was rather unremarkable beyond that. However, replacing him with Kuyt caused all new problems. Did anyone else notice that Kuyt seemed confused as to which position he was playing? For much of his performance he was really playing as another second striker behind either Carroll or Suarez (whoever was most advanced at the moment), meaning he was far too central for the role we supposedly brought him on to fill. This both gave Kelly the responsibility to make up for a lack of width and forced him into far more running than was really necessary. All in all, it was an unusually inconsistent (positionally speaking) performance from a usually loyal tactician.

Suarez... well his first goal was brilliant. He ran into space well, and looked to be anticipating Carroll's play much better yesterday. Unfortunately, Carroll predictably had difficulty against the uber-physical pairing of Shawcross and Huth. What was disappointing is that he got relatively little sympathy from the ref. Carroll's big, but Huth and Shawcross are square and overpowered him regularly (legally and illegally). The positive thing is that his performance seemed to improve as the game went on, winning more and more battles near the end of the match. (The lad DOES learn!!! cheers )

Coates looked solid for the short time he was on the pitch. Hendo was not called on to do anything, and was subsequently rather invisible during his cameo. I'm just hoping Suarez and Kelly's injuries were just minor knocks and they will be available for the midweek fixture against QPR.

On the whole, I was very encouraged with the performance. We did not play with the flair and flowing passing that have been the goal of Kenny's revolution, but we still managed to win. This is precisely the type of ugly win we need to learn to accomplish more often. Even more encouraging was the finishing. Suarez's effort was brilliant, and Downing's was no ground out effort either. Being able to convert that sort of chance against a very good defensive unit is a very good sign. Here's hoping this isn't a one-off performance, and we can repeat this type of performance for the remainder of the run-in.
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Post by RedOranje Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:32 pm

Going to have to disagree on the point about Kuyt's introduction. I thought that once he came on the midfield actually looked more settled, especially in defense. Maxi, for all the good things he brings to the side in attacking play, is generally rather lax in defensive pressing. Once Kuyt came on the midfield started pressing a bit higher up the pitch and Stoke's possession in the Liverpool half all but dried up after a decent spell for them.
I also thought Maxi's appearance contributed to a more reserved showing from Gerrard. Maxi reads the game and moves well but in the end he is mentally a wide attacker whereas Henderson is a central midfielder. When Gerrard burst forward against Everton, Henderson was generally taking up positions to help cover any gaps that Stevie might leave whereas Maxi was generally pushing forward in those situations. As such Gerrard curtailed the number of forward runs he made and sat a bit deeper. I like Maxi as a player (though not so much as many others here, to be fair) but I don't think he quite fits the direction the team are trying to take. I believe that's the main reason he's featured so sparsely this season. I have a feeling the starting XI's future lies with a midfield triangle of Gerrard - Lucas - Henderson (in either a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1), barring any surprise summer signings. Shelvey, Coady, and Adam could all easily slot into that midfield as well.

Here's hoping we see a few youngsters in the squad for QPR. No reason to risk those that may be fatigued or have a knock.
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