25 Aug 2014

Confirmed LFC XI vs. MC: £10m star snub; Surprise axe for €12m star. Leaving?

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has made two changes for tonight's crunch clash with Manchester City, and Reds fans will be pleased to see that new £12m signing Alberto Moreno is in the starting line-up. [Scroll down to comments for ongoing post-match discussion]

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Johnson, Moreno, Skrtel, Lovren, Gerrard, Henderson, Allen, Coutinho, Sterling, Sturridge

SUBS: Jones, Manquillo, Sakho, Toure, Can, Markovic, Lambert

MAN CITY: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Fernando, Yaya Toure, Nasri, Silva, Jovetic, Dzeko

SUBS: Caballero, Sagna, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Milner, Navas, Aguero

* Stats show that Javier Manquillo was one of Liverpool's most effective players against Southampton, so it's a shame that he is dropped to accommodate Glen Johnson. It's hardly surprising, though. As defensively suspect as he is, Johnson has the experience, and going with two new full-backs against the league champions is probably not the best idea.

* After starting last week, Lucas doesn't even make the match-day squad, which could mean that his proposed move to Napoli is imminent. When players are soon to leave they're usually withdrawn from match-day squads, so this could be the end for Lucas.

* It's surprising to see Emre Can ignored again for a starting role. In my view, Can is more suited to the physical battle posed by Man City, but perhaps he's not 100% fit. That said, if Can is not fit, why is he on the bench?

* Suso ignored once again. Seriously, he should just quit Liverpool as he's never going to get a fair chance under Rodgers.

Probable formation:

---------------- Mignolet

Johnson ---- Skrtel -- Lovren ----- Moreno

----------------- Gerrard

------------ Hendo --- Allen

-------- Sterling ----- Coutinho

----------------- Sturridge

Earlier, I predicted a 2-1 victory to Man City, but the news of Balotelli's signing may give the team a boost, and swing things in Liverpool's favour...

EDIT: Post Match:

Michael Owen: "It's a funny old game. Liverpool getting hammered 3-0 yet they've played pretty well. First half they were class"

Roy Evans: "Not the result we were looking for after a good start made defensive mistakes which cost us. Too early to get negative but must improve"

Ray Clemence: "Played well for 55mins but have to score in that period. In the end gave away two poor goals"

Steve Nicol: "Not good when all the goals come down the left side where our new signings are playing"

Author:



389 comments:

  1. I am nervous for sure now. For the entire week I was optimistic because all the signs were there that GJ was going to be dropped. Him against Silva and Nasri is terrifying. Hopefully, Moreno turns out to be good. One more thing.. No more back passes!! We were not punished by the Saints but will be by City.

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  2. Spirit of the Shadows7:19 pm, August 25, 2014

    oh god why?

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  3. We will win by two and Johnson will be very good if not great.

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  4. I'm happy that Aguero and Navas are in a bench. Of course they can have impact later on the game but at least we have three good midfield/offensive options in a bench too: Can, Markovic and Lambert.

    Should be a tight game hopefully we can score quickly so it's easier to use counter attack strategy and press hard. 3-2 to Liverpool, Markovic will score third goal.

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  5. why the f**k does he persist with Johnson, he's way past his sell by date , Rodgers doing a brilliant job except this one ongoing problem, hopefully he'll read this and have a worldy!!!

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  6. Joe Allen is in my opinion not the correct player against the Man C midfield. To weak physically and so far leaves a lot to be desired regarding creativity. Usually just passing the ball any other way than towards our opponents goal. I hope for a win but will be happy with a draw.

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  7. Hopefully, then QPR or someone can buy him.

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  8. Early days for Can. Wouldn't be surprised if it took him a season or even two to find his feet. He has the qualities to succeed, though he does look a little stiff for my liking; his feet aren't the quickest. A bit like Ross Barkley in that respect. Again like Barkley, he has a nice flow when he gets going -- but aren't we hoping to use him as a deep-lying playmaker? Going to be interesting seeing how Rodgers handles him.



    About tonight, Jovetic is the danger-man, for me. I wonder if we'll have a plan for him. We can handle their wide threat I think, but it's Jovetic's interplay with Silva and Nasri that concerns me. He's really good at the Bielsa-style rotational movement out wide that Pellegrini likes, and if we let them have too much good possession that'll hurt us. But as always against City I fancy our chances if we can attack them at pace with the ball at our feet from midfield. Markovic could be a matchwinner in the second half. Either side could win it -- but maybe an entertaining 2-2 is on the cards...

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  9. I rather have Ibe on he bench than Toure...

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  10. Keep count of the number of times Allen plays forward or runs into space beyond City's midfielders, it might surprise you! Also note how well he holds off pressure on the ball and keeps possession with strength as wells as skill. He's very tough in possession, not just for his size either -- there's more to him than meets the eye.

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  11. Pretty sure we will see a diamond formation. Coutinho is a vital component in linking our midfield and attack and the only way that will happen is when he plays as a #10.

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  12. Love your optimism... Let's hope and pray.

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  13. What's the problem? it's the most expected XI by BR in sometime...



    Allen is a good choice. We will need togetherness and fluency from midfield to attack to hit. This guys know the job well from last year. If Sturridge gives a strong game we have a good chance of a win nonetheless a draw. I predicted the other day a Liverpool win!

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  14. ya. no navas is good stuff.

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  15. Lucas not even on the bench. I think that should confirm his departure.

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  16. Their bench is unreal! Gonna be tough tonight, but we are good enough.

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  17. The plan for Can IMO is to replace Gerrard. The lad is only 20. You can be sure our coaches are working their arses off to make Can a expert in passing and reading the game.

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  18. Come on you REDS!!!

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  19. Feel sorry for Suso, why do we need two centre backs on the bench? Is Enrique injured again?

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  20. First away game of the season... We Go Again...

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  21. Dejan Lovren our future captain.

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  22. Was that Allen getting forward? Pressing the only thing he contributes.


    Exactly why I will not bother arguing.

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  23. Lovren buy of the summer!

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  24. I have said that on many occasions.

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  25. He's the authority at the back we've been missing!

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  26. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:16 pm, August 25, 2014

    johnson is killing me

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  27. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:18 pm, August 25, 2014

    take coutinho off markovic n

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  28. Coutinho's decision making has been poor so far!

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  29. Moreno looking solid.

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  30. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:19 pm, August 25, 2014

    allen superb

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  31. Great minds think alike:)

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  32. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:21 pm, August 25, 2014

    we are playing like nowrich aimless kicks in the box

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  33. Moreno is the player we have been missing. The runs he is making all the way from the back is making Johnson looking even worse.

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  34. Gerrard running the shown at the moment.

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  35. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:30 pm, August 25, 2014

    missing luis suarez

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  36. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:31 pm, August 25, 2014

    henderon be more clever

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  37. That's a goal with chewy

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  38. Great performance so far from the whole side.

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  39. Do you notice how we are playing more as a team?

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  40. Bring on a better Pivot at the moment than Gerrard. I dare you :-)

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  41. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:36 pm, August 25, 2014

    sterling wrestling with yaya

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  42. Moreno has played only 33 minutes for LFC, and based on that you form the view that he's the missing link?! Give me a break.

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

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  43. Moreno at fault for that goal.

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  44. With respect, some of the stuff you're coming out with tonight is just baseless. How do you establish that LFC is playing 'more as a team'? You say it as if the rest of us are missing something.

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

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  45. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:43 pm, August 25, 2014

    does not matter if we lose they are teh champions
    but i am very encouraged with what i ahve seen
    we jsu need balotelli for that extra firepower

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  46. We have played very well so far. Other than the goal we have conceded, we have dominated City.

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  47. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:46 pm, August 25, 2014

    i saw everton dominate us at anfield but we beat them 4-0

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  48. im pretty sure that johnson has set some kind of new record for losing the ball the most in one half of a football match.

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  49. We have played really well but it goes to show why City are champions. One mistake and they capitalize on it after being totally outplayed. Moreno played really well upto that point. But, I do not get it. City are there for the taking. They are allowing acres of space to Coutinho and he is not taking advantage when so many great runs have been made. I say bring Lazar on for Coutinho.

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  50. Playing well but concede because of individual errors, again !

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  51. Moreno has done considerably well on his debut in such an big match.

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  52. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:50 pm, August 25, 2014

    i think we lost




    but if we but balotteli in there insteasd of coutinho vs spuds we will win

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  53. Safe to say Johnson is not redeeming himself anytime soon.

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  54. do you realize it's a 90mints game?

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  55. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:52 pm, August 25, 2014

    no half time subs
    some players never recover
    60 mins

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  56. Coutinho is not of much use out wide. Might see him subbed for Markovic.

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  57. lazar for coutinho is good.



    but br oughta give a good speech

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  58. That is what I meant...

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  59. Johnson is been scapegoated. Real culprit is Coutinho who is either holding the ball too long, giving hospital passes or just the wrong choice!

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  60. Phil Mcnulty saying that Lovren was at some fault for the goal. Makes no sense because he stopped Silva from scoring.

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  61. What does Wolverine have to do with football?

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  62. There's nothing in behind is there? Sturridge rotates into midfield, Coutinho or Allen go ahead of him, and Kompany and Demichelis are just like... "yeah... whatever". Sterling is the only one that offers the right kind of threat but he seems to be playing wider than usual, like they think they can isolate Clichy, which hasn't really happened. Henderson burst through once but he must do that more; Sturridge once, too. I don't think City have been really troubled by us despite our dominance of midfield.



    City haven't even troubled us either though. Shame about the goal. A good illustration of what we mean when we say that experience of the premier league is important. Not much to say is there? Obviously we need a different mix in attack, but I think once we start risking more in behind them, no matter the players, we'll get a chance or two. It's going to be tight.

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  63. he's like Zinadin Zidan.

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  64. Sorry but you have lost me.

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  65. Nah, it was Moreno thinking he had more time than he did. Welcome to the PL junior.

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  66. All in all not bad, but with 3 on 4 and the ball there ought to be more sneaky little passes thru the line.

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  67. I'd take 1-1 right now!

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  68. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:06 pm, August 25, 2014

    disallowed gaol every year

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  69. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:07 pm, August 25, 2014

    defend defend defend

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  70. We need something from Sterling! But Hendo just blew a great opportunity

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  71. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:11 pm, August 25, 2014

    dont lose 3-0

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  72. Wgere the F*** was Skrtel?

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  73. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:13 pm, August 25, 2014

    bright side
    balotelli,markovic,lallana,can,
    sttill yet to play

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  74. Ridiculous. How is Skrtel at fault. Your agendas are showing once again.

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  75. Full-backs at fault once again for both goals. Where was Johnson for the second goal? It was his part of the field that needed defending, and he was AWOL as usual.

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  76. What do you mean 'where was he'?! Is Skrtel a right back? No. Who was marking Jovetic in LFC's right -back position?

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  77. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:15 pm, August 25, 2014

    not johnsons fault


    rodgers fault for picking him


    no lfc fan wanted him on but rodgers supposedly knows best

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  78. At last, let's see what Lazar can do!

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  79. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:18 pm, August 25, 2014

    your winning 2-0 why would you sing about gerrard slipping
    that is why i am happy to be a lfc fan

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  80. it was on Moreno's side...so i'd say Johnson was on his side watching moreno letting players goes by his side.

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  81. Sktrel was nowhere to be found.

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  82. You would want Johnson marking the space that Jovetic scored from in that move? Reeeally?

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  83. The actual came on the right-side though, with Jovetic in acres of space, totally unmarked.

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  84. Surely Johnson, as a right back, should be watching runs coming into the right back position?

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  85. yep man city's right side, but liverpool left side then a pass at the penalty point.

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  86. Lazar has added some much needed penetration!

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  87. Johnson was in a tidy right back position. Need to see it again, but there you might hope one of the midfielders would pick up Jovetic's movement and go with him. You can't let a side that plays like City, with that quality, have those long periods of possession in the final third, which are designed to get Jovetic, Silva, or Nasri into space, basically. It was a good goal.

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  88. Finally, Lazar has brought some life. Bring on Lambert for for the love of god, somebody please shooot.

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  89. We are being hammered.

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  90. Oh, wait - you're not going to blame that one on Skrtel, too, in a bid to further your indirect 'Sakho must play' agenda?

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  91. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:28 pm, August 25, 2014

    we are losing 3-0 and you are attacking logan

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  92. I guess you want to blame Allen?

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  93. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:28 pm, August 25, 2014

    we are catually doing a spurs

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  94. Gerrard offers very little protection for the back 4, this athletic enforcer needs to come quickly!

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  95. This season was always going to be a battle for 6th after Suarez left. The good news is we're not competing with City so this game doesn't really matter and if Balotelli gets his head right we might even get into the battle for 4th.

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  96. No, I blame the full-backs, and the lack of protection in front of the back four, and Allen, Gerrard and Henderson are all culpable.

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  97. it's interesting how despite taking the poor defender out of our team our defence is actually worse...

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  98. Our front 3 have offered nothing

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  99. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:31 pm, August 25, 2014

    man city are at the peak
    kompany,silva,toure

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  100. An opportunity now to substitute Gerrard,get him used to life on the periphery. But no,of course.

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  101. Yep, we're not on their class, not yet anyway. We have to rebuild after the departure of Suarez. A lot depends on Balotelli, if he's here to play and not just pick up his money then we might get ourselves in contention for 4th, although I still think it's a tall order.

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  102. Do you think splashing over £100mill for 6th place is adequate? We ARE competing with City & 4th place is a minimum!

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  103. If Rodgers still persists with Rodgers then we are going to have big problems and i suggest he partners Lovren and Sakho. Just my opinion.

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  104. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:33 pm, August 25, 2014

    suarez is worth 200m

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  105. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:34 pm, August 25, 2014

    rodgers needs to stop persisting with himself?

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  106. We've spent £100 million but we haven't bought any recognised world class players, apart from Balotelli if he feels like it. The entire pre-season LFC fans have been unrealistic in their expectation, look at your tv screen, we're a million miles off the pace.

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  107. You're cracking up.

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  108. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:35 pm, August 25, 2014

    champions league could be embarrasing

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  109. Hello Bluenose.

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  110. It probably would take 200m to replace him and bring us up to the City/Chelsea level.

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  111. I am just getting your attention.

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  112. Yep you're probably right but this season was supposed to be building momentum from last one!

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  113. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:36 pm, August 25, 2014

    yes but wages need to be paid


    how did city attract augero


    wages

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  114. Not a bluenose, just not deluded. Look at your tv, we are nowhere near good enough.

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  115. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:36 pm, August 25, 2014

    in fact i beleive if we paid 300k a week to sanchez he would have signed for us

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  116. City bring on Aguero, we bring on Lambert. You can't replace Suarez by shopping at Poundland.

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  117. I would sub hendo out. That guy has the deft touch of a charging rhino. He will only score or make the shot or assist by luck alone.

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  118. Not tonight he isn't.

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  119. Our midfield have been dominated, SG has no legs! Our front 3 have had no service!

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  120. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:38 pm, August 25, 2014

    please lets stop blaming players
    one player does not mean losing 3-0




    the opposition have been unbelievable


    and the wider issue we have not even come close to replacing suarez

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  121. Sure, whatever you say. Looked to me like City were outplayed in the first half, and got lucky with their goal, after which it was always going to be difficult. Liverpool still made chances enough to be in the game until the third goal. City played very well second half.

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  122. Can't believe LFC tonight...

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  123. Lambert first goal.

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  124. The lads gave their all, but it's David v Goliath.


    Get in Lambert!

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  125. Good on him, great moment for him. Not convinced he can replace Suarez though, you?

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  126. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:41 pm, August 25, 2014

    respectful one more goal

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  127. Johnson is a goner.

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  128. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:42 pm, August 25, 2014

    ohno!
    johnson is injured

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  129. Not blaming him for anything. He just has no touch...none.

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  130. Who can? Best striker in the world.

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  131. True, and we weren't quite good enough when we had him. Without him we are a million of miles off.

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  132. it has nothing to do with Suarez. That excuse should be banned. The players just haven't been effective enough, it's that simple. LFC lost games with Suarez too.

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  133. Come LFC at least one more...

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  134. No protection from midfield! Where has SG, Hendo & Allen been?

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  135. Jesus Christ he's a Liverpool player.

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  136. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:44 pm, August 25, 2014

    oh no skrtel!

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  137. No motivation from management. Only sparked up by the goal.

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  138. We're really not. Watch the game back again. We dominated for long periods and made enough chances to take something from the game.

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  139. Our defence is still a problem.

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  140. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:47 pm, August 25, 2014

    there falling like flies

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  141. They've been clinical tonight pal, I bet we've probably had more chances than them but Jovetic has scored there's and Sturridge has missed ours. Suppose that's what happens at the very top level.

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  142. Honestly it's that kind of assessment that puts unnecessary pressure on the team. We are nowhere near the level of City and Chelsea, this squad could perform well and finish 6th and yet because of unrealistic expectations a good manager might lose his job.

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  143. wait is this a joke ?

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  144. We better pick ourselves up for spurs they think their going to win the league after beating QPR

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  145. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:48 pm, August 25, 2014

    oh no why are they all getting injued

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  146. Yep and we're not at that level.

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  147. Haha, what a nightmare game. Now Moreno's injured. Gotta laugh, or you'd cry.

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  148. The best team (by a long way) won.

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  149. Of course it is. It takes months for players to learn how to play together at this level, not weeks. People are going to overreact to this obviously, but I think there's a lot of positives to take from this game. Only real worry was Sturridge's form, but we have an answer to that particular problem...

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  150. So it's Sturridge's fault? I don't recall seeing clear cut chances, he's had no service & he put the only decent cross in for Lambert!

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  151. Teething problems.

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  152. Can we all now please readjust the unrealistic expectations too many people had before this season started.

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  153. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:50 pm, August 25, 2014

    please
    god no more injuries


    and please let moreno recover for spurs

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  154. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:51 pm, August 25, 2014

    4th

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  155. My thought was fighting for 6th with Spurs, but I would admit that if Balotelli wants to (a big if) he could drag us into contention for 4th.

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  156. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:52 pm, August 25, 2014

    maybe moreno has got it off


    but the way he fell looked really scary


    but suarez used to knock it off after a minaute

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  157. Did I say it was Sturridges fault?

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  158. Pure Crap talk.

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  159. My prediction for the season was 5th, so I'm definitely not being unrealistic.

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  160. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:54 pm, August 25, 2014

    are you a fan?


    not slating you just want your honest

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  161. What did you expect me to conclude from your post!

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  162. City are the team to beat. They have shown their class.


    Rodgers need to make his mind up what he wants to do with our defence. Johnson seriously needs to be dropped and IMO we need to partner Lovren and Sakho.


    At least Sakho cannot be blamed for the pitiful defending today.

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  163. I'm just saying what I see in front of me.

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  164. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:55 pm, August 25, 2014

    why was my
    ohno! johnson injured comment deleted?

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  165. Sturridge? He's the least of LFC's problems. He had shots on target; created chances for himself, and assisted the goal, and did this with practically zero decent service. I don't see how Sturridge is a problem. Plus, he scored in the last game, so that's 2 goals/assists in 2 games. How is his form a problem?

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  166. We always crumble as soon as we concede a goal. Something really needs to be done about that

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  167. Absolutely, I think we're going in the right direction but I'm worried that a one-in-million season from a world class player has given us all unrealistic expectations. It's unrealistic expectations that cause clubs to sack managers, make panic buys and generally cock things up.


    Look at our players, look at City's and Chelsea's players. Why do people think we should be challenging for the title?

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  168. Optimistic but realistic. How every fan should be.

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  169. Funny how people still blame Johnson while Moreno has cost us 2 goal...

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  170. Money well spent by us this year.... god help us

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  171. Virtually NO positives. The keeper is CRAP and we need a DEFENSIVE midfielder.

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  172. Do not ask stupid questions like this. Just because someone has a different opinion to you doesn't mean their fan-status should be questioned. Challenge the point Foullaini makes, or just say nothing.

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  173. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:58 pm, August 25, 2014

    if we gave 40m to sanchez he would ahve joined us

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  174. It really baffles me the players scapegoated, whilst ignoring our woeful midfield

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  175. Nobody is to blame for tonight, they just have lots more better players than us.


    Personally I would have preferred a park the bus and hit them on the break approach, but I wouldn't criticise BR for going for it, away at City is a nothing to lose game really.

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  176. That we haven't taken our chances maybe? Strikers miss chances, that's normal. At the top level when chances are rare we've got to slot them in when we're on top.

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  177. the service was poor but Sturrigde shouldn't drop this deep while he's the main goal scorer, he doesn't have Suarez ability to make things happen and with only Sterling up-front on the side no chance of creating anything.
    But yoçu're right we can't be blame after that defensive performance...

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  178. My response is blocked awaiting approval, it's a fair question, it's unusual for fans to be realistic.

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  179. Nevergonnacrackthecode10:00 pm, August 25, 2014

    sorry
    it is just a lot of comments seem like what my man u mate makes

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  180. Everybody should take a breath...maybe a few deep ones. We played the PL Champs in their house in the rain and lost. Nothing groan-worthy there. We controlled the match for long periods of time. We conceded two soft goals with number one and number three. the final third was distressing for me. We didn't show much creativity, but City was responsible for a lot of that. Credit where credit due. I think Moreno just rolled his ankle. Hurts but he'll be OK. We're gonna be fine. Nay-sayers should just quit commenting and sleep on it. You'll feel better tomorrow. How about the Markovic...very fun to watch.

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  181. the first goal before half time killed us mentally though

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  182. Nevergonnacrackthecode10:02 pm, August 25, 2014

    we are doing a spurs


    we should ahve spent 75m on one top player like reus or snachez


    rather then distribute it to players we don't need


    top 4 will be hard maybe impossible

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  183. Yes, especially Sturridge, who seems to be one of the first in the firing line when LFC lose/don't play well.

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  184. Yep, it was a bit like Rocky 3, we threw everything we had at Clubber Lang and he just sucked it up then decked us with one punch.


    The brutal truth is we are not at their level, I thought this when we played them in the States and tonight confirms it.

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  185. Nonsense. Nobody gets mentally killed because a rookie wasn't prepared for PL pace. They have better players who have played together for a long time.

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  186. Agree, we played City at home but my word our defence is a shambles.

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  187. He had to drop deep because up until Lazar coming on & Sterling we barely had anybody running behind the defence. All the fancy passing was right in front if their back 4. He had zero service!

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