10 May 2015

Confirmed Teams: BR dumps €20m star; huge surprise on the bench; Gerrard starts

Manchester Unite'd 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace has all but ended Liverpool's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, but it's still mathematically possible, and if the Reds are to retain any hope of making the top four, victory over Chelsea today is absolutely essential.

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Johnson, Lovren, Skrtel, Can, Gerrard, Coutinho, Henderson, Lallana, Sterling, Lambert

SUBS: Ward, Toure, Moreno, Lucas, Allen, Ibe, Sinclair

CHELSEA: Courtois; Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry (c), Filipe Luis; Mikel, Loftus-Cheek; Willian, Fabregas, Hazard; Remy

* Have we seen the last of Mario Balotelli? The striker is not injured, so it means Rodgers has dropped him for the game.

* Ditto Fabio Borini - it's likely neither player will be seen in a Liverpool shirt again. The question is, will the club be able to move them on in the summer?

* With Lucas and Allen on the bench, Rodgers has gone with arguably his strongest attacking line-up, so credit to the manager for that.

* That said, I'm not sure Lambert will make much of a dent against Chelsea, but he's the only senior option in the match-day squad.

* Great to see Jerome Sinclair on the bench. Given the importance of the game, though, I doubt he'll get any game time.

* Given the personnel, it looks like it'll be a 433, or a 442 diamond, with Gerrard in central midfield, and Can at right back (both mistakes, IMO).

* Chelsea's team is missing some big names, but it's still a very strong team.

Possible formation:

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

Can -------- Skrtel --------- Lovren -------- Johnson

---------------- Gerrard - Hendo

---- Lallana ------------------------ Sterling

-------------------- Coutinho

-------------------- Lambert

My prediction: 2-1 Chelsea

Author: Jaimie K



361 comments:

  1. Good Luck B R and the boys - Musp perform today - indeed must WIN

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  2. If we did win i think Man U will bottle it

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  3. 2nd game in a row that Ward is on the bench .
    What has happened to Jones ?
    Good team ,all the best !

    2-1 to Liverpool

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  4. Sinclair and Ward on bench rather than Jones and our other fwds.... hmmm.

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  5. I really hope Sinclair gets a run today we really need another attacker to put his hand up for next season.

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  6. BR will be sacked today. 4-0 to Chelsea.

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  7. Even with Lofty cheeks playing.

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  8. Great support.

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  9. Will can ever play in midfield

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  10. Yeah he's a real inspiration.

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  11. Yes, exciting to see Sinclair on the bench. He's shown some great stuff recently. I loved his performance against Everton when he came off the bench. He did Tyas Browning, who has played first team football for Everton this season, and scored a wonderful individual goal that was disallowed for literally no reason other than that the defender fell over after Sinclair bamboozled him with a nice body movement and the ref presumably felt sorry for him.


    I'm a bit disappointed that we haven't seen at least something of Kent, Wilson, Canos and Ojo in the first team this season, given how the campaign has gone, in addition to Sinclair. Of course it's not right to bring in youngsters when the team's not playing well: you can't ask a rookie to be the saviour. I guess we saw Ibe break through spectacularly -- that was timed well, since the team was on form when he returned, so it was a good time to bring him in.


    Still, Kent, Wilson, Canos and Ojo might have offered something -- some cover for Sterling if nothing else. I can't decide which of those four I'm most excited about. Ojo has the game to play inside, I think -- I'd love to see him develop as a central midfielder. He's so strong and can legitimately beat a man neatly in the middle of the park; the only player with the physical game and experience to play in central midfield who has that in his locker is Allen, who doesn't quite have the explosiveness to escape. Wilson has silkiness and flair but I'm not sure he's got the physical characteristics to make it in elite football. Kent has more power and perhaps more direct goal threat, which are very important qualities at the top. I have a good feeling about Kent, think he might be able to make it at a high level. Canos is a modern winger, with that robustness, power and endurance which Bale typifies.


    Ah! Decisions, decisions.

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  12. Mr. Point Of View3:38 pm, May 10, 2015

    Remy will teach BR a lesson

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  13. Lets HOPE you wrong

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  14. Absolutely no way in the world we're beating Chelsea, sorry lads to be pessimistic.

    With Lambert up front we have literally no attacking threat and no movement.

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  15. Yes Brendan, THAT is a lone striker.. Let's rain on their parade at least..

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  16. One thing is Chelsea have nothin to play for so who knows.

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  17. Maybe Lallana will surprise us and have a good game today

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  18. solitaryreaper3:43 pm, May 10, 2015

    Irrespective of the result I so want that this unrepentant,brash guy with yellow and uneven denture be shown the red card after the match.

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  19. Yes Brendan, THAT is a lone striker.. Let's rain on their parade at least..

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  20. solitaryreaper3:44 pm, May 10, 2015

    when Chelsea play for fun they are far more dangerous

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  21. I think u 4got Mou hates losing

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  22. I think u forgot mourinho hates losing

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  23. What position is he playing?

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  24. I hope to god we get beat 7 nil ,hopefully then Rodgers will pack his bags ,,starting Johnson and Lambert pathetic, players out of position, no flair ,complete garbage and we are all wondering why saurez couldn't get his transfer quick enough,Gone is the days when we could stand side by side the best in Europe or in fact our own league Between fsg and yes man Rodgers we are heading for a shambles of a year next year the warning signs are there to see we struggle against low teams because that's where we will soon be .

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  25. Exactly what I thought Lambert was bought for - plan b - to destroy buses. Now is his moment to shine and I think he will. 0 - 2 Sterling and Lambert.

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  26. Chelsea's team is missing some big names, but it's still a very strong team.
    That's what a billionaire Russian of questionable repute gets you...which is why, Lampard notwithstanding, I will never respect Chelski.

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  27. solitaryreaper3:52 pm, May 10, 2015

    It'll be a nice tharshing

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  28. Guard of honour will be painful, sick bag at the ready.

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  29. He's a very good player that one, he'll be carrying play through the centre much like Fabregas. I think we are likely to get overrun in the middle.


    Our best hope is going to be getting situations where Sterling can run off Terry and Lambert can pull the inexperienced Zouma out of position. There might be a goal or two there for us, though you can't bet on Sterling's finishing, so who knows.


    We'll need to put in a very good team performance to keep Chelsea at bay; to do that, presumably we'll playing for possession and then looking for direct balls in behind.


    I'll give us a goal or two, but Chelsea look good for one or two more.


    So 3-2, a good game in store.

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  30. Terry will own us

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  31. Lallana hides in big games

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  32. Rodgers can really be annoying sometimes - I'm all about managers respecting Liverpool's class and traditions, but he overdoes it. He says we will give Chelsea the guard of honour because 'LFC have class and humility'. No it's because it's league protocol/tradition.

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  33. 5 mins in, 1 nil down and fabragas should of been sent off.

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  34. We treated him like doodoo!

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  35. And our missuses if we are not careful.

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  36. I'm want Lambert to do well but he's like a dead-end in attack.


    I thought he was very effective at Southampton but it's like as if he aged 10 years during last summer. He is just unrecognisable.

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  37. We look lost...why are Gerrard and lambert on the pitch...We are playing with 9 men.

    If we lose today, then I hope it's the last we see of Gerrard..lambert and Rogers

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  38. Funny, to my eye we've been on top since they scored and Lambert and Gerrard are playing well.

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  39. voice of reason4:18 pm, May 10, 2015

    no surprise we're losing wonder what the BR apologists are going to say later..... 'Well Chelsea decided to start there keeper'.... BR OUT!!!!!!!!!

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  40. Probably would say there's 70mins left to win the game.

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  41. voice of reason4:21 pm, May 10, 2015

    logically does that seem possible

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  42. Now is not the time for logic but hope ;-)

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  43. I make you right FdotM

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  44. voice of reason4:23 pm, May 10, 2015

    lol at least your optimistic so kudos cant fault u for that

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  45. You were saying ?

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  46. Let Terry in for the 1st goal !

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  47. Loic Remy is better than Lambert, Balotelli and Borini that explains why the transfer committee didn't buy him.

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  48. I'm not the best with predictions, just a bit of fun really but honestly, who gives a stuff about that, as long as we win and at the moment the game seems in the balance to me 3 points defo there for the taking.

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  49. voice of reason4:27 pm, May 10, 2015

    my comment is waiting for approval but i applauded u for your optimism

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  50. Was going to say he's looking sharp. Lfc didn't buy him because he was value for money!

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  51. time to give sinclair a go

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  52. We don't look like scoring

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  53. we haven't all season why would be there any change?

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  54. Get Lambert off - TOO SLOW

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  55. Ricky was running in treacle. Too slow

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  56. Fair one fellow Red, Ultimately we all want the same result :-)

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  57. voice of reason4:35 pm, May 10, 2015

    but higher rated than Balotelli

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  58. lol, sick this football game, going to work tomorrow's gonna hurt with the mancs crowing about Depay and CL. have absolutely no comebacks for 25 years now

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  59. voice of reason4:36 pm, May 10, 2015

    too see the team we love back to the heights it once was fair enough even though our means different thanks for seeing it that way most other fans just argue with me making nonsensical statements defending this abject failure of a season

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  60. Balotelli wouldn't even have made the run, he'd be standing in the centre circle trying to be the playmaker. I could show you five or six runs that Lambert's made this half that have created attacks without him even touching the ball. Balotelli never even makes these runs because he plays as a number 10, no matter what instructions he's given.

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  61. Since when was Balotelli the standard to aim for?

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  62. voice of reason4:41 pm, May 10, 2015

    sure..... guess thats why lambert has how much goals again this season... 2,3, i forget its hard to remember when he's making all those slow useless runs... what an upgrade to balotelli that waste of space italian

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  63. voice of reason4:42 pm, May 10, 2015

    balotelli is the best striking option we have atm and imo most of the times he looks better and provides more to the team than fabio and lambert

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  64. "too see the team we love back to the heights it once was" - Amen to that brother.

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  65. Gerrard you legend!!!!!!!

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  66. Oh Stevie, why can't you just stay a little bit longer?

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  67. Please tell me that means what I think it does and that's what has caused my stream to implode.

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  68. Gerrard, my love!

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  69. You are trying to imply that I'm anti-Italian? But you don't know anything about me, what my politics or beliefs are. You should be more cautious, surely.


    Anyway Balotelli has his strengths, a neat touch and flair, and he used to have a powerful shot, but his movement is not that of a centre forward and he doesn't appreciate space well. Lambert understands the role and plays certain important aspects of it to a high standard. Tactically he's useful in ways Balotelli shows no sign of even wanting to be.

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  70. Oh you Beautyyyyy!!!!!

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  71. 4-0 Chelsea ??????????????????????????????????

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  72. voice of reason4:47 pm, May 10, 2015

    whoa sorry i did not mean to go there so totally not my intention let me say that first off i am so sorry if i made u feel like i was accusing u of that again i do apologize

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  73. voice of reason4:50 pm, May 10, 2015

    what i meant was balo is the better striking option than lambert offers more, doesnt seem visually roasted at the final 30 minutes and imo should be ahead of a player who is not going to be here next season work with what we have to improve for next season is my arguement not starting players that we all know are not going to be here next season its like kolo toure being ahead of sakho (although i do love kolo's passion)

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  74. No problem, I wasn't sure that's what you meant, thanks for the apology all the same! I'm very touchy today for some reason :)


    What do you think though, about Balotelli's movement? He was such a disappointment. It seemed in his first few games like he would try -- when Gerrard or whoever yelled at him and pointed at the space he should be moving into, he would sometimes try and make the runs.


    But when he went for so long without scoring he just seemed to lose heart. By the end he was just playing for himself. I feel for him, but I'm glad he's not playing. It seemed totally counter-productive. He clearly needs to have a team built around him, but he's not actually good enough for anyone to want to do that at the top level.

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  75. Rohan Anderson4:52 pm, May 10, 2015

    Lambert off Sterling up front and Jordon on the right. Bring Sinclair on at 60/70 mins. Nothing to lose.

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  76. Def like to see sinclair given a run out. Reckon there might be red card in this game, hope its not to us.

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  77. Hendo set up Suarez beautifully didn't he? Oh wait.

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  78. Why so Sterling can miss from 2 yards?

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  79. Do you remember Jones's performance against Man Utd away?


    That's what happened to Jones.


    He might kick up a stink and claim the club have misled him and try and see out the rest of his contract instead of having the bottle to move on, but the fact is he had his chance this season and he blew it, massively. He was unlucky to get injured, but that performance against Man Utd was a showing of the kind of mediocrity that a Liverpool goalkeeper shouldn't even be *capable* of!

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  80. voice of reason4:56 pm, May 10, 2015

    its an LFC match although we have our different means of support we do love this club so it hurts (very very bad if i might add) when we under perform and just look like a hot mess..... hm nice analogy... i do agree he seems like a team needs to be built to accommodate him and call me an old romantic but that euro 2012 game where he destoryed germany (when many people doubted him)... sigh.. thats the balo i want... thats the players i like to support.. so i'm still holding the faith that that balo is somewhere hidden deep down waiting itching to come back so yh i know sounds far fetched but i get your point maybe that Balo is dead but i'm still holding that torch for him

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  81. Yep Lambert off deffo . Will see if Rodgers has got what it takes to motivate em SH . Believe it or not we have had 6 shots to their 4 with 2 on target .... same as them ! We can do this just believe it !

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  82. The guard of honour made me feel sick!

    John Terry's goal wasn't exactly a bullet header.Mignolet could've done better.Bane/Fabregas should've got a red card.The Ref bottled it.Anyone else notice the atmosphere was good.But every time the camera was on the crowd their fans weren't signing.Chelsea must've started piping crowd noise through the speakers.
    How many times has Steven Gerrard saved our bacon? He air freshened a stinking first half team performance.We never looked like scoring.Chelsea aren't at their best either.They're in title celebration hangover mode.If Liverpool step up our level, we can win this match.

    Jordan Ibe please!

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  83. Personally I believe there should of been already.

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  84. Has BR stated that he has been dropped ?

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  85. Balotelli is a waste of space and is so unwanted that he will be given a free transfer this summer instead of being here next season. Can't fathom why people still defend him. Yeah he's probably better than Lambert but that's not much of a reference, is it?

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  86. I disagree about Borini. Every time he plays, which is rare, he gives everything he can, he is always willing, always running, always putting pressure on the opposition.

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  87. voice of reason5:00 pm, May 10, 2015

    see reference to euro 2012 below as to why i defend the guy still and to this day irregardless of where he goes in his career

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  88. Rohan Anderson5:01 pm, May 10, 2015

    At least he will have enough pace to get into them positions.

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  89. voice of reason5:01 pm, May 10, 2015

    basically joe allen as a striker... i applaud the passion but we are LFC we have standards we should not have players without a consistent end product in our team

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  90. That Hendo pass was great but should'v been a high ball- had space for it... gOOD CHANCE..

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  91. Haha you really *are* an old romantic !


    Yeah, Balotelli when he was raw, and gifted, and full of anger, was a real prospect. He seemed like he might have Rooney's fighting strength. But I think his passion is something more fragile, like Torres' fierce pride, which when it broke, left him looking half the player he had been.


    Balotelli's actually a grown up to be a soft-hearted character, hasn't he. He can get riled up, sure: but he can't focus and sustain his anger, can't control it. I wonder if it's there in him anymore. He very rarely initiates contact,. he doesn't seem to want to dominate his opponents.


    His game hasn't changed since he was a teenager, has it, and that can only take you so far. Maybe he'll come again (uh, there's that hot mess again), but I strongly doubt it will be at Liverpool.

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  92. Whatever that was from.Lallana I think Moreno gets the ball Johnson couldn't.

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  93. Creating chances now !

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  94. Really enjoying Coutinho vs Loftus-Cheek. Two very good young players we could be watching compete against each other for years to come.

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  95. voice of reason5:12 pm, May 10, 2015

    so true he does look different from the Balo we knew sigh i still want him to do so good after hearing his background story and i think being the first person of his race to start or play for italy he has a special place in my heart come on BALO

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  96. I said the exact same thing a few weeks ago about wanting that very same Balotelli to show up (he could be a Drogba-type player (in terms of pace/power) if he bothered. But he never will. You can't judge him on that one Euro 2012 game though. Joe Allen was magnificent against Man City a few months ago but I don't hold hope he will perform like that every week as he doesn't have the ability. Like-wise, Balotelli just doesn't have the drive/ambition/discipline/intelligence.

    Rodgers spent hours and hours with Balotelli and his agent before he signed the contract. So Balotelli is very very very aware this was his last chance at a big club. And he still doesn't care. I will never defend the clown - biggest waster and myth in football.

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  97. Get Lambert off NOW Ibe on Sterling up front ....

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  98. We are so bad around the penalty area today it's ridiculous. The tactics are good, we are getting into position, but then where is the quality to make a chance?


    I am having quite JK-ish thoughts about Sterling this afternoon!

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  99. Who needs Sterling?

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  100. Two good ones from Raheem..

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  101. Yes, so glad he's a Liverpool player. I love watching him. I tried to play like that, and understand how difficult it is to be so consistent with your touch and movement. He makes so few mistakes with his Cruyff turns, his slipped passes in behind, his darting runs. Top quality. He could win us something if he stays fit and gets a striker or two to play with.

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  102. voice of reason5:19 pm, May 10, 2015

    yh your right that joe allen comes and goes not consistent enough and yup that Balo might just be dead and gone but i still believe..... for now although i want BR out i still wanna win so deep in the game come on LFC LETS WIN IT

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  103. Really. Just head it back Lambert and let him finish.

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  104. Nah I'm just speculating ;)

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  105. Bring Ibe on for Lambert NOW NOW NOW NOW - Lambert is slower than an injured snail Sinclair Anyone Coutinhio is fed up to the back teeth with Lambert - DO IT

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  106. I hear you mate, I want to see end product on a more consistent basis. That is, a goal or assist. No more, no less!

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  107. Cmon Brendan make the change Ibe would give em more to worry about and Sterling ( don't hold your breath ) MIGHT just score !

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  108. Sinclairs coming on go get em lad

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  109. It'll come -- a midfielder can be as good as you want, as good as Xabi or Xavi or whoever, but if he hasn't got a striker to hit, he's not going to get many assists... speaking of which, here comes Sinclair! Exciting!

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  110. Lambert deserves a cheer, good effort.

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  111. Thank God ! Sinclair my boy you have your chance

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  112. He's a bit too handsome for my liking.

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  113. Let's hope you're right!

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  114. And young. Too young and handsome altogether.

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  115. No width. Too narrow

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  116. Deserves a CHAIR !

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  117. Would have left Lallana on, personally. He's been excellent and I don't believe in pulling a player who's enjoying himself.

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  118. And its his birthday whats the matter with people.

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  119. Harsh. I can't knock a man who gives what he can.

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  120. Whenever it's not my birthday I get really angry and try to hurt everyone I care about.

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  121. not like chelsea fans to hold up bits of plastic

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  122. Quite a remarkable front three here people.

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  123. Hope someone thought to get the lad a nice cake :-/

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  124. Moanrinho parked his bus now

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  125. Rubbish set pieces

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  126. Hendo...what a waste

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  127. 18 , 18 , 19 years old !

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  128. Yep. Someone has to step up now with Stevie off, I'm hoping Hendo will be that man, we need to get a few shots off though.

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  129. Agreed. I also prefer Ronaldo as he's fought to become the player he is. Messi was given a god-given talent.

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  130. If we had a decent striker ( someone like Luis ) who could run at them and finish we could win this easily ..

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  131. I know many of you think I'm just an "apologist" and all that, but I want the Rodgers out people just to reflect on our two performances at Stamford Bridge this season. The quality of the football, the tactical dominance; sure, the results aren't perfect, but measured against the best we are not far short, and playing the kind of football we can be proud of. Hope it can make some of you think twice.

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  132. 100%. Can't really criticise moaniho too much today either, been a pretty open game, surely we have someone on the pitch who has enough belief in their own ability to fire off a worldie from 20/30yds, please!!

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  133. A memorable afternoon. I've enjoyed this one, Kop4it!

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  134. Genuinely share those exact sentiments, we aren't a million miles away at all. Think we're mostly agreed though that we need a good summer to complete the job.

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  135. As much as I loved Saurez and as good as he is, he wasn't able to score against them last season

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  136. Football is a RESULTS business Brendans RESULTS are material FACTS and as such they are POOR for the money spent.

    He needs to go and be replaced by a Manager that has can WIN games rather than performance. Unless your happy with this and Brendad's THEME TUNE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSLGFL3Xa30

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  137. haven't had a shot on target the last 10 minutes and we need to win the game

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  138. Our build-up is generally really good today but as soon as we get to the edge of the box, we blow it. Just a real lack of striking quality.

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  139. We bottled it against Man U and Arsenal the table doesn't lie.

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  140. so we are forgetting the humiliations against Man U ?

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  141. Could be we've gone the other way from last season too much, remember we fired off shot after shot in desperation, seems we've gone a bit too conservative/cautious, perhaps as a result.

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  142. Who is the champions though?

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  143. apparently ibe and Sterling have forgotten how to pass a ball ! so annoying they try to walk it in...

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  144. voice of reason5:53 pm, May 10, 2015

    and there we go lost the plot thanks BR

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  145. Ah well Europa it is .... How much do you reckon Sterling is worth now guys ?

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  146. Great effort today lacked a bit of experience and quality up front but we should be proud of todays efforts.

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  147. Rohan Anderson5:53 pm, May 10, 2015

    Not enough drive. Great front 4 though. Sterling Coutinho Ibe and Sinclair should start against Palace. Encouraging display nonetheless, with a few signings we can comfortably get top 4 next season.

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  148. The point is valuable. 4 clear of Spurs.

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  149. spurs don't want to be in europa league

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  150. voice of reason5:54 pm, May 10, 2015

    lambert should not have started all i'm going to say poor team selection

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  151. who is in champion's league though ?
    Mourinho got every result he wanted against us, he got us eliminated from the cup and have still never loose against BR

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  152. Too many heroic attempts at volleys when a cooler head would have driven forward and dished to a team mate.

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  153. Despite obviously needing to win the game to stand any chance of CL qualification, I quite enjoyed that. A good performance with great style and some industrious moves. Lallana and Couts particularly impressive. Damn, if only we had a reliable, quality striker to finish off some of those lovely moves. Story of our season, really.

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  154. we won't be in CL places next season if we have to play in europa league.

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  155. solitaryreaper5:56 pm, May 10, 2015

    a decent performance ,but all too late

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  156. We all know that if we had brought a quality striker in as backup for Studge we would have made top 4 .....
    No excuses BR and co.

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  157. was all rather contained for me, not enough passion or desire to win this must win match. next years script will be how much we miss gerrard and how playing in europa league is hampering our league form.

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  158. Good post match interview with SG.

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  159. Seriously be happy we played some great football today the past is the past bask in the present for gods sake.

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  160. it's been too slow all season, too many sideways passes, taking too long to get forward, stopping and checking promising runs, missing easy passes. can't rely on Coutinho to score a worldy every match.

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  161. voice of reason6:00 pm, May 10, 2015

    sterling has regressed since those contract talks imo he can leave atm i dont care i want passionate players not greedy ones go join glen johnson raheem

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  162. 15 shots to their 8 !

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  163. When you mention the likes of Lallana, Couts, Ibe and others you can see that our squad does match up in potential to other top four contenders, we definitely need a good, reliable striker or three but I think we've every chance of giving the others a run for their Rubles next season.

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  164. Stevie will be gone but his HEART will always be with LFC !

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  165. He said Mourinho is the best in tge world. How does BR feel?

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  166. A decent performance with no knock-out punch..

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  167. The fat lady has sung.The top four fight is over!
    It was nice to see Jerome Sinclair get big match minutes.You could tell Brendan Rodgers got stuck into them.We played much better in the second half.Our attacking intent was clear but we needed to put Courtois/Big Bird under more pressure.He would've flapped!
    On a positive note, the youngsters we ended the match with leaves me thinking Liverpool have a bright future.If we can add a few top names to help these talented kids, we'll do better next season.

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  168. That's cost last tme SG said BR was the best LFC manager...

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  169. Didn't he once say the same thing about Rafa

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  170. well the present spell "EUROPA" so there's not a lot to be happy about, sure the performance was ok but that was not that great either

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  171. If the youngster come good they'll be sold off quick smart

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  172. I think apart from our strikers, we have a very good squad and that is my problem with BR, personally you give that squad to a number of other managers and they would of done better.

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  173. A great interview, managed to maintain dignity whilst setting the chelski fans straight all in one. LEGEND

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  174. A couple of really good buys in the striking department during the summer window is absolutely key. B-Rod has to get it spot on this time. Our problem clearly hasn't been in creating opportunities, just in finishing them off.

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  175. Well ya cant make some people happy

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  176. Absolutely, I don't want to start sounding like a broken Logan but I think we must break the bank and get Lacazette or similar if at all possible. Obviously it's not a simple matter but I certainly won't be complaining if we grossly overpay to get the job done.

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  177. Didn't they offer him an extension and then backtrack? So he is off soon anyway and is probably not happy with LFC generally.

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  178. #BrendanRodgersin

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  179. sorry if one good game doesn't make me forget an entire season of dreadful football.

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