THE ANFIELD NOISE

Post match: Real Madrid v Liverpool (UCL 6/4/21 8pm)

Man of the match.
  • Alisson BECKER
  • Trent ALEXANDER-ARNOLD
  • Nathaniel PHILLIPS
  • Ozan KABAK
  • Andy ROBERTSON
  • FABINHO
  • Gini WIJNALDUM
  • Naby KEITA
  • Sadio MANE
  • Mohamed SALAH
  • Diogo JOTA
  • Thiago ALCANTARA

0 voters

Unused Subs: Adrian, H. Davies, Milner, Firmino, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Tsimikas, Shaqiri, B. Davies, R. Williams, Cain.

:arrows_counterclockwise: 41’ Thiago ALCANTARA on, Naby KEITA off
:arrows_counterclockwise: 81’ Roberto FIRMINO on, Diogo JOTA off
:arrows_counterclockwise: 81’ Xherdan SHAQIRI on, Ozan KABAK off

:soccer: 51’ Mohamed SALAH (Assist Diogo Jota)

Well, that was shite.

Three changes for the Tricky Reds tonight, as Gini, Baby and Jota replaced Milner, Thiago and Bobby. Gini had obviously been rested against Arsenal, having played in all three of the Netherlands’ internationals last week, while Diogo was also kept in reserve on Saturday with an eye on this game. The big surprise was seeing Keïta start instead of Thiago; one would have thought that this is exactly the sort of game for which we bought the Spanish midfielder.

Benzema had the first shot on target, a tame effort easily saved by Alisson in the third minute, and Vinicius headed narrowly wide with our moustachioed Brazilian scrambling across to his left.

Casemiro clipped in a cross from the right but he failed to find the unmarked Benzema and the ball sailed harmlessly over. A few minutes later, Kroos played a pinpoint long ball to Vinicius, who controlled and swept the ball past Alisson. 1-0 to the bad guys, although it was a quality goal.

Benzema went down in the area under a challenge from Kabak- no foul. Vinicius had a shot deflected wide by Phillips and Asensio missed a decent opportunity from the resulting corner.

It was all one-way traffic in the opening 35 minutes. And, unsurprisingly, it was soon 2-0. Again Kroos lifted it over the top; Trent’s attempted clearing header fell straight at Asensio’s feet and he beat Alisson at the second attempt.

There had been a coming together between Sadio and Vazquez before the ball fell to Kroos, and Sadio was booked for his remonstrations after the goal. It could be argued that the Reds should have been awarded a free kick - looked a clear foul to me- but the defending was still poor afterwards.

Thiago replaced Keïta, who had had a shocker on his return, before half time. Injury or an admission from Jürgen that he had got his selection wrong?

Kabak miscontrolled and saw Alisson come to his rescue; as the players trudged off for their halftime oranges, the Reds were on the ropes and reeling. In fact, they were lucky to only be two goals behind.

The second stanza started with Vazquez receiving a yellow card for scything down Jota. Nothing came of the resulting free kick. A lovely sweeping movement from the back then saw Gini release Jota, who found Salah in the box; Vazquez was playing the Egyptian onside and it was 2-1. The crucial away goal had been scored in the 51st minute.

Trent swung in a brilliant fading cross from deep but Jota could only head wide; the visitors were back in this now. Thiago then picked up his customary yellow card for a late challenge on Asensio.

Kroos put a good chance over; Salah just failed to release Sadio. Mendy then denied Mané with a lunging tackle and Asensio broke free on the counter attack but Trent did well to track back and clear the danger. From the subsequent throw in, Modric found Vinicius on the penalty spot and he swept first-time past Alisson. 3-1 with 65 minutes on the clock; our goalkeeper might have done considerably better.

Benzema drilled a low shot straight at Alisson five minutes later; at the other end, Thiago blasted over from 22 yards. Shaqiri and Firmino replaced Kabak and Jota with ten minutes to play; Jürgen clearly fancied a second away goal. Trent was booked for his reaction after Vinicius went down clutching his face- a rare poor decision by a ref who had generally managed the game well.

Real then set up camp on the edge of their own penalty area and tried to hold us at bay. They accomplished their task, with the Reds huffing and puffing but not even coming close to blowing the house down. Still, the away goal gives us some hope for next week’s return fixture, although it’s going to require one of those magical Anfield nights… but without the crowd.

Next up is a rare Saturday three o’clock kickoff as Aston Villa come to town. Equally rare is a Liverpool home match on Grand National day; the lack of public attendance at both events this year obviously making life much easier for Merseyside Police. And even more rare is Liverpool losing 7-2, as we did in the reverse fixture back in October. I’m sure the lads will be looking to put that one right. And we won’t have that no-hoper Van Dijk hampering our defence this time.

MOTM: Paul Ross, head cider maker at The Newt in Somerset. Yes, you did read that correctly: I said cider. No wine this week; I recently saw this state of the art cidery on television so, naturally, ordered a few bottles from their website. I’m quite partial to a pint of cider in the summer, especially if there aren’t any interesting real ales on, and The Newt makes some of the best apple juices I’ve ever tasted: clean, sharp and a million miles from the mass-produced rubbish you get in most pubs. Their 2018 Somerset Redstreak is particularly highly recommended. It’s absolutely top stuff, which is just as well as I am going to need a lot more of it to wipe the memory of tonight’s game from my brain.

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@ISMF1 open that Villa thread before someone else does.

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Fucking shite.
Got what we deserved.

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Keita starting was a mistake. 2 goals not impossible but not great. Away goal massive.

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That’s really tough.

This Real Madrid side is shit. All they’ve got left is the fucking dark arts. If we’d have turn up, we’d have turned them over. And we didn’t.

The second half showed they can be got at, and if Anfield was full I’d fancy us.

3-1 isn’t the end of the world. But it will be hard work.

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It’s not over yet. Madrid sat deep for the last 15 mins, we had control. They play barca this weekend.

We go again. I’ll continue believing in this team, unlike many of you.

1st half the worst I’ve seen in a long time. Much better 2nd. No point in picking on players. Zidane set his team out a blinder, Klopp didn’t. We move on.

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Ref was a joke all game long

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It’s really not

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Er…you’ve seen our CBs haven’t you?

Apart from an early spell in the second half, we were second best. Real madrid were so much better, so much more composed, they really know how to take the edge out of an opponent. Surely they are among the favourites again to take the cup for the umptieth time.

As for us, we accept our limitations during this rotten season, and will try to do better next season. Because let’s face it, the chances to turn this around is around nil.

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Just show them some respect.
They totally outplayed us.
It is not a shame to admit that for most of the game we were second best.

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Tactically inept, not pressing the ball players like Kroos is just utter naivety… Same as against Chelsea and many others. The lack of midfield press was none existent, worst midfield three performance I’ve seen this season and thats saying something.

So many players not stepping up again, the story of our season.

I’d like to have some hope, but going back to Anfield with no fans… no chance.

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Glad I’m not the only one who thought that. When he wasn’t letting them basically ref the game, he was standing in the way of our passes, every bloody time.

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We gave it a go for 15 mins into the second half, but ultimately they were clinical when they needed to be.

I’m not sure where we stand in the tie after that. Our record at Un-Anfield is pretty appalling.

the hope i have for the return is that madrid will only play for 60 minutes… physically we way ahead, but unfortunately thats the only advantage

Poor first half, I feel the ties over without a crowd, hopefully a performance to gain some respect back is due next week

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