THE ANFIELD NOISE

Post Match: Villa v Liverpool (FAC 8/1/21 7.45pm)

Man of the match
  • Caoimhin KELLEHER
  • Neco WILLIAMS
  • Rhys WILLIAMS
  • FABINHO
  • James MILNER
  • Jordan HENDERSON
  • Gini WIJNALDUM
  • Curtis JONES
  • Mohamed SALAH
  • Takumi MINAMINO
  • Sadio MANE
  • Thiago ALCANTARA
  • Roberto FIRMINO
  • Xherdan SHAQIRI
  • Alex OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN
  • Divock ORIGI

0 voters

Unused Subs: Alisson, Robertson, Phillips, Alexander-Arnold

:soccer: Sadio MANE 4’
:soccer: Gini WIJNALDUM 60’
:soccer: Sadio MANE 62’
:soccer: Salah 65’

:arrows_counterclockwise: 45’ Thiago ALCANTARA on, Jordan HENDERSON off
:arrows_counterclockwise: 61’ Roberto FIRMINO on Takumi MINAMINO off
:arrows_counterclockwise: 61’ Xherdan SHAQIRI on Curtis JONES off
:arrows_counterclockwise: 74’ Alex OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN on, Mohamed SALAH off
:arrows_counterclockwise: 74’ Divock ORIGI on, Sadio MANE off

The score is about what you’d expect, but I feel our lads were lacking clinical finishing, and also a blatant lack of precision for the last pass, especially during the first half. Thiago’s introduction, and then Shaq’s and Bobby’s a bit later, helped to get more fluidity and incision into our game, and Thiago once, and Shaq twice, provided the all-important assists.

Tonight’s job done, but obviously, the players will need to up their game massively against the red mancs if they want to get something out of the game. I’m confident that they will.

6 Likes

Never in doubt.

Covid meant that Villa were down to their kids, after an outbreak in their first team squad. Role reversal from last season’s Carabao Cup, when our Club World Championship commitments meant we had to field our youngsters. Of course, we lost that one 5-0 and plenty were expecting us to score at least that many tonight. Villa’s youngsters hadn’t played since November and they were obviously outclassed on paper. Still, as we all know, football isn’t played on paper.

Kelleher came in for Alisson; Fabinho was the only back four regular to start, with both Neco and Rhys Williams starting and Milner coming in at left back to give Robbo a rest. Jones returned to the midfield and Bobby was given a break, with Taki coming into the starting XI, although he somewhat surprisingly started on the left flank with Sadio going down the middle.

The Senegalese international opened the scoring after just four minutes, heading home powerfully from Curtis’ crafted cross; Sadio was fine having appeared to have taken a knock while scoring. Millie went down soon afterwards after an accidental elbow but was fine to resume, then Gini missed a sitter.

Any Reds supporters who were expecting the floodgates to open would have been disappointed with the rest of the half. The visitors, as expected, almost monopolised possession but couldn’t fashion any more clear chances. Salah might have done better with a couple of chances and our inability to penetrate the opposition defences was punished five minutes before the break as Louie Barry burst through to equalise. Rhys Williams was left looking very slow, not for the first time.

As the players trudged off for their halftime oranges, the whole footballing world must have been wondering how Aston Villa’s kids were holding the Premier League champions to a draw; surely it couldn’t get any worse for the visitors?

Henderson was hauled off at half-time, the atypically ineffective captain being replaced by Thiago. Fabinho headed straight at Onodi; Mo then had a goal disallowed for kicking the ball out of the young keeper’s hands- to be fair, he looked offside as well.

Fortunately, Gini had put on his shooting boots during the break and he side footed past Onodi from the edge of the box on the hour mark to restore the visitors’ lead. And, three minutes later, Mané scored with a lovely looping header to give us a two goal lead, the assist coming from the lesser spotted Shaqiri.

Valiantly though they had fought, Villa’s youngsters seemed to hit a brick wall at the hour mark and Mo soon turned and fired past the keeper to make it four, with another Shaqiri assist. Three goals in six minutes- game over.

Next up is a nine day break before we entertain our friends from Salford at Anfield next Sunday. There is every chance we will be three points behind them at kick off, seeing that they face lowly Burnley in the league on Tuesday night; three points is a must next weekend but on our current form we’ll be lucky to get even a draw.

Let’s be honest; despite the ultimately comfortable victory, we were dross in the first half. I hope that it’s all part of Jürgen’s cunning plan: play shite for a month to lull the enemy into a false sense of security and then batter the Mancs next weekend.

MOTM: Those fine people at Glen Moray distillery in Elgin. This wonderful Speyside single malt goes from strength to strength and their Heritage 18 year old is simply beautiful, with smooth toffee notes and a lingering finish full of caramelised fruit. Spiffing.

13 Likes

FIRST!!! sdsdsd

You wrote all that in 7 seconds?

Shit…no

Frustrating first half. Hendo paid the price for that. With the introduction of Tiago the team got back on track. Order has been restored in the universe

1 Like

Yay, we won!

I’ll try and be positive cos i’m a been a bit moany on here lately…

Thiago :drooling_face:

2 Likes

Disappointed with the first half it felt a continuing of the last three games, second half was much better and that’s down to the changes, Thiago first off who is a joy to watch and then Shaq, I went for Milner who did fight in the first half and Neco who put his heart into it, if Shaq had played another 20 he probably would have got one nominate.

Anyhow we progress, at least the second half gives us some hope.

3 Likes

Thank you, sir. Appreciate the update. Wasn’t televised here. Too busy televising the “revolution”.

Smooth toffee. Give me a break.

5 Likes

MotM? Thiago, the only one tonight that showed he can play a bit, the rest, pffffffff.

4 Likes

The goals celebrations were very tamed. It seems nobody on Liverpool’s side cared about this game.

1 Like

You didn’t find a stream online? What sort of fan are you?

Actually, I think we know the answer to that one.

8 Likes

I know they were only kids, but Thiago looks magic. He could thread a pass through the of a needle. Wonderful player.

7 Likes

Nah we know who we are playing and are not tossers like their first team last season.

7 Likes

Isn’t there a new directive not to celebrate goals. COVID risk and all that?

11 Likes

Noises are that we aren’t going to get a CB this Jan. I hope that Matip comes back in an Iron Man suit because that ball behind when the opposition has nicked it after we’ve dominated possession is going to haunt us in quite a few games this season.

4 Likes