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Post match: Chelsea 2 Liverpool 1

stip80

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Oct 21, 2010
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211
Yes, hopefully we get back at every single one of them since all top 8teams, bar man utd, still have to visit anfield in the next half of the season.
 

Jaytinho

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Dec 30, 2013
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237
January fixtures:

  • We got: Hull (H), Stoke (A), Aston Villa (H), Everton (H)
  • Arsenal got: Cardiff (H), Aston Villa (A), Fulham (H), Southampton (A)
  • Chelsea got: Southampton (A), Hull (A), Man Utd (H), West Ham (H)
  • City got: Swansea (A), Newcastle (A), Cardiff (H), Spurs (A)
  • Everton got: Stoke (A), Norwich (H), West Brom (A), Liverpool (A)
  • United got: Spurs (H), Swansea (H), Chelsea (A), Cardiff (H)

Out of all, I think United, Chelsea and City got tricky games...We should be top or 2nd at the end of Jan...with Sturridge and Stevie coming back together with the Jan signings, we should be up there
 

Urban Achiever

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Problem is not so much the results.... it is not away games against Chelsea and City that needs to be won to make top 4.
Tight games where the players did good and we got cheated by lousy ref-calls. We did not deserve wins but we got cheated out of points in both games if you look at it from that angle and that's close enough to being acceptable when looking at their ridiculous squads.

Everyone saying that we shouldn't panic or freak out are right. 6 points off the top is nothing and we've done well.

Problem is injuries, which makes this transfer window even more absurdly important. If we get in real quality we could be in for an incredible boost in the last part of the season. Can we get some serious additions in first, we will then have people like Gerrard, Sturridge, Allen, Enrique and Sakho dropping in and contributing bit by bit for a strong finish.
We need 4 or 5 really strong players in my view..... in that case the sky is the limit.

Regarding Aspas we will never get the best out of him unless we give him gametime in his position. We need to play him alongside Suarez for at least a game to see what he can do. It's pretty obvious by now that he doesn't work as an impact-sub.... so if that's what we need we need to sell him in jan and bring in an experienced (maybe a bit older) forward, who can come on and contribute for 10-15 minutes here and there. Aspas is not that kind of player so we'd better just get him off the books. Waste of talent and money. Something similar could be said about Alberto..... when Suso returns it'll get worse.... why have them without using them...
Maybe Tello for Moses.... anyway Moses needs to go back to Sweet Joey Mo'rinho and his douchebags.

But we are in a good position apart from the injuries. I guess the main frustration is those... and then the unbelievable level of refereeing.
 

Herb

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SoueysTash said:
Someone pointed out earlier it might be sending a signal to the owners...Personally I thought BR wanted pace in the side and none of his subs bar him had pace, shame it was such a big game. Hope he gets time at LB against Hull.
I agree. All over Twitter and Reddit people are arguing that it was both a political point being made by Rodgers and a slight on Alberto. Personally I don't think it was either. Honestly believe that Rodgers simply wanted Coutinho in the middle of the pitch and to be able to stretch the play with more natural width and pace. Smith was probably the best option we had in that case. And as for it being a political point I think we are far beyond that rubbish these days.
 

RJK

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SirBillShankly said:
Let's not forget, we have narrowly lost to the two teams who will in all probability be going head-to-head for the title and we could have easily taken something from both games, let's not get too disheartened.
No very proud. We looked tired from the off today & understandably so. I just hope the mental toll (& physical) doesn't effect the next couple of games
 

Drubas

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The reason behind the defeat is our poor attempt at a high press. High press only works if the team is compact. And just having high press isn't enough. You have to follow up. The whole team has to commit to the press. We didn't. We only had the first press, the rest of the team became completely passive.

It's extremely hard to try to help the press, when your first press is 20-30 meters in front of you. With fast players like Hazard, Willian and Oscar, following them further up the pitch doesn't accomplish anything.

I'm not sure why we got so stretched out. Maybe our defense didn't follow as instructed? Me personally, I think that Mourinho baited us. He rolled the ball in front of Hendo, Coutinho, Allen and Sterling, untill they were chasing the chelsea defenders. We launched first press after first press, untill we were so stretched out that Liverpool as a team couldn't benefit from the press at all. At best Chelsea couldn't pass the ball into the huge pocket in the middle of the pitch, and had to play long. But even playing long was a good weapon, since our team was too stretched out to win the defensive headers.
 

lfc.eddie

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LeoT said:
I don't really agree.

I think we are conceeding more because our style of play is different.
We commit far more players forward than we used to.

We now try to win big games rather than trying not to lose them.
Open play goals against us aren't that many. I think we can even count who scored against us on open play. Majority of our goals conceded are from set piece, that has very little to do wih our new style of play.
 

rab

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Rodgers is not going to throw on a rookie during a game against a top four challenger when we're just a goal behind in order to make a point.

He will have his reasons for putting Smith on instead of Alberto but he won't be cutting his nose off to spite his face in order to try and get a few more quid out the owners. If anything it would raise questions from the owners about his ability to spend money if our £7m summer signing isn't getting a game ahead of a teenage rookie.
 

Maria

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^^^ This is hilarious Scouseheadross, the weather is so miserable outside you made my day today.
 

Keegans Perm

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Etoo should have been red carded its a simple as that. Don't care if it was so early in the game, the rules are there to be abided by and that twat Webb bottled it. The game would have been completely different if he had been sent off and especially after the goal from resulting free kick.

Chelsea might have been the better side all in all, but I think if they had gone down to 10 men, we would have become mentally stronger and took them apart. Once again Liverpool suffer from shite officiating.
 

shachart

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SoueysTash said:
A few comments around the main talking points:

Agger at LB over Cissokho

2 reasons for this:

i) Additional assistance in dealing with Set Pieces
ii) BR has no faith that Cissokho can play 2 games in that period of time

I think this decision was the right one to begin with though as the game wore on it was clear we were lacking any threat down the left hand side. This is no swipe at Agger, he's not a Left Back - we saw when Johnson was out that we need fullbacks who get forward otherwise our gameplan doesn't really work. I'd like to have seen some action on this at the start of the second half, rather than going 3 at the back as we did, bringing on Cissokho for Skrtel would have given us more of what we needed which was width on the left hand side. Whilst Cissokho doesn't seem to have enough pace, he does have experience of playing full back and would have offered more than Agger did going forward.

Coutinhos performance

He's a young lad and I'm by no means lambasting him however it was clear around the 50 minute mark he didn't have his eye in. So many potential opportunities went by as the final ball wasn't right. He was also giving the ball away too much, plus - lacking pace down the left hand side really stifled us and put all the onus on Sterlings wing play to create anything. There were also a couple of opportunities he took to shoot when there were better options around him. Bringing on Alberto once Coutinho was moved to the classic 10 role would have been the right decision.

Smith Substitute

Think the young lad did ok, I can see why BR put him out in the wide forward position. Less responsibility and an injection of youthful pace, he didn't have a bad game he just struggled to get into the game out there. I also felt that Suarez & Coutinho failed to give him the ball on a couple of occasions when he was in a good position. As the game panned out it was clear this wasn't a great decision although I fail to see what other options we had to inject pace down this side.

Whilst this is all hindsight, it does expose some big holes in our squad - holes that will need to be filled before we can ever hope to challenge on multiple fronts in the coming seasons. Hopefully the owners and the manager aren't blind to it and we'll see some reinforcements come in January to enable us to compete for the top 4 position we desperately need.

BR does seem to have a reluctance to play Alberto and I'm not sure why, I guess we have to trust his judgement - afterall, Sterling & Aggers enhanced absences in the earlier parts of the season appeared to have driven performance increases..
I think the reason BR used Agger as LB was the ability to switch easily, if needed, to 3 in the back. push johnson forward, and their you have a 3-5-2 formation. I don't think it is lack of faith in cissokho ( though i share that lack of faith ), since he wasn't that clueless against city ( just your average shite ).

as for Smith, I am sad to say he was a nervous wreck. his first touch was so bad i thought Kuyt returned to us. to his defense, I think BR did him injustice, throwing a youngster for his debut, against chelsea, while trailing, and above all playing him outside his position... truth be told, he never had a chance.

I have to remind myself, that my only evaluation of a player form is what I see during a game. BR sees them everyday in training, knows their physical and mental condition. I don't know why BR is reluctant to play Alberto and cissokoh, or why kelly and Ilori can't even make it to the bench. I have to accept that there is more information that I am not aware to. sucks doesn't it.
 

Redragbull

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SoueysTash said:
Coutinhos performance

He's a young lad and I'm by no means lambasting him however it was clear around the 50 minute mark he didn't have his eye in. So many potential opportunities went by as the final ball wasn't right.
I always visit opposition forums before our matches, and one of the main talking points as far as giving credit to our players goes, other than Suarez, is the silky skills of Coutinho and his ability to thread through balls through the eye of a needle. This may have been the case prior to his injury, but the weight of his through balls since his return at Arsenal, have been far too weighty from what i have seen. He can't seem to get it right, and Suarez has told him so numerous times. The rest of his skills seem to be intact. Hope he gets it sorted soon as he is an invaluable creator for us. We need him to produce consistently during the second half of the season.
 

SoueysTash

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Redragbull said:
I always visit opposition forums before our matches, and one of the main talking points as far as giving credit to our players goes, other than Suarez, is the silky skills of Coutinho and his ability to thread through balls through the eye of a needle. This may have been the case prior to his injury, but the weight of his through balls since his return at Arsenal, have been far too weighty from what i have seen. He can't seem to get it right, and Suarez has told him so numerous times. The rest of his skills seem to be intact. Hope he gets it sorted soon as he is an invaluable creator for us. We need him to produce consistently during the second half of the season.
Not necessarily true, strengthening of our wide left would put him under a bit more pressure. At the moment Coutinho is, and rightly so based on previous performances, first choice. I imagine having his arse closer to the fire won't do him any harm...his through balls will improve.
 

ptt

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SoueysTash said:
A few comments around the main talking points:

Agger at LB over Cissokho

2 reasons for this:

i) Additional assistance in dealing with Set Pieces
ii) BR has no faith that Cissokho can play 2 games in that period of time

I think this decision was the right one to begin with though as the game wore on it was clear we were lacking any threat down the left hand side. This is no swipe at Agger, he's not a Left Back - we saw when Johnson was out that we need fullbacks who get forward otherwise our gameplan doesn't really work. I'd like to have seen some action on this at the start of the second half, rather than going 3 at the back as we did, bringing on Cissokho for Skrtel would have given us more of what we needed which was width on the left hand side. Whilst Cissokho doesn't seem to have enough pace, he does have experience of playing full back and would have offered more than Agger did going forward.

Coutinhos performance

He's a young lad and I'm by no means lambasting him however it was clear around the 50 minute mark he didn't have his eye in. So many potential opportunities went by as the final ball wasn't right. He was also giving the ball away too much, plus - lacking pace down the left hand side really stifled us and put all the onus on Sterlings wing play to create anything. There were also a couple of opportunities he took to shoot when there were better options around him. Bringing on Alberto once Coutinho was moved to the classic 10 role would have been the right decision.

Smith Substitute

Think the young lad did ok, I can see why BR put him out in the wide forward position. Less responsibility and an injection of youthful pace, he didn't have a bad game he just struggled to get into the game out there. I also felt that Suarez & Coutinho failed to give him the ball on a couple of occasions when he was in a good position. As the game panned out it was clear this wasn't a great decision although I fail to see what other options we had to inject pace down this side.

Whilst this is all hindsight, it does expose some big holes in our squad - holes that will need to be filled before we can ever hope to challenge on multiple fronts in the coming seasons. Hopefully the owners and the manager aren't blind to it and we'll see some reinforcements come in January to enable us to compete for the top 4 position we desperately need.

BR does seem to have a reluctance to play Alberto and I'm not sure why, I guess we have to trust his judgement - afterall, Sterling & Aggers enhanced absences in the earlier parts of the season appeared to have driven performance increases..
Good post, sorry, the fun police stole my likes ;)

I was really impressed with Agger's ability to bring the ball forwards. He was never going to skin their fullback (who was bloody superb) and get crosses in but every time he moved out of our box with the ball he had his head up and picked a pass. I'd love to see his passing stats and accuracy. He doesn't make a good RB as he offers nothing going forwards but I think he's strengthened my argument for him playing DM.

Regarding Alberto, I can only presume his attitude isn't up to Brendan's liking. Every time he's been on the pitch he's looked very composed and accomplished. There must be a very good reason why he's not getting more game time. Given the progress we've made under Brendan, I think it's safe to trust his judgement. I also expect him to absolutely hammer the players who swapped shirts. His response during the interview was tantamount to him saying "I'm going to go and absolutely f$$$$$g kill them for that"
 

ptt

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Redragbull said:
I always visit opposition forums before our matches, and one of the main talking points as far as giving credit to our players goes, other than Suarez, is the silky skills of Coutinho and his ability to thread through balls through the eye of a needle. This may have been the case prior to his injury, but the weight of his through balls since his return at Arsenal, have been far too weighty from what i have seen. He can't seem to get it right, and Suarez has told him so numerous times. The rest of his skills seem to be intact. Hope he gets it sorted soon as he is an invaluable creator for us. We need him to produce consistently during the second half of the season.
He also underhit several through balls too. Having said that, if there's a stat for "flucking incredible through balls that find the intended player" then I bet he's top of the list. You just can't be perfect all the time and Cou's delivery needs to be that to succeed.
 

SGM

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Dane said:
Considering the amount of cash spent on our defence, we're not really conceding many less, and have conceded considerably more than at this stage 2 seasons ago.
Mignolet shoulders as much responsibility as the back 4 for this fact.

This doesn't attract as much scrutiny due to the amount more we are scoring.
But if you look at the actual goals scored (and this is brilliant subjective statistical analysis), it doesn't seem like many are Mignolets fault. The set pieces has been a nightmare, I put more of that on the coaching.
 

LFC-Orlando

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Maria said:
Btw, I found the swapping of shirts at half time by Eto and Sakho and Coutinho and Oscar very odd, surely they know the protocol, that the players do this after the match. I heard Brendan was not pleased at all.
And Maria, I posted in the Brendan thread, that considering Eto'o's lack of integrity as a player, if I were Sakho I'd not even use that shirt to dust around my dog's house.
 

basil1492

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From the start of this game we looked tired and it's not surprising if 2 of our midfielders, one of which is our main player for chasing opposition players down both had to have pain killing injections. It also doesn't help where we had little to no options on the bench. I also believe we wouldn't have played this formation with a completely fit team but we haven't had that for a while now.

The game itself was wrecked by the ref again, you can talk all day about penalty or not but the fact is Eto should not have been on the pitch after the 3rd minute. Oscar could also have gone at the end but that wouldn't have changed the outcome of the game. It looked to me like Jose sent them out to go hard into the tackle knowing full well that any injuries meant we had to play one of our subs and none of those were going to scare Chelsea.

Still think we're in for a chance at the title but i'm an optimist. We have a good run now and more importantly our 1st team players are back soon. I know 4231/433 has done well, especially against the lesser sides but i still prefer having 2 up top in DS and Suarez with Cou behind them. They interlink so well, shame that we have no decent 3rd choice striker. Even Chelsea knew that marking Suarez out of the game meant we could do next to nothing as our midfielders aren't exactly scoring for fun.
 

Dane

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SGM said:
But if you look at the actual goals scored (and this is brilliant subjective statistical analysis), it doesn't seem like many are Mignolets fault. The set pieces has been a nightmare, I put more of that on the coaching.
What is often ignored though, is the amount of times keepers are flat footed and rooted to their line when the defenders contest headers 2 yards away.

When I played (obviously at a slightly lower level than our centre halves), the area between the posts and out about 2 or 3 yards was known as the keepers area.
Our keeper, due to the obvious fact he has a higher reach than a jumping attacker, generally commanded that area.
More often than not he would either clear the danger, or be fouled in the process which again cleared the danger.

Many top flight keepers leave this area to the centre halves and are beaten by the attackers header.
Boxing day against City when Kompany scored was a prime example of this.
 

cardiffpete

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A few random musings:

1) BR went with the half-press 1-2 midfield set-up this time around (first-half) aka a (more cautious) delayed press. It didn't work very well, as Mourinho just had Chelsea then punt it long to bypass our press and then look to mop up the second-ball. What also allowed Chelsea to do this was our defensive line being way too deep aka 18-yard line. Half-press and a low back-line is generally semi-suicide here, if played against really top sides.

2) BR actively corrected this second-half, by thus pushing our back-line up 15 yards, to compact play a whole lot more. At City, BR experimented 3 times with our overall positioning in-game (aka of the 1-2 plus the defensive line). Yesterday he adjusted it fully 5 times. To me, it seems like he's still finding out on-the-job how to play best against the better teams. Nice to correct stuff, after the fact ...but maybe horse has already bolted etc.

3) Glen Johnson. This is almost going to be an essay, folks ;-)
First-half a low-line starting position, second-half a very high starting position. Both tactics, of course. What was very noticeable however was Glen coming very central ...and just doing it incredibly often. Just after our goal, he's central in the D (tracking Willian), thus offering Oscar (left) a clear 10 yards on the overlap. Agger meanwhile is perfectly placed on the left-edge of the penalty box to meet any run. A fully-functioning back-line stops pretty much all possible angles though, and Glen was horribly out-of-position. Glen however did actually last-gasp block a(nother potential) Skrtel own-goal in this instance.

For their equalizer, Glen also follows Willian - actually all-the-way into centre circle (!!). Then they got past us with triangle-passing and then Glen sprints back into our penalty box with a straight line run), only doing so ....without him ever looking behind! Hazard then scores very well, with Sterling chasing in vain, from a somewhat fortuitous deflection. If only Glen had looked behind ...just the once to spot Hazard's run (which was nothing special)!

I count another 5 instances of him going completely central (by just following Willian all-across the pitch) ...plus another 5 instances of being well-beaten by Oscar (or else Willian) in open play in the defensive phase.

My moment of the match though would simply have to be with 10 minutes to go. Glen has the ball on the sideline (not even under any pressure to stop the cross in) and we have at that moment got fully 7(!) players in the box . What does he do, or maybe what should he do ? He looks and looks ....and then he passes it back to Skrtel?! Chance gone ...and wtf was that all about!!

In some slight mitigation, Allen (next point) never offered him a proper passing outlet (not even once), whenever we had the ball. Guess Gerrard can't come back fast-enough, after all (for me).

4) Allen.
Quite possibly his worst game for LFC (for me), certainly this season. Only the 18 completed passes (of 24) ...and just 3 were forward passes. Never provided a passing option to Johnson at all (and at any point) - by just always getting ahead of him or else not showing for a pass. Delayed his pass to Coutinho too much on (about) 12 minutes, to make Coutinho off-side on a really very promising move. One nice shot and one combo with Suarez was about it. Dispossessed almost criminally often as well ...and he turned the ball over all day. Criticise Gerrard all you want, but he really *knows* how to build attacks and how to just stay that bit behind (and thus offer support) to his RB. On RB/RW attacks, the left-most of the 1-2 should be looking to get in the box (and get ahead of the play) ...not the right-most. It's very careless play (at best). Slight mitigation, with carrying an injury ..and I'm not especially knocking him for enthousiasm shown.

5) Sterling.
Our brighest light in the opening spell, looking full of moves and enthousiasm ...but that impact really faded fast. Second-half, looked completely knackered. He's just being over-used yet again, is my own conclusion. Just can't do that to him, same as last year.

6) Chelsea's midfield.
In central build-up play, we had a very below-par 75% pass completion (from 210+ passes) and only a single one of these passes led to a chance at goal. Chelsea (remember) had no specialist DM on-board, let alone a recognized CM set-up and they even also looked pretty loose at times too (with space left behind) ...and yet we offered nothing through the middle all game, even with Coutinho (looked very tired) switched centrally late second-half. Just got to do better here. Proper Ajax-style play (which is what BR would want from the 1-2 midfield) is strongly centrally-based in build-up. Central build-up just preserves so many options (IMO), while wing-based build-up is much more limited (as a base to build on).

7) Coutinho.

Chelsea very aggressively attacked down our left-flank, especially targetting Agger (who actually did well) a lot. That really forced Coutinho back as well, with his (on average) starting position about 10 yards inside his own half. Not where I want him to be myself. Coutinho just got a lot of static ball ...and he also fell back to his Inter playing-style of attempting impossible dribbles. I counted about 6 times first-half that he took on at least 2 men in the dribble. His 3-man dribble (though a successful on, on paper!) on 17', led to a very opportunistic quick pass towards Suarez ...that Chelsea then very effectively intercepted ...and they quickly countered for their equalizer. Chelsea were just very effective in breaking up our attacking threat on the day, and in forcing our attacking players into roles they don't like so much.

8) Hendo.

Similar to Allen, probably (and by far) his worst game of the season for us ...though very much mitigated by an Eto'o horror tackle after 2'. His long-balls are great to see and he's becoming more adept at them ...but his general CM contribution on the day was well below-par - even though he offered an occasional threat as well (aka the cross for Sakho's bar strike). Again, he just needs to support the attack far more aggressively, to play in a 1-2 set-up. Gerrard back will also be a huge bonus here, I'd feel.
 

Upstate_Chad

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RJK said:
Agger needs to show his class??? What rock have you been under???
He has not been playing that much the last few weeks. The tone of my statement was not intentioned as though he is playing below his standard, rather that he needs to seize the opportunity and play at a high level.

If you don't get playing time, you can't show your skills/class. When you get playing time, you do one of two things, play skillfully or woefully. The club needs all our players to play at the highest level they are capable of right now.
 

redandwhite3

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T.C.B said:
No fucking way should Johnson get a new contract. He has turned into a lazy arsed fucker this season.
I thought Allen and Sterling were the best we had on display today.
A mobile opposition really shows Lucas up too. We need a DM, a quality wide player and a full back this window I reckon just to thread water.
I think johnson still good on his day but no doubt he and skirtel are past their peak now. think rodgers won,t be rid of them till he brings some good replacements in this year.
 

Dr_J

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Dane said:
What is often ignored though, is the amount of times keepers are flat footed and rooted to their line when the defenders contest headers 2 yards away.

When I played (obviously at a slightly lower level than our centre halves), the area between the posts and out about 2 or 3 yards was known as the keepers area.
Our keeper, due to the obvious fact he has a higher reach than a jumping attacker, generally commanded that area.
More often than not he would either clear the danger, or be fouled in the process which again cleared the danger.

Many top flight keepers leave this area to the centre halves and are beaten by the attackers header.
Boxing day against City when Kompany scored was a prime example of this.
I always thought Pepe in his prime was so good at controlling these areas. It seemed like he got to every ball and punched it. Guzan I think, does a great job at Villa of this as well.

Mignolet has impressed me with his reactions. The only one he truly got wrong as far as I can remember was at City. Other than that, I rarely see him commit before the ball is struck. His save on Eto in the second half was a good example of this. A lot of keepers would already be falling to cover the far post or dropping close to their knees expecting a low shot. He stayed big and tall and made a good save.

I think Mignolet is going to be a world class keeper in the very near future but I would definitely like to see him control his box on the set pieces and attack the crosses coming in more often.
 

Mascot88

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basil1492 said:
you can talk all day about penalty or not but the fact is Eto should not have been on the pitch after the 3rd minute.
I'm glad the Anfirld Wrap tonight said this, because I thought it at the time, and immediately wrote it off as paranoia - a thought that you don't really want there to be anything in.

Mourinho's plan was to damage Henderson as early as possible. Whoever was nearest to him go in hard and ugly, safe in the knowledge that Howard Webb isn't going to ruin a Sky fixture with a sending off early in the game. Take the yellow (or not, as it turned out).

Henderson struggled the entire first half following that 'tackle', and Chelsea overran the midfield.

I wish we would have been able to smash Hazard's knee in the same cynical way, but as we all know Webb would have no problem dismissing one of our lads if necessary.
 

Lucas

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Mascot88 said:
I'm glad the Anfirld Wrap tonight said this, because I thought it at the time, and immediately wrote it off as paranoia - a thought that you don't really want there to be anything in.

Mourinho's plan was to damage Henderson as early as possible. Whoever was nearest to him go in hard and ugly, safe in the knowledge that Howard Webb isn't going to ruin a Sky fixture with a sending off early in the game. Take the yellow (or not, as it turned out).

Henderson struggled the entire first half following that 'tackle', and Chelsea overran the midfield.

I wish we would have been able to smash Hazard's knee in the same cynical way, but as we all know Webb would have no problem dismissing one of our lads if necessary.
Not listened to todays TAW yet, certainly sounds interesting. From what you've said it certainly sounds like something Mourinho would instruct his players to do, he's no stranger to these dirty tactics, and then calls Suarez a diver to divert attention.
 

Arminius

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Aug 13, 2008
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26,632
Mascot88 said:
I'm glad the Anfirld Wrap tonight said this, because I thought it at the time, and immediately wrote it off as paranoia - a thought that you don't really want there to be anything in.

Mourinho's plan was to damage Henderson as early as possible. Whoever was nearest to him go in hard and ugly, safe in the knowledge that Howard Webb isn't going to ruin a Sky fixture with a sending off early in the game. Take the yellow (or not, as it turned out).

Henderson struggled the entire first half following that 'tackle', and Chelsea overran the midfield.

I wish we would have been able to smash Hazard's knee in the same cynical way, but as we all know Webb would have no problem dismissing one of our lads if necessary.
Lucas needs to learn the art of jumping to avoid a tackle, then landing one boot studs down on to a tender part like a groin. In general, our players need to be able to punish attempts to injure. Things like making sure you fall elbow first into an opponent when they pull you down, and make sure you find a rib.

I don't know much about the culture of football, but my experience was always that there was a certain code - you don't attempt to injure, but anyone who did was fair game.
 

Herb

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To be fair only one of the lads thought it was a ploy by Mourinho. I'm sure they were instructed to tackle hard but I'm not convinced Eto'o would go in knee high for that purpose.
 

Mascot88

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Herb said:
To be fair only one of the lads thought it was a ploy by Mourinho. I'm sure they were instructed to tackle hard but I'm not convinced Eto'o would go in knee high for that purpose.
Well, as I say, I thought it at the time. And just brushed it off, cos I thought it was a bit paranoid. Scoring from the resulting free kick helped.

I wouldn't put if past Mourinho to target Hendo in this way, knowing full well if you do it early enough Howard Webb will bottle the decision.

Webb does have form for letting stone cold assaults go unpunished to protect the spectacle of big televised fixtures.
 

OLD_SEA_DOG_Gerry

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Sep 15, 2008
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Toro, on 29 Dec 2013 - 6:37 PM, said:
Toro said:
It was a penalty. It was an awful decision by Webb.
Not necessarily a penalty - I take his basic point that Webb could have nailed Eto'o for 'impeding progress' or the like to avoid awarding the penalty he clearly did not want to call.



Am I missing something? I understood the 'Obstruction' rule which resulted in an indirect free kick went years ago. I'll have to check up, but unfairly impeding progress (however it's worded) results in a direct free kick, and if it's in the box then it's a penalty. I'll check up now. Hope I'm not wrong.
 

spizfromoz

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Jul 21, 2010
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6,348
Howard Webb couldn't save us from playing awfully in the first half and not having the depth to get points from Man City/Chelsea games. So let's see whether we can survive the next month with players returning from injury. Chelsea were pretty hungry in the game and Mourinho sees us as a serious challenge because he's still banging on about Suarez before and after the game. Makes me kinda chuffed that he 'cares' enough to use the media against us. We look a little weary too. Suarez given very little room as they compresses space very well around him. Glad we got a couple of decent chances in the second half, too. And I hope Rodgers has learnt a few more lessons about big games. Can only make him better. Just wished he'd had the balls to rotate Gerrard earlier in the month.