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Post Match: Fulham 2 Liverpool 3

Hope in your heart

Loyalty and patience, two undervalued concepts.
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redandwhite3 said:
fair play to you tonight. massive win that puts you three clear of spurs. you deserved it though your comedy of defence kept it intresting but what attack you have. 66 goals this season . you and city play more exicting football in the league.

still if you had decent defence you and city be top two in the league this season.

i be amazed if you play toure ahead of agger against us on sunday. he a comedy waiting to happen. guys a legend for us but he and skirtel are like laurel and hardy at the back for you.
We had to cope with Enrique's (full season so far), Sakho's (since two months), Agger's (since two months) and Johnson's (one month, before that semi-fit) absences. Before that, Flanno was out for around a month as well, and Kolo (33) had niggles to contend with after his great initial start, before having to start every single game these last months, due to all these injuries.

Add to this Allen's injury (about three months) from which he's just about to recover, and Lucas' one (four weeks now, still three weeks away from coming back), and you can see that all heavy injuries we've had to cope with this season have hit the defensive positions and the defensive midfield, which is also key to defensive stability.

Our attacking line has had to cope with absences as well (Suarez suspended initially for five weeks, Sturridge injured for two months), but still enjoyed more continuity thanks to Sterling and Coutinho (bar a month or so at the beginning of the season) staying fit and going from strength to strength.

Bottom-line: injuries can go a long way to explain why we have lacked better defensive strength. Another reason might be that the focus has been very much directed at scoring goals. There have also been the odd and unpredictable errors occuring. But that's not something which can be coached I think, rather a psychological issue imo, at least when a trend sets in.
 

Hope in your heart

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Defuz said:
(...)

As for Toure.... he regresses as the season progresses. After starting the season so strong and promising, today he started out looking like a spastic fart of a 12 year old who shat himself under pressure.

(...)
Can't agree with this. Watch the Arsenal game again, he was fantastic, just as solid as Skrtel. Both of them delivered a top class performance. Also, since he has had the opportunity to play regularly alongside Skrtel, our defensive stability has become better. On corners and free-kicks, we look solid now.

Much has been said about his error at WBA, but that can happen to any player. It was a bad blip and I wouldn't read too much in it.

What he can't do though at 33, is to play every three days. He needs at least one week recovery, then he'll be ok. He was brought in as fourth-choice defender, and to bring in his experience and winning spirit into the squad. As it is, he has had to play every game since a long time now, and yesterday, he clearly looked a bit sluggish. The own-goal looks ridiculous, but frankly, it's more to do with lack of luck than anything else. But he wasn't at his best anyway, and that has got to do something with the legs.

Overall, I see him joining us as still a brillant move by BR imo, maybe the best of last summer. Imagine where we would be if he wasn't here...

Agger coming back will be a boost for everyone though, Kolo included. I hope he will be fit enough to start next week-end already.
 

Clive

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Hope, I think it could be argued that if injuries are the main problem with the defence, then we should have a squad better prepared for a few absences. LFCs official injury update this week indicates that the injuries incurred aren't really out of the ordinary:

"It's normal in a squad of 25 to carry three to four injuries at any one time. Obviously we would rather we always give the manager a full complement of players to choose from but unfortunately this season we have sustained some complex long-term injuries and that's when injuries can build up as the remaining squad members have to play more often.

"Overall, we haven't had more injuries than last season when we had the least in the Premier League, but it's just been unfortunate that a couple of them have been quite long term."
 

Hope in your heart

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Clive, most long-term injuries hit our defensive line. Lack of depth isn't really an issue here. We started the season with Enrique, Johnson, Agger and Skrtel as starting defenders, with Kolo and Sakho providing decent back-up at CB (with the hope/expectation to see Sakho gradually becoming a regular starter, which would have happened, hadn't he been hit with injury).

Flanagan, Kelly (that's one I haven't even spoken of in my previous post) and Cissokho (also injured during a few weeks) were seen as back-ups for the full-back positions, and Wisdom was sent on loan as a result. Maybe there was a bit of a lack of depth at the full-back positions still, but all in all, our defence was well set up, much better than central midfield for instance.

I don't really know what could have been planned better at center-back, where we have had most of our injury concerns, hanging by a thread on Skrtel's and Kolo's fitness since months already.
 

Urban Achiever

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Fantastic win. although completely different from the Arsenal game it was just as good a victory! Such an important comeback!

I think Kolo is a bit unlucky with the own goal. We have 3 men putting pressure on their man.... which is unnecessary.... but the pass from Holtby is actually very good. Kolo sits (actually the big mistake) and then it hits a bump. Poor execution and bad luck. Still on him though, but hey, shit happens. He's done absolutely great in my book even though he's made 2 mistakes... apart from that we must not forget all his good actions and his winning never-surrender-mentality.

The second goal is just as much on Mignolet, I think. You simply cannot allow a ball to drop in the 6-yard box without going for it. I don't care how poor Skrtel and Flannagans communication is.... and yes, they should have done better.... but Skrtel is right when he immediately after the goal appeals to Mignolet; Get off the fu*kin' line and go for the ball!

In that respect a team like Fulham is the worst that we can meet at the moment (apart from City's obvious allround quality). They just keep hoofing the ball into the box which is our keepers number 1 issue and not anything our defence enjoys in general. having said that.... goal number 2 is on Mignolet. A keeper cannot allow that to happen and it's his responsibility to AT LEAST go for the ball. Skrtels reaction says it all.... and though he doesn't look good himself, I agree with him. You cannot defend against those crosses if your keeper is afraid to come out for a simple ball like that.

BUT there are so many positives. Sturridge and Gerrard really won this one for us. Brilliant effort! And once again I must admit to being surprised about the development of Cissokho. His passing is completely changed!?? What happened? Last night he assisted both of Suarez major chances that could have gone in (1st half save by Steckle... and second on the post) Cissokho also intercepted the ball that went to gerrard who passed it to Sturridges goal. It's really impressive to see players develop like that and a very, very good indication of Rodgers coaching-abilities.

Sterling, Coutinho, Teixeira, Suso.... small magitians!

And finally I forgive Kolo.... because he's Kolo and because he at least managed to floor Phil Dowd. What a joke of a referee.
 

Uberkoen

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hab88

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The usual emotions. Frustration, relief, then frustration again, then expectation and then fucking elation!!!

Really pleased for Cou, Stevie with a brilliant pass and cool as f*ck penalty. Its not easy I tell ya. Sturridge also gets a mention. A well taken goal, and 2 assists (technically). Kolo was at it again, love the man but thats 2 big errors made in the space of 10 days that could have cost us big points. OGs are always unlucky though, and to be fair to him the ball did bobble up. I also remember it bouncing awkwardly for Skrtel at the same spot in the first half, so you have to feel for the guy.

I'm still not looking at the dizzy heights of the summit but at the chasing pack. It baffles me as to how Spurs are still just 3 points off us but the table doesn't lie and they are where they are and waiting for us to slip up, and we nearly did last night. And to think we expected an easy win for ourselves and Spurs to drop points at Newcastle!! Speaking of Newcastle, the less said the better.

We've got to eliminate these mistakes from our defensive game or sooner or later they're going to cost us big time, and we may well rue missed opportunities come the end of the season. The return of Agger/Sakho should help, but not sure why Enrique is being hailed as the messiah by some. Prone to lapses in concentration, making errors and usually lumps it forward, not very different from Cissokho, to be honest. That said, Cissokho has had his best couple of weeks in a red shirt.

There's not long to go now before the final run-in and the fact that we dont have to rely on others slipping up to get 4th (at the moment) in 5 years is heartening as it is. 4th has to be our priority. Anything higher would be a BIG bonus. Sorry for being a tad pessimistic on a day when most of you fellas believe that a title charge is possible, I just dont buy into the media hype and also that events over the past 5 years have led me to lower my expectations.

Rodgers has now got to deflect media attention from us and our 'title aspirations', much like Mourinho has been doing at Chelsea, all the while instilling a belief into his players to go all out for it and treat every game like a must win, much like last night. Come on you redmen!!
 

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The fullback-situation is really interesting now....

Enrique (when he comes back) is clearly the best at joining in attack..... but defensively he's a borderline liability.... always capable of making a major fuck up. Not very good at marking either. But still maybe the best allround... dunno?

Johnson.... well, if he plays like he has this season he offers close to nothing going forward if you look at what actually comes out of his efforts.... and defensively he's a joke on crosses.

Flannagan... good allround. I think he'll play no matter who lands the other spot. Didn't play all that well last night but is still very impressive when one thinks about age and experience. Impressive running-distances.

Cissokho... extremely improved so hard to tell where his actual limit is? If he keeps improving like he has over the last 3 weeks he'll be our best fullback with Flannagan come March. Still does not offer anything like Enrique going forward, but on the other hand is maybe the best fullback we have defensively. Impressive running as well... joins attack and defense every single time.

I guess we could also see it as a positive that we suddenly have a fair amount of decent players for a positition we were really afraid of earlier.... fact is that our defense has looked the most solid (maybe for the entire season) the last weeks.... bar personal errors. The defense as a system has looked the best with Flanno, Skrtel, Kolo and Cissokho... even though we've played both Arsenal and Everton. It's also because the midfield 2 has become 3 with Cou's changed role.... but still it's remarkable.

Will be exiting to see what happens when the others return.
 

Red Armada

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The biggest reason for last night's victory has a name: Steven Gerrard.

It wasn't just that mesmerizing pass, one of the best and among the most important of his illustrious career, it was his drive, his poise, his coolness at the end. He led his teammates by example and contributed the most into winning 3 points in what looked like a lost cause. There aren't enough superlatives to describe his performance yesterday.

The rest of the team although poor by their own standards did knuckle down, fought and were rewarded at the end. Perhaps the most pleasing aspect was the fact that they displayed a mental fortitude which was missing since 2008/09.

This team is giving eveything it's got on the pitch and there is no telling where it may end up come May. My only wish until then is that we cut out the childish mistakes at the back and that Rodgers has more options on the bench.
 

trygve76

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Having consistently mocked Cissokho in the past for his input, I'll hold my hand up and say he has really improved in the last couple of games. Our best defender last night by a good margin, let's hope it continues.
 

Clive

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Hope in your heart said:
Clive, most long-term injuries hit our defensive line. Lack of depth isn't really an issue here. We started the season with Enrique, Johnson, Agger and Skrtel as starting defenders, with Kolo and Sakho providing decent back-up at CB (with the hope/expectation to see Sakho gradually becoming a regular starter, which would have happened, hadn't he been hit with injury).

Flanagan, Kelly (that's one I haven't even spoken of in my previous post) and Cissokho (also injured during a few weeks) were seen as back-ups for the full-back positions, and Wisdom was sent on loan as a result. Maybe there was a bit of a lack of depth at the full-back positions still, but all in all, our defence was well set up, much better than central midfield for instance.

I don't really know what could have been planned better at center-back, where we have had most of our injury concerns, hanging by a thread on Skrtel's and Kolo's fitness since months already.
I probably should have responded by saying that I think your second reason "Another reason might be that the focus has been very much directed at scoring goals" is probably more material than the injuries. We've leaked goals even with our first choice back four (whoever they are). We're very focused on pressing high up the pitch, which I leaves large gaps in transition if the opposition uses the ball wisely.

Agree we've been well served with centre backs however we've been lacking depth elsewhere, especially full back and centre mid. Gerrard was awesome going forward against Fulham, however didn't cover the flanks when we loose the ball as well as a more dynamic or natural holding mid would, just to give an example of what we miss at the moment.

Anyway I think the point to my post is, maintaining the squad with 'blue sky' expectations regarding injuries always bites at some stage.

I just hope we keep outscoring our defensive mistakes!
 

tesh

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I also am guilty of knocking Cissokho. I concede that he is a good defender but seems scared to death when confronted with a ball that he has to pass. He's big, he's strong, he's fast, he's looking less fat and he's good at defending. He's however, still very poor at going forward and linking up in attack. He provides a distraction with his runs during attacks but cannot be (and pretty much wasn't in last nights game) trusted to deliver a good ball to our attackers. Have to say that when Flannagan first came in he was similar, however, his forward link up play has come on leaps and bounds.
 

jabu

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loved suarez "wtf" expression and headshake after fulhams second goal... it was like he was saying " we trying to win a game here and you all in defense are trying very hard to lose it"...
 

redandwhite3

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jabu said:
loved suarez "wtf" expression and headshake after fulhams second goal... it was like he was saying " we trying to win a game here and you all in defense are trying very hard to lose it"...
it been like that all season when you score 23 goals and the team 66 it must be pissing of to see a defence that lets you down time and time again.
 

Gerrard4life

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I loved Suarez reaction to the 2-2 goal. If you watch the goal you can see Suarez runs to collect the ball as it is going into the net.

Coutinho and the rest of the team is running to the fans celebrating (understandably so), and Suarez runs over - with the ball after he picked it up - and clearly tells everyone to get back so the game can continue as soon as possible.

Suarez will NEVER be happy with anything but a win
 

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Gerrard4life said:
I loved Suarez reaction to the 2-2 goal. If you watch the goal you can see Suarez runs to collect the ball as it is going into the net.

Coutinho and the rest of the team is running to the fans celebrating (understandably so), and Suarez runs over - with the ball after he picked it up - and clearly tells everyone to get back so the game can continue as soon as possible.

Suarez will NEVER be happy with anything but a win
Gerrard as well. Literally pulled Coutinho back to get on with the game.

Watch GIF here:

 

Quagmire81

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Urban Achiever said:
And finally I forgive Kolo.... because he's Kolo and because he at least managed to floor Phil Dowd. What a joke of a referee.
I know right. it's been a long time since I laughed so hard :D
 

LiVeRp0oL89

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liverpool_singh said:
That's why they are the captain and vice captain! Good to see them leading the team.
Agger's the vice captain but yer.. That's an awesome gif.

Two experienced world class players showing the kids that we don't celebrate a draw at Fulham.. we push for the win! They'll understand that now, good stuff :)
 

Quagmire81

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it's been a long time since i seen the fire in Gerrards eyes like last night. He fucking thrives in his new role, may it never end.

I also noticed how he talked to all the other players after the game, It was very inspirational. He even gave Teixeira credit for not hesitate in that duel in the very end.

And him and Suarez cutting the celebration short was legendary in my book, winning mentality on display.
 

koptician

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I know Kolo made that error due to nerves and bad body positioning but Stevie switched off in the initial buildup and let Richardson run in behind him. Stevie did redeem himself spectacularly but the game could have been less strenuous if our DM negates that pass from holtby
 

Colorado Red

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A win is a win is a win is 3 points!

Thank you, Mr. Gerrard!

Man U now 11 (effectively 12) points behind, with 12 left to play, they're done.

Only 4 points off top… dare we dream!

Wouldn't mind seeing Holtby in a red shirt next year, we've had a few Everton fans turn out to be great players in red, eh?

The "6 pointer" with Tottenham will be enormous.
 

Quagmire81

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I know Kolo take the cake, but what was skrtel doing at their second goal??

Though they had some great games, I must say that Skrtel - Kolo is the weakest CB combination we have. Weak is an unfair word to use, they are still quality CB's.
 

Kinny Riddle

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It was only 5 years ago that we visited Fulham and after hitting the post 4 times, worked extra darn hard to scrape a hard-earned win with Benayoun's last minute winner. It was then that I believed we could win the league. Sadly, the Scum had a secret weapon, and his name is Howard Webb.

5 years later, we once again visit Fulham and had to work extra hard to break down their defenses, made all the more difficult by our own defensive errors, and managed to scrape a hard-earned win with Gerrard's last minute penalty.

Now we are of course not yet the finished product compared to the vintage 08-09 side, and it's still only February, and I still adhere to the "One Game At A Time" ethos, but for once I'm beginning to believe every game between now and May is winnable, starting with Swansea. (Beating Arsenal again is a bonus, but that's another topic altogether)
 

Gerrard4life

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Quagmire81 said:
it's been a long time since i seen the fire in Gerrards eyes like last night. He fucking thrives in his new role, may it never end.
To be fair its only 2 weeks since the last time you could see that fire in Gerrards eyes. After the goals against Everton
 

Alex

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LFC-Orlando said:
......

But we must not mask the problem. Today, our offense got us an unbelievable result. On another day, and possibly against a team other than the league's 20th, would have cost us.

.....
I don't believe in this.

on another day (let's say last Saturday)and possibly against a team other than the league's 20th (so let's say league's 1st)...
 

indianscouser

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Not the best of games. But showed immense grit and determination. Fulham were very well organized, closed really well, kept SSS quite for most of the game.
When was the last time we went down twice and managed to win?
Our finishing is clinical, I dont think we can get better in that department [lets hope i am wrong again!]
Our CB's are letting us down quite often.
Toure with a massive fuck up and skrtel with his periodic lapse in concentration.
I am impressed with cissokho and flanangan. They dont make much mistakes and keep the game simple.
Agger and sakho coming back will be a massive boost.
Toure as a 4th choice CB is ok, but he should never be close to the starting 11 when sakho/skrtel/agger are fit.
Overall, i almost peed a million times during the game. Why cant you reds make our life simple! ;)
anyway, 3points is 3 points, now lets focus and get the job done in the FA cup.
YNWA!