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West Ham 2 Liverpool 1 (Feb 9 2016)

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Well that was just daylight - or if you like, floodlight - robbery. We didn’t deserve to go out that like, it was cruel, unfair, unlucky and also entirely self inflicted. We keep finding ways to shoot ourselves in the foot and undo a lot of the good things that are happening, and it’s absolutely killing us.

Over the two games we were by the better side against West Ham even though Klopp made all kinds of changes and on paper we looked significantly inferior to West Ham’s first choice eleven. Be honest, when you saw the team we sent out for this game, how did you like our chances? Lucas and Ilori at the heart of the defence and Stewart and Chirivella in the engine room? Honestly, I didn’t give us any chance of winning this game. Yet they should have won it, and all four of those players outplayed their West Ham counterparts.

Unfortunately the two biggest weaknesses we’ve had all season yet again floored us. What was more predictable; the host of missed chances (especially from Benteke) or conceding from a last minute set-piece? Hard to say as we’ve been missing chances all year and our set-piece defending has now become a national joke. Usually I get angry, this time I’m just gutted. Not just gutted because we’re out of the cup, but gutted for the players (particularly the younger ones) who played so well and deserved so much more.

From the opening seconds of this game they showed they were right at it. They passed it around in the midfield and looked very comfortable. I was surprised by just how well they started the game, but not surprised at how often they failed to capitalise on promising situations in the final third. Brad Smith was absolutely rampant in the first half, West Ham couldn’t handle him as he kept flying forward like an Olympic sprinter into space created by Coutinho moving inside. I lost count of the amount of times he got down the left and got the ball into dangerous areas. He had one or two difficult moments defensively but he must surely be pushing for Moreno's spot now?

There was a real swagger about the football and Teixeira and Chirivella especially looked to be enjoying themselves. Coutinho flitted in and out a bit more but was involved in a lot of our best play. He hot the post after Benteke had done superbly to pick him out. Coutinho’s initial through ball to Benteke was poor and forced him wide, but when the striker picked him out he was unlucky with the finish, which was excellently crafted.

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I think it's time for us to prioritize the Europa league from now in. Once we get to 40 points (yes, I'm still looking at that) then we should be looking at playing our first choice team(whatever that is,is anyone's guess) and the second choice team for the league. If we win the Europa League we can get Champions League football. I don't see us getting there through the League.

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I was completely fed up with Benteke last night but having had a bit of time to get over the loss I agree that at least he was getting into the right sort of positions to miss the chances and that's something he's not always been doing this season. Sadly he reminds me a bit of Heskey with his finishing. He'll bury the difficult chances instinctively but when he has time to think about it he'll panic and miss like he has done with every one on one he's had recently.

 

I agree that Europa League should be the priority for us now. There's the league cup final of course but win or lose that's only one game and will soon be out of the way. Last week's results killed off any lingering hopes we might have had of making a run at the top 4. Although which players should be held back for the most important games is very debateable as most of the supposed backups have looked better than the first team players recently.

 

We really do look a completely different team in attack with Sturridge on the pitch. It just seems to add to the torture of watching our incompetent displays usually though knowing we actually have this top quality forward who would change everything if he would just stay fit for a run of games for a change.

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The last minute goal, again. Team counting its chickens, again. Mental weakness, again. Losing, again.

 

Far too much of all of the above this season

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Agree with you about Benteke but if you pay £30m+ for a striker goals are essential not an option.

That was one of the worst refereeing displays I've ever seen. It seemed he was making decisions entirely at random, almost on the basis of every third appeal would bring a foul. He made Kevin Friend look good.

Thought the two substitutions weakened us as we lost a bit of control in midfield. It didn't help that Origi was woeful when he came on.

Like almost everyone I've been impressed with the performances in the two games against West Ham and particularly the displays of the less experienced players. It does beg the question as to what our best team actually is and whether the youngsters are very good or the senior players just woefully mediocre.

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What amazes me with Benteke is that everyone knew he would miss that one on one yet the other week he was cool as fuck and took arguably the best penalty against Stoke.

So why cant he be that clinical in open play?

I still wouldn't bet against him scoring the winner against City and winning a cup before he's fucked off, football has a funny habit of throwing things up like that..........I hope.

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Benteke's gash. We'd still be in the cup if he was anything like a decent striker.

 

Some fans bashed mignolet again but I dont think anything he did was wrong and cost us.

 

Lucas deffo MoTM. That was probably one of his best ever games for us. People say he gives needless fouls but any defensive mid who's doing his job is going to get through a lot of tackles on and around the edge of the box especially when oppo players chuck themselves to the ground all the time.

 

Must admit, though smith was well off his man for the first goal but as has been said, otherwise had an exceptional game as did flanno once again.

 

We should have defended that last minute ET winner though, Ilori, Flanno and Stewart(?) all went for the same ball but the west ham player climbed higher than any of them to nod across mignolet into the net. Were you watching benteke?

 

It was great to see sturridge and origi back. Clearly rusty, sturridge still managed to show his class. Lets hope he can stay fit.

 

Ibe, what a massive disappointment. What's happened to the lad?

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Ibe, what a massive disappointment. What's happened to the lad?

 

I think Klopp is trying to turn him into a man, and a player. Hard to figure his being left out, taken out, not subbed in, other than for that. He's sulked and pouted a bit and needs that driven out of him. Remember at the end of Norwich, where he'd sulkily been subbed, and Klopp bear hugging him at the end?

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I think Klopp is trying to turn him into a man, and a player. Hard to figure his being left out, taken out, not subbed in, other than for that. He's sulked and pouted a bit and needs that driven out of him. Remember at the end of Norwich, where he'd sulkily been subbed, and Klopp bear hugging him at the end?

everybody trying to figure out what he is including himself.

 

hes at his best cutting in and shooting. his crossing is shocking and when he tries totake it to the line hes runs out of pitch more often than not.

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Good stuff,I think mignolet tipped that free kick on to the post,that stamp on Stewart was fuck'n horrendous and not one of them analysts even mentions it,agree about how good all the lads played but especially about Lucas,he should have known though as soon as he put his hands on Valencia that he would go down and that ref who was shit all night would give a free kick,goin out like that just sums up the way it's going for us at the moment.lets just hope jelly muscles can stay fit for a few weeks at least,I reckon him and pound shop luis could get something goin,here's hoping

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Ibe was very effective at Derby playing on the left and coming in from there. Be interesting to see him play there, especially with an overlapping full back like Smith on his side.

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Agree with you that we need to be more cynical defending set pieces. Skrtel has been hammered time and again for his shirt pulling.... Thing is.... Refs almost never punish it. How many goals has he saved  over the years? How many times has he given away a penalty for it? The math is simple.

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