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Liverpool 4 Brighton & Hove Albion 0 (May 13 2018)

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There was a lot riding on the game for the obvious reason; we had to secure a Champions League place. A draw would have been enough to do so regardless of what Chelsea did, so the result was uppermost in everyone’s minds and normally in these circumstances it’s the only thing that matters. 
 
This was different though. The performance was almost as important because this wasn’t our last game of the season and just limping over the line wouldn't do. The last few weeks we’ve been struggling and there have been worrying signs that the intense workload was catching up with the lads. 
 
Virtually the same eleven players have been having to play twice a week and their performance level had dropped significantly. Drawing with shite like Everton, West Brom and Stoke was probably a natural consequence of having to play high intensity Champions League games in midweek, but it would have been massively alarming if we looked flat against Brighton. 
 
The legginess we were seeing was definitely a result of playing twice a week but the question in my mind was whether we’d look fresh again after not playing in midweek, or if the toll on players legs was already too great. If we hadn’t performed against Brighton I wouldn’t have given us any chance in the final, so I was as anxious about the performance as much as the result on Sunday. 
 
I needn’t have been. The result was sound but the performance was better. 4-0 was the absolute least we deserved as I thought the players looked right back to their dazzling, energetic best. Ok, Brighton had nothing to play for but I don’t think that made much difference really. It was more about what we did and how we looked. Our boys looked fit and sharp and it was an enjoyable game to watch. 
 
Brighton not having anything to play for helped us, but not in the way many might think. They didn’t have the deckchairs out and it’s not like they didn’t put the effort in. It was almost like a free swing for them really. It didn’t matter if they lost as they’d secured their survival, but that didn’t mean they didn’t want to win. They had a go. 
 
The lack of pressure on Brighton meant that they played with freedom and didn’t just get everyone behind the ball and play for a draw, as they might have done had the stakes been higher for them. They ended up having to defend in numbers and at times couldn’t get out of their own half, but that was a consequence of how well we played rather than Chris Hughton wanting to spoil the game. 
 
It was obvious from the opening few minutes they were going to give it a go and play their football. They had two players pushed up front and they tried to play their way out through the midfield rather than just launching it as most teams do against us. I knew in those opening minutes based on how Brighton set up that we’d be fine. 
 
This wasn’t going to be one of those frustrating days when we spend 90 minutes trying to get past ten players defending their own box. Brighton were clearly here to play and if you play against us then good luck, because you’re going to need it. 
 
Lovren set the tone early by winning every ball that was played up to their frontman. He was aggressive, on the front foot and by not letting their forwards get hold the ball it was impossible for Brighton to get out. Van Dijk was equally impressive, he doesn’t just win his headers but he knocks them down to the feet of team-mates and gets us going again. 
 
Those two laid the platform, while the midfield two of Gini and Hendo were buzzing around everywhere in front of them. We looked sharp right from the off and never let up until the game was safe. 
 

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The only thing that looked like it might threaten to ruin our day was the colossal twat Kevin Friend. Can’t stand him. I’ve had a beef with him since he sent Spearing off at Fulham. Regular readers will know I’m not one of those who bangs the drum about refs having agendas against us, I just think most of them are shit rather than biased. 
 
Howard Webb was an obvious exception. Anyone who thinks he wasn’t out to screw us over at every opportunity is either deluded or a Manc. Or a deluded Manc. Other than Webb, I’ve had suspicions about Lee Mason (who hardly ever gets to referee our games any more which merely adds to it) and I’m fairly sure that Friend also wants to shaft us whenever possible. 
 
I watch him refereeing other games and he’s by no means good, but he’s probably one of the least shit refs on the circuit. Put him in charge of a Liverpool game though and he’s basically Howard Webb with hair. 

 

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I should have just got off, but I felt bad. I think to myself “what if thousands of others did the same?” It would look...

 

...like Goodison after the end of the Southampton game?

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When you say that you think Solanke is clearly a good player, do you mean in terms of being able to deputise for the best front 3 in Europe? Would you try and loan him out next season, or are you happy for him to be chief support having learnt a lot this year?

 

It being the last game, I won't draw attention to that laughably deceitful line you always throw in about telling your Dad/Mum/Paul/Jules/etc something right before it happens. We both know the type of " we have no shit players anymore " things you say in the real world.

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Check you out with your watermarked pictures!

 

I know every team feels like they get screwed over with penalties, but someone at the club really do need to compile a DVD of the outrageous shite we've had to deal with this year, especially at home.

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When you say that you think Solanke is clearly a good player, do you mean in terms of being able to deputise for the best front 3 in Europe? Would you try and loan him out next season, or are you happy for him to be chief support having learnt a lot this year?

 

It being the last game, I won't draw attention to that laughably deceitful line you always throw in about telling your Dad/Mum/Paul/Jules/etc something right before it happens. We both know the type of " we have no shit players anymore " things you say in the real world.

 

I don't know. He's a good player, I think he'll be a very good player, but the bar is so high with our current front three I don't see him being good enough to compete for regular games, and if he's not playing regularly then there's no point keeping him here. So I suspect a loan would be preferable but he might not want that after his Chelsea experience.

 

Also, I didn't predict his goal, I just said I really wanted him to score.

 

If I was boasting about a prediction, I'd use this one. When I posted the report up I said to Jules "Kevin D will defo make a smart arse comment on this report".

 

Dave, what's with the new Solange spelling? Is this like a Kiev/Kyiv thing we've not been told about?

 

Fucking autocorrect keeps screwing me over on that one. Keeps changing it, but I don't even know what a Solange is. Is it an actual word, and if not why does my autocorrect keep insisting on using it?

 

How great is it that scoring four goals no longer seems out of the norm? 

 

Yeah, I said in a recent report that three is level par now. We score three and it's just a standard round. Four is 1 under etc

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Put him in charge of a Liverpool game though and he’s basically Howard Webb with hair. Boss line that.

 

That was my favourite line!

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Yeah, I think he is talented.

 

From what I've seen though, he's a guy who needs to be starting week in and week out; a focul point, rather than a Ronnie who can come on and change the game with only 20 minutes playing time.

 

I'd be pleased to see him go to Fulham for 18 months, but when it comes to younger players, I defer to Klopp's remarkable record and expertise on blooding youth talent.

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Performance definitely the best thing.   The tiredness was gone and thank god or allah for that cause we're gonna need to be on our very fucking best in the final.  That's going one of two ways, we bum them stupid or they win comfortably.   We've a huge chance of them being arrogant enough to play open football against Salah, Mane and Firmino.......

 

Salah and the club can thank one man for their achievements, Jurgen Klopp.  Champions league final on a shoestring budget & playing a brand of football that has made the front three look world class, these players don't walk to another club and reproduce form this good.

 

One fucking corner let me down on a get a price bet yesterday.  Couldn't even celebrate Robertson's goal cause I just wanted a corner at that point.

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Fucking autocorrect keeps screwing me over on that one. Keeps changing it, but I don't even know what a Solange is. Is it an actual word, and if not why does my autocorrect keep insisting on using it?

 

 

Beyonce’s sister, Dave. “Someone” must have been using your phone to search for bad music.

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"Solange" is further evidence of early-onset dementia. He needs pity.

 

There there Mr Usher. I know you're looking for Solange. I know you think he's one of your boys, but you don't have any boys, remember? Now, back to your bed. Nurse Ratchett? A syringe of industrial strength Mogadon please. Quick sticks. 

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I don't know. He's a good player, I think he'll be a very good player, but the bar is so high with our current front three I don't see him being good enough to compete for regular games, and if he's not playing regularly then there's no point keeping him here. So I suspect a loan would be preferable but he might not want that after his Chelsea experience.

 

Also, I didn't predict his goal, I just said I really wanted him to score.

 

If I was boasting about a prediction, I'd use this one. When I posted the report up I said to Jules "Kevin D will defo make a smart arse comment on this report".

 

Anymore remarks like that, and I'll be taking my talents to RAWK.

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To me, Solanke has the technique and physique to play at this level. And he didn't look out of place at all with Firmino, Mane and Salah. As a foil for them he looks up to it. 

 

If we sign Fekir, who can also play the false 9 role, along with possibly a returning Origi, Ings and maybe Brewster, there will be more than enough cover at the striker position. 

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To me, Solanke has the technique and physique to play at this level. And he didn't look out of place at all with Firmino, Mane and Salah. As a foil for them he looks up to it. 

 

If we sign Fekir, who can also play the false 9 role, along with possibly a returning Origi, Ings and maybe Brewster, there will be more than enough cover at the striker position.

 

What so far has given you the impression that he's capable, if Firmino and Salah are out for 8-12 games?

 

I'm not disagreeing, just curious as he's had a less than sparkling start.

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"I’ve been on the Solanke bus all season but I jumped off last week. I’ve just ran across to the other side of the road and jumped back on as it came past again."

 

Haha Dave you are shameless but I love it

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Solanke was typically awful in the first half,he works hard and gets into some good positions but then tends to mess up with a poor touch,bad pass etc and lets himself down. I'm delighted he scored as it will hopefully give him a big confidence boost and he will still be here a while longer as Klopp will believe he can would him into a much better player due to his age. I haven't seen much to convince me he will be a decent player but if Jurgen thinks he will then I'm not one to argue with him.

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