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Norwich 0 Liverpool 3 (Sep 21 2021)

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Dave Usher

 

This is exactly what a League Cup game should be like. Fringe players getting minutes and contributing, kids coming in and showing real promise, and of course winning the game. You can’t ask for much more than this.

 

The team selection is always something that causes debate in these cups, especially when we lose. When we win it’s fine, but as soon as you don’t win the ‘disrespecting the cup’ argument rears its ugly head. Everything is positive today after a 3-0 win but if Norwich had fielded their best eleven it might be a different conversation.

 

I can honestly say my view on it doesn’t change whether we win or lose. The League Cup (and depending on the level of opposition this applies to the FA Cup too) is now is purely about blooding kids who may become the next Trent, and getting game time to players not in the first eleven who we may need to call on. If you reach the latter stages then you can go stronger, but in the early rounds this is the way to go.

 

We’ve actually done this for years, but the difference now is we have good enough players to be able to do it and not lose the game, unless we get unlucky with the draw and end up playing one of the better sides. This isn’t a new strategy, Rafa used to do this all the time. We had some decent results with it, most notably when a team of kids won at Spurs. We also had some horrific results with it. Most notably when a team of stiffs lost at Spurs.

 

Now we’ve got the right blend. The team Klopp sent out for this one had a lot of players who either needed to impress to put themselves closer to the starting line up, or to show that they can be relied upon if they are needed again. And most of them did exactly what you’d have wanted them to.

 

I’m not sure what the line up would have been if Milner hadn’t been taken ill. He might have played right back ahead of Conor Bradley, or maybe he’d have been in midfield which would have seen Curtis moved into the front three in place of Kaide Gordon. Milner not being available meant both teenagers got a chance.

 

We still looked strong though with Gomez and Konate at the heart of the defence and plenty of experience in midfield with Keita, Ox and Curtis. When I saw the Norwich line up and compared it to ours I fully expected us to win by a few, and so it proved.

 

The first half wasn’t very good though. It started well enough and we were on the front foot immediately. We scored after only a few minutes too, which obviously helps. We’re absolutely killing it from corners this season aren’t we? This one probably looks a bit scrappy and fortunate but it looked well worked to me. Minamino’s movement is brilliant and he completely lost his marker to find himself all alone. Origi headed it down to him and he finished smartly.

 

We were playing some nice stuff in that opening period, even though we had Curtis in an unfamiliar sitting position. The longer the half went the worse we got though and to me that was almost entirely on the midfield. Or specifically, two of them. Curtis was out of position so I’m not pointing the finger at him for the lack of control we had. It’s the other two. Jesus.

 

 

This is just a teaser, click here to view the full report

 

Please note that Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here. 

 

 

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Good report Dave and pretty much how I saw it. I really like Ox but he was poor especially in the first half. Got spot about Joe with the penalty follow up blocks.

 

Agree with you about the standing of the domestic cups. I want the boys to win every game and Jurgen puts out a team he thinks will do the job in these games.

 

Wonder who'll get in the next round, Im betting another PL side while city get someone no higher than the Championship. QPR maybe?

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The Hendo sub baffled me. Robbo too to an extent but maybe after missing the weekend you could argue a few minutes would do him good. With Thiago injured what was the point risking Henderson albeit for a few minutes.

 

Also Klopp must have a heart of stone not to give big Nat a run out. I just love the guy for what he did last year and whilst I accept 5th in the pecking order is correct he deserves at least a few minutes here and there as a reward for what he helped us achieve. It's not like he was shite but worked hard, he was excellent. 

 

And if you are ignoring Nat then Balagizi would surely benefit more from getting a run out.    

 

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Totally agree about clubs like Norwich basically throwing away chance of a trophy/cup run- it makes no sense at all. 

 

Maybe these managers are on such a knife edge that they dont want the risk that they get dumped out by a lower league club whilst fielding a strong side    

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I can understand relegation threatened clubs prioritising survival, it's the clubs which are going to finish mid-table I don't understand. Why wouldn't the likes of Wolves, Everton, Brighton go all out to actually win something? 

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Norwich clearly think they have a chance to stay up. I don't but Farke said yesterday they are only 3 points behind their target for this point in the fixtures - guess that was losing to Watford.

 

I was impressed with the kids that played - Bradley, Morton and Gordon sounds like a firm of Solicitors - but very disappointed with the Ox and Naby. I'm desperate for both to do well but, despite seeing some positive stuff from both, there's too much crap.

 

And I loved the chance to sing the Suarez song again :)

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1 hour ago, aws said:

I can understand relegation threatened clubs prioritising survival, it's the clubs which are going to finish mid-table I don't understand. Why wouldn't the likes of Wolves, Everton, Brighton go all out to actually win something? 

I thought Everton did, but there just shite.

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Not gonna lie, I got a little emotional hearing that as you know how much I love him. Spare me all of your reasons why I shouldn’t. I’ve heard them all. I know all of the reasons he doesn’t deserve it and I’m not going to try and justify anything he did. The truth is I know about all of his sins but I just don’t care. I love him anyway. I’m not alone either.

 

X2

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19 hours ago, aws said:

Mini looks like he could do a good job in midfield. Could save us millions. 

 

The ECHO sports desk have just been in touch with me asking for your details and wondering if you can start on Monday. You ok with me passing them on?

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16 hours ago, DalyanPete said:

I thought Everton did, but there just shite.

 

They left at least three regular starters on the bench and had to bring them on. They also had some slapdick called Anthony Gordon playing, whoever in the blue hell he is.

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18 hours ago, aws said:

I can understand relegation threatened clubs prioritising survival, it's the clubs which are going to finish mid-table I don't understand. Why wouldn't the likes of Wolves, Everton, Brighton go all out to actually win something? 

 

In theory I agree with you.

 

Palace are relegation threatened. Norwich are already down. Beating us in the cup would have been a great night for fans who are likely to have nothing other than misery for most of the season.

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15 minutes ago, dave u said:

 

They left at least three regular starters on the bench and had to bring them on. They also had some slapdick called Anthony Gordon playing, whoever in the blue hell he is.

A Flash in the pan? 

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29 minutes ago, dave u said:

 

In theory I agree with you.

 

Palace are relegation threatened. Norwich are already down. Beating us in the cup would have been a great night for fans who are likely to have nothing other than misery for most of the season.

But it's like holding up your hands and surrendering. Admitting you're doomed after a handful of games would be shameful and spitting in the face of the fans who've just cheered you to promotion. 

I see West Ham have got City's reserves in the next round. West Ham's first team could win that and challenge for the cup if Moyes had the balls to do it. 

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5 hours ago, dave u said:

 

They left at least three regular starters on the bench and had to bring them on. They also had some slapdick called Anthony Gordon playing, whoever in the blue hell he is.

Yea, I know that but regular or not, they're just shite.

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17 hours ago, m0e said:

Not gonna lie, I got a little emotional hearing that as you know how much I love him. Spare me all of your reasons why I shouldn’t. I’ve heard them all. I know all of the reasons he doesn’t deserve it and I’m not going to try and justify anything he did. The truth is I know about all of his sins but I just don’t care. I love him anyway. I’m not alone either.

 

X2

I'm in. The crazy muddafuckin winner.

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