Match Review

Liverpool

Liverpool 1-0 Crystal Palace

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Goals:
Mané 73'

Just enough is good enough.

Of course, it was too close for comfort. Of course, we really would like and need Liverpool to be better and more coherent, especially in midfield.

But Liverpool made five changes, needing to rotate the side with injuries and fixtures already accruing at too fast a rate.

Liverpool 3-0 Middlesbrough

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Goals:
Wijnaldum 45+1'
Coutinho 51'
Lallana 56'

Liverpool did it.

When Liverpool needed to win two games to seal fourth place, Liverpool won 4-0 and 3-0, scoring as many goals in those two as they had in the previous six. Liverpool finished the season with four consecutive clean sheets.

Liverpool 4-0 West Ham

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Goals:
Sturridge 35'
Coutinho 57' 61'
Origi 76'

I had honestly forgotten what Liverpool running riot looked like. What Liverpool running riot felt like.

It's not bad.

This is the first time Liverpool have scored four goals in a match in 2017.

Liverpool 0-0 Southampton

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Liverpool have played six hours of football against Southampton this season and failed to score.

Liverpool outshot Southampton 32 to 7 in the two league meetings this season. Both finished 0-0.

Southampton failed to put a single shot on target in either of those 0-0s this season.

Liverpool 1-2 Crystal Palace

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Goals:
Coutinho 21'
Benteke 42' 74'

Back to the bad old days. So much for the resiliency shown in the two previous wins, so much for the seven-game unbeaten run.

Par for the awful course from start to finish, for better and worse.

Patient, almost acceptable, almost decent, but basically unthreatening from the opening whistle, tons of possession but few chances.

Liverpool 1-0 West Brom

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Goals:
Firmino 45+1'

Liverpool were getting Pulis'd until Liverpool Pulis'd Pulis.

That'll do just fine.

Any trip to West Brom and any match against a Tony Pulis side – especially away from home – is going to be a frustrating match. There will be 11 opposition players in their own half behind the ball for long stretches.

Liverpool 2-1 Stoke

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Goals:
Walters 44'
Coutinho 70'
Firmino 72'

That probably should not have happened.

Well, let me rephrase. I did not expect that to happen. That's more accurate.

The first 45 minutes could not have gone worse. An unexpected XI and formation with Coutinho, Firmino, and Sturridge only fit enough for the bench.

Liverpool 3-1 Everton

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Goals:
Mané 8'
Pennington 28'
Coutinho 31'
Origi 60'

Maybe Everton truly do have an inferiority complex in these matches.

There have now been 15 Merseyside Derbies since Everton last won one. Six and a half years ago. When Roy Hodgson was Liverpool's manager.

Liverpool 1-1 Manchester City

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Goals:
Milner 51' [pen]
Agüero 69'

I don't understand how two good teams can play so well and so bad at the same time but this is Liverpool and this is Manchester City.

It seems an insufficient summary, but that game was dumb. Enthralling, wide open, seemingly in 2x fast forward and fun, but still dumb.

Liverpool 2-1 Burnley

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Goals:
Barnes 7'
Wijnaldum 45+1'
Can 61'

I'm still not entirely sure how Liverpool won that. That was not good. That looked like it would be a repeat of the last meeting, much to our infinite displeasure.

I'm entirely sure that I do not care how Liverpool won because Liverpool won.

Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal

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Goals:
Firmino 9'
Mané 40'
Welbeck 57'
Wijnaldum 90+1'

Liverpool's ability to perform in these matches, and complete inability to do so in the others, remains astonishing and borders on comical.

Playing Tottenham or Arsenal? All right, three points in the bag, everyone's great, everything's great.

Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham

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Goals:
Mané 16' 18'

That was exactly what we wanted to see. What we needed to see. Finally, a first league win in 2017, a first clean sheet against someone other than Plymouth Argyle. And with 16 days until Liverpool's next match, we needed this for our sanity. More importantly, Liverpool's players needed it for their confidence.

Liverpool 0-2 Hull City

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Goals:
N'Diaye 44'
Niasse 84'

This sort of nonsense was supposed to end when January ended. I guess it's fitting that Groundhog's Day was two days ago. "Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cold outside."

It is the same thing over and over and over and over and over.

Liverpool 1-2 Wolverhampton

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Goals:
Stearman 1'
Weimann 41'
Origi 86'

Should we be reactionary when a Liverpool side with a ton of changes and a ton of kids and a ton of players who haven't really played together lose?

Yes, yes we should.

Because that was hilariously bad.

Liverpool 2-3 Swansea

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Goals:
Llorente 48' 52'
Firmino 55' 69'
Sigurðsson 74'

2017 remains an uncontrollable, inexhaustible garbage fire.

We got every single bit of Bad Liverpool, in separate phases. A dire attack against nine defenders for the entire first half, as in almost every 2017 match so far.

Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United

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Goals:
Milner 27' [pen]
Ibrahimovic 84'

It is hard not to feel incredibly aggrieved.

Liverpool were without Clyne because injury – requiring a first league start for 18-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold – Mané because the African Cup of Nations, Matip because FIFA, and Coutinho because he was only fit enough for the bench.

Liverpool 0-0 Plymouth Argyle

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This is the Magic of The FA Cup©®™.

It's not the fading prestige of a domestic cup competition. It's not match-ups like this that we otherwise wouldn't see. It's not CUPSETS, and it's certainly not a League Two side earning a replay that Liverpool really didn't want.

The magic is this season's first appearances for Joe Gomez and Sheyi Ojo this season after long struggles with injury.

Liverpool 2-2 Sunderland

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Goals:
Sturridge 19'
Defoe 25' [pen] 84' [pen]
Mané 72'

In retrospect, obvious trap game is obvious. Playing less than 48 hours after your last match is not fun.

To be fair, Sunderland were under the same constraints, albeit at home after an away match last time.

Liverpool 1-0 Manchester City

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Goals:
Wijnaldum 8'

One good Liverpool attacking move, a flowing counter in the eighth minute, Lallana's left-footed cross and Wijnaldum's vicious header.

Then, 86 minutes of defense and graft and sweat and was there blood? There might have been blood. It felt like there should have been blood.

Liverpool 1-0 Everton

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Goals:
Mané 90+4'

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha *gasp* hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

For 93 minutes, Everton succeeded in dragging Liverpool down to its level. It was an all-too-typical Goodison derby, perfectly in keeping with last season's 1-1 or the 0-0 in 2014-15.

Liverpool 2-2 West Ham

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Goals:
Lallana 5'
Payet 28'
Antonio 39'
Origi 48'

The West Ham curse lives on, in slightly diminished form.

The Liverpool defensive curse lives on, because Liverpool's self-destructive tendencies live on.

It's more points dropped from a winning position and more shooting yourself in the foot coupled with a bit of bad luck.

Liverpool 3-4 Bournemouth

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Goals:
Mané 20'
Origi 22'
Wilson 56' [pen]
Can 64'
Fraser 76'
Cook 79'
Ake 90+3'

Beyond embarrassing.

The easy way out – and I'm incredibly tempted to take it – is blame everything on Matip's absence. Two consecutive clean sheets in the league, just nine goals conceded in his 11 starts, 10W-3D in his 13 starts in all competitions, and then this happens.

Liverpool 2-0 Sunderland

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Goals:
Origi 75'
Milner 90+1' [pen]

This team does not ever stop. And there's one man responsible for that.

Let's go back a little bit. We're just past the hour mark. It's 0-0. Again.

Liverpool are dismal in front of goal for the second-straight match, dominating tenor, tempo, and possession but held scoreless, flailing against a double-parked double-decker bus.

Liverpool 0-0 Southampton

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That was almost exactly the same match we saw after the last international break.

Liverpool underwhelmed, especially in the first half, controlling possession but creating next to nothing. The opposition did exceptionally well to smother Liverpool's usually potent attack, and that was all the opposition looked to do.

Liverpool 6-1 Watford

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Goals:
Mané 27' 60'
Coutinho 30'
Can 43'
Firmino 57'
Janmaat 75'
Wijnaldum 90+1'

That it took until the 27th minute to open the scoring seemed excruciating.

Liverpool pummeling Watford from the opening whistle. Firmino's half-volley saved.

Liverpool 4-2 Crystal Palace

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Goals:
Can 16'
McArthur 18' 33'
Lovren 21'
Matip 44'
Firmino 71'

We joke about how Liverpool might kill us all. We joke about Liverpool is Mount Everest peaks and Mariana Trench valleys; how Liverpool's attack is as good as it gets and Liverpool's defense can be as bad as it gets.

Liverpool 2-1 West Brom

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Goals:
Mané 20'
Coutinho 35'
McAuley 81'

Stop me if you've heard this one before.

Liverpool dominate. But Liverpool are denied a needed goal multiple times, including three clear-cut chances either saved or blocked. Then Liverpool concede from a set play.

Liverpool 2-1 Swansea

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Goals:
Fer 8'
Firmino 54'
Milner 84' (pen)

Phew.

Let's get one thing clear. That was bad. The first half was, no exaggeration, as bad a half as we've seen since Klopp became manager. Liverpool should have been behind by much more than a single goal. It felt like, and was almost the scoreline of, the we're-still-talking-about-it Burnley loss.

Liverpool 5-1 Hull City

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Goals:
Lallana 17'
Milner 30' (pen) 71' (pen)
Mané 36'
Meyler 51'
Coutinho 52'

Maybe, just maybe, we slightly overreacted to the Burnley loss.

What Liverpool did against better sides, what Liverpool did against more open sides, Liverpool did just to Hull.

Liverpool 4-1 Leicester

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Goals:
Firmino 13' 89'
Mané 31'
Vardy 38'
Lallana 56'

We've said it multiple times. If Liverpool cut out the self-inflicted stupidity, Liverpool can be very, very, very good.

Well, Liverpool still had some self-inflicted stupidity today. But Liverpool were also very, very, very good.

Liverpool 1-1 Tottenham

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Goals:
Milner 43' [pen]
Rose 72'

There's surprisingly not a whole lot to take from that. We didn't learn much we didn't already know, and we'll all end up picking our favorite narrative.

- Two teams that usually cancel each other out ended up canceling each other out, for the third consecutive draw between Klopp and Pochettino's sides.

Liverpool 0-2 Burnley

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Goals:
Vokes 2'
Gray 37'

One step forward, two steps back. The more things change...

This is where everything's gone wrong. This is where Liverpool have failed. Not away against good opposition, where Liverpool have space, where Liverpool over-perform. Not in the marquee matches.

Liverpool 4-3 Arsenal

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Goals:
Walcott 31'
Coutinho 45+1' 56'
Lallana 49'
Mané 63'
Oxlade-Chamberlain 64'
Chambers 76'

If we're in for 38 matches like there, I'm not gonna make it. None of us will. No one gets out of here alive.

That was bananas. And wholly unexpected after a tire fire of a first half.

Liverpool 1-1 West Brom

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Goals:
Rondon 13'
Ibe 23'

That was a game of football. Two teams, 22 starters and six substitute, played some sport for 90 minutes. There were two goals. A couple of other things happened. And that's pretty much all there is to say about that.

It's the last game of the league campaign where neither side had much to play to for.

Liverpool 2-0 Watford

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Goals:
Allen 35'
Firmino 76'

Hey, Liverpool actually held onto a 2-0 lead at Anfield!

It wasn't great, but it was fairly comfortable. It was an end-of-season match between a mid-table away side safe from relegation and a much-changed home side focused on their upcoming European final.

Liverpool 2-2 Newcastle

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Goals:
Sturridge 2'
Lallana 29'
Cisse 48'
Colback 66'

Remember all the good results over the last month?

No, me neither. Games like this have a habit of bringing out all the pessimism. All I can remember is Sunderland and Southampton, not Dortmund, Stoke, or Everton.

Liverpool 2-1 Bournemouth

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Goals:
Firmino 41'
Sturridge 45+2'
King 90+3'

Liverpool can't go one game without giving me a heart attack, but other than a marginally frightening last half-an-hour, culminating in King's extra-time consolation, a radically different XI performed more than adequately.

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

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Goals:
Moreno 8'
Bojan 22'
Sturridge 33'
Origi 50' 65'

That was unexpected.

An even more makeshift XI than we'd guessed. Sheyi Ojo's first Liverpool start, Kevin Stewart's first start in the league. Either a 4-2-3-1 with Allen tucking in on the left or a very, very lopsided 4-3-3 formation.

Liverpool 1-1 Tottenham

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Goals:
Coutinho 51'
Kane 63'

That was a surprisingly decent game of football.

Usually when you see two Premier League sides cancel each other out, it's high on energy but low on quality. The Allardyce vs Pulis matches, the 0-0 when Sunderland and West Brom earlier today.

Liverpool 2-3 Southampton

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Goals:
Coutinho 17'
Sturridge 22'
Mane 64' 86'
Pelle 83'

Liverpool had no right losing that match, and there are multiple scapegoats for it. But there's one very, very, very big scapegoat.

Does it make it better than Liverpool should have conceded a penalty and had Lovren sent off in the eighth minute?