Saturday, August 26, 2006

Nervy End, But First Win Of The Season

And Dirk Kuyt Looks* Good (*not his looks)

English Premiership


LIV - Agger (42min), Crouch (45min);
WHU - Zamora (12min);

What an exhilarating game, especially the last few minutes, there were heart stopping moments and Lee Bowyer's miss of the day made all the Liverpool fans heaved a collective sigh of relief. Again, Peter Crouch was on hand to help Liverpool get back on track for the Premiership title race after a rather disappointing 1-1 draw with Sheffield United last week. Today was made an even more special day as we celebrate the Spion Kop's 100th annivesary as well as the battle against the team that we've beaten less then 4 months ago in the FA Cup final. Liverpool were the better side for the game, but West Ham didn't make our lives easy with their fast pace attacks.

Again, West Ham took the lead through a weird goal by Bobby Zamora. He was aiming for a cross but instead, the ball floated into Reina's near post and he could all but push the ball into his own net. Yet again, we fell 1-0 behind with a freak goal.

But Liverpool stepped up the gear and Gerrard started running the show with his excellent range of passes as well as those late charges into the penalty area. Although West Ham invited pressure upon themselves and Liverpool were all over them, they still wasted loads of chances and players stilll looked a little rusty due to the national commitment as well as that long trip to Kiev midweek.

But the most unlikely person to come out with the equaliser, came out with a bang, literally, BANG!

What a strike from Danish centre-half, Daniel Agger. He joined Liverpool last season during the winter transfer window and his developement was hampered with his injury proness, but he showed everyone that he is capable of replacing the ageing Sami Hyypia in the near future. Solid at the back while scoring THAT kind of goal, just WOW from me.

It didn't take long before Liverpool scored the second with a move down the middle. Luis Garcia drifted in from his wide right position before threading a nice little through pass to Peter Crouch, who calmly took the ball past Carroll and sending the ball into a net with Gabbidon and Anton Ferdinand sliding in to cover. A wonderful finish from the ever-improving 'stickman'.

Everyone, including me, thought that there will be more goals to come during the second half, but it never came. The pace of the game became really fast as West Ham took a gamble and pushed their line further upwards instead of dropping deep and constantly being suffocated by Liverpool's wave after wave of attack.

Yossi Benayoun impressed me alot with his trickery as well as working really hard for the team. Liverpool meanwhile, gave Dirk Kuyt his debut at Anfield and he nearly scored on his first touch, smacking the ball hard but seeing it going just wide.

He continued to work really hard, tracking back and helping out in defence. Whereas he linked up well with Gerrard and Pennant and it's a good sign. Give him some more time to gel with the team and I'm quite sure he'll score in no time.

It was a nervy end, but Liverpool held on to the one goal lead and move up the table and overtaking Chelsea (yea, that's all I know). Hopefully, we'll build on this win and start to go on a roll. The next few games till Christmas will not be easy and we need to find feet fast.

Positives of course, Dirk Kuyt, Crouch and Bellamy doing really well. They didn't get the goals, but their work rate were commendable. Defence still looked a little shaky at times but Aurelio seemed to be getting more used to the English game as he continued to deputise Riise at left back.

Player Ratings:

Reina - 7 - At fault for that fluke, generally okay but not as steady as before.

Finnan - 8 - Defensively solid, provided width and worked really well with Pennant.

Agger - 8 - Superb goal, defensively alright. Neutralised Marlon Harewood.

Hyypia - 7 - Looked comfortable throughout.

Aurelio - 7 - Provided good balls, but gives away possesion too cheaply.

Pennant - 7 - Worked hard, tracked back and provided a few excellent crosses. Good movement.

Gerrard - 8 - Imposed the game from the middle, ran tirelessly and could've scored.

Alonso - 7 - Still looked a little off form. Passing still looked not up to his usual standard.

Luis Garcia - 7 - Generally poor game, albeit his nice through pass for Crouch for the second goal.

Crouch - 8 - Worked hard, chase after lost cause and scored an impressive goal.

Bellamy - 8 - He actually scored, but the referee thought he was offside. Anyway as usual, running around, making a nuisance and pretty unlucky.

Kuyt - 8 - Debut performance and he was pretty good. Hard working and blessed with a good foot. Could've scored.

Gonzalez - 7 - Tracked back and helped out Aurelio. Provided pace.


Emma said...


Drogballs said...

wha man, what did you feed your husband? He's on fire! HAHA

Dirty Dan said...

brilliant review mate, i might start linking your match reports instead of writing me own.

Drogballs said...

:) thanks for the compliment!