Sunday, February 25, 2007

Fowler On The Double

Liverpool Breaks Record With 9th Consecutive Clean Sheet @ Anfield

English Premiership

LIVERPOOL 4 - 0 Sheffield United

LIV - Fowler (pen 20min, pen 25min), Hyypia (70min), Gerrard (73min);

Match Highlights:

If Neil Warnock thinks that by putting a 'Fortune Cat' at the sidelines will help his side to come away from Anfield unscathed, then perhaps he should turn away from it and looked upon the countenance of 'God'.

Of course, the pun intended opening line is a little tribute to none other than Anfield's prodigal son and 'God', Robbie Fowler, who stepped up twice to score from the penalty spot. He showed great composure and courage to do it twice but was unfazed with the challenge.

It's a match in which Liverpool didn't really step up a gear from the start and yet comfortably beat a shell shocked Sheffield United side. The opening day fixture in which the Blades held on to a draw must have inspired the players for a revenge.

Looking at the statistics, it shows 4 shots on target and 4 goals. It shows that perhaps Liverpool CAN be clinical if they want to and with all the worries about how the midweek European game will unsettle the side, Rafa made sure that there were no tired legs out there.

He chopped and changed like his usual style and made 7 changes to the squad that came home with a heroic victory at the Nou Camp. Dudek went in goal for Reina while Hyypia took this chance to partner Carragher. But all focus were on the Argentinian holding midfielder, Javier Mascherano as he make his debut at a strangely subdued Anfield.

Liverpool started the game decently but were unable to find any gaps in a disciplined Sheffield United side. Hyypia's constant long ball to the front doesn't help the team and the home team were not able to push the Blades back against the wall. The game was played at a very slow pace from the start to the end.

But the game sparked to life after a penalty was awarded for some handbags in the United penalty box. Incidently, Crouch's head met with Rob Hulse boots and had to be taken off after the blood on his forehead can't be stopped. Kuyt took over his place and up steps Fowler, who placed the ball beyond Paddy Kenny's finger tips.

Then Steve Bennett had his whistle to his mouth again. Kuyt headed the ball into the path of Gerrard, who was once again pulled back by defender, Montgomerie and this penalty incident is the more obvious of the two.

It's Fowler again, who calmly stroked the ball into the Kop End and Liverpool comfortably in front at that stage although not playing at their best.

And to be honest, the rest of the match are like going through motions and nothing eventful really happened until Hyypia scored from a corner in the 70th minute. It was an instinctive finish from the experienced Finnish rearguard. Reminsce of his volleyed goal against Juvetus came to mind.

Then it was all over when Steve Gerrard scores from an acute angle for his first goal since New Years Day. Again, it was down to Fowler's fantastic vision and technique. He lifted the ball over the defence and Gerrard's first touch took him away from the defence before placing it into Paddy Kenny's right bottom corner.

Liverpool can now prepare for the next game against Man United with confidence sky high. They'll go away from this game with a couple of positives. Javier Mascherano had a decent debut in the middle of the park and showed hunger and is not afraid to put his foot into challenges.

It's always nice to see Fowler scoring goals and looking sharp. Two goals and one assist from him actually tells us that he still have something to offer to the team. His experience is invaluable.

Last but not least a good result albeit a unconvincing performance. But when Liverpool stepped up their gear, they threaten and they score the goals. That's the most important thing in a football match.


psychohare said...

Holy Bloody... Crouch heal up soon. That looks absolutely painful to watch..


He's okay, just a few stitches. Not as serious as it looked!

psychohare said...

yea thank god it was ok, he was trying to spit blood when he was on the stretcher... geez!
But thinking of playing the 2 slowest strikers together in the first team.... that was funny.

loveuamy said...

"stevie's first since New Year's Day" - wow...then it must because i was there at Anfield again! hahaha, lucky me!


Please visit Anfield more often! I hope I'm right though. I might have forgotten he scored in between that period.