Friday, May 6, 2016

Liverpool Through to Europa League Final

Liverpool have managed to defy the odds and book their place in the Europa League final in Switzerland after an impressive 3-0 home win against Villarreal, winning 3-1 on aggregate. The Reds will face Sevilla in the final on May 18th and will be looking to secure their first European success since their 2005 Champions League win.

Liverpool took the lead (and made it level on aggregate) after 6 minutes. A dangerous ball was whipped across the face of goal by Clyne only to be tipped into the path of Firmino who played it back across for Llido to tap into his own net. Lallana, Can and Lovren all had chances to extend the lead but the score was 1-0 at the break.

Daniel Sturridge had some decent chances in the second half to extend the home side's lead but was denied by some good saves from Areola. But the Valencia keeper couldn’t stop Sturridge’s first of the night after a defence splitting pass from Firmino put the England international one-on-one. Sturridge gobbled up the chance with an expert finish through the goalies legs.
~ Side note: the passion from Sturridge’s celebration was amazing to see as well. I must say I’d have never expected that reaction from him. ~

I wanted to talk about a piece of skill from Roberto Firmino that sent Soldado back to Spain. Spinning on the ball and flicking it past the Villarreal striker before having his cross deflected into the path of Moreno. Moreno’s shot went wide and made Klopp’s face look like he’d just finished his third bag of Charlie…

In the 70th minute things went from bad to worse for the Spanish side as Ruiz received a second yellow for stepping on Adam Lallana’s toe. For me the England international made a meal of it but I don’t think the result would’ve been any different even if Villarreal had 12 men…

The game was then fully put to bed in the 81st minute when Firmino again tore apart the opposition defence and played in a low ball to Sturridge who sliced his shot into the path of Lallana. The former Southampton man made no mistake flicking it into the net and sending the Reds into The Europa League final.

It was an impressive performance with Liverpool having it all to do after their away leg, going 1-0 down after a late Adrian Lopez tap in. Klopp stating after the Spanish side's dramatic celebrations that he didn’t understand why they were so happy; they still had to play at Anfield. You can see why the German said this...

Now I’m beginning to become a bit of a fan of Klopp, I’ve said in the past that it seems he can do no wrong as a win is his brilliance whereas a loss is Rodgers’ fault. But this statement did annoy me a little, as it came from a man who celebrated a 1-1 home draw with West Brom...but that’s not the point of this post.

I want to talk about how Klopp is doing at Liverpool. The man is bringing back that passion and fire that Liverpool have lacked in a manager in so long. Bill Shankly was well known for his passion and his influence over the Liverpool fan base and it does seem that Klopp is trying to recreate that.

Now I’m not saying that Klopp is as good as Shankly, he’s a long way off that. But for me Liverpool is a club that rewards passion and commitment main reason they loved Gerrard and Carragher and why so much hate was put on Sterling when he left.

For me Raheem Sterling could have potentially become a legend for Liverpool. A youth academy product, was a good player, the fans loved him but at the end of the day if you leave at the first sniff of money you were always go down in the bad books...but I digress again…

For me if Klopp gets Liverpool to a respectable position in the league and wins the Europa League I think the German will be able to keep his job for a long time yet. Like I said, Liverpool fans love passion and commitment, so if he cheers every goal as if it were a Champions League winner and stay with them for the next few years he’ll go down as a legend.

Consistency is one thing that has gone right out the game in recent years, managers being given the boot on average less than two years after being hired. With Klopp’s ability he could take the scousers far but if my previous prediction is anything to go by he won’t last too long...

I made a prediction that Klopp would gain some quality striker (maybe a European or South American wonderkid) who will score 30, get them to second in the league, be sold for £100 million and then Liverpool will drop to 7th. Klopp will then get the sack due to this hefty drop in the same way that Rafa and Rodgers were. I swear if this happens I’m gonna go mental because I don’t often bet but quite a few of my predictions have come true haha.

I do hope now though that he can mould Liverpool back into a European powerhouse again. I’m sure Liverpool fans wouldn’t mind any trophy though to be fair, I think the last trophy they won was the League cup against Cardiff...not exactly the glitz and glamour of a Champions League but at least it’s something to cheer about.

~ Anyone who enjoyed this please follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 or like me on Facebook at ~

Cheers for reading.

No comments:

Post a Comment