Tag Archives: Craig Bellamy

Liverpool lackluster in Stoke draw

14 Jan

On the positive side, Liverpool can control the ball pretty well. But other than that, it was a pretty poor performance from the home side.  In a drab 0-0 draw with Stoke, the Reds dominated possession, but failed to create enough chances.

Liverpool came out in a 5-4-1 formation with Sebastian Coates, Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel anchoring the back line and Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique providing the width up and down the field.  Dirk Kuyt was the lone forward.  I don’t really understand the reasoning coming out in such a defensive formation, especially against a team like Stoke.  This is a game Liverpool could have and should have won, but the players seemed slightly off-put and confused by the formation change.

The Reds were able to dominate midfield play and kept Stoke from getting much of anything going offensively.  However, there was a severe lack of connection between the midfield and Kuyt and more often than not, there was no one in box to receive a dangerous cross. Kuyt pulled back to chase the ball and as a result, there was basically no one playing up top, which would be fine if the object of the game was to not score goals.

Liverpool introduced Andy Carroll early in the second half, but like many of his appearances as of late, he had little influence on the proceedings. Craig Bellamy came on shortly afterwards and was unable to provide much of anything as his corners and crosses constantly found the head of a Stoke player.

Liverpool looked much like they did in the loss to Manchester City, although thankfully, Stoke doesn’t have the same kind of offensive threats. The inability to create any good chances today stems partially from the fact that there simply weren’t ever enough people getting forward.  Once LFC got to the edge of the box, it was all lateral movement and no one looked to make cuts through the box to create space.

It’s odd how Liverpool went from creating a ton of chances and simply not being able to finish to a complete dearth of decent looks recently.  The absence of creative force Luis Suarez obviously hurts, but the rest of the squad has to figure out a way to get good chances without him (at least for four more matches).  However, even with Suarez in the lineup, Liverpool has struggled to find the back of the net consistently.

Can you imagine if Liverpool had won even half of the games they’ve drawn?  They would be sitting pretty in the top four, that’s for sure.  It’s incredibly frustrating to watch them struggle so mightily in front of the net (or the final third in general) when they are playing well defensively and through the midfield.  There are still a couple weeks left in the transfer window and I think that buying a proven striker would be a good call at this point.  Carroll is still young and inconsistent and Suarez is obviously suspended and can be flaky in his own way in front of goal.

 

 

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Liverpool’s title bid takes a hit

23 Feb
Dirk Kuyt equalized for Liverpool on Sunday, but the Reds are now seven points back from league leader Manchester United.

Dirk Kuyt equalized for Liverpool on Sunday, but the Reds are now seven points back from league leader Manchester United.

Liverpool fought back from a 1-0 deficit, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Sunday.  Despite dominating the first half, the Reds were unable to take advantage before the break.  City went up 1-0 on a Craig Bellamy (or Arbeloa own goal) goal almost immediately to begin the second half.  Dirk Kuyt tied the game for Liverpool after Fernando Torres mis-hit the ball.  Liverpool has to take better advantage of the chances they get.  While obviously a draw is better than a loss, one point does little to close the gap on Manchester United.

Meanwhile, Manchester United romped to a 2-1 victory over Blackburn and now have a seven point lead at the top of the table with just 12 games remaining.  ManUtd has been tearing it up lately, so Liverpool is going to have to actually win and hope that Manchester United drops points along the way.  Also, Liverpool is now only three points up on third place Chelsea.  Bottom line: WIN OUT.

In other Liverpool news, Steven Gerrard has been included in the squad for Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid.  Whether he is actually fit to play a significant role remains to be seen.

Results from Feb. 21-22
Liverpool 1, Manchester City 1
Newcastle 0, Everton 0
Fulham 2, West Brom 0
Aston Villa 0, Chelsea 1
Arsenal 0, Sunderland 0
Bolton 2, West Ham 1
Middlesbrough 0, Wigan 0
Stoke City 2, Portsmouth 2
Manchester United 2, Blackburn 1

Saturday’s Premier League Results

11 Jan

Frustration for Liverpool.

Frustration for Liverpool.

Stoke 0, Liverpool 0 – A frustrating draw for the league leaders who had Steven Gerrard hit the post TWICE in the last ten minutes.  A rather poor effort overall though for Liverpool.  If Chelsea wins tomorrow, they will only be one point behind Liverpool.  On a positive note for the Reds: Fernando Torres made an appearance and Martin Skrtel is back in the starting lineup.

Arsenal 1, Bolton 0 – Nicklas Bendtner scored a late winner for the Gunners to keep them in fifth place.

Everton 2, Hull City 0 – Marouane Fellaini got Everton on the board early with a goal in the 19th minute and Mikel Arteta added a second just before halftime.  Everton is now just three points back from Arsenal.

Middlesbrough 1, Sunderland 1 – Afonso Alves scored for Boro right before half, but Sunderland’s Kenwyne Jones tied the game at one apiece in the 82nd minute.  

Newcastle 2, West Ham 2 – The hosts took a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute on a Michael Owen goal, but Crazy-ass Craig Bellamy leveled ten minutes later.  West Ham took a 2-1 lead on a Carlton Cole goal.  Andy Carroll then scored his first Premier League goal to tie the game in the 77th minute.

Aston Villa 2, West Brom 1 – Curtis Davies scored the first goal for Villa.  West Brom goalie Scott Carson gave the home side a 2-0 lead going into half after screwing up royally.  James Morrison pulled one back for the Baggies just after halftime, but that was as close as the visitors got.  Villa is now THIRD.

Portsmouth vs. Manchester City – called off due to frozen pitch

Fulham vs. Blackburn – called off due to frozen pitch

Friday’s Premier League Results

26 Dec

Aston Villa 2, Arsenal 2 – Villa went in a 2-0 hole, but leveled the game on a 92nd minute goal from Zat Knight.  Arsenal is now three points off the top four.

Liverpool 3, Bolton 0 – Albert Riera got the scoring started and Robbie Keane found the back of the net twice (3 goals in 2 games!) as the Reds stayed one point clear at the top with the win.  Despite the talk of a potential Torres appearance, the striker wasn’t even on the bench.

Robbie Keane scored twice for Liverpool in their 3-0 win over Blackburn.

Robbie Keane scored twice for Liverpool in their 3-0 win over Blackburn.

Manchester City 5, Hull City 1 – Man City leapfrogged from 18th to 15th with a resounding win over Hull.  City went up 4-0 before Hull found extremely extremely slight consolation in a late goal before Stephen Ireland made them feel even worse when he made the scoreline 5-1.

Middlesbrough 0, Everton 1 – Everton moved up to sixth in the table thanks to a Tim Cahill goal at the beginning of the second half. 

Sunderland 0, Blackburn 0 – Sunderland is now unbeaten in their last three while Rovers are unbeaten under new manager Sam Allardyce.  Blackburn still sits second from bottom in the table.

Wigan 2, Newcastle 1 – Wigan went up 2-0 before a late goal from Newcastle’s Danny Guthrie made the last few minutes quite exciting. 

Chelsea 2, West Brom 0 – Chelsea stayed second in the table with a shutout win over the Baggies.  Didier Drogba put the Blues up only three minutes in, while Frank Lampard added a second just before halftime.

Portsmouth 1, West Ham 4 – Portsmouth got on the board first, but West Ham came roaring back to score four unanswered with Craig “Crazy Ass” Bellamy notching two.  Portsmouth is still winless in Premier League this month.

Tottenham 0, Fulham 0 – Fulham is now unbeaten in eight straight and sits in eighth with a game in hand.

Stoke 0, Manchester United 1 – Carlos Tevez scored the late winner for United against 10-man Stoke.  MU takes back the No. 3 spot in the table with the win.

Sunday’s Premier League Results

14 Dec
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Craig Bellamy scored early for West Ham in their 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

Portsmouth 0, Newcastle 3 – Mr. Michael Owen scored the first goal in the 52nd minute and Newcastle rolled from there, taking their first away win of the season and moving out of the bottom three.

Chelsea 1, West Ham 1 – West Ham scored first on a Craig “Crazy Man” Bellamy goal in the 33rd minute, but Nicolas Anelka scored his 16th (16th!) goal of the season to tie it at 1 apiece.  The West Ham defense held strong and kept Chelsea winless at home in their last three.  With the draw, Chelsea remains a point behind Liverpool in the table.

EPL Table through Dec. 14

    1. Liverpool – 38 pts.
    2. Chelsea – 37 pts.
    3. Manchester United – 32 pts.
    4. Aston Villa – 31 pts.
    5. Arsenal – 30 pts.
    6. Hull City – 27 pts.
    7. Everton – 25 pts.
    8. Portsmouth – 23 pts.
    9. Wigan – 22 pts.
    10. Fulham – 21 pts.
    11. Bolton – 20 pts.
    12. Middlesbrough – 20 pts.
    13. Stoke – 20 pts.
    14. Newcastle – 19 pts.
    15. Tottenham – 19 pts.
    16. West Ham – 19 pts.
    17. Manchester City – 18 pts.
    18. Sunderland – 18 pts.
    19. Blackburn – 13 pts.
    20. West Brom – 12 pts.