By Tariq Saleh
Liverpool’s end of season revival failed to land them a place in Europe for next season as they were beaten 1-0 by Aston Villa at Villa Park on the final day of the season.
Stewart Downing scored the only goal of the game after he converted Marc Albrighton’s cross. Raul Meireles came the closest to grabbing an equaliser for the reds but his effort was clawed away brilliantly by Brad Friedel.
The game had the usual end of season feel and it failed to really spark into life at any stage but James Collins almost added a second for Villa.
Despite a largely poor season Villa managed to finish in a respectable ninth-place and ended the season unbeaten in eight games. The same can be said for Liverpool who ended the season strongly despite two defeats in their final two games. The reds can look forward to what might promise to be a strong season next year, if the club spends wisely.
Here’s how the Liverpool stars fared in the 0-0 draw vs Everton – Van Dijk 8/10, Firmino 5/10
Full Time: Everton 0-0 Liverpool
The Merseyside derby on Saturday turned out to be an uneventful goalless draw, as Everton failed to capitalise on their chances against a weakened Liverpool side.
With a Champions League quarter-final second leg tie at Manchester City coming up and injuries piling up lately, Jurgen Klopp decided to field a relatively weakened side at Everton.
Dominic Solanke and Danny Ings started for the Reds and looked lively but caused very little trouble to the Everton defenders. Despite dominating possession for much of the game, Liverpool failed to create clear-cut opportunities.
Everton, on the other hand, burst into life late in the game and in spite of a late rally; they failed to end their seven-and-a-half-year wait for a Merseyside derby win.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Loris Karius – 6/10
Karius produced a wonderful save to deny Yannick Bolasie in the first-half. Barring that, he had very little to do and was solid.
Nathaniel Clyne – 6/10
He started for the first time this season and that was clearly evident as he looked rusty. However, he settled down in the second-half.
Virgil Van Dijk – 8/10
Van Dijk was a dominant force in the Liverpool backline and kept Cenk Tosun at bay. He was arguably our best player.
Dejan Lovren – 6/10
Lovren was sloppy in possession on a number of occasions. He was lucky to escape a booking in the first half.
Ragnar Klavan – 7/10
Klavan started at left-back and it appeared as if he was going to have a long afternoon against Theo Walcott. However, to everyone’s surprise, the Estonian performed admirably well at left-back.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 6/10
Wijnaldum started as Liverpool’s deepest midfielder and dictated the play well with his passing and crossing.
James Milner – 7/10
Milner was immense in the middle of the park for the Reds. The veteran used his experience to good effect, was diligent as always and tested Jordan Pickford. A lively show from the versatile player.
Jordan Henderson – 6/10
Henderson started in an advanced role and impacted the game very well. Whenever he received the ball, he always looked to drive his team forward. A positive display.
Sadio Mane – 7/10
Mane was always a threat to the Everton defence with his pace and trickery. He did well before being substituted.
Dominic Solanke – 6/10
Solanke showed his inexperience on a number of occasions and should have done better when he struck a loose ball at Pickford.
Danny Ings – 6/10
Ings worked tirelessly all afternoon. The forward kept the Everton defenders on their toes with his direct running. Klopp will definitely be pleased with Ings’ performance.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 5/10
Chamberlain was industrious. Tried hard to create things but to no avail.
Roberto Firmino – 5/10
He came on in the 75th minute but failed to impact the game.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – N/A
Came on in the 89th minute to replace Danny Ings.
‘If this is how arsenal fans feel, My heart can’t take this’ Liverpool Fans React To The 5-0 Rout By City
Match Report: Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool
Liverpool’s defence was brutally exposed in a 5-0 rout at the hands of Manchester City and perhaps it was a reality check for the Jurgen Klopp as to what he had missed in the transfer market. Concluding the window with some stellar attacking reinforcements certainly gave the German a lot of reasons to stay optimistic ahead of the season, but failing to sign even a single defensive player is sure to haunt him for the entirety of the campaign.
It all started as early as the 24th minute when Sergio Aguero gave the hosts the lead before Sadio Mane received his marching orders for raising his foot to Ederson’s face. Gabriel Jesus added City’s second in the added time of the first half before completing a brace soon after the restart and substitute Leroy Sane then added another one, courtesy of a fine run by Benjamin Mendy before putting the cherry on the cake with a beautiful effort, handing Manchester City their first 5-0 win over Liverpool since 1937.
The game started all well for the visitors and it was evenly poised until the 24th minute. Fernandinho had headed the ball into the way of Kevin de Bruyne and the Belgian, after spotting Sergio Aguero’s run, released the Argentine and the striker made no mistake in scoring his 124th goal in the Premier League. With that goal, the former Atletico Madrid forward has surpassed Dwight Yorke to become the Premier League’s leading non-European scorer.
Liverpool were breathing heavily on City’s neck and were searching for an equaliser with Mane and Mohamed Salah continuously posing a threat to City’s three-man defence. Their desire to get any, however, was cut short as just 13 minutes after Aguero’s goal, Mane was shown a straight red.
Joel Matip delivered a mouth watering long ball towards Sadio Mane and as soon as Ederdson realised the danger, he decided to leave his lines and went head to head against the Senegalese. With the ball still in the air, Mane decided to raise his foot, while the Brazilian stopper went on with his head. The Senegalese, unfortunately, stamped Ederson’s face and referee Jon Moss didn’t think twice in showing Mane his way back in for an early shower.
Soon after the incident, it was City’s game to lose. Just two minutes into the added time of the first half, Gabriel Jesus found the back of the net, but the Brazilian was flagged offside. This, however, didn’t stop the Citizens in adding further misery to Liverpool’s fate. Jesus didn’t waste any time in finally making it two for his side. De Bruyne delivered a perfect cross into the danger area and Jesus’ header matched the quality of the delivery.
The Brazilian sensation compelted his brace just eight minutes into the second half, after Fernandinho released Aguero and the Argentine unselfishly passed the ball to Jesus for a tap in. The hosts were playing slowly after the restart, but Sane’s introduction added more misery to Liverpool’s fate. Combining well with Mendy, the German international added the fourth for his team before finally netting the fifth with a breathtaking left-footed curler.
With that result, Manchester City have now handed Jurgen Klopp his heaviest defeat as the Liverpool manager.
A lot was expected from the Reds, and for all right reasons, the fans were left furious with their team’s performance and this is how they reacted on Twitter:
Sadio Mane Highlights vs. Man City pic.twitter.com/G6zBxIBGXp
— Paul (@Kolology) September 9, 2017
Sadio Mane the real king of strong style pic.twitter.com/w3ftduaq28
— Ethan (@E_Ry10) September 9, 2017
Ok the OX has jinxed us #MCILIV
— Miss L (@AnfieldRdYNWA) September 9, 2017
— Piyush Nathani (@piyushnathani1) September 9, 2017
I'm a Liverpool fan, and it was. Was an error of Mané and was a so dangerous kick
— Ema-nuel (@emanuelbmi) September 9, 2017
I hope mane broke everything in his body
— Fut pack 18 god (@SheaMcmillan1) September 9, 2017
Citiy's best buy of the summer – Jon Moss.
— MB (@MrBoywunder) September 9, 2017
When you support Liverpool pic.twitter.com/PGYtUYIV8E
— joe (@JoeLFC_) September 9, 2017
Man that was an embarrassing 90 minutes I'll never get back.
— Luke M. Merritt (@lukemmerritt) September 9, 2017
‘Thunder and lightning, very very frightening’ Liverpool Fans Lose The Plot After New Signing’s Performance
Liverpool ended their pre-season in impressive fashion. In their final friendly game, the Reds defeated another tough side, this time it was Athletic Bilbao of Spain.
We have been great so far this pre-season and have only tasted defeat in the penalty shoot-out against Atletico Madrid in the Audi Cup. This time too we started off brightly as Roberto Firmino scored from the penalty spot.
Bilbao equalized via a player that has often been linked with a move to us, Inaki Williams. The second half saw a lot of changes in the side as Jurgen Klopp kept an eye on the first game against Watford.
The changes worked a treat as first Ben Woodburn scored a brilliant goal before Dominic Solanke scored another goal and continued his streak up front since moving from Chelsea.
We did have a lot of other chances to score with Ryan Kent and Sadio Mane looking great once again. We also played Andrew Robertson as left-back with James Milner getting a run out in midfield for once.
There were some concerns regarding Dejan Lovren but all in all, this was a pretty great pre-season and we do look good, at least in attack, as the league starts in less than a week and also have to face Hoffenheim in the Champions League qualifiers.
For now, the fans seem to be pleased and here are some of the best reactions from the Twitter folk;
Dominic Solanke’s pre-season stats #LFC
He has been directly involved in a goal every 62 minutes pic.twitter.com/uetdRtZ07p
— FootballTalentScout (@FTalentScout) August 5, 2017
Positives from the preseason for our young players really. Kent, Woodburn, Grujic, TAA, Solanke have all been superb… #LFC
— Phil Coutinho (@LfcNo10) August 5, 2017
Dom Solanke is what #LFC hoped Andy Carroll and Chris Benteke would be.
A mobile target-man.
Thunder and lightning, very very frightening.
— Srijandeep Das (@srijandeep) August 5, 2017
Goals scored 19.
Goals against 4. pic.twitter.com/yhYDUSAMVG
— AnfieldUrchin (@AnfieldUrchin) August 5, 2017
— LFCU23s&U18s (@LFCU23sU18s) August 5, 2017
I’m not getting ahead of myself based on 80 mins of a pre-season friendly, but Ragnar Klavan is clearly the best winger in the world. #lfc
— Dave Phillips (@lovefutebol) August 5, 2017
If #LFC had paid £40m for a striker and he had the same pre-season as Solanke we would be buzzing our collective tits off.
— Paul J Machin (@ThePaulMachin) August 5, 2017
— Marco (@MerseysideMarco) August 5, 2017
Half-time #LFC v Bilbao summary:
Klopp: “Play Fucking Football”
Fans: “Sign Virgil van Dijk!”
Lovren: “No to both!”
— LFC Fans Corner (@LFCFansCorner) August 5, 2017
— Anfield Press (@AnfieldPress) August 5, 2017
— LFC Photo (@LFCphoto) August 5, 2017
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