Tag Archives: Liverpool FC

Memorable Matches: Liverpool FC 3-2 Manchester City (April 2014)

Goalscorers: Raheem Sterling 6, Martin Skrtel 26, David Silva 57, Glen Johnson 62 OG, Philippe Coutinho 78

Teams:

Liverpool FC: Simon Mignolet, Jon Flanagan, Glen Johnson, Mamadou Sakho, Martin Skrtel, Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson (SENT OFF), Philippe Coutinho (Victor Moses 89), Raheem Sterling (Lucas 90), Daniel Sturridge (Joe Allen 66), Luis Suarez

Manchester City: Joe Hart, Gael Clichy, Martin Demichelis, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure (Javi Garcia 19), Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas (James Milner 50), David Silva, Edin Dzeko (Sergio Aguero 68)

Referee: Mark Clattenburg, Attendance: 44,601

The Liverpool FC supporters were starting to believe that their 24-year wait for a league title was about to end. Manchester City came to Anfield in mid-April 2014 for a game that always looked like it was going to have a crucial bearing on the outcome of the thrilling three-way title battle between these two sides and Jose Mourinho’s stubborn Chelsea outfit.

City’s arrival came on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster and a minute’s silence was impeccably observed before the start of one of the best recent matches in the history of the Premier League.

Liverpool had traditionally made fast starts throughout the season, as former title challengers Arsenal could vouch for two months earlier. Brendan Rodgers’ team flew out of the blocks and within the first 30 minutes, were 2-0 ahead. First, Luis Suarez showed great strength to hold off Gael Clichy before producing the perfect pass into the path of Raheem Sterling. Sterling showed great maturity when the pressure was on, cutting inside Vincent Kompany and exposing the gap Joe Hart had left at his near post. The finish was precise and the Reds were infront inside of six minutes.

Manuel Pellegrini’s best plans weren’t helped by an injury to their star midfielder Yaya Toure, who limped off after just 19 minutes. As City were trying to reorganise following his departure, Steven Gerrard was left unmarked and met a Philippe Coutinho corner but his header was kept out by a flying save from Hart. England’s no.1 goalkeeper couldn’t do anything about the Reds’ next set-piece though. This time, Gerrard turned provider and Martin Skrtel flicked a header into the back of the net for his seventh goal of a topsy-turvy season for the Slovakian.

Manchester City didn’t create too much in the first half. Their best moment came from Fernandinho, whose snapshot effort was palmed away by Simon Mignolet. Pellegrini reacted soon into the second half, bringing on James Milner for the ineffective Jesus Navas. Within seven minutes of his arrival, he’d made a difference. He burst into the box and squared the ball to David Silva, who couldn’t miss from close-range.

The Spanish magician came alive as Liverpool’s midfield started to tire and he created the equaliser on 62 minutes. His shot took an unfortunate deflection off Glen Johnson and trickled into the net. Now, it was the Citizens in the driving seat with Silva at the heart of everything. He narrowly failed to make sufficient enough contact on a fantastic pass from substitute Sergio Aguero which would have given City the lead.

With 12 minutes remaining, Kompany made a critical error, slicing a clearance into the path of Coutinho. The Brazilian swept his low drive beyond Hart’s despairing dive to put the home side back infront. Despite Jordan Henderson seeing red from Mark Clattenburg in stoppage-time for a bad tackle on Samir Nasri, Liverpool held on for a 10th successive Premier League victory and the result meant the destiny of the title was in their own hands.

Two weeks later, they lost at home to Chelsea and ultimately, it was Manchester City who ended up as champions, dropping just two further points on their way to a second Premier League title.

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Premier League Files: Harry Kewell

Premier League Career: Leeds United (1996-2003), Liverpool FC (2003-2008)

Most recently the manager of League Two club Notts County, Harry Kewell enjoyed a rapid rise in his career in a very energetic and exciting Leeds United side. Kewell won the PFA Young Player of the Year accolade in 2000 and was also part of the Liverpool FC squad that won the UEFA Champions League in 2005, although there was major personal disappointment for the Aussie in Istanbul.

A left winger capable of playing in the no.10 role or even as a second striker, Kewell made his English breakthrough at Leeds, earning a trial for four weeks as part of the Big Brother Movement in Australia. He travelled to England with Brett Emerton who would become a future Premier League player. Both had trials and both were successful but it was only Kewell who was able to take up Leeds’ offer due to his father’s English heritage, which satisfied the visa requirements.

After three seasons in the Leeds youth team which included victory in the 1997 FA Youth Cup final over Crystal Palace, the 1997-1998 season was Kewell’s breakthrough into the Leeds first-team under the management of George Graham. He had already made his Premier League debut under previous manager Howard Wilkinson when he featured in a 1-0 home defeat by Middlesbrough in March 1996 but he began to shine on a regular basis for the Yorkshire side during Graham’s reign. He scored five times in 1997-1998 and also collected the first red card of his career in a 4-3 win over Blackburn Rovers in September 1997. His development continued rapidly in 1998-1999, featuring in every single Premier League match, chalking up six goals and six assists.

Kewell was at his absolute best in 1999-2000. He scored 10 goals; helping Leeds to a third place finish in the Premier League and claimed 13 assists which was the second-highest total in the entire division. His excellent goal at Hillsborough in April 2000 won the Leeds United Goal of the Year award and in the same month, he was selected as PFA Young Player of the Year and placed in the PFA Team of the Year. The only blemish was a red card in the second leg of the UEFA Cup semi-final defeat to Galatasaray – an event overshadowed by attacks on Leeds supporters ahead of the first leg in Istanbul which led to the death of two fans.

Italian giants Inter Milan attempted to prize Harry away that summer but their £25 million bid was rejected, with Leeds believing his value was far too high to sell a prized asset. Kewell continued to shine, helping the Yorkshire side to a place in the semi-finals of the 2000-2001 UEFA Champions League although injuries restricted him to just 17 league appearances in that campaign.

By now though, Leeds’ financial difficulties saw them having to sell many of their key players. Kewell’s impressive return of 14 goals in 31 appearances in 2002-2003 including a scorching effort away at Highbury in May kept the club away from relegation danger. However, the crushing debts being piled up meant he was always going to be one of the stars the club were going to eventually have to cash in on. Over eight years at Leeds, he scored 45 goals in 181 Premier League appearances.

The way he left Leeds angered the supporters. Before his departure, he gave an interview to the BBC, criticising the staff at the club. There were plenty of suitors for him including AC Milan, Barcelona and Chelsea. However, Harry elected to move to the club he supported as a boy – Liverpool FC. His £5 million move in the summer of 2003 also saw Czech midfielder Vladimir Smicer reluctantly give up the no.7 shirt at Anfield to the new arrival.

He started well in a Reds shirt. His first goal came in a 3-0 Merseyside Derby victory over Everton at Goodison Park and he added six further goals including a goal on his first return to Elland Road since leaving in February 2004. 2004-2005 didn’t go to plan. Just one Premier League goal in a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa and chronic time on the treatment table meant he lost his regular place in the team. Arguably, it was his worst-ever season in English football.

So, it was a big surprise when new boss Rafa Benitez selected him in the starting XI for the 2005 UEFA Champions League final against AC Milan ahead of the more defensively-minded Dietmar Hamann. AC Milan raced into a 3-0 lead and Kewell was off the pitch and replaced by Smicer inside 25 minutes, limping off with a torn abductor muscle. He was infamously booed off by many supporters who believed he’d faked the injury. It looked like he was on borrowed time on Merseyside.

However, he defied the critics in 2005-2006, scoring three cracking goals including a matchwinner against Tottenham Hotspur in January 2006. One of his best displays came in a 3-1 victory over Merseyside rivals Everton two months later, scoring the crucial third goal in the process. Kewell virtually started every match in the second half of the season, helping the Reds to the FA Cup final along the way. A torn groin muscle meant he only played 48 minutes in the final at The Millennium Stadium but this time, he received a more sympathetic response from Liverpool supporters on his exit from the contest. They appreciated his contribution to their best-ever Premier League season in terms of points total – registering 82 from 38 games.

Kewell recovered from the injury to play in the 2006 World Cup finals for his country Australia. On a stormy night in Stuttgart which saw Graham Poll dish out three red cards, Kewell scored the crucial equaliser in the 2-2 draw which took the Socceroos into the round-of-16 for the first time in their history. In total, he won 58 caps for Australia, scoring 17 goals. He also remains the youngest player to have debuted for his country when he played against Chile in April 1996, aged 17 years and 7 months.

Unfortunately, injury was never far away and it ruined his final two seasons in English football. Harry was on the sidelines in 2006-2007 until the end of April and made just two Premier League appearances for Liverpool FC, scoring a stoppage-time penalty on the final day against Charlton Athletic. It turned out to be his last-ever goal for the club. He was released in May 2008, moving onto Galatasaray where he spent three seasons before winding down his playing career back in Australia at Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Heart via a brief three-game spell with Al-Gharafa in 2013. He announced his retirement aged 35 in March 2014.

Following his retirement, Harry moved straight into coaching. Married to the former Emmerdale actress Sheree Murphy, he successfully completed his UEFA coaching licenses and took his first coaching job at Watford as Head Coach of their Under-21 team. He left in April 2017 after a poor run of results but a month later, was appointed boss of League Two team Crawley Town, becoming the first Australian to coach a professional English side. After just over a year at Crawley, he was poached by their League Two rivals Notts County in late August 2018, succeeding Kevin Nolan. However, after just 14 games in-charge and with the team still leaking goals near the foot of the table, he was axed in November 2018.

The Managers: Brendan Rodgers

Premier League Clubs Managed: Swansea City (2011-2012), Liverpool FC (2012-2015)

Brendan Rodgers is breaking records and new grounds in the Scottish Premiership with Celtic. Back-to-back trebles and an unbeaten campaign with the Bhoys in 2016-2017, Rodgers is on-course to win more honours in this campaign, although he is finding life more difficult this season with Rangers launching a serious challenge for the Premiership title this season underneath his former captain at Liverpool FC, Steven Gerrard.

In England, Rodgers learned his trade under the wing of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea before going onto great success with Swansea City. This earned him the huge opportunity to manage Liverpool FC and he came within an inch of ending the Reds’ league championship drought in 2013-2014.

Enforced retirement

Growing up as a supporter of Celtic and Sheffield Wednesday, Rodgers began his playing career as a defender at Ballymena United. He was signed by Reading at the age of 18 but he never made a first-team appearance and a genetic knee condition meant he was forced to stop playing at just 20. Reading kept him on the books as a youth coach and academy director for several years.

He decided to travel around Spain to study coaching methods and in 2004, was invited by new Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho to become the club’s new youth manager. He received the recommendation to join the Blues by Mourinho’s assistant, Steve Clarke – who is now also a Premiership manager rival of Rodgers’ up in Scotland with Kilmarnock.

In 2006, he earned the promotion to manage the reserve team and even after Mourinho’s departure, Avram Grant and Luiz Felipe Scolari kept him in that particular role. However, his first senior management opportunity was about to follow in Hertfordshire.

The Royal return doesn’t work out

In November 2008, Aidy Boothroyd left Watford with the club in relegation trouble in the Championship. They were 21st in the table and turned to rookie Rodgers to try and revive their fortunes.

His first experience of management at first-team level didn’t start well. The Hornets dropped into the relegation zone by the end of January and suffered a League Cup exit at the quarter-final stage to holders, Tottenham Hotspur. However, Rodgers stuck to his principles and he guided the club away from danger from February onwards. A run of five wins in six matches saw them finish a creditable 13th in the table.

A few weeks later, his former club Reading were looking for a new boss after Steve Coppell resigned following their failure to earn promotion via the play-offs. Although he initially distanced himself to the job, the lure of returning to Berkshire couldn’t be ignored and a compensation package was eventually agreed which saw Brendan leave Watford and take the vacancy at Reading.

The return didn’t work out. Reading managed just an average of one point per game and won just once at home during his tenure in the Championship. In December 2009, days after conceding a late equaliser at home to fellow strugglers, Scunthorpe United, he parted company with the club by mutual consent after just over six months in-charge. He managed only five victories in an unsuccessful stint at The Madejski Stadium.

Achieving history with Swansea

In July 2010, Rodgers returned to full-time management with Swansea City, succeeding Paolo Sousa. Prior to this appointment, it had looked like he would take up a first-team coaching position alongside Roberto Mancini at Manchester City but the lure of management on his own was simply too much. The Swans played some of the best football in the 2010-2011 Championship season and comfortably finished in the top six.

They made the play-off final and incredibly, it was Reading – the club who had ditched him when the going was tough who were the opponents in the battle to reach the holy grail of the Premier League. Swansea prevailed, winning 4-2 thanks to a Scott Sinclair hat-trick. Rodgers had achieved history by guiding Swansea to the Premier League, becoming the first Welsh club to play at this level.

The experts immediately tipped Swansea for an instant return to the Championship but despite failing to score in their first four matches, he stuck to his principles and prevailed. A strong home record which included victories over Arsenal, eventual champions Manchester City and Liverpool FC saw the Swans finish an exceptional 11th in their debut Premier League campaign. During the season, he signed a contract extension to remain as the club’s manager but when Liverpool FC sacked Kenny Dalglish days after the 2011-2012 season concluded, Rodgers name was immediately linked with the vacancy on Merseyside.

So close with Liverpool

Initially, it seemed like Wigan boss Roberto Martinez was the favourite with the bookmakers but the American owners of Liverpool, The Fenway Sports Group, had earmarked Rodgers as their preferred candidate. In June 2012, compensation was agreed with Swansea and the Northern Irishman was unveiled as Liverpool’s new manager.

His first campaign seemed to be slightly underwhelming. Liverpool finished seventh in the Premier League, below Merseyside rivals Everton and were eliminated from the FA Cup at the fourth round stage by League One strugglers, Oldham Athletic. However, he was building for the future and form improved in the second half of the campaign following the January arrivals of Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge, whilst Luis Suarez was in sensational form and seemed to improve under the coaching of Rodgers.

In 2013-2014, Liverpool’s minimum target was to challenge for a top four finish. Without any distractions from a European campaign, the Reds could focus on this goal but they well and truly exceeded expectations. They won their first three matches to top the Premier League table and were still sitting top on Christmas Day of a thrilling title battle against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Back-to-back defeats to City and Chelsea dropped Liverpool to fifth by the turn of the year and he was fined £8,000 by the FA for making comments about Lee Mason’s performance during Liverpool’s 2-1 Boxing Day defeat to the Citizens. However, Liverpool remained firmly in the title race, helped by the emergence of Raheem Sterling as a prosperous talent, the goals from the ‘SAS’ partnership between Sturridge and Suarez and some stunning displays from Gerrard at the heart of the midfield.

An 11-game winning sequence, which included a highly-charged and poignant 3-2 victory over Manchester City in April, had the fans dreaming of a first league championship in 24 years. However, it was not to be. Two weeks later, Gerrard slipped against Chelsea, allowing Demba Ba through on-goal to put the Blues ahead. Mourinho’s side won 2-0 and handed the title advantage to Manchester City. A dramatic collapse at Selhurst Park a week later at Crystal Palace ended the dream. It was a missed opportunity but Liverpool had never come so close to landing the Premier League prize. They scored 101 goals and thrilled spectators throughout the country but conceding 50 goals were one of the detrimental factors to their title tilt.

In the summer of 2014, Suarez left for Barcelona and Sturridge spent much of the campaign on the sidelines thanks to injury. Rodgers spent big but failed to find an adequate replacement for the Uruguayan forward. Mario Balotelli was a gamble that backfired whilst Lazar Markovic proved to be an expensive flop and Dejan Lovren struggled with his £20 million price tag. Back in the UEFA Champions League, Liverpool struggled to make an impact, achieving just one victory from their six group games and exiting the competition at the first hurdle. Rodgers’ decision to rest his star names at The Bernabeu, including Gerrard, caused a rift between the boss and his captain and that turned out to be the catalyst for Gerrard’s summer departure to LA Galaxy.

Liverpool finished a distant sixth, losing 6-1 on the final day at Stoke City and lost in domestic cup semi-finals to Chelsea and Aston Villa respectively. The campaign had been a real disappointment but the owners continued to have faith in Rodgers and stuck by him in the summer, providing further funds to allow Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino and Nathaniel Clyne to join the club.

By now, the patience of the supporters with Rodgers had run out. The frailties that had persisted through the title near-miss of 2013-2014 hadn’t been fixed nearly 18 months on. They limped past Carlisle United on penalties in the League Cup third round and couldn’t even beat Swiss part-timers FC Sion in the UEFA Europa League group stages. Speculation was rife that his time was up at Anfield.

Hours after a 1-1 draw with Merseyside neighbours Everton in the 225th Merseyside Derby, Rodgers was sacked by the owners – his fate had been sealed before the match after a run of just one win in nine matches in all competitions. He left with Liverpool sitting a distant 10th in the table.

It was a chastening end to what had been an initial promising start to his Liverpool reign.

Celtic joy

In May 2016, he was appointed as Celtic’s new manager on a 12-month rolling contract and immediately set to work on one of the clubs he supported as a boy. Celtic had been winning titles comfortably under the previous regime but had been failing to win the domestic cup competitions and made little impact in Europe either. The aim was to make the Bhoys stronger in European competition and to leave nothing on the table in terms of silverware for the other Scottish clubs.

In 2016-2017, he achieved history by guiding Celtic to a domestic treble for the fourth time in their history and ending the season unbeaten in all domestic competitions. They became the first Scottish top-flight side to complete an unbeaten league campaign since 1899, finishing with 106 points and a whopping 30 points clear of runners-up Aberdeen. The Dons were beaten in the Scottish Cup final and the Scottish League Cup final too as Celtic managed their 100th major trophy in their history.

They went 69 games unbeaten domestically before losing 4-0 to Hearts at Tynecastle in December 2017. Nevertheless, they once again cruised to the Premiership title and beat Motherwell in both domestic cup finals, becoming the first manager to win a ‘Double Treble’ in the history of Scottish football.

His success at Celtic can’t be ignored and it means his name is often linked with vacant Premier League jobs when they come up. However, he seems happy at Parkhead and it is highly likely he will remain up in Scottish football whilst the challenge continues to come from Rangers, Kilmarnock and Aberdeen.

Premier League Rewind: 16th-17th September 1995

Results: Arsenal 1-0 West Ham United, Aston Villa 2-0 Wimbledon, Chelsea 3-0 Southampton, Leeds United 1-3 Queens Park Rangers, Liverpool FC 3-0 Blackburn Rovers, Manchester United 3-0 Bolton Wanderers, Middlesbrough 2-1 Coventry City, Newcastle United 3-1 Manchester City, Sheffield Wednesday 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur, Nottingham Forest 3-2 Everton

There were early signs in the 1995-1996 title race that Newcastle United and Manchester United were destined to be involved in a huge two-way scrap for the championship. Six games into the season and they were equal on points, victories and defeats. Those records were maintained in this round of action in mid-September.

Newcastle bounced back from a disappointing defeat in their previous fixture away to Southampton. The Geordies were far too strong for a hapless Manchester City side at St James’ Park, losing 3-1 to remain at the foot of the table with just one point to their name so far. The visitors’ cause wasn’t helped by Richard Edghill’s cheap dismissal and Les Ferdinand added another two goals to his tally. Ferdinand had made a brilliant start to his Newcastle career and had now scored six goals in his first six games for the club.

After their own slack opening to the season at Villa Park, Manchester United were starting to find their form. Alex Ferguson’s team made it five successive victories as newly-promoted Bolton Wanderers were simply no match for the Red Devils at Old Trafford. Paul Scholes scored twice and Ryan Giggs added his name to the scoresheet. United were still missing Eric Cantona who was a fortnight away from completing his eight-month suspension for a kung-fu kick at a Crystal Palace supporter.

The defending champions were Blackburn Rovers but they were well off the pace and looking more like relegation candidates. They returned to Anfield just four months after lifting the title there in the previous season and were crushed by Liverpool FC. Liverpool scored three times in the first 29 minutes, courtesy of Robbie Fowler’s diving header and long-range efforts by Jamie Redknapp and Stan Collymore. Henning Berg’s second half dismissal compounded to a miserable afternoon for the champions who had just four points to their name from six games and were only outside the relegation zone on goal difference.

Liverpool FC finished the weekend in fourth place, one point adrift of Aston Villa. Villa had struggled throughout the previous season but were keen for this to be an anomaly. Mark Draper and Ian Taylor scored the goals in their 2-0 home victory over an inconsistent Wimbledon.

Only two sides were unbeaten at this stage of the season and they sitting pretty in the top six. The sides in question were Arsenal and Nottingham Forest. The Gunners hadn’t really sparkled under new manager Bruce Rioch so far and Dennis Bergkamp was still goalless since his summer arrival from Inter Milan. It was Ian Wright’s penalty that was good enough to edge out West Ham United 1-0 at Highbury.

A day later, Nottingham Forest beat Everton 3-2 on Super Sunday. Ian Woan’s long-range effort was the pick of the goals as Forest recorded their first win since the opening day of the season. Everton were about to embark on a seven-match winless run that would prove damaging to their chances of launching a top three challenge. Having achieved 10 points from four matches in August, Leeds United lost back-to-back games in September. They were surprisingly beaten 3-1 at home by Queens Park Rangers.

What else happened in September 1995?

  • Frank Bruno defeats Oliver McCall on points to finally win the WBC World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Regular DAB radio broadcasting begins courtesy of the BBC from the Crystal Palace transmitting station.
  • Led by Bernard Gallacher, Europe regain The Ryder Cup, beating USA at Oak Hill 14 ½ to 13 ½.
  • Despite attempts to bring an end to the conflict, the Bosnian War continues with NATO air strikes against Bosnian Serb forces.
  • Accused of Mafia connections, the trial begins of former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti.
  • British racing driver Kieth O’dor, who won the 1993 British Touring Car Championship race that supported the British Grand Prix, is killed in a touring car race in Berlin. He is just 33-years-old.

Iconic Moments: History for Rush (October 1992)

Liverpool FC have had a history of great goalscorers, ranging from Kenny Dalglish and Kevin Keegan, to Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler. However, leading the list of all-time goals for the 18-time English champions is Ian Rush.

In October 1992, Liverpool FC travelled to Old Trafford to play Manchester United and made a blistering start. Don Hutchinson’s deflected effort gave Graeme Souness’ side the lead before a moment of history from Rush made it 2-0. From Ronny Rosenthal’s cutback, Rush smashed the ball into the back of Peter Schmeichel’s net to score his 287th goal for the club, surpassing the tally achieved by the legendary Roger Hunt.

Although Mark Hughes scored twice in the second half to ensure the spoils were shared, it was Rush’s achievement that made the headlines. After the game, he said: “Obviously I am proud and privileged to have beaten the record of a great player like Roger Hunt. He was my father’s hero.”

Rush finished his Liverpool FC career in 1996 having scored 346 goals in 660 appearances across two spells, winning five league championships, five League Cups and the European Cup in 1984.

Great Goals: Steven Gerrard – LIVERPOOL FC vs. Manchester United (March 2001)

The 2000-2001 season was Steven Gerrard’s second full season in the Liverpool FC first-team and it was a breakthrough campaign for the midfielder who would go on to be one the club’s greatest-ever players. This goal was a breakthrough moment too for his career against bitter North West rivals, Manchester United.

In the 15th minute of this encounter at Anfield, Fabien Barthez’s slip which led to a scruffy clearance began a chain of events that ended with the ball in the top corner of his net. Robbie Fowler played his part, laying the ball off into the path of Gerrard. He drove forward and as two United defenders started to advance on him, he unleashed a spectacular shot which was unstoppable. His eighth goal of the season was one of the best of the entire campaign.

Liverpool won the game 2-0 as they recorded their first-ever Premier League double against the reigning champions and Gerrard was voted PFA Young Player of the Year at the season’s end.

Iconic Moments: Robbie returns to Anfield (January 2006)

At half-time of a Premier League match at home to Sunderland in November 2001, Robbie Fowler was substituted at half-time by Phil Thompson. Two days later and much to the dissatisfaction of Liverpool supporters, Fowler was sold to Premier League rivals Leeds United for £11 million.

Injuries started to take their toll on Fowler who never looked the same player at Elland Road and after an indifferent period at Manchester City from 2003 to 2006, it looked like his career would fade into obscurity. Then, he got the chance of a lifetime to come home to his boyhood club.

Fowler remained a supporter during his years away from the Liverpool playing staff and he was in Istanbul in 2005 – not as a VIP, or a TV pundit but as a fan cheering the Reds on during their incredible comeback to defeat AC Milan and lift the UEFA Champions League.

In January 2006, Rafa Benitez believed Fowler could offer him more competition in the striking berths and along with corporation from Manchester City, one of the more surprising transfer moves of recent times went through. ‘God’ was coming home.

Fowler scored five times in the run-in and earned himself a new contract in the process before leaving for the second time in May 2007, this time receiving a huge round of applause when he departed against Charlton Athletic – something fans had been deprived of six years earlier.

In total, Fowler scored 128 league goals for Liverpool FC in 266 appearances and remains one of the club’s finest products to have come through their academy.

The Clubs: Liverpool FC

All statistics correct upto 10th January 2019

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
1021 516 258 247 1734 1034 +700 1806 27

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Jamie Carragher 508
Steven Gerrard 504
Sami Hyypia 318
Pepe Reina 285
Robbie Fowler 266
Lucas 247
Martin Skrtel 242
Steve McManaman 240
John Arne Riise 234
Jamie Redknapp 231

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Robbie Fowler 128
Steven Gerrard 121
Michael Owen 118
Luis Suarez 69
Fernando Torres 65
Dirk Kuyt 51
Daniel Sturridge 51
Ian Rush 45
Mohamed Salah 45
Roberto Firmino 44

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Liverpool FC 7-1 Southampton 16th January 1999 1998-1999
Liverpool FC 6-0 Manchester City 28th October 1995 1995-1996
Ipswich Town 0-6 Liverpool FC 9th February 2002 2001-2002
West Bromwich Albion 0-6 Liverpool FC 26th April 2003 2002-2003
Liverpool FC 6-0 Derby County 1st September 2007 2007-2008
Newcastle United 0-6 Liverpool FC 27th April 2013 2012-2013
Aston Villa 0-6 Liverpool FC 14th February 2016 2015-2016
Crystal Palace 1-6 Liverpool FC 20th August 1994 1994-1995
Liverpool FC 6-1 Hull City 26th September 2009 2009-2010
Liverpool FC 6-1 Watford 6th November 2016 2016-2017

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Stoke City 6-1 Liverpool FC 24th May 2015 2014-2015
Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool FC 9th September 2017 2017-2018
Coventry City 5-1 Liverpool FC 19th December 1992 1992-1993
Chelsea 4-0 Liverpool FC 16th December 2001 2001-2002
Manchester United 4-0 Liverpool FC 5th April 2003 2002-2003
Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Liverpool FC 18th September 2011 2011-2012
Blackburn Rovers 4-1 Liverpool FC 3rd April 1993 1992-1993
Chelsea 4-1 Liverpool FC 25th April 1998 1997-1998
Liverpool FC 1-4 Chelsea 2nd October 2005 2005-2006
Arsenal 4-1 Liverpool FC 4th April 2015 2014-2015

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Graeme Souness 2 28th January 1994
Roy Evans 6 11th November 1998
Gerard Houllier 6 30th June 2004
Rafa Benitez 6 3rd June 2010
Roy Hodgson 1 7th January 2011
Kenny Dalglish 2 16th May 2012
Brendan Rodgers 4 4th October 2015
Jurgen Klopp 4  

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Liverpool FC 4-1 Cardiff City 27th October 2018 53,373 2018-2019
Liverpool FC 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion 25th August 2018 53,294 2018-2019
Liverpool FC 2-2 AFC Bournemouth 5th April 2017 53,292 2016-2017
Liverpool FC 2-0 Newcastle United 3rd March 2018 53,287 2017-2018
Liverpool FC 5-0 Watford 17th March 2018 53,287 2017-2018
Liverpool FC 4-3 Manchester City 14th January 2018 53,285 2017-2018
Liverpool FC 3-0 Huddersfield Town 28th October 2017 53,268 2017-2018
Liverpool FC 3-0 Southampton 18th November 2017 53,256 2017-2018
Liverpool FC 4-1 West Ham United 24th February 2018 53,256 2017-2018
Liverpool FC 0-0 Stoke City 28th April 2018 53,255 2017-2018

 

Intro

Liverpool FC is one of just six teams to have featured in every single Premier League season but their wait for a league championship goes on. It is now 29 years since the top-flight title arrived in the Anfield trophy cabinet and that was before the Premier League era. The Reds have experienced some near-misses under Roy Evans (1997), Gerard Houllier (2002), Rafa Benitez (2009) and Brendan Rodgers (2014). However, Jurgen Klopp’s current set of players are in a fantastic position to end the league famine – remaining unbeaten through the first half of the current campaign.

 

1992-1993

Manager Graeme Souness continued to reshape an ageing squad, signing goalkeeper David James and forward Paul Stewart but the Reds showed no consistency throughout the inaugural Premier League season. They were in the bottom half for much of the campaign and only a run of seven wins in their last 12 matches took the Reds into a fortunate finish of sixth position in the table. His absence from the 6-2 final day win over Tottenham Hotspur because of being on a ‘scouting mission’ increased speculation his tenure at Anfield was coming to an end.

 

1993-1994

Liverpool FC started 1993-1994 with three successive victories and things seemed to be looking up but the inconsistency remained and they were a lowly 13th in the table on Christmas Day. There was a rousing comeback from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Manchester United in early January but weeks later, Souness departed after a humiliating FA Cup exit at home to Bristol City. Roy Evans was promoted into the managerial hotseat and guided the club to eighth position in the final table, also allowing hotshot Robbie Fowler to make his mark in the first-team.

 

1994-1995

Liverpool FC became winners once again in Evans’ first full season as manager with two Steve McManaman goals guiding them to victory in the League Cup final over Bolton Wanderers. In the Premier League, there were also radical improvements with a fourth place finish despite failing to beat Everton in either Merseyside Derby, plus a 1-0 home loss to bottom club Ipswich Town.

 

1995-1996

Having paid a national record £8.5 million for Nottingham Forest striker Stan Collymore in the close season, Liverpool FC were many people’s favourites for the league title in 1995-1996 but they fell short, finishing third in the table behind Manchester United and Newcastle United. For the second year in a row, Robbie Fowler won the PFA Young Player of the Year award and finished runner-up to Alan Shearer in the race for the Golden Boot. November was the month where Liverpool’s challenge for the title ultimately died, collecting just one point from 12 available.

 

1996-1997

1996-1997 was a missed opportunity for Liverpool FC who topped the table going into New Years’ Day, holding a five-point advantage. However, they dropped silly points at Anfield, including a shock 2-1 home loss to bottom-placed Coventry City in early April. There was also David James, who made a series of errors which earned him the nickname ‘Calamity James,’ and the ‘Spice Boys’ culture with the media believing some of the players preferring partying and socialising to winning football matches. The Reds finished fourth, missing out on a second-place finish on goal difference and pressure started to grow on Evans’ management.

 

1997-1998

The emergence of 18-year-old Michael Owen was the highlight in an unspectacular season for the club. Owen won the PFA Young Player of the Year award and was the joint-winner of the Golden Boot alongside Dion Dublin and Chris Sutton. Owen’s goals came at a good time as Robbie Fowler’s progress was stalled by a serious knee injury in the closing stages of February’s 1-1 Merseyside Derby draw. Liverpool FC finished third, a distant 13 points behind champions Arsenal.

 

1998-1999

The Liverpool FC board decided to act on previous shortcomings by bringing in Gerard Houllier to work alongside Roy Evans as joint-managers. It was a partnership that never looked like working out. Despite amassing 10 points from their first four matches, including a quick-fire Owen hat-trick at St James’ Park, the writing was on the wall from the moment Liverpool drew 3-3 at home with newly-promoted Charlton Athletic. After a League Cup defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur, Evans resigned in mid-November with the club only 11th in the Premier League table.

Houllier was left in sole charge but fortunes continued to flirt from a 7-1 thumping of Southampton to a 1-0 loss at The Valley to Charlton. Liverpool finished a poor seventh in the table but Owen finished joint-holder of the Golden Boot for the second season running. However, Steve McManaman would leave at the end of the season for Real Madrid via the Bosman ruling.

 

1999-2000

Houllier made seven close-season signings and with former defender Phil Thompson installed as assistant manager, Liverpool started to recover and become a leading Premier League force again. There were still bumps in the road with home defeats to Watford and Everton, plus an FA Cup exit to First Division Blackburn Rovers. However, Liverpool challenged for UEFA Champions League qualification all season. A five-game winning run and the £11 million signing of Emile Heskey took Liverpool into second spot before a bad end to the season with no wins and no goals from their last five outings cost the Reds a top three finish. Fourth place was the final outcome.

 

2000-2001

Nick Barmby made the move across Stanley Park, whilst Gary McAllister and Christian Ziege were also added to an increased strength in-depth in the squad. Liverpool FC enjoyed a trophy-laden season with their own unique treble of cups, winning the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup. In the Premier League, a 4-0 final day win over Charlton Athletic at The Valley secured third place and a spot in the following season’s UEFA Champions League. Steven Gerrard’s development continued as the youngster won PFA Young Player of the Year honours and there was also a memorable league double over bitter rivals Manchester United for the first time in the Premier League era.

 

2001-2002

In mid-October at half-time of a Premier League match with Leeds United, Gerard Houllier was rushed to hospital complaining of chest pains. He required emergency heart surgery and was out of action for five months. Phil Thompson stepped into the breach and did remarkably well to keep the Reds fighting on two fronts, despite a run of one win in nine Premier League matches during the winter months.

Michael Owen’s stock continued to rise as he won the Ballon d’Or and there was another league double over Manchester United with Danny Murphy scoring the winner at Old Trafford for the second season running.

Houllier returned to the dugout in mid-March and spearheaded Liverpool FC to their best-ever Premier League finish of second spot and 80 points achieved, only finishing behind Arsenal. Second spot was achieved on the final day by a 5-0 home victory over Ipswich with John Arne Riise, one of the signings of the season, scoring twice.

 

2002-2003

Liverpool FC’s domestic service was faultless in the early months with the club stringing together a 12-match unbeaten run. However, a late 1-0 reverse to Middlesbrough in November started a calamitous run of 11 games without a victory that dropped the Reds out of the title race. By early January, they sat seventh and in severe danger of missing out on a top-four finish.

Houllier’s signings of Salif Diao, Bruno Cheyrou and El-Hadji Diouf all turned out to be expensive flops but a second League Cup triumph in three years softened the blow of an average league season which ended with defeat at Chelsea, a fifth place finish and only UEFA Cup football at Anfield for the following campaign.

 

2003-2004

Houllier attempted to revive his fortunes with the arrival of Harry Kewell from Leeds United whilst Djibril Cisse was signed for the following campaign from Auxerre. Injuries plagued Liverpool’s campaign with Jamie Carragher, Milan Baros, Steve Finnan and Owen all missing significant portions of the season but Liverpool’s league form was poor. 1-0 victories away at Chelsea and Manchester United were the only major highlights. Liverpool scraped a fourth place finish but eight days after the season concluded, Houllier’s tenure was brought to an end by the board with the club finishing a whopping 30 points behind unbeaten champions Arsenal in the final standings.

 

2004-2005

After winning two La Liga titles in three seasons and the UEFA Cup, Rafa Benitez arrived in June to replace Houllier. He managed to persuade his high-profile skipper Steven Gerrard to stay on but Michael Owen departed in an £8 million move to Real Madrid. Once again, injuries marred Liverpool’s domestic challenge and they finished fifth and even further behind the league champions – 37 points this time off Chelsea’s searing pace.

However, LFC’s campaign was all about their UEFA Champions League run. Gerrard’s dramatic strike against Olympiacos saw the club progress into the knockout rounds where the champions of Italy Juventus and new English champions Chelsea were both dumped out. In the final in Istanbul, Liverpool fell 3-0 down to AC Milan but stormed back to 3-3 in a miraculous recovery, led by the inspirational Gerrard. Jerzy Dudek’s heroics in the penalty shootout saw Liverpool record a historic fifth European Cup triumph, keeping the famous trophy in the Anfield trophy cabinet for good.

 

2005-2006

As Champions of Europe, Liverpool FC were now firmly back among the elite of European football. 2005-2006 saw more trophy glory for Rafa Benitez and Gerrard once again led by example, scoring twice in a thrilling FA Cup final against West Ham United which saw the Merseysiders triumph on penalties again. There was also progress in the Premier League. Despite a stuttering start, Liverpool produced two lengthy winning sequences during the league campaign on their way to third place and a new points-high tally of 82 points. Gerrard won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and Robbie Fowler was re-signed, five years after leaving for Leeds United.

 

2006-2007

Liverpool FC’s failure to win away from Anfield or score in open play on their travels until early December scuppered any chances of a title tilt. The Reds finished third again but further off the pace set by Manchester United and Chelsea. Peter Crouch scored a perfect hat-trick in a 4-1 win over Arsenal whilst Robbie Fowler said an emotional farewell to his boyhood club in his second spell. Once again, the UEFA Champions League dominated Liverpool’s season with another final appearance against AC Milan – although this time, it ended in defeat in Athens.

 

2007-2008

Fernando Torres was acquired for a club-record transfer fee as Liverpool FC looked to bridge the gap between them and the regular championship contenders. Torres did score 24 times in the Premier League and the Reds stayed unbeaten until mid-December. There were just four league defeats but too many draws proved costly for LFC and Benitez as they finished fourth – 11 points clear of fifth place Everton but also, 11 points behind the champions Manchester United.

 

2008-2009

Liverpool FC launched their closest title tilt, finishing just four points shy of Manchester United, having lost just two matches and scored more goals than any other side in the division. Steven Gerrard put in another immaculate individual campaign which saw him win the Football Writers’ Award and the Reds stayed unbeaten all throughout the season at Anfield. Unfortunately, seven home draws against the likes of Stoke City, Fulham and West Ham United would have significant damage and dropping these points would be a decisive factor. The club also said a fond farewell to Sami Hyypia. The Finn left at the end of the season for Bayer 04 Leverkusen after 10 years, 318 appearances and plenty of memorable memories.

 

2009-2010

Selling Xabi Alonso in pre-season to Real Madrid and replacing him with injury-plagued Alberto Aquilani was the beginning of the end for Rafa Benitez. Liverpool FC had a miserable season which included a group stage exit from the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup demise at the hands of Reading at Anfield. It wasn’t much better in the league. The Reds finished a distant seventh and a deteriorating relationship with American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett sealed Benitez’s fate. The Spaniard left the club in June whilst Hicks and Gillett put Liverpool FC up for sale.

 

2010-2011

LMA Manager of the Year Roy Hodgson succeeded Rafa Benitez as Liverpool FC manager but struggled badly to get the best out of his players. Liverpool’s decline reached drastic proportions in early October when they lost at home to newly-promoted Blackpool, leaving them in the bottom three. Meanwhile, the club was sold to Fenway Sports Group, who persisted with Hodgson until early January. He left after a 3-1 loss to Blackburn Rovers left Liverpool 12th in the Premier League and only four points above the relegation zone.

Playing legend and former manager Kenny Dalglish returned in a caretaker capacity until the end of the season and steered the club to a sixth place finish. Liverpool also bought Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll in the January transfer window, whilst selling star striker Fernando Torres to Chelsea for a British transfer record fee of £50 million.

 

2011-2012

Dalglish was given a three-year contract to stay on as manager and signed the likes of Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson in pre-season. Liverpool FC had a quiet season in the Premier League, finishing only eighth in the table and below Merseyside rivals Everton for only the second time in 20 years. The main incident was Luis Suarez being found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra during a Premier League match against Manchester United. Suarez was given an eight-match ban. Although Liverpool won the League Cup final on penalties and reached the FA Cup final, Dalglish was sacked four days after the season ended due to their poor final league position.

 

2012-2013

It was Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers who was selected as Dalglish’s successor and Rodgers added Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge to the squad in the January transfer window, forming the formidable ‘SAS’ partnership with Luis Suarez. Suarez finished as runner-up to Robin van Persie in the race for the Golden Boot but again, committed a serious act on-the-pitch with a biting incident on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic which landed the Uruguayan with a 10-match ban. Liverpool FC finished seventh in the table and the club’s highest-ever Premier League appearance maker, Jamie Carragher retired at the end of the season to start a television punditry career with Sky Sports.

 

2013-2014

Liverpool FC scored over 100 Premier League goals and produced some memorable moments in a titanic Premier League title scrap with Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea. The Reds thrashed Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 at White Hart Lane, commandingly defeated outgoing champions Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford and scored an extraordinary four goals in the first 20 minutes of a 5-1 rout against Arsenal.

An emotional 3-2 victory over Manchester City in mid-April put Liverpool in control of their fate and it looked like the league championship might be heading back to Anfield. Unfortunately, Steven Gerrard’s crucial slip against Chelsea allowed Demba Ba in to score the first goal of the Blues’ 2-0 victory at Anfield two weeks after the City victory. A late collapse at Selhurst Park a week later effectively handed Manchester City the title which they secured on the last day of the season.

A rejuvenated Luis Suarez won the Golden Boot with 31 goals and swept the board in the main individual awards. He would leave that summer in a £75 million move to Barcelona after another biting incident whilst playing at the World Cup finals for Uruguay.

 

2014-2015

After the runners-up finish in 2013-2014, hopes were high for a Liverpool FC title challenge in 2014-2015 but they simply failed to materialise. A poor start with seven losses recorded by mid-November plus the failed gamble with signing Mario Balotelli meant the Reds played no significant part in the title race.

A calamitous 6-1 final day defeat away at Stoke City left Liverpool in a distant sixth place whilst legendary skipper Steven Gerrard decided to leave at the end of the season and finish his playing career with LA Galaxy in the United States. Gerrard made 504 Premier League appearances across 17 years, scoring 121 goals but the main Premier League prize would ultimately elude him.

 

2015-2016

Liverpool’s board decided to stick with Brendan Rodgers but just three wins from the club’s first eight matches left the Reds in mid-table in early October. Hours after a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park with Everton, Rodgers was sacked and replaced by Jurgen Klopp. Klopp’s ‘gegenpress’ style brought about impressive victories over Chelsea and Manchester City, plus a Boxing Day triumph over eventual champions Leicester City. Liverpool finished in eighth place and reached both the League Cup and UEFA Europa League finals, losing both.

 

2016-2017

Jurgen Klopp’s first full season in the Liverpool FC dugout saw the club return to the elite of European football as they qualified for the UEFA Champions League with a fourth place finish. Klopp added Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum to his squad in pre-season and Liverpool made an early impression with a thrilling 4-3 victory over Arsenal on the opening weekend. Liverpool sat second on New Years’ Day but just one win from their opening six matches in 2017 saw the club drop to fifth. Important wins included Emre Can’s spectacular Goal of the Season strike to defeat Watford before a final day 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough saw the Merseysiders edge out Arsenal to a spot in Europe’s premier club competition for the following season.

 

2017-2018

Liverpool FC signed Mohamed Salah in the summer from AS Roma and the Egyptian enjoyed an extraordinary season, breaking the record for most goals scored in a 38-game Premier League season, as well as winning the Golden Boot and PFA Players’ Player of the Year. Salah’s goals helped Liverpool to finish in fourth place for the second successive season, although they were 25 points adrift of runaway champions Manchester City.

There was also a memorable run to the UEFA Champions League final which ended with a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid whilst Virgil van Dijk was signed in January for a new world record fee for a defender, costing the club £75 million from Southampton.

 

2018-2019

Following Loris Karius’ miserable night in the Champions League final, Klopp finally addressed the goalkeeping issue by paying AS Roma over £65 million for Brazilian no.1 Allison. Liverpool have made an extraordinary start to the season, remaining undefeated until a recent 2-1 loss to Manchester City. They have dropped just nine points in their first 21 matches of the season and hold a four-point lead at the top of the table.

Highlights include a 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal, Divock Origi’s crazy and dramatic last-gasp winner in December’s Merseyside Derby and a 3-1 success over Manchester United which led to the Red Devils sacking Jose Mourinho two days later.

Premier League Rewind: 22nd-23rd September 2012

Results: Swansea City 0-3 Everton, Chelsea 1-0 Stoke City, Southampton 4-1 Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Reading, West Ham United 1-1 Sunderland, Wigan Athletic 1-2 Fulham, Liverpool FC 1-2 Manchester United, Newcastle United 1-0 Norwich City, Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Queens Park Rangers, Manchester City 1-1 Arsenal

It was still early days in the 2012-2013 season but even at this stage, it was intriguing to see who was setting the early pace and who had radical improvements to make.

One team who had the latter feeling were Liverpool FC. New manager Brendan Rodgers was still awaiting his first Premier League victory as Reds’ boss and it wasn’t going to get any easier with Manchester United the visitors to Anfield. It was a highly-charged atmosphere as this was the first game since the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel which had cleared the Liverpool supporters of any blame whatsoever from the 1989 tragedy where 96 supporters went to an FA Cup semi-final and never came home. Both managers pleaded pre-match for the two sets of fans to put aside rivalries on this day and unite together in the wake of these groundbreaking and emotional revelations from the panel’s findings.

Jonjo Shelvey wasn’t listening. A rash challenge on Jonny Evans saw the Liverpool midfielder sent off before half-time and his foul-mouthed tirade in the direction of Sir Alex Ferguson as he left the field won him no fans. Despite playing with 10 men, Liverpool FC took the lead early in the second half through the inspirational Steven Gerrard. They were quickly pegged back by Rafael’s effort before Robin van Persie’s well-placed penalty nine minutes from time ensured United left with all three points. Liverpool were now in the bottom three and remained one of six sides without a victory so far.

The win kept Manchester United in second spot and just a single point behind early league leaders Chelsea. The Blues required an 85th minute winner from Ashley Cole to beat a plucky Stoke City side 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal came into the weekend in third spot but dropped out of the top four after drawing 1-1 at reigning champions Manchester City. Laurent Koscielny equalised in the 82nd minute after another centre-back in Joleon Lescott opened the scoring.

Unlike their Merseyside rivals, Everton were in brilliant form. The Toffees were traditional slow-starters but not in 2012-2013. They took apart Swansea City at The Liberty Stadium, winning 3-0. With one goal and one assist, Marouane Fellaini was once again the star man. Completing the top four were a surprise package in West Bromwich Albion. Romelu Lukaku’s 71st minute goal was the difference between the Baggies and Reading. They won 1-0 to sit fourth and leave Reading second-bottom and struggling to find their feet back in the top-flight.

Fellow Premier League returnees Southampton had made a wretched start, losing their first four games but they tasted victory for the first time in the campaign against Aston Villa. They trailed 1-0 at half-time but enjoyed a sensational second half display to win 4-1. Rickie Lambert scored twice and there were also first goals of the season for Nathaniel Clyne and Jason Puncheon. The other newly-promoted side were West Ham United and they had been doing better. However, they did require a Kevin Nolan injury-time equaliser to salvage a 1-1 home draw with Sunderland. The Black Cats had drawn their first four matches and Steven Fletcher had scored all of their four goals so far.

What else happened in September 2012?

  • Andy Murray becomes the first British male tennis player to win a Grand Slam since 1936 when he beats Novak Djokovic in five sets to win the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
  • Maria Miller is appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, replacing Jeremy Hunt.
  • Chris Moyles hosts his final breakfast show on BBC Radio 1 and is replaced by Nick Grimshaw.
  • The updated version of the US soap opera Dallas makes its British television debut on Channel 5.
  • Neurosurgeon and Formula One medical delegate Professor Sid Watkins passes away aged 84 after a heart attack.
  • Iran’s support for Syria and nuclear plans sees Canada officially cuts diplomatic ties with them. The Canadians close their embassy in Tehran and orders the expulsion of Iranian diplomats from Ottawa.

Shock Results: Hull City 3-1 Liverpool FC (December 2013)

Goalscorers: Jake Livermore 20, Steven Gerrard 27, David Meyler 72, Martin Skrtel 87 OG

Teams:

Hull City: Allan McGregor, Alex Bruce, Curtis Davies, Ahmed Elmohamady, Maynor Figueroa, Tom Huddlestone, Jake Livermore, David Meyler, Robbie Brady (George Boyd 90), Robert Koren (Liam Rosenior 66), Yannick Sagbo (Danny Graham 90)

Liverpool FC: Simon Mignolet, Jon Flanagan, Kolo Toure, Martin Skrtel, Glen Johnson, Lucas, Jordan Henderson, Steven Gerrard, Victor Moses (Luis Alberto 74), Raheem Sterling (Philippe Coutinho 66), Luis Suarez

Referee: Howard Webb, Attendance: 24,940

Liverpool FC were one of the most exciting sides during the 2013-2014 Premier League season. On the first day of December, they travelled to The KC Stadium to face newly-promoted Hull City. Hull were sitting in mid-table and were proving to be a tough team to beat infront of their home supporters. This was despite protests against the owner Assem Allam who had been planning to change the name of the club to Hull Tigers.

Liverpool were dealt a huge blow before kick-off as Daniel Sturridge was ruled out with injury which would keep him out of action for six weeks. Brendan Rodgers decided to leave Philippe Coutinho out of the starting XI too after he had been struggling all week with an ankle injury. This meant there was a recall for the on-loan midfielder Victor Moses.

This gamble backfired in the 20th minute when after a cautious opening from the visitors, they fell behind. Moses tried to beat wing-back Ahmed Elmohamady in his own half and squandered possession to the Egyptian. With players committed forward, Jake Livermore exchanged passes with David Meyler and his low shot took a major deflection off the heel of Martin Skrtel. The ball looped past Simon Mignolet to give Hull a shock lead.

Liverpool had been showing a clinical attacking prowess in recent weeks but it was missing for the first 25 minutes. However, they quickly found themselves back on level terms. Curtis Davies brought down Jordan Henderson on the edge of the penalty area. Skrtel cleverly made a space in the Hull defensive wall and this allowed Steven Gerrard to find the bottom corner of the net from his free-kick.

It was 1-1 at half-time and the game was finely poised going into the last 20 minutes. Moses tried to redeem himself for his earlier error and had a close-range effort saved brilliantly by Allan McGregor. Then, Hull’s opportunity for a first-ever victory over the Reds in the club’s history looked on the cards on 72 minutes. The visitors’ centre-back combination of Skrtel and Kolo Toure got in each other’s way when trying to deal with a simple clearance. David Meyler managed to hold off Glen Johnson and produced a calm finish into the bottom corner of Mignolet’s net.

Liverpool had to take further chances in desperation to try and salvage a point and this meant, the home side could expose their brittle defence in counter-attacking scenarios. Both Elmohamady and Yannick Sagbo had chances to finish the game as a contest but failed to take their chances. However, Hull finally sealed a famous victory when Skrtel’s scrappy afternoon was concluded by turning Tom Huddlestone’s skewed effort into his own net. It would be the first of four own goals the Slovak had registered against his name in the 2013-2014 season.

It was a brilliant season for Hull and this was definitely the high point of their league campaign. They finished 16th and reached the FA Cup final, whilst Liverpool lost just three more games all season but were narrowly pipped to a first English top-flight title in 24 years by Manchester City.

Memorable Matches: Liverpool FC 3-2 Tottenham Hotspur (February 2015)

Goalscorers: Lazar Markovic 15, Harry Kane 26, Steven Gerrard 53 PEN, Mousa Dembele 61, Mario Balotelli 83

Teams:

Liverpool FC: Simon Mignolet, Alberto Moreno, Mamadou Sakho, Martin Skrtel, Emre Can, Steven Gerrard (Dejan Lovren 68), Jordan Henderson, Jordon Ibe, Lazar Markovic (Adam Lallana 79), Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge (Mario Balotelli 74)

Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris, Eric Dier, Danny Rose, Jan Vertonghen, Kyle Walker, Nabil Bentaleb, Ryan Mason (Paulinho 69), Mousa Dembele (Roberto Soldado 85), Christian Eriksen (Nacer Chadli 81), Erik Lamela, Harry Kane

Referee: Phil Dowd, Attendance: 44,577

Both Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur were experiencing campaigns of contrasting fortunes ahead of this meeting in February 2015. Having come so close to landing the Premier League title a season earlier, Liverpool were down in seventh this time round but enjoying their best run of the campaign – unbeaten in eight matches. Tottenham had recently beaten Chelsea and Arsenal at White Hart Lane and looked to be the more serious challenger for a finish in the top four.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers had to deal with the absence of Raheem Sterling because of injury but it meant Daniel Sturridge could start a league match for the first time since the corresponding fixture in August. The England international looked dangerous throughout, hitting a post and forcing Hugo Lloris into a smart early save as the home side enjoyed the better start.

This was rewarded by the opening goal after 14 minutes. Sturridge played his part, winning an aerial challenge against Jan Vertonghen. He brought Lazar Markovic into play. The Serbian ran at the defenders and his shot trickled into the corner of the net. Lloris’ reaction afterwards confirmed his disappointment at not being able to keep this effort out. Liverpool’s lead lasted just 11 minutes. Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela combined to play Harry Kane through. Kane made the most of a slip at the crucial moment from Mamadou Sakho to score his 23rd goal in all competitions during his breakthrough season. Tottenham were winning the midfield battle and fully deserved to go into the dressing rooms at half-time having achieved parity.

The Reds regained their advantage in the 53rd minute. Sturridge was involved again, winning a penalty after committing a clumsy tackle from Danny Rose. Steven Gerrard made no mistake from 12-yards with his penalty taking the skipper into double figures once again for goals in what was his final season as an LFC player. This match always threatened to be one of the most exciting duels of the season and the fans at Anfield were not being disappointed. Tottenham drew the game level on the hour mark. Eriksen’s terrific free-kick was kept out by Simon Mignolet. Kane was sharp to the rebound and he squared the ball across the face of goal for Mousa Dembele to tap-in from close-range. Mignolet pleaded for an offside flag but replays showed Sakho had played Dembele onside.

The final twist in a match that had 30 shots on-goal came seven minutes from full-time. Adam Lallana’s brilliant cross was thrashed into the net by substitute Mario Balotelli. This was Balotelli’s 13th Premier League appearance for the Reds. Luck was shining on him although the Italian didn’t show any emotion in ending his goalscoring drought for Liverpool. It would turn out to be his only league goal for the club.

The win ensured Liverpool were now unbeaten in seven home league matches and took them to within a point of Tottenham in the table. They finished sixth and fifth respectively at the end of the season with Spurs finishing ahead thanks to the Reds’ final day capitulation away at Stoke.

Great Goals: John Arne Riise – LIVERPOOL FC vs. Manchester United (November 2001)

Norwegian left-back John Arne Riise scored 31 times for Liverpool FC during a tremendous seven-year spell on Merseyside. Perhaps unfairly remembered most for his devastating own goal in stoppage-time of a UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg against Chelsea in his final season at the club, Riise did possess one of the most devastating left feet in the Premier League.

His ability to get so much power behind his strikes on-goal made him a long-range specialist. This was undoubtedly his greatest moment which came against Manchester United at Anfield in November 2001. Liverpool were already 1-0 ahead through Michael Owen’s early strike when they won a free-kick in dangerous territory. The ball was laid off by Dietmar Hamann to Riise and he smashed a strike in off the underside of the crossbar with venomous force. Anfield exploded into celebration and amazement at such a stunning strike.

Riise then played an integral part in Rafa Benitez’s side that won the UEFA Champions League in 2005, featuring in every single match during the 2004-2005 season.