Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Live Thoughts: Brighton vs Liverpool (Carling Cup)

I covered this game live. Here are my unedited thoughts on the match. 

Hey there, welcome to another one of my live thoughts sections. This time I'm covering Brighton vs Liverpool, where I'm hoping the Reds can take one step further to winning a cup. More importantly, I'm hoping this match and performance can start another great run of form, following the horrendous result and display at Tottenham on Sunday.

Here are the teams: 

Brighton: Ankergen, Calderon, Greer, Cook, Vincelot, Buckley, Bridcutt, Navarro, Sparrow, Noone, Mackail-Smith. Subs: Brezovan, Rodriguez, Dunk, LuaLua, Barnes,Taricco, Kasim. 

The south coast team have just been promoted to the Championship after a fantastic display in League 1. Gus Poyet has made quite the impression as a new young manager. They have some decent options on the flanks, let's hope we can cope with that. 

Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Robinson, Carragher, Coates, Lucas, Spearing, Maxi, Kuyt, Bellamy, Suarez. Subs: Doni, Gerrard, Flanagan, Downing, Wilson, Shelvey, Carroll.

Quite a few changes, as expected. Interesting to have Coates make his first start for the club, but I'm sure he'll impress against a lower league side. Bellamy starting for the first time in his second stint at the club, let's hope he can score tonight. We have some big guns in there, Carra, Suarez, Reina and Lucas are all important first team players. We're going near to full throttle tonight with our selection and I'm happy about that.

2' - Very patient start from Liverpool. I'm sure we'll apply to some pressure soon.

5' - Corner to Liverpool. Bellamy and Suarez had a decent understanding for the moment. Let's hope it continues.

6' - GOAL! Craig Bellamy! Just simple really. Suarez gets the ball on the inside of the penalty box and spots Bellamy's run between two defenders and passes easily through them, and Bellamy slots it past the keeper to the bottom right corner!

9' - Another corner. We're not dominating as such, but we're threatening when we have the ball. 

11' - There seems to be a decent amount of understanding between Suarez, Kuyt and Bellamy. It seems exciting. 

14' - Suarez and Bellamy connect again, Suarez in the middle this time and Bellamy on the right. Bellamy tries to cut a square ball into the penalty area but there's too many Brighton defenders. 

15' - There's some decent counter attacking at the moment from both sides. Both teams trying to make an impression here. 

16' - Maxi crosses the ball over all the Brighton defenders from the right and nearly gets to Kuyt but it's just too long.

17' - Kuyt! Was that over the line? Referee says no. Replays say no as well.

19' - Alan Navarro lashes out at Bellamy. It wasn't dirty, it was frustration. It's proof we're in control at the moment. 

21' - Mauricio Taricco, the assistant manager at Brighton, also plays once in
a while. He's 38 and hadn't played professionally for six years prior to his recent games for the club. He's a brave man.

23' - As the commentator has also said, we're just ripping them in midfield. There's so much space there at the moment it's just too easy. 

25' - We're in total control at the moment. Passing with ease in their half. 

25' - Suarez... that was close. Great movement from Kuyt to find Suarez who just shoots wide of the post.

28' - Coates concedes a corner sloppily. He should have done better. It comes to nothing thankfully.

31' - Free kick to Liverpool. Suarez hit the grass after the ball was played. It's around 25 yards out to the right. Bellamy takes it and Suarez heads the ball and it hits the right left post!

32' - Apparently this is only Reina's third Carling Cup match. I'm sure he played against Exeter so it shows how serious we're taking this competition when we're putting our #1 goalkeeper in this season. 

34' - Pictures of Gerrard warming up. He's getting an applause from both sets of fans. Great stuff. He has been missed, although I do wonder how much he has left long term in his locker. 

36' - Jack Robinson crunched into a 50/50 tackle in the middle of the pitch. Great to see that young kid getting a chance. I say young, he's not much older than me! 

37' - Matt Sparrow! Reina saves it with some ease. It doesn't matter, it's by far the closest they have come so far. 

39' - Tackle from behind on Bellamy by Steve Cook. It was a little reckless and the ref tells him to be careful.

40' - Bellamy! Off the bar! Beautiful attempt! He hits a rocket from the left of the outside of the penalty area and it's an arrow shot that hits the right side of the crossbar! And Matt Sparrow gets a yellow card. 

42' - Penalty claim from Brighton gets nowhere. Will Buckley fumbles to the ground against Martin Kelly and it was a soft fall really. It didn't look like a penalty.

42' - Brighton on the attack. Coates looks uncomfortable in the box again and Reina has to claim. It's not good again from the young Uruguayan.

43' - Spearing! Lovely save by Ankergren! A low drive from spearing to the bottom right corner is saved nicely by the Danish keeper.

44' - Brighton as we approach the end of the first half are starting to gain confidence. 

45' - Two minutes of added time. 

45+1' - Craig Noone! Saved by Reina! Another Brighton player tries for the rebound and Kelly smacks it for a corner. Exciting ending to the half for the wrong reasons this! 

45+1' - There's a free kick just outside our box for Brighton. This looks like the last move of the game and it's over the goal.

45+2' - Reina takes the goal kick and it's half time. Decent performance from Liverpool for 40 minutes. We dominated the game with crisp and precise passing. Their midfield was nothing. We cut through them with such ease. We had a few good chances that we should have taken. Bellamy has had a great game. At the end Brighton gained confidence and had a few decent chances to equalise. We did just enough. We have to score early in the second half I say or this game could turn difficult, with Brighton having a good spell late on.


48' - Noone! Off the bar! That was close and easily Brighton's best effort so far. Come on Liverpool, get back to the way you were playing earlier! 

50' - They just showed the replay of that belter from Noone. Reina was beaten. It was a top class strike that. 

51' - We're giving Brighton a lot more of the ball in this second half. Not to say they're on top of us, it's around the same at the moment. 

52' - Inigo Calderon works hard and gets into our box and hits a square ball past everyone. They're starting to look impressive now.

54' - Matt Sparrow! Reina saves to the ground. They're now on top of us, I'm sorry to report. Let's hope we can get control again soon. 

56' - Brighton corner. They've been dancing around our box for a good few minutes. It's looking dangerous. Their confidence is through the roof. Nothing comes of it and Reina collects. 

58' - Yellow card for Spearing for as he pulls back one of the players. Can't see who it was at the moment. 

60' - Brighton Sub: Will Buckley, who I believe was the player tugged by Spearing, is replaced by Vicente Rodriguez.

60' - If you didn't know, yes that is THE Vicente. He was a great player a good few years ago. Spanish international. I wonder how good he is now, he hasn't been a prominent player for a few years unfortunately.

62' - The stoppage time earlier seems to have calmed the atmosphere down, which hopefully will come in our favour. Calderon now needs a bit of treatment.

65' - Yeah the game is more even now. Let's hope we can start to take them on again.

66' - Yellow card for Romain Vincelot. 

67' - Vicente has his first proper effort as he dances through a few Liverpool players and dinks the ball just wide of Reina's post. 

70' - The crowd clap loudly as Noone earns a corner. He's been their best player so far. 

71' - The referee stops the play as a fan is on the pitch. 

72' - Steven Gerrard is getting ready to be brought on. Half a year he's been out of action for, too long.

73' - Free kick from around 30 yards out in a central position. Suarez takes it and it hits the Brighton wall and goes high for a corner. 

74' - Liverpool Sub: Steven Gerrard comes on, long overdue, for Luis Suarez. 

77' - Brighton Sub: Matt Sparrow goes off for Kazenga LuaLua, who is on loan from Newcastle United.

79' - Some pressure from Brighton then and we were slightly shaky in defence. We clear it.

80' - GOAL! Dirk Kuyt! First goal of the season for Kuyt, it started off as a Brighton corner and we somehow counter attack and Maxi storms forward and cuts the ball to Kuyt's path who squirms the ball to the leftof the keeper and it hits the right post and in. 2-0!

81' - That was a relief. Brighton were starting to look dangerous again. It should be okay now, unless we screw up.

82' - They announce the attendance and apparently it's Brighton's highest so far this season. Kudos to them, they've been great tonight the fans, and the club as well. It's a good club Brighton. 

84' - Flanagan is about to come on. Good ol' Flanno.

85' - Liverpool Sub: Flanno comes on for Martin Kelly, who has had a great game today, possibly the best player for us, as Bellamy has had a quiet second half all in all. 

87' - Craig Noone has been chosen as Brighton's man of the match. A completely justified choice, he has been a threat for good spells of the game and his belter against the bar was immense.

88' - PENALTY! Spearing was at fault there, a rare mistake. He tries to keep the ball from going for a corner. And Vicente takes the ball before Carra takes him down. Definite penalty.

89' - GOAL! 2-1. Ashley Barnes scores for Brighton. They are being quick to get the game going again, they want the game to go to extra time!

90' - Four minutes extra time announced. 

90' - Yellow card for Lucas, who knocks LuaLua over with some venom near the right corner. That was quite vicious and there's a claim he should be off the pitch. I think it was harsh but not worthy of a red. 

90+3' - Brighton for the most part are putting a lot of pressure on us but Bellamy earns us a free kick. He wines a bit though, which is a bit silly. 

90+4' - Full time.

It wasn't an amazing performance but it was enough. We played some very good stuff in the first half, as we approached half time and the start of the second half Brighton showed some good class and made it a match. As we approached full time we got a second goal, arguably against the run of play before we concede a penalty. All in all I think we were the better team, but were tested tonight. The main thing is we go through to the next stage, and who knows, with a bit of luck and class we can win this thing. Thanks for your time.

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