Liverpool v Leeds United 23rd February 2022 at Anfield

Liverpool A 23rd February 2022

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With lots of fans already resigned to a loss before we headed to Anfield, my thoughts are that if you think you are beaten before you even step onto the pitch then you might as well not turn up. I believe that you have to keep fighting and never give up, whilst that can be said of the fans, sadly that cannot be said of the club at the moment. By going earlier than the last time we travelled to Anfield, we were lucky to avoid all the snarl ups on the M62 that many other fans had to contend with. After a lovely stop at Leyland once again, we arrived in good time for the game and as we were with Nikki we were allowed straight off the coach with a personal escort across the park. After ensuring she was in the ground safely, my daughter Danielle stayed with Nikki until I got back from taking photos of the Leeds United Supporters Club laying a wreath at the memorial for the 97 fans who died at Hillsborough.

Team: Meslier, Ayling, Struijk, Firpo, Raphinha, Klich, Rodrigo, Harrison, James, Dallas and Forshaw.

Subs: Roberts for Rodrigo (45), Shackleton for Klich (45), Gelhardt for James (61).

Subs not used: Klaesson, Bate, Kenneh, Cresswell, McCarron, Summerville.

Referee: Michael Oliver.

Leeds lost the game 6-0.

Booked: Firpo, Ayling.

Attendance: 53,018 with 3,000 Leeds fans.

Meslier had to be on his toes to make an early save from Liverpool. It didn’t take Leeds long to be on the backfoot when the referee pointed to the spot after a cross hit Dallas on the arm. Them damn penalties being given again! That said, when it looked like Leeds had bounced back with an equaliser from Raphinha which had the Leeds fans celebrating, we realised the goal had been disallowed for offside. That was the nail in the coffin for us because the small margins of equalising or not, then saw Liverpool get a second goal shortly afterwards to make getting back into the game even harder. When the referee pointed to the spot again when I was convinced, we had got the ball with great defending, I knew we were up against it. When it looked like they were going to get a fourth, Firpo somehow managed to whip the ball off the line to keep the score at three goals down going into half time.

Although Leeds tried in the second half, we never really looked like getting back into the game as Meslier had to make a further save to keep them out. I think it was in the 61st minute that we actually had a shot on target (apart from the disallowed goal) when Forshaw’s shot was saved by their keeper. It would have been nice to see the game out with the score at 3-0 but Leeds capitulated in the final 10 minutes with Liverpool scoring a further three goals which despite being so demoralising, still saw the Leeds fans getting behind the team. It’s a shame the fans don’t win games!

Where do we go from here is anyone’s guess? To me, something is seriously wrong in the background especially after seeing Ayling and Meslier arguing. I don’t blame things on Meslier at all, yes, he has made some mistakes but how other many others in the team made them too? If it wasn’t for Meslier we would have been looking at even more goals scored against us. He can only be as good as the team players in front of him but if they are continually leaving him wide open, making him a scapegoat is wrong. Our fighting spirit and playing as a team is sadly missing and I know when decisions go against you as well as injuries hitting us so badly, they will have a big impact on what happens. We have to start playing to our strengths as we have cover for some of the positions for example, I would have put Cresswell in the back four and kept Ayling in his normal position. It is up to the team players, Bielsa and the club as a whole, to put a halt to our horrible decline, otherwise we know where it is heading. I will still always have faith we can turn things around so come on Leeds, believe in yourselves! LUFC – Marching on Together!