Daniel Sturridge Leads St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

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Photo – Anfield Family

Liverpool Football Club was victorious over Aston Villa in a Premier League clash with the final score ending 6-0. Six different goal scorers were registered on a day commemorating the carnage in 1929. Exactly 87 years later and more carnage only for Aston Villa. The win saw Daniel Sturridge make his first start since the 6-1 demolition of Southampton in November.

Aston Villa played host to Liverpool and have been bottom of the heap for most of the season. The Reds essentially paid £32.5 million to have the Villains relegated with the transfer of Christian Benteke seeing a massive dip in form. That being said Liverpool’s form hasn’t exactly been consistent with only 5 wins from 18 games.

Jurgen Klopp’s decision to hand Daniel Sturridge his first start in almost three months was vindicated after just 15 minutes with Philippe Coutinho providing a pin point cross to set up his team-mate for the opener. Liverpool fans have been yearning to see the Englishman’s trademark goal celebration and they were put at ease as Sturridge rode the wave.

Considering six goals were scored you would be pretty surprised that Roberto Firmino didn’t grab one especially given his form in recent weeks. The Brazilian has contributed to 8 goals in 2016, more than any other player in the Premier League.  Despite not scoring he was in the thick of things throughout including an assist for Emre Can’s goal in the second half which effectively killed off the contest.

Since Klopp arrived at Liverpool his impact on certain players has been noticeable and one of these players is Emre Can. Playing in a deeper role with the freedom to push forward and put pressure on players makes use of his excellent control and energy. His goal after 58 minutes was a fine strike from outside the box to the bottom corner. The young German’s game has been lacking end product for some time and his goal will come as a relief.

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Photo – Deutscher Fussball Bund

Sturridge and Coutinho ticked off another check box in the their rehabilitation as they were both substituted in and around the 60th minute. Divock Origi was given his first start since his return from injury and needed only a minute to score. He tucked away his chance clinically before celebrating coolly. His stock has risen significantly with Liverpool fans after his purple patch of form was ended by a hamstring injury at home to Leicester in December. I was there and remember the muttering and discontent at his withdrawal for the infamous Christian Benteke.

Such was the footballing massacre at Villa Park on Sunday even Nathaniel Clyne and Kolo Toure got onto the score-sheet. Villa’s defending was absolutely shocking and prompted Villa boss, Remi Garde to say in his post match conference that he will be looking for 11 players who are willing to fight for him to play in their next game against Stoke City.

Despite the spectator-like defending from Aston Villa it was delightful to see Kolo Toure get on the score sheet with his header from a Jordan Henderson corner kick. His goal celebration was so typical of Kolo as he ran across the pitch grinning from ear to ear and slide on his back. The travelling Kop immediately sang his song and his smiled broadened as,”Kolo, Kolo,Kolo,” echoed across an emptying Villa Park. The desolation of Aston Villa was completed in the 71st minute.

This season has been one of mass confusion for Liverpool fans with massive victories one week and then the next a lowly defeat. Jurgen Klopp has been consistent in his assurance that his team is not finished yet and that he is looking at what his team can do. For the second time this season they have won by a margin of five goals or more.  There is so much potential in this team as long as the correct players are kept and the ones who don’t fit the ball are moved along. The most recent addition to his ranks is the free tranfer of Joel Matip from FC Shalke 04.

Klopp will know that chances of qualifying for the Champions League via the top four berths in the Premier League is unlikely and will be prioritizing the Europa League. His side take on FC Augsburg on Thursday and will be hopeful of making progress in the first leg so as to be able to play a weakened team in the return leg ahead of the Capital One Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley on the 28th of February.

 

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Michael Mongie
Just like you, I am a hugely passionate Liverpool supporter. I started Rousing the Kop in January 2015 and since then it has grown tremendously and has even been nominated as 'Best New Football Blog' in the Football Blogging Awards.

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