Reds in Reserve: Liverpool 0-1 Leeds

Posted by AdamS on September 27, 2005, 09:41:59 PM

It was a damp night in Wrexham tonight and it was definitely cold enough to justify getting on the Bovril. Having missed the last "home" game I was looking forward to tonight. It was my first chance to see Idrizaj and the two great light hopes Guthrie and Hammill were playing. Not only that but I found out that Harry Kewell would be on the bench.

Watching the players warm up before the game I noticed Kewell had his hair in what can only be described as a bun on top of his head. He really doesn't do himself any favours, but in fairness he was looking very lean.

As the game kicked off I noticed that Dirty Leeds were a relatively small side. Perhaps they had reverted to a more modern style of football renouncing the mysterious dark arts? I also noticed that one of the young lads in front of me had ANTWI on the back of his shirt. Godwin it seems is starting his own cult already!

The first chance of the game came on 5 minutes. Calliste tried to control but the ball bounced away from him and fell into the path of Guthrie, he took aim from fully thirty yards but shot a few feet wide of the post. Moment later and Calliste was very unlucky when a late flag adjudged him offside. He would have been clean through.

Idrizaj's first impact on the game came when he miscontrolled and luckily beat his man. As he approached the goal one on one, he shot powerfully, but too close to the goalkeeper and the chance had gone.

His next impact on the game was to give a silly freekick away, and it was a mistake Liverpool would pay for. The ball was whipped in with pace and in Manno's attempts to clear he glanced it toward the far bottom corner. Willis dived athletically and knocked the ball away, but he didn't get the luck he deserved as the ball fell to Simon Walton to slot home from about 8 yards.

On twenty five minutes Leeds should have doubled their advantage. United's Danny Pugh floated a sweet pass right into the path of the Leeds forward baring down on goal. He must have misread the ball as he allowed it to bounce past him and straight into the hands of Willis.

At times Liverpool were playing some nice intricate stuff, especially Guthrie and Calliste, but the final ball was missing. At the back they were being pressured a lot by Leeds and continued to make silly mistakes. O'Donnell had Willis to thank for another good save after a horrendous back pass let a Leeds player get a firm shot in approaching on the angle from the right.

The busy Calliste was involved again just after the half hour mark. After excellent work from him he slotted Idrazij in, he was tackled but the ball broke to Hammill. He bent the ball around two defenders and towards the top corner, but unfortunately, with the keeper nowhere, it just floated over.

Before the whistle went for half time Willis was called upon again. This time he saved a shot that he can't have seen too well as it squirmed through the crowd of players.

At half time the largely ineffective Idrazij was replaced up front by Antwi, at left back Whitbread came off to be replaced by James Smith. The break seemed to have energised our lads as they increased the tempo from the start.

Guthrie upped his game and the first chance came when he crossed to Antwi who couldn't quite change his body position and so flashed across the ball. Minutes later the ever impressive Guthrie megged the fullback as he slipped in Raven advancing down the right. He crossed, but Hammill heading from a long way out failed to hit the target.

I noticed as Liverpool defended a now rare Leeds attack that when Leeds gained a corner and Roque was off the pitch for treatment we still kept a man up front, how often do you see that in top flight football now? Proving the point the man in question, Calliste, was involved in the play thirty seconds later as he wriggled inside the box trying to get a shot off, but just failing.

Guthrie was causing havoc as the game progressed. He turned his man inside out in the right wing position and put in a perfect left wing cross. Antwi dived, but disappointingly failed to make proper contact with his head and the ball went behind for a goal kick.

With about twenty five minutes remaining Harry Kewell came on to replace Hammill. I spent the next twenty five minutes trying to find out what formation Liverpool had switched to, but I failed to work it out. They were very fluid is about all I can say.

Kewell's second touch of the game was a lovely turn resulting in a free kick in a dangerous position and a booking for the Leeds centre half. Unfortunately nothing came of the freekick and in fairness not a lot else came from the game.

There were a few moments of excitement: for Liverpool Guthrie posed more questions, Raven had a good long range attempt well saved, Mannix had a decent header straight at the keeper and Kewell had a half chance. For Leeds they had one great long range shot that deflected just wide, but as the formations changed late on, so did all the rhythm that the game once had.

Leeds were quite distasteful late on, proving nothing had actually changed. They took the ball into the corner flag with five minutes to go, they feigned injury and quite unbelievably, when one of the Leeds players was down "injured" their keeper kicked the ball out of the stadium.

The game whimpered out to a Leeds victory. Harry Kewell stood around on the pitch for a few minutes before realising that there wasn't an awards ceremony and finally the gang of five or six relentlessly moronic, tone deaf and utterly annoying Leeds fans stopped singing.

Man of the Match: Danny Guthrie. He was very impressive again, he is very two footed, he's industrious and he's creative. One to watch. A mention for Willis in goal who played very well too.

Liverpool Team
Paul Willis
David Raven
Zak Whitbread (45, James Smith)
Miquel Roque
Daniel O'Donnell
Jack Hobbs
Danny Guthrie
David Mannix
Ramon Calliste
Besian Idrizaj (45, Godwin Antwi)
Adam Hammill (65, Harry Kewell)

Unused Subs:
Paul Lancaster 
Lee Peltier

© AdamS 2005

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