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2026-27: Looking at the Squad


First Team Analysis

GOALKEEPERS:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/0/05/Flag_of_Brazil.svg/22px-Flag_of_Brazil.svg.png 1. ALISSON Ramses Becker
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/Flag_of_England.svg/23px-Flag_of_England.svg.png 31. Ertem STEVENS

Alisson is still the undisputed first choice at Anfield, having arrived here from AS Roma in 2018. He's not getting any younger though, he's 34, so I will definitely have to look at getting in a new number one once he makes a decision to retire. Perhaps my Dutch keeper from Preston could be a choice? The back up to Alisson is 20 year old Englishman Ertem Stevens who has come up through the ranks and is capped for England at Under 20 level but is very much inexperienced in terms of first team football. Other than Stevens, we have a promising 16 year old in the system but nothing else.

DEFENDERS:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/20/Flag_of_the_Netherlands.svg/23px-Flag_of_the_Netherlands.svg.png 2. Jeroen HEERKENS
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/20/Flag_of_the_Netherlands.svg/23px-Flag_of_the_Netherlands.svg.png 4. VIRGIL van Dijk - Club Captain
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/Flag_of_England.svg/23px-Flag_of_England.svg.png 12. Joe GOMEZ
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/9a/Flag_of_Spain.svg/23px-Flag_of_Spain.svg.png 20. Jesús VALLEJO
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/10/Flag_of_Scotland.svg/23px-Flag_of_Scotland.svg.png 26. Andrew ROBERTSON
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/10/Flag_of_Scotland.svg/23px-Flag_of_Scotland.svg.png 63. Kieran TIERNEY
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/Flag_of_England.svg/23px-Flag_of_England.svg.png 66. Trent ALEXANDER-ARNOLD

A very experienced First team defence with Van Dijk, the Club Captain, now 35. Robertson, who apparently wants a new challenge having achieved everything he can here, is also in his thirties whilst Heerkens is the only under 25. The others are late twenties but I think this might be one area I need to focus my transfer dealings. Get young and hungry defenders that can be the backbone of a squad for a number of seasons because an aging defence is not going to win trophies every season.

MIDFIELDERS:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/20/Flag_of_the_Netherlands.svg/23px-Flag_of_the_Netherlands.svg.png 5. Frenkie DE JONG
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a9/Flag_of_Wales_%281959%E2%80%93present%29.svg/23px-Flag_of_Wales_%281959%E2%80%93present%29.svg.png 6. Ben WOODBURN
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1b/Flag_of_Croatia.svg/23px-Flag_of_Croatia.svg.png 10. Mateo KOVACIC
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/Flag_of_England.svg/23px-Flag_of_England.svg.png 13. Reiss NELSON
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/c3/Flag_of_France.svg/23px-Flag_of_France.svg.png14. Thomas LEMAR
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fc/Flag_of_Mexico.svg/23px-Flag_of_Mexico.svg.png 15. Eduardo VENEGAS
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/c3/Flag_of_France.svg/23px-Flag_of_France.svg.png 17. Karim CAMARA
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/9a/Flag_of_Spain.svg/23px-Flag_of_Spain.svg.png 19. RODRI

Midfield has a good combination of young and experience with players such as Kovacic and Lemar being supplemented by exciting young talents Venegas (23) and Camara (20). Camara definitely looks like he could be a bit of a superstar in the years to come so we will be doing everything we can keep him at the Club. Thomas Lemar might be 31 but he's still a class act whilst Kovacic will always provide goals from midfield as I have already seen first hand at international level when England faced Croatia. We're so stacked with quality in this area of the field that Ben Woodburn, scorer of 38 goals in 88 Welsh internationals, can't get into the first team.

FORWARDS:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/0/05/Flag_of_Brazil.svg/22px-Flag_of_Brazil.svg.png 9. Roberto FIRMINO
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fe/Flag_of_Egypt.svg/23px-Flag_of_Egypt.svg.png 11. Mohamed SALAH
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/9a/Flag_of_Spain.svg/23px-Flag_of_Spain.svg.png 16. ADÁN
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5c/Flag_of_Portugal.svg/23px-Flag_of_Portugal.svg.png 18. Fernando ALMEIDA
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/92/Flag_of_Belgium_%28civil%29.svg/23px-Flag_of_Belgium_%28civil%29.svg.png 21. Romelu LUKAKU

Not much in the way of depth here although I could call on the French wonderkid that is Camara, Lemar or Woodburn should I have a striking injury crisis hit me. I think this also will be one of the areas that I will be looking to add one or two extra names to in the summer with Firmino already deciding to hang up his boots up at the age of 35. Salah is 34 so I'm half expecting him to follow suit in the next season or two whilst Lukaku is in his early thirties as well. Come the start of the 2027-28 season, we could have a whole forward line but like all my transfers, I won't pay over the odds for my transfer targets.

OUT ON LOAN:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/92/Flag_of_Belgium_%28civil%29.svg/23px-Flag_of_Belgium_%28civil%29.svg.png Youri TIELEMANS (MI) - at Southampton until 30/6/2027
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/Flag_of_England.svg/23px-Flag_of_England.svg.png Tümay Işak (GK) - at Maidstone United until 1/1/2027
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/Flag_of_England.svg/23px-Flag_of_England.svg.png Michael HILL (DE) - at Motherwell until 31/5/2027
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/Flag_of_England.svg/23px-Flag_of_England.svg.png Nicholas HIGGINS (DE) - at Hibernian until 31/5/2027
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/Flag_of_England.svg/23px-Flag_of_England.svg.png David BUTTERWORTH (MI) - at Wigan Athletic until 30/6/2027
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After a wee break, this story is back for more….

 

How will we fare in the biggest challenge so far? Time to make or break methinks.

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2026-27: In The System


We have had a breakdown of the players that will form the basis of our first team squad here. Now it's time to look at some of the fringe players and other youngsters.

Could any of these break through into my first team squad?

GOALKEEPERS:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/45/Flag_of_Ireland.svg/23px-Flag_of_Ireland.svg.png 31. Sean McCARTHY

DEFENDERS:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/Flag_of_England.svg/23px-Flag_of_England.svg.png 34. Nick POINTON
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/Flag_of_England.svg/23px-Flag_of_England.svg.png 35. Richard WARBURTON
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/ba/Flag_of_Germany.svg/23px-Flag_of_Germany.svg.png 37. Sebastian BUNK
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/Flag_of_England.svg/23px-Flag_of_England.svg.png 39. Jamie GOUGH
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/Flag_of_England.svg/23px-Flag_of_England.svg.png 40. Brian GODDARD

MIDFIELDERS:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/9a/Flag_of_Spain.svg/23px-Flag_of_Spain.svg.png 7. Victor Manuel ROQUE
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/Flag_of_England.svg/23px-Flag_of_England.svg.png 8. Sidney GUISTE
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/Flag_of_England.svg/23px-Flag_of_England.svg.png 32. Patrick ROBERTS
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/Flag_of_England.svg/23px-Flag_of_England.svg.png 38. James BARKER

FORWARDS:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/Flag_of_England.svg/23px-Flag_of_England.svg.png 33. Grant BENTLEY
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/Flag_of_England.svg/23px-Flag_of_England.svg.png 36. James WILSON

Of these, I will be probably looking at moving on Patrick Roberts for sure. The former Celtic loanee, three times over, has only made seven appearances since signing for £25 million from Southampton in the summer of 2025. He's 29 years old as well and I cannot see him shifting some of the first team anytime soon. We might have to cut our losses on him but that will be a good £110K a week on wages saved.

The others are all either late teens or early twenties with Sidney Guiste looking a good talent for sure. Guiste, 20, is a regular in the England Under-21 squad so it'll be good to see him develop. Perhaps a loan move might just see him take his game to the next level. As for the others, I'll see what happens under my backroom staff which has been boosted by the arrival of Steve Stone, Shay Given, Cillian Sheridan and Richard Cresswell who all decided to follow me to Anfield from Deepdale.
siepod
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Let's do this!!!

 

How've you avoided the blue border it keeps sticking around my images on my story. What's the trick? :-)

HockeyBhoy
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By siepod 14 February 2021 - 19:36 PM UTC 

Let's do this!!!

 

How've you avoided the blue border it keeps sticking around my images on my story. What's the trick? :-)

 

Yeah indeed.

I don't know mate, unless it is a FM21 thing or something related to a specific image host site.

siepod
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By HockeyBhoy 14 February 2021 - 21:31 PM UTC 

Yeah indeed.

I don't know mate, unless it is a FM21 thing or something related to a specific image host site.

 

Could be, may try a different browser etc and a few other things because it looks awful…. Looking forward to more updates! 

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2026-27: December Summary


MATCHDAY 19 - Saturday 26 December 2026
LIVE ON https://i.postimg.cc/bYgZS1VW/sm_skysportsmainevent.gif
https://i.postimg.cc/506jj5v5/LFC-202627-Game19.png

My first game in charge of Liverpool, the biggest challenge of the career so far, came around. Visiting Anfield on Boxing Day were a Newcastle United side, still floating around in mid-table, and potentially a banana skin of an opener. With both Club Captain Virgil Van Dijk and fellow Dutch defender Jeroen Heerkens still on the comeback trail from injury, I decided to adopt a back four with England captain Trent Alexander-Arnold given licence to get forward as often as he liked with Kieran Tierney playing left back instead of fellow Scot Andy Robertson. The engine room would see Frenkie De Jong sit deep and allow Mateo Kovacic to support the attack. Thomas Lemar and Mohammed Salah would play the wings with French wonderkid Karim Camara playing directly behind Romelu Lukaku.

I felt it gave us a real good chance of winning, and had quality in every position.

My fears of Newcastle springing a surprise came true in the 11th when De Zan drilled in a low shot at the near post, not the prettiest goal to concede. We needed a quick response otherwise the crowd could really get frustrated and the heat would immediately turn up a few notches. Thankfully we were only behind for four minutes, Salah intercepted a pass from Diaz and immediately counter attacked before finding Lemar wide on the left who then swing in a perfect cross for the Egyptian to head in only his fourth of the season. The Kop End was jubilant and they were celebrating again in the 19th minute as we took the lead. Once more Lemar was the architect, his free-kick caught the Magpies sleeping and Kovacic stabbed in from inside the six yard box.

The game was turned on its head completely as we scored our third in the 27th minute, and it was Lemar who scored it. The French star picking up a pass from Camara to finish low past the exposed keeper. A great response and one that pleased me no end. If the first Newcastle goal was bad to concede, their second which came nine minutes before half time, was the stuff of nightmares. With Joe Gomez out of position completely, Newcastle counter attacked us with ruthless efficiency, scorer of the first goal De Zan squaring the pass perfectly into the path of Ruiz who finished with aplomb and leaving Alisson with no chance at all.

The next goal would be vital and I just knew we had to get it, it would certainly ease the nerves in the stadium and those I was experiencing. It owed so much to a surging run from Tierney who charged down the left wing with Newcastle defenders trying their damnest to keep up, The Scot measured a cross to the far post which Camara headed it down for Fernando Almeida, on for a under-par Lukaku in the 66th minute, to direct his own header home. Some impact inside two minutes by the Portuguese striker off the bench. We sealed the deal and the three points nine minutes from time when Lemar scored his second of the game, albeit with a deflection off Ruiz which wrong footed the keeper, from just inside the penalty area. The perfect beginning, eventually, despite a few scary moments.

Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Vallejo, Tierney ©; De Jong, Kovacic; Salah, Camara, Lemar; Lukaku. Substitutes: Fernando Almeida (for Lukaku 66), Nelson (for Camara 73), Rodri (for De Jong 73), Venegas, Stevens, Robertson, Firmino.
Man of the Match: Thomas Lemar (Liverpool)
Attendance: 53,922

MATCHDAY 20 - Tuesday 29 December 2026
LIVE ON https://i.postimg.cc/bYgZS1VW/sm_skysportsmainevent.gif
https://i.postimg.cc/PJbBb9nm/LFC-202627-Game20.png

The Christmas period is always a hectic with games being played in a short space of time, so less than 72 hours after seeing off Newcastle at Anfield we travelled down to London to face Arsenal. The pre-game discussion saw a bit of disrespect from Arsenal's Swedish Head Coach Mats Gren who publicly questioned some of my senior players and their commitment. That was all I needed to fire up the boys, time to make him eat those words with a large portion of humble pie. I decided to name an unchanged side for the trip to the Emirates which meant Lukaku led the line despite a less than spectacular performance in my first game in charge of the Reds.

He wasn't much better here and was surprisingly lucky not to be hooked again, and if he doesn't buck his ideas up then I'll consider taking him out of the team despite him being the team's top scorer. We decided to be less attacking here, despite keeping the same formation and personnel. Arsenal had their chances but they failed to make them count, so it was a real smash and grab raid. In the 27th minute our counter attacking skills saw us take the lead as the rain fell constantly in North London, Lemar down the left wing and a cross to the far post which was nodded home by Salah. We scored the second with eleven minutes left, Osvaldo tripped Lemar after an inswinging corner by Kovacic. The Frenchman picked himself up, and drilled it perfectly right into the bottom corner despite the keeper going the right way.

Two wins from two, and the perfect way to start from my viewpoint. Gren's choice of words pre-game had certainly backfired on him.

Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Vallejo, Tierney ©; De Jong, Kovacic; Salah, Camara, Lemar; Lukaku. Substitutes: Venegas (for Camara 23), Nelson (for Venegas 72), Rodri (for Kovacic 82), Fernando Almeida, Stevens, Robertson, Firmino.
Booked: Vallejo, Tierney
Man of the Match: Joe Gomez (Liverpool)
Attendance: 60,432
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2026-27: December Standings and Awards


https://i.postimg.cc/qvkgVHmC/LFC-Table-End-Dec2026.png


So we have already made a very good start, winning both games and moving in the right direction. The Club was in 7th when I took charge, and already those two wins have seen us rise up a couple of places as well putting us just three points behind third placed Arsenal. I'm determined to get the team into the Champions League in this initial half season and then it will allow us to put the building blocks in place to kick on further after that.

City might be twelve points ahead of us but if we can finish second or third then that will be a heck of an achievement considering the shocking start to the season the side had.

We didn't have much luck in the Premier League's Monthly Awards. Of course if I had been in charge for a full month then I might have had a shout for my first ever Premier League Manager of the Month award, but it will come I'm sure. Manchester United's Diego Simeone took that ahead of his cross city rival Thomas Tuchel. That said, Thomas Lemar, my French creative genius, took third place in the Player of the Month award. He's certainly been very good in my first two matches.

That said, we had this bombshell to deal with:

https://i.postimg.cc/FR22tc4s/VVDRetire1.png

I've asked him to reconsider and see if I can get one more season out of the cultured Dutchman. If not, a world class central defender will definitely be on one's shopping list this summer. He will be very hard to replace.
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2026-27: January Preview


https://i.postimg.cc/tTTx0Zzf/LFC-Jan2027-Fixtures.png


A busy first full month for me and the Reds with a League Cup semi-final, the start of our Emirates FA Cup challenge and five Premier League games. We're definitely going to need to dip into every single pore to ensure we come away with some success.

The first game of 2027 sees us entertain League Two Leyton Orient at Anfield in the Emirates FA Cup Third Round. After playing two games in three days, I'm leaning towards giving some of the fringe players a game in this one. It's a tie we will be expected to win, but we cannot afford to think the tie is a foregone conclusion before we kick off. We will be treating it as serious as every game we play, certainly not a shift in the way I approach games. Time to shine for some of the lesser lights.

After Orient we play the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final, and it's a quick hello back to Newcastle. That first leg will be played at SJP, and it's imperative we keep the tie close or come away with an advantage. If we want to be at Wembley to defend this trophy in March then we need to overcome a tough opponent and as we found out in the recent league game, Newcastle can perform when the odds are against them.

The first league game of the month follows after that as we go to a Bournemouth side that could be drawn into a relegation scrap if they don't buck up their ideas and the others below them do. We then host Fulham at Anfield who are in a similar spot to the Cherries, in fact four of the five league matches are against sides in the bottom half of the league standings. Therefore we will be expected to win all of them. After Fulham, we go to relegation threatened Derby County before hopefully securing our place at Wembley when we have the second leg of the Carabao Cup against the Geordies.

Our hardest league game of the five then comes up as Chelsea come to Anfield before it's my first trip back to Deepdale since leaving for Anfield. Wonder what sort of reception they will give me? That's where the sentiment stops for me, as I want to leave with all three points to keep that European charge a rolling.

We're gonna need every fit body available to us as we continue to battle on all four fronts at present. Coming out of this hectic schedule will determine how we might finish the season.
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More updates coming soon...
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2026-27: January Summary (Part One)


Welcome to the first part of two which details how we fared in the Premier League.

MATCHDAY 21 - Sunday 10 January 2027
LIVE ON https://i.postimg.cc/m2M2NMmT/btsport2.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc/d0M41wN5/LFC-202627-Game21.png

Our first game of the New Year saw us make the long trek to the South Coast to face a Bournemouth side managed by French footballing legend Zinedine Zidane, and as predictably they played football the way it should be played: neat passing football on the deck. Having played Newcastle in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final in midweek, I opted to ring a number of changes to try and ensure the players remain fit and healthy. We took the lead in the 16th minute, Mohammed Salah with the right wing cross which was headed out by Goran Milas straight to Thomas Lemar who took the opportunity presented to him with an volley into the bottom corner and continue his goalscoring run. The Cherries equalised immediately, Danny Loader releasing Frenchman Luis Severino with a superbly weighted through ball and the striker finished with a sweet low shot past Alisson.

Buoyed by this, Zidane's Cherries took the lead themselves within four minutes of that equaliser. Steveroy Byers's shot cannoned off Joe Gomez and into the path of Loader who managed to get to the loose ball before Jeroen Heerkens and squeeze his effort home. We needed something and got back on level terms with just under two minutes to go to half time. A counter attack saw Salah find Spanish striker Adán who charged on and created space for himself to strike across the keeper from twelve yards. It was a massive relief for him as it ended a personal goal drought that had lasted over ten hours of play. Whilst I was happy, Zidane wasn't.

As we entered the final 14 minutes, the sides still couldn't be separated and people were thinking a draw was on the cards. However, two goals in a minute would change that and both came our way. In the 76th minute, another counter attack and another Salah assist. The Egyptian played the ball into Adán, brimming with confidence, and he finished superbly for his second of the game. Then as Bournemouth tried to respond we hit them for a fourth time; this time Adán created the goal with a pass into exciting Mexican prospect Eduardo Venegas who drilled home with confidence. Bournemouth made it a nervous finish when they scored a third in the second minute of four minutes added on at the end, Joel D'Alessandro with the goal. But we held on for a third successive league win.

Team: Alisson; Heerkens, Gomez, Vallejo, Tierney ©; De Jong, Kovacic; Salah, Lemar, Woodburn; Adán. Substitutes: Venegas (for Woodburn 62), Rodri (for Kovacic 72), Lukaku (for Lemar 85), Nelson, Stevens, Van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold.
Man of the Match: Adán (Liverpool)
Attendance: 18,961

MATCHDAY 22 - Wednesday 13 January 2027
https://i.postimg.cc/P5FNzqnM/LFC-202627-Game22.png

January's heavy schedule continued with a midweek home game against a Fulham side battling against relegation. Once more I made a few changes to give players rest as much as I could do, and making his Liverpool début against the Cottagers was Spanish winger Victor Manuel Roqué. Roqué had done well for the Reserves so I felt he deserved a chance to display his talents in the first team so I could get a real good look at him as I plan to build for the future.

Predictably, we dominated with three times as many shots as our visitors. However, we left it late to secure a fourth League win in a row and that was with a winner in injury time. With the pressure building at the Kop End, Andy Robertson's intended left wing cross found its way to Venegas who fired across Blanco and break Fulham's hearts of a point but ensure delight in L4. It was his ninth of the season.

Team: Alisson; Heerkens, Gomez ©, Vallejo, Robertson; Rodri, Kovacic; Roqué, Venegas, Woodburn; Adán. Substitutes: Salah (for Roqué 64), Lukaku (for Adán 68), Camara (for Kovacic 89), Roberto Firmino, Stevens, Van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold.
Booked: Rodri
Man of the Match: Guiliano Japaz (Fulham)
Attendance: 52,593

MATCHDAY 23 - Saturday 16 January 2027
https://i.postimg.cc/2SPrSLfg/LFC-202627-Game23.png

Our third league game in six days, yeah thanks a lot fixture planners, saw us travel to Pride Park to face Derby County. The Rams, like our previous opponents Fulham, are battling against the drop but for them an instant return to the Championship. I'm still seething that James Beattie, their manager, took my Championship Manager of the Year gong last season when he scarcely deserved it. So if my new Club could take three points on their home turf then that would be oh so sweet.

We took the lead with just four minutes on the clock, Ben Woodburn's shot was palmed away by Pigliacelli but straight to the red hot Venegas who lashed home the loose ball. We doubled it on the quarter hour, a cross from Robertson bounced its way to the far post where Salah had the easy task of firing into the empty net in front of him. Derby pulled one back in the 22nd minute when Scott Hirons picked up the pieces to stride unchallenged and fire home past an exposed Alisson. However, the Rams afternoon went sour three minutes when Lewis Baker went for an early bath for two yellow cards. Naughty boy!

The Hirons effort was one of just two efforts that Derby managed all game as we dominated them from start to finish. Yet it took an 88th minute goal to seal the deal so to speak. A Lemar cross wasn't dealt with properly by the home side and Romelu Lukaku volleyed home. It was the big Belgian's 14th of the season and his first under me after a few abject performances previously. Five league wins in a row and climbing the table in the right direction.

Team: Alisson; Heerkens, Gomez ©, Vallejo, Robertson; De Jong, Kovacic; Salah, Venegas, Woodburn; Lukaku. Substitutes: Alexander-Arnold (for Robertson 34), Van Dijk (for Heerkens 60), Lemar (for Woodburn 68), Fernando Almeida, Stevens, Camara, Adán.
Man of the Match: Romelu Lukaku (Liverpool)
Attendance: 32,983
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2026-27: January Summary (Part Two)


Welcome to the second part of two which details how we fared in the Premier League.

MATCHDAY 24 - Tuesday 26 January 2027
LIVE ON https://i.postimg.cc/bYgZS1VW/sm_skysportsmainevent.gif
https://i.postimg.cc/CxXRg22H/LFC-202627-Game24.png

Our penultimate game of the month saw us host an underperforming Chelsea side at Anfield with the Blues boss Pál Dárdai seemingly under pressure to deliver. I was expecting a tough game but what happened was that we produced probably the best performance under my short tenure so far, even eclipsing the 2-0 away win at Arsenal last month. We started with what was the strongest team I could feature, and were celebrating a goal as early as the fifth minute in the pouring rain on Merseyside. Romelu Lukaku played a nice ball to Eduardo Venegas at the edge of penalty area and the young Mexican drove at the heart of the Blues defence, twisting one way then the other, before lashing in his 11th of the season into the roof of Kepa's net.

We doubled our advantage in the 16th minute with a wonderful team goal. Some beautiful passing ended with Mohammed Salah playing in Trent Alexander-Arnold and the England captain took it in his stride before striking the ball across Kepa and into the far bottom corner. A stupendous free kick produced the third six minutes after the restart, former Blues loanee Mateo Kovacic was upended at the left hand edge of the penalty area and Venegas stepped up to superbly curl the ball around the wall and into the roof of the net again giving Kepa again no chance whatsoever.

Goal number four for us came seven minutes from time. Venegas tried to repeat his trick from the 51st minute but the wall repelled it but only to the feet of Adán 20 yards out whose fiercely struck effort hit the back of Davinson Sanchez and wrongfooted Kepa to nestle into the back of the net. The Kop was bouncing, in fact the whole of Anfield (bar the away end) was. Chelsea did pull a goal back in the 86th minute through Jagoba Alonso but a consolation it was, they had been ripped apart by some ruthless efficiency by my Reds.

Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Vallejo, Van Dijk ©, Tierney; De Jong, Kovacic; Salah, Venegas, Lemar; Lukaku. Substitutes: Woodburn (for De Jong 64), Arioli (for Tierney 71), Adán (for Lukaku 76), Nelson, Stevens, Rodri, Heerkens.
Man of the Match: Eduardo Venegas (Liverpool)
Attendance: 54,704

That game saw the début of a new Red, Uruguayan Renzo Arioli.

MATCHDAY 25 - Sunday 31 January 2027
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We finished the month with my first return to Deepdale since leaving for Anfield a month previous. It felt surreal walking into the away dressing room, but I didn't actually do a Ron Atkinson who in 1999 as Nottingham Forest manager: stepped into the home dugout in his first match at the City Ground against Arsenal. The home fans were kind, and as such I still harbour no bad feelings to them and their Club. We showed two changes from the side that destroyed Chelsea, Rodri replacing Kovacic who picked up a thigh strain in the closing stages of the Blues game which will keep him out for the next three weeks or so. I also opted to rest Kieran Tierney with an equally good replacement in Andrew Robertson.

In fact, it was Rodri who opened the scoring after just six minutes. A throw from Robertson was flicked into the path of the Spaniard at the edge of the box by Lukaku, and the midfielder made strides forward before curling the ball into the corner beyond Jasper Schendelaar. Despite the number of chances and possession in our favour, Preston weren't making it easy and were keen to impress my replacement there: Unai Emery. Two goals in as many minutes shortly after the hour did for them though. In the 61st minute, a long range effort from Rodri struck Swedish defender Helmer Andersson to wrongfoot Schendelaar for 2-0.

It became 3-0 and game over in the 63rd minute. Venegas had a free-kick parried by Schendelaar who then proceeded to deny both Salah and Rodri before the Egyptian scored with his second bite of this particular cherry. I applauded the home fans at full time, and even though we'd kept our unbeaten run going, I left Preston that day with a gut feeling that my old side will stay up and that would give me as much satisfaction as anything.

Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Vallejo, Van Dijk ©, Robertson; Rodri, De Jong; Salah, Venegas, Lemar; Lukaku. Substitutes: Roberto Firmino (for Lukaku 68), Arioli (for Van Dijk 73), Woodburn (for Venegas 78), Adán, Stevens, Nelson, Heerkens.
Booked: Van Dijk
Man of the Match: Rodri (Liverpool)
Attendance: 20,830
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2026-27: January Summary (Cup Competitions)


Welcome to a summary which will detail our Cup progress in January 2027.

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THIRD ROUND - Saturday 2 January 2027
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We began our Emirates FA Cup adventure with a home draw against League Two Leyton Orient. With so many games in the schedule in January, I decided to rest most of my star names for this tie and give chances to some lesser lights such as back up keeper Ertem Stevens and one of the forgotten men in Patrick Roberts who has had three loan spells at Celtic in his nomadic career so far. Stepping up their comebacks from injury at this time were Dutch duo Jeroen Heerkens and Club Captain Virgil Van Dijk. And it was a bit of a stroll to say the least.

The biggest surprise was that it took us 31 minutes to break their stubborn resistance, but it was a great goal though. Picking up a pass from Rodri, Eduardo Venegas charged into the penalty area unchallenged by a O's defender and picked his spot high into the centre of the goal with Ramsdale given no chance. We doubled the lead 19 seconds after half time, Reiss Nelson thudded a shot against the post but the ball rebounded into the net off the back of the legs of the luckless Ramsdale. Venegas then clinched a fourth round berth with the final goal in the 59th minute when he drilled a low effort home from just inside the area; again having been given time and space by the generous O's.

Team: Stevens; Heerkens, Warburton, Van Dijk ©, Robertson; Rodri, Venegas; Roberts, Nelson, Woodburn; Adán. Substitutes: Roberto Firmino (for Adán 62), Fernando Almeida (for Roberts 67), Kovacic, Alisson, Gomez, Salah, Vallejo.
Booked: Robertson
Man of the Match :Eduardo Venegas (Liverpool)
Attendance: 54,704

Making a Reds début alongside skipper Van Dijk in central defence was 21 year old Richard Warburton. Warburton, born in Childwall, is a product of our youth team and has been a constant figure in our Under 23 team this season.

FOURTH ROUND - Saturday 23 January 2027
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Our opponents in the Fourth Round would be mid-table League One side Lincoln City. The Imps had earned the right to play at Anfield with a giant killing in the previous round when they beat our nearest and dearest, Everton, 1-0 at Goodison Park. We were hoping to not match this and make our way into the last sixteen. Like the previous round, I opted to give players such as Stevens and Roberts starts as well as an appearance for Frenchman Karim Camara who I have big plans for. Yet despite dominating the game, we went in at half time on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline. Garth Langagine scoring in the 28th minute and it was a terrible goal to concede: a harmless ball forward and for some unknown reason our central defender Jesùs Vallejo seemed to pause as if there was no danger and Langagine lifted the ball over Stevens to send the 2703 away fans dancing with delight.

Naturally the players were reminded this wasn't good enough at the break, and to stop giving Lincoln too much respect. Four minutes after the restart, we levelled when the referee deemed that Savin had been a bit too forceful in his challenge on Roberts and awarded us a penalty. It looked a bit harsh considering the conditions but if a referee is going to award your side a penalty then you take it. Romelu Lukaku stepped up and sent Pearce the wrong way with a perfect penalty into the bottom corner. We took the lead in the 64th minute with a simple set piece play straight off the training ground, Venegas with the corner and a near post header from captain Van Dijk.

Two goals in a minute put the tie beyond any doubt though. In the 74th minute Duhaney brought down Venegas and we had a second penalty of the afternoon. Once more Lukaku stepped up, and same place despite this time Pearce going in the right direction. Then almost straight after the kick-off, Ben Woodburn did a tremendous challenge and interception before releasing Roberts whose shot was parried by Pearce but straight to who else but Lukaku who tapped the ball into the empty net to complete a superb hat-trick. Banana skin avoided.

Team: Stevens; Heerkens, Vallejo, Van Dijk ©, Tierney; De Jong, Rodri; Roberts, Camara, Woodburn; Lukaku. Substitutes: Venegas (for De Jong 62), Lemar (for Camara 62), Alexander-Arnold (for Heerkens 69), Adán, Alisson, Nelson, Arioli.
Man of the Match: Romelu Lukaku (Liverpool)
Attendance: 54,704

The fifth round draw was made on the Monday after, with John Terry and Frank Sinclair making the draw live. They gave us this, which is another winnable tie and a good chance of making the sixth round stage.

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SEMI FINAL, FIRST LEG - Wednesday 6 January 2027
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A rainy night on Tyneside greeted us as we played Newcastle in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final. With away goals not counting, it was imperative that we came away with something. A win would be great but a draw would be also considered a good result in the hope we could finish the job at Anfield a fortnight later.

It was a tense affair with neither side wanting to give much away, and it was not until the 57th minute when the deadlock was broken. A right wing cross from the creative genius that is Thomas Lemar saw Mateo Kovacic rise highest above everyone at the far post to head past Vlachodimos. A huge goal indeed. Then with 13 minutes left, we got ourselves a bit of breathing space in the tie with a second goal. Some good inter-play by the boys saw the ball find it's way to Lemar who produced sublime skill to chip the keeper from around the penalty spot. Some player.

Wembley was within touching distance, we just needed to complete the job at home now.

Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk ©, Robertson; Rodri, Kovacic; Nelson, Lemar, Woodburn; Adán. Substitutes: De Jong (for Rodri 57), Salah (for Nelson 66), Lukaku (for Adán 69), Vallejo, Stevens, Venegas, Heerkens.
Man of the Match: Thomas Lemar (Liverpool)
Attendance: 58,662

SEMI FINAL, SECOND LEG - Wednesday 20 January 2027
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With Wembley within our sights, we looked to finish the job against the Geordies but knew full well that one slip could prove to be costly, Because of the importance of the game, I decided that the strongest possible side would start the game in the hope we could grab the first goal and put the tie almost beyond doubt. Like the first leg, it was a close run affair but we had the better of the possession. With 27 minutes gone, we opened the scoring when a Venegas free-kick from wide left was connected to by a powerful header from skipper Van Dijk. The stadium erupted, we knew we had placed a firm foot into the Final.

I took a chance to give another of the youngsters a chance with still over half on hour to play. Sidney Guiste, born in Bootle, had been catching the eye in the Under 23's and internationally for the England Under 21's so it would be interesting to see how he adapted to the big stage as he replaced Rodri. And the kid didn't do too bad at all, he looked at home without being brilliant. Moments after his introduction, we thought we had gone 2-0 up on the night, 4-0 on aggregate, when Mohammed Salah lashed one into the top corner but a lino's flag quickly muted our celebrations. It was a harsh call indeed, and Mo was very upset it had been chalked off.

Eight minutes from time, we got that second goal to confirm our place in the Final. Guiste was fouled fully 30 yards out, and there was only thing on the mind of Lemar, a shot on goal. What he produced was sensational, a curling yet brilliantly executed free-kick that soared into the net at the Kop End. I couldn't resist doing a Mourinho down the touchline in celebration, it was a world class strike from a world class footballer. Newcastle were beaten now, and we had a Wembley date in the calendar.

Tell me Ma, me Ma, I want no tea, no tea because I'm going to Wembley. Tell me Ma, me Ma....

Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk ©, Tierney; Rodri, De Jong; Salah, Venegas, Lemar; Lukaku. Substitutes: Guiste (for Rodri 53), Fernando Almeida (for Salah 67), Camara (for Lukaku 74), Woodburn, Stevens, Vallejo, Heerkens.
Man of the Match: Thomas Lemar (Liverpool)
Attendance: 54,704

Our opponents in the Final are these guys:
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The Blues advanced by defeating London rivals Arsenal 3-1 on aggregate.
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2026-27: January Standings and Awards


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When I took over in December 2026, the Club was outside the European spots. Now look at where we are now!

We lie in third place, just four points behind second placed United but having established a gap of our own from fourth placed Watford and even more from fifth placed Tottenham Hotspur. We're still unbeaten since I took over, and that's a great feeling to have at the moment. Hopefully Mr Delcroix will be thinking he's made an astute appointment.

I'm just amazed how well it has taken off.

Whilst I have had not the biggest squad in terms of depth, everyone of them seems to have bought into the 4-2-3-1 formation I've decided to adopt. Goals are coming from everywhere, we're not reliant on just one player scoring goals. That's one of the things I've liked at all my teams so far, goals from all over the pitch. Now if Alisson scored one then would be something special and different. Perhaps if we have a penalty in the final game of the season and it means nothing to the result then I might let the Brazilian internationalist take it.

Awards wise, we again won nothing. Despite winning every single one of my games in January, I didn't get the Manager of the Month award. In fact, I didn't make the top three. That award went, for a second time this season, to Xavi who manages Wolves. Second placed were the Manchester duo of Thomas Tuchel (City) and Diego Simeone (United) and neither of them had a 100 per cent record. Something dodgy.

I will win it one day...

As for the player awards, the nearest we got was Eduardo Venegas getting second placed in the Goal of the Month for his superb free-kick against Chelsea. I think if Thomas Lemar's effort against the Geordies had been in the League as opposed to the Carabao then it would have been a serious contender.

Time to continue the rebuild..
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2026-27: February Preview


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Yet another month of league action punctuated by a series of Cup games, each of them as important as the other.

We begin February with a massive home game against Premier League leaders Manchester City. As we kick off, we start nine points behind Thomas Tuchel's men but we're a team in form and in confidence. Whilst City have led for the majority of the season, we have now built ourselves a platform in which to build on. Both sides have matchwinners a plenty in their squads, I'm just hoping that we don't choke and freeze on the occasion. To win this one will be huge, and depending on how United fare then we might close in further.

Then we continue our second assault on Wembley in the Emirates FA Cup as Reading of the Championship come to Anfield in a Fifth Round tie. It's another step up in quality of opponent for us so whilst the back ups have done well for us so far; we might have to field a much stronger side as we aim to get into the quarter finals. But we will assess who's available match by match as we have done so far. There's no Saturday game after the Reading game so our next game is my first ever Champions League encounter with a trip to Germany to face Borussia Mönchengladbach. Gladbach and Liverpool faced each other in the 1977 European Cup Final with the Reds winning that one 3-1 so a repeat would be nice especially in this case away goals proving vital.

After Germany, all roads lead to Wembley as we face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup Final. It's my first ever domestic Cup Final since moving back to England to manage so it'll be a special occasion indeed. We recently hammered the Blues 4-1 in the League but this means nothing in a one off game like this. They will be itching to put the record straight and deny us a second successive Carabao Cup win. Whilst the board had this as a non-priority competition, I see it as important as any other. After all, a piece of silverware in the cabinet can only but please those upstairs more right?

We return back to league action for two more games to finish the month off. First is a testing home game against Tottenham who will be hoping a win might put them back into Champions League qualification contention again. Like most top teams, they have an abundance of quality in their ranks but I'm hopeful ours will be the better on the night. The month finishes with a trip to South Wales to face the Bloobirds who are in the relegation zone and struggling to get out of it. Hopefully the boys will step up to the mark and show why there's a noticeable difference in the teams, league position and ability wise.

It shapes up to be another cracking bunch of matches.
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2026-27: January Transfer Window Summary


We began with the decision made by Club Captain Virgil Van Dijk on his future. Have I managed to talk him round? Well...

Alas not!

The skipper appreciated me wanting him to stay on but his mind was made up. Hopefully, we can make him leave on a high with yet more medals in his pocket. This meant we needed at least one, if not a couple of new central defenders. So we went shopping....

Incoming deals:

After the skipper announced his retirement at the end of the season, centre halves become priority. The first new face was Renzo Arioli, a 23 year old central defender signed from Bologna for £3.7 million.

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Despite his tender years, Arioli has over 20 Under 21 caps for his native Uruguay. He started off his career in his homeland before joining the Rossoblu in the summer of 2024. Whilst he is not a big name, what attracted me to Arioli he has good mental abilities and tackling for someone who isn't 6 foot tall. He was also named in the Rossoblu's best XI last season despite only making a handful of appearances. He's one to keep an eye on.

The second newcomer was young full back Mark Stanko.

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Stanko is an 18 year old American right back whom we signed on a free transfer from the Columbus Crew Academy. He already has 10 Under 21 caps for his nation, and looks a very good prospect we can develop. With Trent Alexander-Arnold now in his late 20s, I'm hoping this kid alongside Jeroen Heerkens will become first team regulars in the future. I'm also plan to have Stanko trained as a left-back so he is capable of filling in either full back position. Now that would be a luxury to have.

Our final permanent newcomer is Daniel Ballard.

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A former Arsenal youth teamer, Daniel has made over 150 appearances for West Bromwich Albion since signing for them in the summer of 2022. He's also a full internationalist for his native Northern Ireland, and the Stevenage born defender (his Mam comes from Northern Ireland) now has 29 caps for his declared nation. A towering presence at 6'3, he's a defender that likes to defend. Some might say we've paid over the odds for him but he will be in the mix for selection as and when Van Dijk hangs up the boots.

Also coming back to Anfield on a recalled loan, is Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans.

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Tielemans had been on loan to Premier League rivals Southampton this season after being frozen out by the previous boss. With the amount of games coming up, we're going to need him if Frenkie De Jong, Rodri and Mateo Kovacic get injured. To have a 29 year old with nearly 70 international caps at your disposal, that's a nice option to have. He might not feature often but if the chance comes then I'm sure he will look to shine.

Outgoings:

The biggest departure from Anfield in this window was England internationalist Joe Gomez who has joined Paris Saint-Germain for an initial £60 million outlay.

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Joe was a defender I didn't want to lose especially when Van Dijk announcing his retirement. However, the offer that PSG made was too good to refuse, and Joe was interested to talk with the French. I was kinda hoping he'd not agree terms but he did, and away he went across the Channel. He left with our best wishes, having made more than a massive impact in his time here. To get £60 million, leading to an extra £8 million in add-ons, for someone out of contract next summer is good business I think. I hope it doesn't come back to bite me on the arse.

Two more players left, albeit on loan.

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After giving Sidney Guiste his début in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg, I'm keen to see the Bootle born midfielder develop and think it will be best served with a half season loan to Brighton. The kid has potential no doubt, and if he impresses then who knows we might have another home grown talent making the first team soon.

The other departure was winger Patrick Roberts. He is not a first teamer and at his age, needs first team football. Stoke have given him that option and agreed to pay us £12.75 million if they want to make the deal a permanent one. That suits us down to the ground completely. It's up to the player to showcase his talents enough to make the deal happen.
siepod
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Very impressive start! 

HockeyBhoy
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By siepod 16 March 2021 - 14:34 PM UTC

Very impressive start! 


Thank you, I don't have much in terms of squad depth so the wheels could come off at any time. We shall see how things develop.
siepod
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By HockeyBhoy 20 March 2021 - 17:13 PM UTC 

 

 


 

Thank you, I don't have much in terms of squad depth so the wheels could come off at any time. We shall see how things develop.

 

Trust me I know that feeling!!! 

siepod
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Posted in wrong place. Been a long day ;-) 

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Carabao Cup joy for Reds again, Blues sack Dárdai in aftermath

Last Updated: 21/02/2027 5:00pm

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Frenkie De Jong: Scores the goal that wins the Carabao Cup for Liverpool

Dutch maestro Frenkie De Jong proved to be the match winner as Liverpool won the Carabao Cup Final for the third successive season by beating Chelsea 2-1 at a rain sodden Wembley this afternoon.

The midfielder struck with three minutes left when it looked like the teams were going to head towards an additional thirty minutes on the wet, strength-sapping, surface and ensured Reds new manager Mark Duell's first ever Wembley Final would end up a winning one. The England national team boss only took over at Anfield at Christmas time but has masterminded a real change of fortunes which has seen them move within six points of leaders Manchester City.

Liverpool dominated the first half, and had to cope with the loss of influential French playmaker Thomas Lemar in the first half. The creative Frenchman limped off with a tight Achilles after just 27 minutes play, an injury sustained in the opening minute. As of yet, the extent of it is not known but Liverpool and their fans will be hoping for good news when it has been assessed.

Yet despite their dominance, Liverpool couldn't break down the Blues until they got their breakthrough just as the fourth official prepared to show two minutes of added-on time at the end of that opening half. An inswinging corner from Mohammed Salah saw Chelsea skipper Andreas Christensen foul Adán in the box right under the referee's nose. In the absence of regular taker Lemar, former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku assumed responsibility from 12 yards and drilled the perfect penalty into the bottom corner despite Kepa going the right way.

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Romelu Lukaku: His opener was his 20th of the season

Chelsea hadn't been in it but drew level in the 58th minute when Christensen turned from villain to hero for the London side. The Dane connected with a free-kick swung in by Houssem Aouar to power a header beyond the reaches of Alisson in the Liverpool goal and send the blue half of Wembley into raptures. We suddenly had a game on.

Both sides then had chances to go ahead after with Lukaku and Adán both going close for Liverpool, and Chelsea's Davinson Sanchez thudding a header against the crossbar with Alisson beaten all ends up. Liverpool's injury woes continued with five minutes to go, Kieran Tierney also limping off. The Scot seemed to be holding the back of his ankle as fellow countryman Andrew Robertson replaced him. Then came De Jong and his vital intervention in the 87th minute: Salah looped a free-kick into the penalty area and De Jong was given a free header from around the penalty spot to loop it over Kepa and into the corner.

Yet the Blues could have forced extra-time when Alisson skewed a clearance straight to Jagoba Alonso in the second of five minutes injury time. Thankfully for the Reds, the Blues top scorer lashed wide when he should really have scored. Liverpool resorted to dogged defending after that and held on for their twelfth win in this competition and third in a row.

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Liverpool are winners at Wembley again

As Liverpool skipper Virgil Van Dijk lifted the trophy, news broke that Roman Abramovich had parted company with manager Pal Dárdai, The Hungarian leaves Stamford Bridge after almost five years in charge, assistant Zsolt Löw has been placed in temporary charge.

Liverpool - Alisson; Heerkens, Vallejo, Van Dijk ©, Tierney (Robertson 85); De Jong; Venegas, Kovacic (Camara 72); Salah, Lemar (Adán 27); Lukaku. Unused Substitutes: Rodri, Stevens, Roberto Firmino, Arioli.
Chelsea - Kepa; Jacoba Sanchez, Christensen © (Carter-Vickers 74), Davinson Sanchez, Vagnoman; Maier (Cusiance 57), Acosta; Martins, Aouar, Sancho (Isak 63); Alonso. Unused Substitutes: Lingard, Sosa, Mazzone, Dizdarveic.
Booked: Acosta, Aouar.
Man of the Match: Andreas Christensen (Chelsea)
Attendance: 90,000
Referee: Lewie Nicholson (Northampton)
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2026-27: February Summary


Welcome to February's Premier League summaries.

MATCHDAY 26 - Saturday 6 February 2027
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League Leaders City made the short trip westwards to Anfield in what I saw our biggest test so far. We had made such an improvement in the first full month so much so that I felt that I would be happy with a point from Thomas Tuchel's men. What I got was more, and a massive three points to brought us closer to the top two. Goals in the closing stages of each half did the trick and Alisson collected his 12th clean sheet in the Premier League this season.

It was a tough game with each side creating plenty of chances but neither getting that all important breakthrough. That changed three minutes from half time, a wonderful right wing cross from England captain Trent Alexander-Arnold and a powerful header from Romelu Lukaku that gave Ederson no chance at all. We clinched the points two minutes from time and it all owed itself to some tricky work from Mohammed Salah. The Egyptian wizard showed some superb close control to bamboozle the City defence before putting the ball on a proverbial plate to Adán who had made a near post dart, and the Spanish striker poked his shot across Ederson and into the far corner. A massive, massive result for us.

Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Vallejo, Van Dijk ©, Tierney; De Jong, Rodri; Salah, Venegas, Lemar; Lukaku. Substitutes: Tielemans (for Rodri 60), Adán (for Lukaku 78), Roberto Firmino (for Lemar 83), Woodburn, Stevens, Ballard, Heerkens.
Man of the Match: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Attendance: 54,704

MATCHDAY 27 - Wednesday 24 February 2027
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You've heard of the saying, it was a game of two halves right? Well that was certainly true after the Tottenham game as we ran amok in the second half to record a result which cost Tottenham manager Frank DeBoer his job at the final whistle and kept our 100 per cent league record going since I took charge. We dominated the game from start to finish but trailed at the interval to a 20th minute strike from Hélder. The young Brazilian shrugged off the attentions of Virgil Van Dijk; and that's some feat in itself; to stun us and the Kop with a well taken effort that Alisson never saw until it had passed him.

A few choice words were said at half time and we took the game to Spurs who were playing Harry Kane wide on the left. We drew level in the 63rd minute when Youri Tielemans slid the ball into the path of countryman Lukaku who placed his shot under the advancing Jack Butland and into the corner. Spurs buckled after that and conceded a second eight minutes when Jeoren Heerkens stood a cross up to the far post and Ben Woodburn, in for the injured Thomas Lemar, planted his header home. Goal number three came in the 85th minute, Heerkens with another deep cross that Ricky Armstrong planned to head back to Butland but substitute Fernando Almeida anticipated it and nodded it into the gaping goal to send the Kop delirious.

We added the coup de grace in time added on, Almeida sped away down the right and his cross was flicked on by Lukaku into Woodburn who placed his shot beyond Butland for 4-1 and seal yet another three points. It also sealed De Boer's fate as Daniel Levy sacked him seconds after the final whistle.

Team: Alisson' Heerkens, Vallejo, Van Dijk ©, Robertson; Rodri, Venegas, Tielemans; Salah, Woodburn; Lukaku. Substitutes: Fernando Almeida (for Salah 69), Ballard (for Van Dijk 78), Camara, Stevens, Whalley, Kovacic, Roberto Firmino.
Booked: Van Dijk
Man of the Match: Ben Woodburn (Liverpool)
Attendance: 54,704

MATCHDAY 28 - Saturday 27 February 2027
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Sometimes you don't have to win convincingly, sometimes a 1-0 win will do. And that was what we got in South Wales, when a single goal saw off a plucky Bluebirds side that had chances of their own to embarrass us. Just as the fourth official was about to appear, we scored what proved to be the game winner.

Andrew Robertson fed Tielemans at the edge of the box and the Belgian national skipper dug the ball out of his feet to curl a wonderful shot beyond the grasp of Sochor; and find the top corner. A fantastic effort that had everyone talking about it. The run continues....

Team: Alisson; Heerkens, Rodri, Van Dijk ©, Robertson; Kovacic; Venegas, Tielemans; Fernando Almeida, Woodburn; Lukaku. Substitutes: De Jong (for Kovacic 62), Lemar (for Fernando Almeida 66), Roberto Firmino (for Lukaku 76), Camara, Stevens, Bunk, Vallejo.
Man of the Match: Youri Tielemans (Liverpool)
Attendance: 33,820

Two more youngsters made the bench for the Spurs and Cardiff games, Ged Whalley and Sebastian Bunk. Although neither of them got on to make their débuts, both are prospects who could break into the first team in the next couple of seasons if they apply themselves in the right way.
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2026-27: February Summary (Cup Competitions)


Welcome to a summary which will detailed our Cup progress in February 2027.

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FIFTH ROUND - Wednesday 10 February 2027
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Once we more dominated in the Emirates FA Cup, and for the second round in succession we had to come from behind to ensure our progression: this time into the last eight. Visiting Anfield on a wet February night were Championship side Reading, a side on the fringes of the promotion race. They made a flying start, we obviously did not, with goal after just 76 seconds. A counter attack saw Royals Dario Neblett picked out an unmarked Tasos Donis at the far post, and the on loan Stoke winger picked his spot past an exposed Alisson.

Midway through the first half, we levelled matters. The inspirational Eduardo Venegas, such an important player that Barcelona after him, picked out Romelu Lukaku and the big Belgian showed great composure to slot it under Hadzikic at the Kop End. We took the lead after 56 minutes, and once more Venegas had a hand in it. After Karim Camara was tripped on the edge of the penalty area, and it was very close to being a penalty, the young Mexican swung the set piece to the back post where Ben Woodburn saw his initial header saved by Hazdikic but the Welshman squeezed the rebound home.

The game was sealed in the 67th minute when Gribbin brought down Thomas Lemar as the Frenchman prepared to pass or shoot. The French genius picked himself up and produced a perfect spot kick into the corner despite Hadzikic going the right way. So the charge to another Final continues. This is whom Danish father and son goalkeepers Peter and Kasper Schmeichel gave us in our last eight tie:

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Eeek...not them again!

Team: Alisson; Heerkens, Arioli, Van Dijk ©, Robertson; Venegas, Rodri; Woodburn, Camara, Lemar; Lukaku. Substitutes: Adán (for Camara 64), Barker (for Woodburn 69), Roberto Firmino (for Lukaku 75), De Jong, Stevens, Alexander-Arnold, Vallejo.
Booked: Arioli
Man of the Match: Eduardo Venegas (Liverpool)
Attendance: 54,074

Another new face bloomed in this tie was 18 year old winger James Barker. The Gateshead born prospect has the potential makings of a more than decent player if he keeps up his progression. Further to my proof, if they're good enough then they're old enough to play first team football.

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FIRST KNOCKOUT ROUND STAGE - Tuesday 16 February 2027
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So six days after disposing of Reading in the Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round, we headed to Germany for Champions League knockout first leg tie, and with the Carabao Cup Final just five days after this then we hoped we would come out of the test with no injuries. With this leg away from home, I was hoping my first ever experience of European Club football, would be a positive one and we could grab an away goal or two to take to Anfield next month. That would be nice right? Leading the line for the German side was Dominic Solanke who never really got going at Anfield after a £6 million move from Chelsea in the summer of 2017. Less than 30 games in four seasons says everything. Now he was bound to score against us...

Mönchengladbach took the lead in the 26th minute, Adilovic playing in Fatih Özdemir, yes like Mesut Özil he's German with a Turkish father, and he outstripped our defence before smashing the ball beyond Alisson and into the roof of the net. Their lead lasted just three minutes when following a swift break of our own, Lemar slipping in Venegas and he coolly finished. We turned the game really on its head to score a second away goal in the 32nd minute and completely silence the home support whilst sending over 5000 away fans bouncing. Adán, on for a clearly unwell Salah, crossed from the right and Lukaku half volleyed home from about eight yards out. But the drama was far from over.

Early in the second half, we suffered a massive blow when Trent Alexander-Arnold limped off. Scans later proved to be pulled ankle ligaments and would rule him out for the remainder of the month and most importantly, the Carabao Cup Final. Gut wrenching for us and my England national captain, so we had to draft Jeroen Heerkens on as a substitute. Heerkens is an internationalist in his own right for Het Oranje but he's no TAA in my eyes.

For the final 19 minutes, I brought on Daniel Ballard as an extra defender and it looked it had paid off until they scored an equaliser just as the fourth official prepared to display their board. A shot from distance by Ahumada was brilliantly blocked by Van Dijk but the rebound went out to an unmarked Rysavy on the left hand edge of the six yard box and he thundered in the leveller right into the far bottom corner. A devastating blow, considering we had done pretty well to hold on. But two away goals are two away goals..

Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Vallejo, Van Dijk ©, Tierney; De Jong, Rodri; Salah, Venegas, Lemar; Lukaku. Substitutes: Adán (for Salah 20), Heerkens (for Alexander-Arnold 56), Ballard (for Venegas 71), Camara, Stevens, Robertson, Tielemans.
Booked: Van Dijk, Tierney
Man of the Match: Frenkie De Jong (Liverpool)
Attendance: 54,022
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2026-27: February Standings and Awards


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Sitting very comfortably placed with the Manchester duo in my sights. I'm only three points behind City and four behind United and we all have ten games to play. Was something that appeared to be a dream when I took over at Christmas; now becoming a possible reality for us? We've still got United to play back in M16 before the season is out. With them having drubbed us under the previous incumbent, I am hoping to put that particular record right.

Obviously, the highlight of those three wins out of three in February was the 2-0 win over City. Perhaps they will start to take us a bit more seriously now. Then to completely blow away Tottenham with a scintillating second half performance just three days after winning the Carabao Cup was sensational. I can't forget that the sight of Virgil Van Dijk lifting the trophy even more, my first ever major domestic honour and guaranteeing we will be in Europe no matter what next season.

We weren't great the Cardiff City Stadium in the final game but good teams always find a way to win right? The Bluebirds played like their lives were on the line, well they were as their 15 points away from safety with just nine to play. That said....

There's a monthly award heading its way to Anfield.

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Great Work Youri!

Youri's stunning strike which won us that game in South Wales was seen to be the goal of the month for February, and it's a well done for the Belgian internationalist and captain who has proven to be a very useful option to have since I recalled him back from Southampton last month. His contribution is immeasurable and I'm glad to have him on board.

Yet I didn't again make the top three for the Manager of the Month award despite having a 100 per cent record. That went to United's Diego Simeone and he didn't have that much of a testing schedule compared to me. Mats Gren of Arsenal and Hernan Crespo of Southampton rounded out the top three despite each of them of 75% win ratio; something definitely isn't adding up as regards this particular accolade. But I will succeed, sometime.

Onto the next month it is.
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2026-27: March Preview


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So this is the latest batch fixtures we find ourselves with, a couple of massive Cup games sandwiched either side by two Premier League matches which will leave us just six games left to play in the final stages of the season.

We begin with a nice easy game, yeah I'm being sarcastic here, across Stanley Park to face our nearest and dearest...Everton or as the Anfield faithful keep telling me they're called "Never-ton". They've recently sacked Ole Gunnar Solsjkær and replaced him with Fernando Morientes who had a one and half year spell as a player here at Anfield in the mid 2000s. The Toffees are in no danger of probably getting relegated so to them and their fans then they'd love nothing more than a home win over us. Don't worry, the feeling is mutual.

After Everton, we host Watford three days later. The Hornets have really been a surprise packet this season, and find themselves in a Europa League qualifying spot as we go into March. They looked mightly impressive when I watched them a few weeks ago in my capacity as England manager, so here's hoping that we dent those aspirations and keep our own good form going. That said though Jesus, this fixture scheduling is absolutely brutal.

Then our next two games are in the Cups. The first one sees the second leg of the Champions League tie against Borussia Mönchengladbach. After a 2-2 draw in Germany, people will tip us as favourites to progress as away goals do indeed count. However, we will be without VVD for this second leg as his booking there means he has to serve a one match suspension. That leaves me a dilemma who play there. Now if I'd not agreed to the demands of Gomez wanting to go to PSG in January. Then it's another short gap before we encounter Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup quarter final at Stamford Bridge. They will be keen to avenge the Carabao Cup Final loss but we want to go to Wembley again, hopefully we can prevail and get the favourable semi-final opponent.

Thankfully there's a bit of a breather from domestic action after that, almost two weeks. But for a Club of our stature, time doesn't stand still. Our internationalists will be on their nations duties, as I will be in my dual capacity as England's Head Coach. I'll also be looking at getting a few reports in potential summer signings as I rebuild for life without Roberto Firmino and VVD for sure as probably the last campaigns of players such as Salah and Alisson.

The month closes out with a trip to Anfield from relegation threatened Crystal Palace, who are in dire need of points if they are not wanting to play Championship football next season. We then finish the month with a trip to the London Stadium and the apparent Academy of Football, in other words we play West Ham United. The Hammers could sneak into the Europa League places if they finish the season strongly, although we will of course have other ideas.

All we can do is make our results count, and hope some teams take points off both United and City in the PL whilst progressing in the Cups.
siepod
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Such a comfortable start, eased into it like you've been there for years! Great stuff

HockeyBhoy
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By siepod 31 March 2021 - 18:52 PM UTC

Such a comfortable start, eased into it like you've been there for years! Great stuff


Thanks fella, it's a surprising start that all has gone as well as it has done so far. Simeone has left United now...for Chelsea! So hopefully we can capitalise on that and your beloved City making a few mistakes in the PL whilst motoring on in the Cups.

I don't expect to win all four, but to have one in the bank after less than 25 games in charge is the stuff of dreams. I've now got a top club job so I'll be here a while unless they sack me. Barcelona, Real, Juve, PSG or Bayern would be the only five teams I'd consider leaving for if I did; otherwise Liverpool for the time being methinks.

Keep tuned in, and that goes for you all too.
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2026-27: March Summary (Part One)


Welcome to the first part of two which details how we fared in the Premier League for the month of March.

MATCHDAY 29 - Wednesday 3 March 2027
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Derby encounters can go either way, and this had everything. At a rain soaked Goodison, yes Everton have not moved, we dominated the game but had to rely upon two late goals to garner ourselves a point when we looked like losing the first game of my Anfield reign. We made the most terrible of starts when a flowing Everton move saw Salih Özcan, yet another Turkish-German, place his shot out of the reach of Alisson and send the Gwadlys Street end into raptures. In the 20th minute we conceded again, and it was horrible as Van Dijk put a weak header straight to Munir and he strode onwards before unleashing an unstoppable effort into the bottom corner from distance.

We needed a lifeline, and got one in the 31st minute when Eduardo Venegas drove at the heart of the home defence before feedingThomas Lemar who took a touch before curling his shot beyond Pickford. More sloppy play led to a third Everton goal in the 64th minute, Venegas giving away cheap possession that ended up with Mohammed Elyonoussi lofting the ball forward, Vallejo completely misjudging a basic header, and Munir profited once more. It was certainly proving to be one of them nights, and the way we were playing then I couldn't see anything but defeat on the cards.

Eight minutes to go, another lifeline. Andrew Robertson picking up a short corner from Venegas to feed Mateo Kovacic (on as an early, early substitute) who took a touch before putting a brilliant effort top beans, Pickford no chance. Then we were given a real glimmer of hope when Özcan was sent packing for two yellow cards by Lee Probert, this time a trip on Kovacic under the official's glare. Put the pressure on, they will break was my message as the Toffees midfielder headed down the tunnel. Persistence paid off with two minutes to go, Romelu Lukaku who was once an idol in blue became an idol in red when he snaffled home his own rebound after Pickford parried his initial shot. Delirium, but we had made hard work of it.

Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Vallejo, Van Dijk ©, Tierney; De Jong; Tielemans, Venegas; Salah, Lemar; Lukaku. Substitutes: Kovacic (for De Jong 10), Heerkens (for Alexander-Arnold 67), Camara, Stevens, Whalley, Roberto Firmino, Woodburn.
Booked: Lukaku
Man of the Match: Munir (Everton)
Attendance: 39,572

MATCHDAY 30 - Saturday 6 March 2027
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With City having been hammered 4-0 at Bournemouth, and United thumping West Ham 7-0 earlier in the day, we needed to stay in touch against a Watford side completely overperforming this season. Well, there's always one right? Anyway any ideas we had it would be easy, that went out of the window after just four minutes when the Hornets stung us with the game's opening goal. Will Hughes threaded the path into the path of Ryan Cassidy and the Republic of Ireland internationalist strode on and picked his spot. Horrible, horrible, horrible.

I was livid as the players trooped back to restart, some of my language was less than polite towards certain individuals. We needed to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and buck up otherwise the season could end quite nastily and rapidly for some of them. There is certainly no sentiment on my watch for sure. Eleven minutes before half time, we did draw level and a collective relief enveloped Anfield Stadium. Andrew Robertson sent a low cross into the six yard box which appeared to be trundling into the arms of Ferris until Lukaku anticipated a slight hesitation and tapped home. Three minutes later, and the game had been flipped as we went 2-1 in front. After probing pass after probing pass, the ball found itself at the feet of Lemar just inside the area and the Frenchman produced another curling finish which had Ferris rooted to the spot.

The game was as good as over in the 57th minute as we netted our third of the game. Some brilliant play by Lemar saw the French wizard drill in a low cross that Watford couldn't deal with, and Venegas arrived to smash home a first time effort from just outside the six yard box with once more Ferris left rooted. It was definitely game over six minutes later as goal number four arrived. You could call it a goal made in Belgium as Youri Tielemans sent fellow countryman Lukaku in the clear and and the big man got Ferris to commit before clipping a shot over him and into the gaping goal.

With the game won, young left-back Ged Whalley was introduced as a substitute. Yet another local talent, born in nearby Ellesmere Port, off the production line to make his first team début..
The charge continues.

Team: Alisson; Heerkens, Vallejo, Van Dijk ©, Robertson; Kovacic; Tielemans, Venegas; Salah, Lemar; Lukaku. Substitutes: Alexander-Arnold (for Heerkens 65), Whalley (for Robertson 72), Rodri (for Kovacic 72), Camara, Stevens, Roberto Firmino, Adán.
Booked: Heerkens
Man of the Match: Thomas Lemar (Liverpool)
Attendance: 54,074
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More new faces in the England set up

Last Updated: 12/03/2027 12:00pm

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England Head Coach Mark Duell has once more surprised us with his national team selection. The Three Lions chief has brought in two more uncapped players as the squad prepare for their qualifiers against Scotland and Austria later this month. Making their first appearances in the national are Marseille's Aaron Wan-Bissaka and West Ham United's Martin Murray.

There are also recalls for Jack Harrison of Rangers, Southampton's Ethan Laird and Olympiacos keeper Dean Henderson, the latter missed out on the last squad due to an injury 24 hours before the squad planned to meet up.


Duell had this to say:

"Once more I have been vilified for the squad I present to you today, but these are players that are in form and when you're in a position which I am in then you always have to pick the best available to you.

Martin (Murray) and Aaron (Wan-Bissaka) have been in great form for their respective club sides recently and deserve their chance to be looked at further. The door I repeat is never closed on anyone. Perform and you will be rewarded, poor form will get you nowhere."

The squad is as follows:

GOALKEEPERS:
Jordan Pickford (Everton, 63 caps/0 goals)
Jack Butland (Tottenham Hotspur, 54 caps, 0 goals)
Dean Henderson (Olympiacos, 1 cap/0 goals)

DEFENDERS:
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool, 97 caps/6 goals)
Ethan Laird (Southampton, 1 cap/0 goals)
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Olympique Marseille, 0 caps/0 goals)
Ryan Sessengon (Manchester City 35 goals/1 goal)
Craig Laycock (Southampton, 7 caps/0 goals)
Joe Gomez (PSG, 76 caps/5 goals)
Richard Latham (Southampton, 1 cap/0 goal)
Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur, 131 caps/14 goals)
Anthony Davies (Wolverhampton Wanderers, 4 caps/0 goals)

MIDFIELDERS:
Declan Rice (Valencia, 43 caps/2 goals)
Dominic Clark (Manchester United, 8 caps/1 goal)
Lewis Cook (Leicester City, 42 caps/4 goals)
Phil Foden (RB Leipzig, 30 caps/1 goal)
Martin Murray (West Ham United, 0 caps/0 goals)
Delé (Tottenham Hotspur, 122 caps/28 goals)
Jack Harrison (Rangers, 1 cap/0 goals)

FORWARDS:
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur (139 caps/91 goals)
Marcus Rashford (Manchester United, 134 caps/60 caps)
Jadon Sancho (Chelsea, 56 caps/13 goals)
Emile Smith-Rowe (Arsenal, 14 caps/2 goals)

The game against Scotland will be played at Wembley on 19 March 2027 before the squad jet out to Vienna to face the Austrians three days later.
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2026-27: March Summary (Cup Competitions)


Welcome to a summary which details our Cup progress in March 2027.

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FIRST KNOCKOUT ROUND SECOND LEG - 10 March 2027
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Having drawn 2-2 in Germany three weeks before, we knew that we were in the proverbial driving seat when it came to the second leg at Anfield. Two away goals in the bank. However, we went into the second leg without skipper Virgil Van Dijk, who was sitting out a one game suspension under the yellow card totting up procedure: Daniel Ballard stood in for him. The only other real change was at left-back with Kieran Tierney being replaced by Andrew Robertson.

Backed by 2703 vocal away supporters, the Germans took the game to us from the first whistle and took the lead on aggregate after just four minutes when Adnan Adlovic saw his initial cross headed out by stand-in skipper Trent Alexander-Arnold back to the winger who thumped the ball over Alisson from the acutest of acute angles. Anfield as a whole was stunned and we needed a quick response. We got it within a minute, Alexander-Arnold teeing up Eduardo Venegas to drill a low shot in the bottom corner and under Carreno. The stadium erupted. We were back in front on those priceless away goals.

Despite dominating the game, Borussia couldn't breach our back line again and when Adlovic's cross was claimed by Alisson after 93 and a half minutes - the final whistle sounded to secure a place in the quarter-finals. Who would we get next?

Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold ©, Vallejo, Ballard, Robertson; de Jong, Venegas; Tielemans; Salah, Lemar; Lukaku. Substitutes: Kovacic (for Tielemans 60), Tierney (for Robertson 69), Adán (for Salah 78), Camara, Stevens, Woodburn, Heerkens.
Booked: Tielemans, Salah, Alexander-Arnold
Man of the Match: Eduardo Venegas (Liverpool)
Attendance: 54,074

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SIXTH ROUND - Saturday 3 April 2027
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Chelsea and their newly appointed manager Diego Simeone welcomed us to a rain sodden Stamford Bridge with a place in the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup at stake. I made three changes from the side that featured in the midweek Champions League and once more opted to tinker with my formation to try and out think the Argentinian. The Blues took the lead after 17 minutes when Alexander Isak latched onto a Jadon Sancho pass to fire low past Alisson. Two minutes later we suffered a blow when Thomas Lemar again limped off against this same opposition just as he had done in the Carabao Cup Final a fortnight previous.

We were being put under some serious pressure, and at half time, a few home truths had to be said to try and get some kind of reaction. We levelled matters three minutes after the restart when substitute Adán played in Frenkie de Jong who swivelled on the proverbial sixpence before beating Sosa high at his near post. Chelsea regained the lead ten minutes later when Sancho curled home a shot from just inside the penalty area. A huge response would be required to make the semi-final, and then we went out to stun the home crowd with two goals in as many minutes to eke out a lead.

After 62 minutes, Adán weighted a pass into Mohammed Salah whose shot was palmed into his own net by Sosa to level matters. Then Venegas played in Salah and the Egyptian maestro volleyed home to send 2081 away fans dancing with delight. Yet we had to endure a nervy finish Adán limped off with seven minutes to go and we had used all our substitutes by this point. Chelsea piled on the pressure after that, but we held firm to secure a return to Wembley and end Chelsea's final hopes of winning a trophy this season.

Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Vallejo, Van Dijk ©, Tierney; Rodri; de Jong, Venegas; Salah, Lemar; Lukaku. Substitutes: Adán (for Lemar 19), Kovacic (for Rodri 54), Camara (for de Jong 80), Robertson, Stevens, Woodburn, Heerkens.
Booked: Van Dijk, de Jong
Man of the Match: Jadon Sancho (Chelsea)
Attendance: 41,631

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