Sturridge scores twice in Reds win over Villa

Benteke, Firmino and Lovren (to the relief of most) were ruled out with injury while Sturridge returned after being rested against Carlisle to pair alongside Ings who was fresh off scoring in the mid-week fixture.

For what nearly seemed high-pressure game for Rodgers given the speculation around his continued tenure at Anfield, the Reds got off to a terrific start as captain James Milner opened the scoring inside 2 minutes with a low drive into the bottom corner after Coutinho found him at the edge of the box.

Liverpool had control of the game and the ball for most period of time, pushing Villa back into defending with nearly all players back during the first half. We had couple of chances to increase the lead but didn’t manage to capitalize on that.

Into the second half, Sturridge scored his first goal of the season after such a long injury spell and what a goal that was he strikes a volley from outside of his left foot, across the keeper into the goal. It was a beauty after managing superbly well to control the ball before finishing it.

Villa pulled one back with Gestede but Sturridge double his tally and restored the 2-goal by slotting the ball past the keeper after some brilliant interplay between Coutinho who set the goal up by a sweet backheel.

Gestede again got a goal back for the visitors with a towering header, and the keeper couldn’t have done anything about that. They managed to twice walk over our defence which made it slightly nervy end to the goal but we played with lots of determination and attacking intent. While defence would still need a lot of work, it is a great boost to have Sturridge fit and kicking. It was 3 points at the end as the game finished Liverpool 3-2 Aston Villa and Brendan Rodgers lives to fight another day.

Ben Howard – Under The Same Sun

Came across Ben Howard, and this performance just blew me away. The guitar tapping is just amazing to watch and even better to listen to. Like many of his songs (Promise and Oats in the water), these are somehow perfect to cool down after a long day.

Will you be there when the day’s done
Will you be there
Under the same, under the same sun
Under the same, under the same sun

And here is link to his live performance of Under the Same Sun at Point FMR back in 2010:

Brew up some laughter

I recently was having a chat with a friend on what more could I add here. After initial few suggestions of food blogging (yes, I am going to do that soon – going to places and tasting some of their top delicacies), coffee tasting (got some mouth-watering recommendations which I am sure to share here as and when I try them) and maybe even the stuffs that I cook up, I was sold – all of them.

Well, let me just clear it out that I am not doing any of the above in this particular entry before anyone starts wondering what is this post about!

Okay okay, I will jump to the point now. Back to the same friend, she has a peculiar taste for green tea (ah, we all know those at work who keep on sipping on this couple times a day). Now, people generally have it for health benefits such as treating headaches, improving brain function (lol, not my words), increasing antioxidants, and even burning fat to name a few. I am in no position to comment on any of validity of these and yes, I do have a cup or two occasionally.

Green tea 

But this is not the reason why few of us office drink it, or atleast the reason why I do. What we get out of it is pretty unexpected, strange “high” feeling followed by jovial mood and lots of joking around – which is not funny to anyone else but those on the green tea, not that we would care.

It is a wonderful carefree feeling that you get and what’s better than sharing that with some of your best friends (I will leave work out that). Now that is a benefit worth considering.

Reds held to 1-1 draw by Norwich

Daniel Sturridge (yes, finally!) and Coutinho return to the lineup against Norwich City after a disappointing spell of games, and having played out a 1-1 draw mid-week against Bordeaux.

First time this season we had our best available striking partnership up front with both Sturridge Benteke leading the team out. Sakho, back of signing a long-term contract with us, and Moreno also came into the side after their encouraging performance in the Europa League tie.

The first half didn’t have much for either side to show for as it ended goalless. There were few off chances for both sides but nothing coming out of it. This sparked a half-time substitution by Rodgers to replace Benteke (injury?) with Danny Ings – and this reaped immediate return as Ings grabbed his first goal for the club inside 3 minutes of coming on after calmly controlling a sweet through ball by Moreno before carefully slotting it past Ruddy (who was up to anything and everything that we threw at them, expect for this one occasion).

Russell Martin level the scoreline at 61′ minutes by lobbing the ball past Mignolet, who wasn’t able to punch the ball into safety and instead dropped to Martin – and he made sure we were punished for that.

Ings had a wonderful chance to get another after what was a good build-up play between him and Lallana to force their way into the penalty box full of defenders but he lost control with a heavy touch after having dribbled past the keeper. Coutinho also had a chance as he was set one-on-one with the keeper after the Referee allowed a good advantage for Reds, but his shot was right at oncoming Ruddy and was pushed away to safety.

Coutinho, Lallana, Ings and Moreno seemed in better shape today playing in their natural positions and were creating few openings late into the second half. Obviously this was too little too late, and yet again Firmino (who came on for Lucas in the second half) didn’t make much impact.

Boos rang around Anfield (even the Kop end if you’d believe!) at the final whistle as Liverpool failed to make the most of the chances created in the second half and the game ended with a point for each side. Disappointing, yes – but atleast we created chances. Don’t get me wrong, a draw against Norwich at Anfield is bad and what is more pathetic is that we are without a victory in the last 5 games. And the increasing majority want a change at the position held by Brendan Rodgers as the heat just keeps on increasing.

Next up – Carlisle United in the Football League Cup Third round on the Wednesday, 23rd September. Gone are those days when we could actually be sure about any game. It might as well be a completely different struggle when we face off the League Two side.

An Optimist?

Was reading through an article on Lifehack and came across this quote which I wanted to share..

“We are all blessed with the present for a reason: to take advantage of the moment we are currently living, letting go of the bad things we were told in the past.”

If everything was supposed to turn out the way they tell us then what’s the point of this life? You have head and a heart to make your own reality, making your choices and owning the life that you want. Live!

Another wonderful line in there which really hits the note is:

“You have no control over the day you were born or the day that you die, but you do have control over what you do in between those days”

No point worrying about things which are eventually going to happen – all you can do is decide what to before the inevitable happens and have no regrets when that comes (I know the second part is easier said than done, but I am trying to practice that; let’s see how it goes).

Optimism is worth a shot, isn’t it? Others might say Murphy’s law often holds true, but maybe that’s why they sometimes call us “Hopeless Optimists”. After all, we are all a little hopeless in our own ways.

No consolation for Reds

Liverpool came into this game one point better off than same time last year as they visited Old Trafford for a face-off which is known all round the world for one of the fiercest rivalries in football. The Reds (nah, not Man United) secured Christian Benteke who scored both home and away last season against the Red Devils for Aston Villa; David De Gea returned to the Manchester United side after his Real Madrid move fell through.

Both teams were missing some of their stars – Danny Ings replacing the suspended Philippe Coutinho (Henderson and Lallana still out with injury) while on the other end, Marouane Fellaini was named up front instead of Wayne Rooney who missed the game as precautionary measure ahead of the their Champions League group stage match against PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday.

The first half of the game was lackluster, with neither side having a single shot on goal. The possession was largely dominated by the home side and Liverpool were susceptible at the back. Benteke could do very little in the striker position with no one there to support or feed off him.

Into the second half, Ashley Young replaced Memphis Depay to try and liven up things. And shortly after coming on, he won a free-kick at the edge of penalty box after being fouled by Clyne (who was booked as well). Daley Blind sidefooted the ball into the goal net from the low free-kick, giving home side the lead at the 49th minute mark.

Liverpool tried pushing United back a little with what was the first shot at goal in 54 minutes when Ings controlled the ball inside the penalty box and took a shot, as he was lost his balance, which bounced awkwardly but was saved by De Gea. That marked the end of what little spell the away side had in control of the ball. Much like the recent few games, we were far too careless by giving the possession away and at the same time not making the most of it when actually on it.

Firmino offered very little in the game and was replaced by Jordan Ibe moments after somehow not managing to put the ball into the net after a goal-line clearance off of Skrtel’s attempted header. That aside, United remained in control of the game and could afford to offer Anthony Marshals who came on to replace Mata. Shortly after that, Ander Herrera was brought down by Joe Gomez, giving away a penalty and the opportunity to double the lead; and that’s exactly what Herrera did from the resulting spot kick.

Divock Origi was given his competitive debut for Liverpool when he was substituted in for Danny Ings, but that really wasn’t a move which was meant to turn things around with the home side sitting comfortably 2-0 ahead and still controlling majority of the ball play.

WIth 6 minutes remaining on the clock, Benteke pulled one back with a magnificent bicycle kick as De Gea could do nothing to stop that from going in. Although we clearly didn’t do much to deserve a single point here, much less win, that goal gave the players little bit of hope. However, it didn’t last for long as owing to shambles in our defence with Skrtel the main culprit on this occasion, Marshals restored United’s two goal lead by slotting the ball past the helpless keeper.

The positioning was terrible to start off the game with Ings and Origi (who came on later) were put on the wings while Benteke remained all on his own up front, Milner not allowed to go much forward and Firmino missing in action the game was, much like the season and recent performances under Brendan Rodgers, was in complete disarray.

More people join in to call for Rodgers’ head and with performances like this, it is you can’t argue with that. There needs to be an assessment of how the season is headed so far and contingencies need to placed – someone has to take the accountability because this much more than coincidences and bad luck. Bordeaux in mid-week would probably be a good springboard 4 consecutive home games follow it before heading into the Merseyside Derby.

Jason Reeves – Reaching

An incredible song by Jason Reeves.. just read those words..

You’re inches from my fingertips
I’ve come as close as I can get
I’m reaching but the rest is up to you
Yeah, ’cause I don’t ever wanna miss
Being here with you like this
I’m trying but it’s all that I can do
I’m reaching but the rest is up to you

Now let the song take you away.

Misunderstandings

It has been couple of weeks since I came to actualization that life isn’t fair (maybe I was too naive). I know it seems too cliche because you have heard this so many times before, however there comes a moment when it strikes you – not because people told you but when you have faced the reality.

Like I said in an earlier post, you need to draw the line at some point – which clearly divides what you can, want and what you really need. Obviously it’s not as easy as merely saying it. In the last fews weeks, there have been few disagreements with some of the people I really hold close to my heart – what hurts more is the part that I let them down, led to this confusion (when I really didn’t mean to) and then reacted in stupid/childish ways. Some might say, it’s the way of life, people come around if they are meant to, give them time and things would be alright and so on. But that just eats me up owing to the fact that it was all my undoing, and I should have done better.

Let me rewind it a little so that there is a bit more of perspective to what I am referring to. A month or two back I had stumbled upon something which really enlightened me on the way that I looked at myself, others, my interaction with people, and how they perceived my behaviour (I will come back to this specific topic in a while). This came around the time when things weren’t really going well and I was at a loss of a reason to figure out the ‘why’ of it all (I think that might be worth a different post). This is when I tried out the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test and the outcome was INFJ, sometimes referred to as Counselors who are apparently the rarest type, making up only 1% or less of the population.

Uteliggeren - No One is Only What you SeeWe are extremely private, very observant, little bit creative, highly sensitive and sometimes downright obsessive. I believe the first few aspects are usually visible to all whenever they come across any person with such traits but what really makes or breaks us (INFJs) is the sensitivity. We feel the emotions in the most surreal of manners – not only our own, but also of the people who we care about. It really tears us apart to not being able to help out in any given situation. Although the world doesn’t sees it as our problem to deal with, we (for some unknown reason) feel the personal responsibility to do everything in our capacity to help out.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Would have nearly seemed like I was bragging about it. Well, there is a flipside to that. The emotional awareness and high sensitivity puts us up in a situation where we, at times, do more harm to ourselves and others. It takes a toll on us to continuously put our mind in the other person’s shoes for every single conversation that we have with them – often not realizing that we might just be making it way more complicated than it was supposed to be. We dwell in them by playing through all the scenarios right down to the worst possible outcome. This can easily go on to an unhealthy level where you can’t think clearly enough, but still feel the urge to resolve a problem – which in several of the recent cases were due to poor judgement on my part.

While I thought I was being open-hearted to them and thought (to myself) that being completely honest about the circumstances would be the best way forward, it clearly didn’t turn out that way. I presumed that I could balance all the different emotions, live up to all the expectations (others’ as well as my own) and still be able to be true to myself. But as it turns out.. what you do, what you get and more importantly ‘why’ would not necessarily be seen the way you meant it; all you would be left with is the feeling of being misunderstood as you go through life yearning for the people to really get you.

Sometimes all of this just makes me think, shouldn’t I take a few steps back and keep it all to myself? In the past, I have ‘relapsed’ on this thought several times and not sure if it is actually possible but it becomes a mental conflict when this comes in the way of harmony with the people I care about. Maybe I am a sucker for all of this. All that said, I am really sorry to have hurt the people who put their trust and faith in me.

Photo: “Uteliggeren – No One is Only What you See” by Anne Worner / CC BY-SA 2.0

PS: I used to think I had good command over written words but given how things have gone down recently, the following message sums it up perfectly. (Maybe its easier to choose the words when you are writing a message on behalf of someone else as you don’t have to face the response)