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The Best Moments Of 2011-12
JestaYNWA (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Greetings all.

Another rollercoaster season is almost over. It has had more than its fair share of disappointments, controversies and agonising near misses. There is no doubt that Liverpool Football Club is in the middle of a transitional phase but it certainly hasnt been all bad news. Amongst the hardships of 2011-12 there are still a few moments that have provided a glimpse of the golden sky behind the storm clouds.

Below I have listed some the moments that I personally, along with many other Reds supporters, will remember the most fondly. They are here in chronological order but I encourage everyone to rank at least their favourite five if time permits. Also, if anyone wants to share their thoughts or even video highlights of the moments then please feel free.

Anyway, enjoy and YNWA
JestaYNWA (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Barclays Premier League
20/11/2011 Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool Stamford Brige
"Former players come back to haunt Liverpool....Or is it the other way around?"

The rivalry between Liverpool and Chelsea has become one of the most significant in the modern Premier League era. During the reign of Gerard Houlier the reds and blues often battled for the prized fourth Champions League spot. Then, the fierce competition between Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez took it to a new level. However, the recent defections of Fernando Torres and Raul Meireles away from Liverpool (where they were fan favourites) to the London club added an extra degree of importance and even bitterness to the rivalry.

It comes as no surprise then that the focus going in to the two clubs league clash in November was the potential impact Torres and Meireles would have in giving Andre Villas Boas men the win at Stamford Bridge. Both players came on as second half substitutes with the match locked at 1-1. The twist in this particular tale saw the match soon swing in Liverpool's favour. A brilliant cross field pass from Charlie Adam found Glen Johnson, ironically a former Chelsea player, who displayed perfect control and poise to cut inside the box and cooly despatch the winning goal.

"It was a great finish by Glen. I don't know what he was doing in there but it was a great finish! It's not bad when your right fullback does it – and it gives you an indication of the commitment and what the players were hoping to get out of the game. We're happy with how we've played and delighted with the three points." - Kenny Dalglsh

It was a great moment for Glen who was beginning to receive criticism for sub-par performances since his return from injury. It was a great moment for Kenny Dalglish as he extended his incredible unbeaten run against Chelsea as manager. And, without a doubt, it was a great moment for the fans. Some had feared the heartbreak of seeing a former hero condemn them to defeat. Instead, the tables were well and truly turned.

JestaYNWA (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Carling Cup Quarter Final
29/11/2011 Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool Stamford Bridge
"And just look what it means to him...."

The Liverpool Academy has a track record of producing quality players. Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher are testament to that. In the last few years though it has come under criticism for the lack of first team players emerging from this legendary training program. The return of Kenny Dalglish to the Liverpool helm has seen a mini resurgence though.

The most impressive of the recent graduates is defender Martin Kelly. A local lad who can play at right full back or in the heart of defence, Kelly was one of the brightest hopes to emerge from a turbulent few years. He has been touted as a potential future captain and only injury has prevented him from gaining his first full international cap for England. It is all of these reasons that make his first ever Liverpool goal such a memorable one.

“I’m made up with the goal and we’re all happy with the team performance. It was a great cross from Craig and I managed to get a free header. You’ve got to take them. It’s been a long time coming." - Martin Kelly

A tough Carling Cup draw saw the Reds heading back to Stamford Bridge for the Quarter Final. Progress in the Cup was vital as an opportunity to end a six year trophy doubt and win the only piece of silverware missing from Dalglish's personal cabinet. It was, therefore, fantastic to see Marto rise above the Chelsea defence to head home his debut goal from a Craig Bellamy free kick. His celebration said it all. It was a goal that meant the world to him, to his manager and to the fans that have loved seeing him grow as a footballer.

JestaYNWA (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Carling Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg
25/01/2012 Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City (Liverpool win 3-2 on aggregate) Anfield
"Shopping for bargains pays off"

It has been a ongoing theme in the media for any analysis of Liverpool's season to mention or even focus on the unprecedented level of spending that took place in the transfer market. The inflated fees payed for the likes of Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson have been emphasised to the extent of tedium. Amongst all of the summer signings though, one stands out as a true bargain. Craig Bellamy's second coming, on a free transfer from Manchester City, has been brilliant.

Going in to the second leg of the Carling Cup semi final, Liverpool found themselves on the brink of a return to Wembley having claimed the away leg 1-0. However, it was never going to be an easy assignment to keep City at bay. In fact, there was a feeling of inevitability when the then league leaders took a 2-1 lead. Like Glen Johnson earlier in the season though, Bellers stood up and delivered the final nail in the coffin of his former club.

“Bellamy was the difference tonight. His pace is always a threat and when a chance falls to him we know he can finish it." - Steven Gerrard
"He (Bellamy) was unbelievable. If Man City have anyone else like Craig that they don't want to keep, they know where we are," - Kenny Dalglish

Almost as a deliberate act of vindication for himself and his manager who took the risk to bring him back to Anfield, Bellamy put in a man of the match performance capped off with the decisive goal that levelled the tie on the night and sent the Reds through to their first cup final in five years. Adding to the special feeling of this moment was the class showed by Bellers in the aftermath. Out of respect he did not celebrate in the face of the supporters of his former club. So for all the questioning of his character and attitude that comes through in the media, and in the wake of the tragic loss of mentor Gary Speed, Bellamy showed a maturity and composure that proved just how far he has come.

JestaYNWA (Liverpool) 4 years ago
FA Cup Fourth Round
28/01/2012 Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United Anfield
"Special players do special things at special times"

With a return to Wembley already booked, Liverpool played their second FA Cup match with renewed self belief. The match was incredibly important. Not only was it an opportunity to progress into the next round of one othe most prestigious domestic cup competitions in the world, but it was also an opportunity to get a win over their most bitter rivals. Add to this the tension between the two sides after the Suarez-Evra saga. Put simply, this was a big occasion. It would take something special to win it....Or more accurately, someONE special.

Enter Dirk Kuyt. The hardworking Dutchman was in an interesting position going in to the game. A dry spell in front of goal coupled with limited opportunities due to the new signings had led to Kuyt experiencing his most difficult time since joining the Reds in the 2006-07 season. A lesser man would've cracked under the pressure of it all. A man like Dirk, however, rises to the occasion. Late in the match, scores locked at 1-1, a long ball was nodded on by Andy Carroll into the path of the tireless Dutchman whose clinical finish silenced the doubters and sent the Anfield faithful into raptures.

“I have good memories from our recent games with United,” said Kuyt. “To score a hat-trick last season and the winning goal in the FA Cup tie, which was a major game for the club, was special, especially when you do this in front of the Kop.
“Every time Liverpool play Manchester United, there is always something going on around it. That is what makes it such a special game. These games have passion and emotion."
“The fixture could not be any bigger than it already was, or the rivalry any greater. Liverpool versus Manchester United will always mean something a bit more to the clubs and that is how it should be.” - Dirk Kuyt

It was a goal that continued Liverpool's great cup form and added to Kuyt's legacy of scoring the important goals at the most important times. The added satisfaction of it being a late winner against the old enemy was merely icing on the cake.

ScouserDan (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Dirk knocking the rag bastards out of the FA Cup @ the KOP End.... Brilliant!    "Dirk Kuyt, Working class hero"
JestaYNWA (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Carling Cup Final
26/02/2012 Liverpool 2-2 Cardiff City (Liverpool win 3-2 on penalties) Wembley
"Eating nails will do that to a man"

The moment had arrived. After five years of struggles and almost two decades of absence from Wembley, the time had come. A Cup Final. A Cup Final with the Reds as heavy favourites against Championship side Cardiff. In typical fashion though, nothing went to plan and Liverpool once again had to do things the hard way.

A goal down and heading towards potential humiliation and despair, the Reds needed something, a moment of inspiration. The funny thing about football though is that you never know where these moments can come from. Liverpool's came from Martin Skrtel. In a season where the frontmen had struggled to put the ball in the back of the net, the big centre half took his chance and levelled the score.

“It was very special. I don’t score too many goals, so to do so in a cup final, and to help my team win a trophy, I am very happy.” - Martin Skrtel

This moment isn't just about the goal though. This moment in the spotlight was just reward for a man who had established himself over the preceding 12 months as a consistent, quality performer. A man who showed great leadership in not only taking his chance but also in rallying his teammates to push on for a winner and will surely be named Liverpool's player of the season.

JestaYNWA (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Carling Cup Final
26/02/2012 Liverpool 2-2 Cardiff City (Liverpool win 3-2 on penalties) Wembley
"When you need someone to stand up and be counted...."

Effort. Its the one thing you can always guarantee from Dirk Kuyt. Sometimes that effort goes unrewarded or without acknowledgment. As I touched on earlier though, the Dutchman's hard work often reaps the biggest rewards in the biggest games. The man has won Merseyside derbies and scored his first Liverpool hattrick against the old enemy United.coming on as a substitute at Wembley, Kuyt dominated the extra time period with his workrate and determination.

Therefore, it was certainly just when he struck the goal that put his beloved Reds 2-1 up and on the verge of their first trophy in six years. It is further testament to his ability as it was the second cup final he had scored in during his time at Anfield, having scored the consolation goal in the 2-1 defeat to AC Milan in the 2007 Champions League Final.

"This is why I came to Anfield. To get my first medal is great.
"It was incredible, an incredible day. I was very disappointed not to play longer than 15 minutes but I have to put that aside. I'm so happy to have scored the goal. The most important thing was we kept believing and, in the end, I think we deserved this trophy.
"I said to Steven [Gerrard] after he missed, there's a few more to take and others can miss and they did. I knew I had to score my penalty or else it was all over and that's what I did. I have lots of respect for the manager, the team, the supporters. Cardiff deserved more but we wanted this trophy so desperately." - Dirk Kuyt

Although the goal was not as decisive as his strike against United in the FA Cup it was just as effective a reminder of the man's class and ability, even in a season where his opportunities have been limited. The fact that Cardiff cancelled out his goal with a last gasp equalizer doesn't detract from this moment. It just gave Kuyt the opportunity to score in the penalty shootout and lead the team he loves to silverware.

JestaYNWA (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Barclays Premier League
13/03/2012 Liverpool 3-0 Everton Anfield
"He passes the ball fooorty yaaards...."

Captain, talisman, hero, legend. All words that come to the mind of Liverpool supporters when the name Steven Gerrard is mentioned. Inspirational performances year after year left little doubt that Stevie's legacy was secure but that didn't mean the great man had no more big performances in him. In the midst of a horror run of league form the Reds tackled cross town rivals Everton in a match they had to win for the sake of the morale of the club and its supporters. Probably the perfect time then for the skipper to score a hattrick then huh?

Adding to the significance of a match winning hattrick from a local lad in a Merseyside derby was the return to form of Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan had a hand in two of the goals and showed the ability that had given opponents nightmares but had seemed to slip away during the Evra racism affair. It wasn't enough to steal the headlines from Gerrard but it adds to the significance of this moment.

"I'm not educated enough to add to what everyone has already said about Steven Gerrard. He has been fantastic for the club and I could not extol his virtues enough to do him justice." - Kenny Dalglish

No matter how you look at it, it was a night of history. Gerrard's 400th league game, Liverpool's 300th goal against Everton and the first Merseyside Derby hattrick since the great Ian Rush in 1982. Great night, great player and without a doubt a great moment.

JestaYNWA (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Barclays Premier League
10/04/2012 Blackburn Rovers 2-3 Liverpool Ewood Park
"For Luca...."

It has become almost a cliche but Bill Shankly once said that football was much more imporant than life and death. These words have been repeated over and over again but as legendary as the man and this particular quote is, it simply isn't true. Over the past season the tragic loss of Gary Speed, the trauma of Fabrice Muamba's on field cardiac arrest and the startling leukaemia diagnosis for Stilian Petrov have really put things into perspective. One man on the Liverpool roster knows this better than most. Brad Jones had already missed his opportunity to play in a World Cup after withdrawing from the Australian squad for South Africa 2010 in the wake of his young son Luca being diagnosed with leukaemia. Earlier this season, five year old Luca lost his brave battle and passed away.

Perhaps it was fate then that a man who had understandably put his family ahead of his career in recent times was given his chance to make his mark for Liverpool Football Club. Red cards to both Pepe Reina and Alexander Doni thrust Jones on to the field against Blackburn with the Reds 2-0 up and desperate to win only their second league match in nine outings. HIs first act on the night, his first actin the league overall for Liverpool was to save a penalty from Yakubu. Swarmed by his teammates, clutching the ball in his arms and with the roar of the Liverpool faithful in the background, Jones pointed to the heavens.

"What was going through my mind? Many a Friday on the training pitch with Yakubu at Middlesbrough. I have been with him a few years and on Fridays we used to practise penalties a lot so I knew his style and what he does. I had a guess and luckily I made the save. It has been a difficult 18 months with my son passing away. That was for him and obviously for the supporters as well for giving me the support they have. My girlfriend gave birth to a little boy so it has been a big week." - Brad Jones

It was not the best goalkeeping save you will ever see. The truth is that Yakubu's effort was probably one of the worst spot kicks he has ever taken. But this moment isn't about a goalkeeper winning awards for save of the season. It was a moment where a man who had endured a private hell that I cannot even imagine, got his moment in the spotlight. Further credit to Jonesy was the fact that, despite going on to concede two goals to Yakubu he fronted up a few days later and put in a solid effort that helped Liverpool beat Everton in the FA Cup semi final. Rarely do you feel genuine joy for an individual player when watching sport but it would take a heart of stone not to feel it for Brad Jones as he made that save. The revelation after the match that all of this took place just days after his second son was born was icing on the cake.

JestaYNWA (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Barclays Premier League
10/04/2012 Blackburn Rovers 2-3 Liverpool Ewood Park
"An Andy Carroll winner? What?! Where?!"

There hasn't been many times when a trip to Ewood Park took such significance for Liverpool in recent years. However, this particular encounter was nothing short of a must win for a club in dreadful league form and desperate for some momentum before the FA Cup semi final. It turned out to be a night of incredible emotion. Two early goals had Liverpool in charge but a red card to Doni changed the game in Rover's favour. Brad Jones saved a penalty with his first touch, much to the jubilation of the supporters in red but a Yakubu brace levelled the scores. With the momentum and a man advantage Blackburn were logical favourites to break the deadlock. Apparently, no one told Andy Carroll that.

Carroll has been much maligned by a large section of the media and even his own supporters. A lack of goals and the wasting of chances often superceded his potential for improvment in the eyes of many. How great it was then to see the big man head home the matchwinner and become the hero for a ten man side in one of the most enthralling Premier League games all season.

It was a quality goal as well. Sebastian Coates' longball was flicked on by Daniel Agger to the big Geordie who, despite missing an earlier easier chance, powered his header past Paul Robinson and grabbed the three points for the reds. It was the type of moment that can act as a foundation for a player like Andy to build on. And it didn't take long for him to do just that....

JestaYNWA (Liverpool) 4 years ago
FA Cup Semi Final
14/04/2012 Liverpool 2-1 Everton Wembley
"Apparently lightning does strike twice"

Andy Carroll scoring a winning goal against Blackburn Rovers was, for some, a sign of things to come. For others it was more a case of 'about time'. The fact that the big man did it again a few days later though, proved to be more effective in silencing the critics, for a little while at least.

All the ingredients were there for this to be an amazing match. The first Merseyside derby at Wembley in almost three decades is special enough but the fact that the match happened one day before the 23rd anniversary of Hillsborough added to the sheer emotion of the occassion. Add to this the irony of boyhood Evertonian Jamie Carragher gifting the Blues the opening goal before Sylvain Distin returned the favour for Suarez to equalize and the finale was always going to be dramatic. It was the combination of the bargain priced Craig Bellamy and the record signing in Carroll though that proved decisive.

"He will be remembered forever. That goal is worth £35million alone for me." - Jamie Carragher
"Certain players have had a lot of criticism this week but they stood up today. We bought Andy Carroll to score big goals and he has delivered today." - Steven Gerrard

So say what you want about Andy Carroll and his performances for the club so far but there is one undeniable fact. If you score a late winner some will remember you. If you score a late winner in an FA Cup semi final most will remember you. However, if you score a late winner in an FA Cup semi final against everton....Well, needless to say you earn a place in the hearts of every Liverpool supporter who witnesses it. Considering the criticism he has copped, that makes it a pretty damn good moment in my book.

JestaYNWA (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Barclays Premier League
28/04/2012     Norwich 0-3 Liverpool
"From the absolute top drawer...."

Clinical finishing. Shot efficiency. Offensive brilliance. None of these things have been apparent this season. So what an immense surprise it was to see Luis Suarez demonstrate them in a match where Liverpool did not even play to their full potential. He scored a hat trick of the highest quality.

His first came from nowhere. Gerrard stole the ball from a Norwich defender, immediately fed the ball to the Uruguayan who curled a brilliant left foot shot past John Ruddy, the goalkeeper that had frustrated the Reds at Anfield earlier in the season with a brilliant performance.
It was Suarez himself who pressured the Norwich defence for the second. Stealing the ball on the right flank, Liverpool's number 7 fired a powerful shot along the ground across the face of Ruddy's goal into the far corner. Off the post and in. A tiny margin for error, an unstoppable shot.
Two great goals in the space of four minutes but the best was yet to come.

 "Every goal was a great goal but that's no surprise because of the quality of the player. Luis is a fantastic player and a fantastic person and we're very fortunate to have him playing for us. When he plays like that it is very difficult for anyone to stop him." - Kenny Dalglish

"I was just about to have a go at him before the hat-trick goal. It was on the tip of my tongue to give him a rollicking. But that then turned into a round of applause.
"He's a top player, one of the best in the world on his day. Today was his day and his finishing was clinical. His movement is first class and we're on the same wavelength. He's a special player." - Steven Gerrard

Call it confidence or arrogance or even stupidity but it takes a brave person to ignore their captain on a counter attacking break, especially when it's 2 against 1 defender. You can't argue with results though. From 45 yards out Suarez spotted Ruddy off his line and delivered an audacious, outrageous but brilliant chip that floated over the flailing keeper and in to the back of the net.

It was an incredible ending to an important match. It showed what Liverpool can achieve with a little bit more class in front of goal. A first Liverpool treble for the Uruguayan, and he did it in the face of unrelenting jeers from the Canaries supporters. A special moment for the fans and Suarez personally in a difficult season.

JestaYNWA (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Well we didn't get that FA Cup Final moment we all wanted but stll, here are my top 5:

5. Bellamy vs Man City. I loved the way he proved the doubters wrong almost every time he stepped on the pitch but this was undoubtedly his finest performance. He got us to Wembley.

4. Gerrard vs Everton. A hat trick made even more special by the circumstances surrounding it. Each goal was quality and it's just another achievement for one of the greats.

3. Kuyt vs United. One of my favourite players and one of the most respected and he steps up against our greatest foes. Awesome. If this season is his last at Anfield then it's a hell of a memory to leave us with.

2. Carroll vs Everton. I've always wanted Andy to do well so when he popped up and put us into the FA Cup Final I flipped out. Great reward for his hardwork this season. The best is still yet to come.

1. Jones vs Blackburn. Call me sentimental but I have a feeling I will be remembering this for a long long time. Perhaps the Aussie connection that adds to this moments significance for me but I don't care. So happy for Jonesy
LesRouges (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Hopefully our second cup in the making
[account-removed] 4 years ago
Whenever reds were at the ground with the jersey on.... Best moments

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