Tue. October 26, 2021
League Cup - 4th Round
Dover vs. Liverpool
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK
Betting Odds: Dover: 7-4 Draw: N/A Liverpool: 5-4 (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 3W 2D 6L
I'm pretty sure we've faced Liverpool more times than any other team in this dynasty - they started by winning the first six meetings and now we've gone undefeated in our last five, including a 1-0 away win earlier this year. Our win over United has earned us a bit more respect from the oddsmakers, as the 7-4 line to win is MUCH better than it was a week ago for this game. Liverpool are struggling so far this year, sitting in 10th place and manager Marco van Basten is under fire in the press for the team's lack of wins.
I'm pretty much going with a full "B" squad today but will start Giorgos Gesios up front. Unhappy loanee Paul Moses will start up front beside him and Zoltan Bardi is available off the bench. I'll also have Andrea Rocca and Neil Cairney available to come on if necessary.
Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - Y. Sylla
D - J. Varga, C. Contreras, A. Kokaina, J. Kuciak
M - C. Murray, Mancini, S. Spall, K. Kalfas
S - G. Gesios, P. Moses
Bench - S. Loucif, P. Tjiuoro, A. Rocca, N. Cairney, S. Nasri, A. Zubizarreta, Z. Bardi
Liverpool are using a lot of spares today as well but a few key players are in, including goalkeeper Chris Dunn and midfielder Adam Hill. Raymond de Winter is up front along with Antonio. I tell the team to do it for the supporters and pull aside Moses, Spall and Sylla to say I have faith in their abilities.
7' - Abdallaye Kokaina gets a yellow card.
10' - Paul Moses stupidly takes a shot from way out near the right sideline and the ball deflects off a defender and up field. Liverpool work the counter and Raymond de Winter is sent through the defence. He makes no mistake putting it by Sylla and Liverpool take the early lead. LIVERPOOL GOAL 0-1
30' - Incredibly there is very little action until Cameron Murray gets a ball down the left flank. He dribbles to the byline and sends in a cross and there is Kostas Kalfas, at 6' 4", rising above the Liverpool defenders and heading it forcefully off goalkeeper Chris Dunn and into the net to pull level! DOVER GOAL 1-1
32' - Striker Antonio has his back to goal on the edge of the area and pivots to his stronger right foot. His low shot is turned aside by a diving Sylla.
34' - Paul Moses crosses a ball into the area that is cleared but right to Shaun Spall. He sends a hard shot back toward goal and Chris Dunn shows his great reflexes by making the save.
40' - We control possession after a Liverpool goal kick and Gesios sends a great through ball to Shaun Spall. He drives a low shot that Dunn does well to push behind goal.
HALFTIME - Liverpool are edging us in possession 53%-47% but we have a shots edge 10-8 (4-3 on target). Our central defenders aren't having good games, with Kokaina sitting at 5.9 and Contreras at 6.0. I tell the team we only need one goal…you can do it!
51' - And…we don't respond out of the room. Liverpool have a throw in and the ball is eventually fed from Adam Hill to Bi Quattara, their fine midfielder. He is in the middle of the field and unmarked and from just outside the area, he blasts a low shot that Sylla can't corral and it's in the net. LIVERPOOL GOAL 1-2
54' - Kokaina takes down de Winter in our area and therre is no foul call. Yikes - that looked like a sure penalty and Liverpool are FURIOUS.
64' - Zoltan Bardi is brought on for Paul Moses.
73' - Nothing much happening. I bring in Andrea Rocca and take out Mancini and we move to an Attacking mentality.
75' - Our substitution almost pays off immediately. Rocca takes a free kick and the ball squirts to Claudio Contreras. He sends a low shot through traffic that Dunn dives to stop and Liverpool clear before the slow-to-react Cameron Murray can pounce on the rebound.
84' - We overload.
Nothing comes of it, as usual, when we are forced into changing to attacking formations.
Dover 1 - 2 Liverpool
Goals - Kostas Kalfas (7.6)
Assists - Cameron Murray (7.0)
Man of the Match - Kostas Kalfas
Other Dover Notables -
Attendance - 14,658
Possession essentially stayed the same, with Liverpool holding 53% of the ball while we outshot them 19-14 (6-5 on target). A very disappointing result - I hoped that with Gesios and Moses up front that we could get a win but they disappointed. Gesios is really struggling to regain form after his injury and it's becoming worrisome. At the end of the day, it's just the League Cup…not a big deal - we have bigger fish to fry!
-- An away matchup against high-scoring surprise package Sunderland, currently sitting in second on the table.