Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. January 12, 2022
Barclays Premier League
Dover (11-7-4, 40 points, 4th) vs. Liverpool (12-6-4, 42 points, 3rd)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK
Betting Odds: Dover: 11-5 Draw: 11-5 Liverpool: Evens (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 3W 2D 7L
We face Liverpool for the third time this year, having beaten them 1-0 away in Premier League play then lost at home 2-1 in League Cup 4th round action. They are on a five game unbeaten streak in all competitions and have balanced scoring, with Piotr Parzyszek leading them with only 8 goals. Liverpool are favourites on the road and hopefully our club can rally behind that fact.
We're going with a flat 4-4-2 control mentality, something that has worked as a great home tactic against good competition, as we've beaten Man United AND Arsenal with it, most recently humbling the Gunners 6-0 last month. No lineup changes - we need our best players to perform today.
Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, A. Rocca, N. Cairney, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios, Z. Bardi
Bench - J. Varga, J. Kuciak, P. Tjiuoro, Mancini, A. Zubizarreta, C. Murray, P. Moses
Liverpool start in a flat 4-4-2 as well, with Rafael Flores and Parzyszek up front. Jonjo Shelvey is in midfield and always plays well against us. Chris Dunn is their keeper and he's always a thorn in our side as well. Like the Arsenal game, my assistant recommends telling the players to go out and express themselves for the fans so I go with it but pull aside Cairney, Rocca and Contreras to tell them I have faith in their abilities. We've really played well against top competition this year and I'm hoping that we bring our "A" game again tonight.
2' - Liverpool control play for most of the first two minutes. Their right midfielder Erik Koning, a guy I don't really recognize from previous encounters, skins Renato Gaucho early but he recovers to stop that rush but Koning has the ball a minute later and feeds in the middle to Parzyszek, who calmly deposits the ball into the net for the quick goal. Damnit. LIVERPOOL GOAL 0-1
9' - We feed a great ball into the box to Bardi but he embellishes a trip and is given a yellow card for diving.
11' - Contreras misses a tackle on Parzyszek and the Liverpool striker storms down the field. Hamon tries to come over to help but Parzyszek hits a hard low blast into the corner for his second goal in eleven minutes. We're in BIG trouble. Contreras is having a horror game already, as he missed coverage on the first goal as well. LIVERPOOL GOAL 0-2
17' - Rocca sends a glorious through ball to Gesios in the area and he pounds the ball into the goal! But wait…the assistant's flag is up and Gesios is called offsides. FUCK YOU! The replay is inconclusive. No goal.
Our whole team is essentially wound up right now.
19' - Parzyszek is sent in AGAIN past Contreras, who is looking horrifyingly bad tonight and Wilke has to stop a breakaway. This is awful stuff.
24' - We simply have no answer for Parzyszek tonight as again, he gains a step on Hamon and shoots hard at goal but Wilke makes the save.
27' - We have about three glorious chances off a corner attempt, with Cairney, Rocca and Bamba all getting shots off but we can't convert.
34' - Now Gesios embellishes a foul in the Liverpool area and is yellow carded. Can I bench the whole team at half?
43' - So after we have two calls go against us in the Liverpool penalty area, what do you think happens? A Reds player goes down in our area and this fucking referee calls a penalty. Two goal man Parzyszek steps up, Wilke guesses right but can't get there and Liverpool's striker has a first half hat trick. Holy shit this is a disaster. LIVERPOOL GOAL 0-3
45' - Bamba sends in Gesios, who looks about ten yards offsides but his hard shot is saved by Chris Dunn.
HALFTIME - What can you say? We held 55% of possession and outshot them 14-8 (4-6 on target). They've made their chances count, we haven't for a third consecutive game without our top scorer and we're getting blasted in front of our home supporters. I read the riot act in the dressing room and storm out.
47' - There is NOTHING going right and now the worst thing possible happens as Neil Cairney gets hurt and needs to come off. I bring in Aitor Zubizarreta and we'll hope that it's nothing serious for Cairney but he's got the dreaded "+" above his name.
50' - We have a chance in close off a corner kick but Bamba's hard blast is turned behind the net by Dunn.
53' - This ref is a joke. Zubizarreta with a yellow where he did take someone down but play continued for about 5 seconds before the ref blew his whistle.
63' - Bardi sends in Gesios down the left side, he cuts into the middle and fires just wide.
Pretty much time to give up and think about our next game. We take out Bardi and Rocca and bring in Paul Moses and Mancini.
68' - Annnnd…it gets worse. Liverpool's solid midfielder Adam Hill makes a BEAUTIFUL back heel pass to substitute striker Nikita Kalinic and he hits a piledriver from the outer edge of the area past a diving Wilke. Worst loss of the year coming - we haven't lost like this in awhile. Spectacular goal though. LIVERPOOL GOAL 0-4
75' - We get one back. We move the ball around nicely and it's Paul Moses finding Gesios at the top of the area. He sends a relatively weak shot at goal but it's perfectly placed beyond a diving Chris Dunn and we're on the board. Little consolation at this point. DOVER GOAL 1-4
78' - Bolis streaks down the right wing and sends in a cross that the Liverpool defender kicks into his own goal!!! But wait? The assistant's flag is up AGAIN?!?! Moses is called for a FOUL?!?! WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?! THESE REFS ARE ON THE TAKE! That's TWO disallowed goals for us, a penalty shot for them…two diving penalties for us in their area. This is a travesty.
90'+1 - Wilke saves a Parzyszek shot that denies him a fourth goal.
I'm going to be sick.
Dover 1 - 4 Liverpool
Goals - Giorgos Gesios (8.3)
Assists - Paul Moses (6.8)
Man of the Match - Piotr Parzyszek (Liverpool ST - 9.5)
Other Dover Notables - Claudio Contreras (5.8), Renato Gaucho (5.9)
Attendance - 18,584
Nice game for a record home crowd to see isn't it? Yeah, I think not. We edge them in possession, holding 51% of the ball and we outshoot them 20-14 (7-9 on target). Just a horrific game. I don't go into the dressing room after the game - let them figure things out themselves. Still, the refs were a disaster today and were a big reason why we lost.
-- Thankfully, Neil Cairney's injury isn't too serious. He suffers a twisted ankle and will miss about three weeks.
-- Wow. Man City lose a THIRD consecutive game, this time to Everton 1-0. And United only draw Fulham?!? Looks like we're not the only team struggling but this race is REALLY tightening up. We're still fourth but Arsenal and Reading are now tied with us in points and both have games in hand.
Transfer Window Fun
-- Our work permit for Le Mans FC striker Orlando Scolari is approved, setting the stage for the youngster to join us in July. It's doubtful he'll play for us next year but I will look to loan him out and perhaps sell him down the road if he doesn't turn into a useable player for us.
-- Man City come calling for young Emmerson Harvey, offering me £4.6 million, a measly 100K more than I paid for him. Rejected.
-- Chelsea offer £9.5 million for Arsene Bamba and that's rejected too.
-- I'm happy to announce that we've extended the contract of Salim Loucif, our fine right fullback for an additional year (to 2026) and that also gave us the opportunity to raise his minimum release clause to £18.5 million. He also gets a nice raise of close to £10,000/week, bringing his weekly wage to £32,500.
-- We head on the road to face relegation candidates Southampton.