Seventeen days in a row of non-stop World Cup action! It has been a very up and down tournament in many regards, but it’s all getting tense and exciting now in a sporting sense.
Today at the World Cup
Yesterday, meet today. The early game went to extra time and penalties; the later game was effectively done by half-time.
- Morocco can defend, don’t you know. Some of the team can do so extremely well. The rest can do it excellently
- Spain, on the other hand, can pass very well. But do not finish well in the slightest, still. Not in open play and not from the penalty spot
- Portugal and Switzerland was billed as a close game. The Iberians made significant changes to ensure it was not
- An absolute beating for the Swiss came courtesy of Goncalo Ramos replacing Cristiano Ronaldo in the line-up and scoring twice in a 6-1 win
Spain can have all the possession they want against a lot of sides, but that doesn’t let them taste victory when it matters most.
Morocco frustrated them, threatened them and took them to penalties – just about, after a late shot off the post – and the Atlas Lions continued making their own history by seeing goalkeeper Bounou save three. Into the last eight they go.
Later, it was Portugal who took the game to Switzerland and absolutely wiped the floor with them – after Fernando Santos finally made the big calls to take his captain and striker Cristiano out of the team.
Without his inability to run the channels, relentlessly sprint behind defences and play very quick return passes, Portugal were utterly liberated.
Ramos scored twice, wing-back Raphael Guerreiro scored one of the best team goals of the tournament and even veteran centre-back Pepe got in on the act.
The Reds have been widely linked with two central midfielders over the past two weeks, both of very different types and traits.
Up first is the one which is typically exciting all supporters – the non-stop machine which is Jude Bellingham.
Borussia Dortmund won’t want to let him go cheaply, as you’d expect, but the England man will be allowed to leave in the summer – for up to £150m. Real Madrid are concerned they can’t pay it, but Liverpool (apparently) might do.
The second midfielder is Sofyan Amrabat, the Morocco ball-winner who has been integral to their run to the World Cup quarter-finals.
Latest Liverpool FC news
- Luis Diaz and Naby Keita were back in training with the Reds after injury on their first day in action in Dubai
- Jurgen Klopp was photographed upon the Reds’ arrival in Dubai, meeting locals and officials at the beginning of the mid-season training trip
- Jordan Henderson is the “best version of himself” according to his England manager and is helping Bellingham progress
Something you may have missed…
We could do something negative. We could, for example, put Spain’s missed and utterly horrendous penalties here.
But instead, let’s applaud the ice-cool Achraf Hakimi and his Panenka penalty to make history for his nation.
Born in Madrid he knocks Spain out!! ????
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) December 6, 2022
Wednesday’s matches and LFC aspects
None! We’ve reached the end of a 17-day run and for 48 hours you can all use your TVs for something else entirely.
On Friday it’s:
- 3pm: Croatia vs Brazil
- 7pm: Netherlands vs Argentina
From an LFC perspective, that day is all about how far Dutch skipper big Virg can go in the tournament.
He’ll be primarily tasked with stopping the world’s greatest No10, Lionel Messi, and a semi-final berth is at stake.