What’s been happening in the world of football on Merseyside this week? Jennifer Jewell gives us the scoop…
Welcome Back Baines
Leighton Baines finally made his return to the pitch this week when he came on in the mid-week match against Middlesbrough with around 20 minutes to go. The long-awaited return delighted Evertonians who have no doubt missed him in his absence. Youngster Brendan Galloway has done a good job covering the left-back position since May, but it is no surprise that the Toffees are delighted to have their first choice back. The 30-year-old said “It was great to get back out on the pitch”. It is great to have you back, Leighton.
Sturridge Strikes Back
There was a shocking statistic last week that showed Daniel Sturridge had missed more games than he had played in the past three years for Liverpool – a total of 68 matches on the sidelines. His manager, Jurgen Klopp, then spoke to the media stating the striker needed to distinguish the difference between pain and “serious pain” after his complaints of an injury turned out to be all-clear following a scan. It wasn’t a good week for Sturridge… that is until he stepped up in the Capital One Quarter-Final in his first start under Klopp and scored two goals in their sensational win over Southampton to bring attention to his quality and not his injuries once again.
Lukaku Has It All
Romelu Lukaku has joined an illustrious club by becoming just the fifth player to score 50 Premier League goals before the age of 23. The 22-year-old Belgian joins Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney to underline that he has the talent to take him to the top. And Roberto Martinez agrees that his star striker has all the attributes needed to be a top striker: “He has the old fashioned traits – he can have his back to play, the strength, the power. But he can also run with the ball and is a clinical finisher.” Congrats Rom!
It was a great week for both teams on Merseyside, with both securing their place in the Capital One semi-finals with impressive wins. Klopp’s Liverpool side put on a stunning display to win 6-1 at St Mary’s Stadium, while Martinez’s side looked very comfortable in their 2-0 win over their opponents away from home with another stunning display from on-form winger Gerard Deulofeu. The draw for the semis turned out to be much more favourable for the red side of Merseyside, with Liverpool set to face Stoke in January and Everton facing Manchester City in the New Year. Whatever happens, let’s hope the Cup makes its way to Merseyside in February.
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