STORY OF THE YEAR
l 2012 was a turbulent year for Liverpool Football Club – a mix of glorious highs and demoralising lows. Having waited 16 years to grace Wembley, remarkably, they enjoyed that honour three times in the space of just 10 weeks. The club’s silverware drought stretching back to 2006 was ended as Kenny Dalglish lifted the Carling Cup. The Reds returned to the capital to beat Everton in a special all-Merseyside semi-final but hopes of a domestic Cup double were dashed by defeat to Chelsea.
Success in the Cups wasn’t enough to save Dalglish whose second spell in the Anfield hot-seat came to a sad end in May. Director of football Damien Comolli had been sacked a month earlier after the failure of the club’s new signings to deliver.
Owners Fenway Sports Group had set the target of Champions League qualification and having finished eighth with just 52 points Liverpool had fallen a long way short.
Brendan Rodgers’ appointment in June signalled the start of a new era but without the luxury of a major spending spree progress has been slow.
The emergence of youngsters such as Raheem Sterling and Suso has offered hope for the future, while the outstanding Luis Suarez has hit a rich vein of form. Fans have warmed to Rodgers’ attractive brand of football but too often dominance hasn’t been turned into points.
With seven wins, six defeats and seven draws in 20 league games this term, Rodgers’ side are still striving for consistency as they ended 2012 in ninth place – eight points adrift of the Champions League spots.
MOMENT OF THE YEAR
l A beaming Steven Gerrard lifting the Carling Cup after a dramatic final showdown with Cardiff City at Wembley.
Liverpool’s first trip to the new national stadium back in February didn’t disappoint as they ended their six-year wait for a trophy.
Just 16 months earlier the club had been on the brink of administration following the damaging reign of co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett. To see Liverpool back winning silverware on the big stage triggered a huge outpouring of emotion.
The fans were put through the wringer as it went all the way to penalties but once again the Reds held their nerve when it mattered most.
GOAL OF THE YEAR
LUIS SUAREZ v NORWICH CITY on April 28 2012
l The Uruguayan has collected an array of stunning strikes during his 25-goal haul for Liverpool in 2012.
However, none were better than the manner in which he completed his first hat-trick for the Reds at Carrow Road back in April.
Suarez latched onto the loose ball close to the halfway line, spotted John Ruddy off his line and executed the most audacious of chips over the stranded keeper from 50 yards out.