So who is the coolest finisher? Jermain Defoe, Fernando Torres or Aaron Lennon? Thatâ€™s right, itâ€™s the short tramline headed Yorkshire terrier. Having started the game well down the right, Lennonâ€™s influence had waned considerably in the second half. Still alert though in the ninety something minute it was he who showed the more vaunted strikers how itâ€™s done when he caught Konchesky on his heels to collect Crouchâ€™s flick and fire nonchalantly wide of Reina. Cue wild celebrations.
As a veteran of watching Liverpool when beating them was far more of a novelty than it is these days, this team sparked memories of Souness, Tommy Smith and Steve McMahon rather than Dalglish, Barnes and Rush. It was a case of speed and skill against skinheads and spitefulness as Modric and Bale in particular regularly found outstretched limbs owned by gurning baldies unfairly blocking their progress. Referee Atkinson dished out five yellows but it still wasnâ€™t quite enough to totally put an end to the away teamâ€™s spoiling tactics as Johnsonâ€™s late hack at Bale proved.
We got the win but the game was much closer than the recent form & reputation of the two sides would have indicated. Liverpool broke well in the first half and at the start of the second with some neat passing and but for a hilarious miss by Maxi Rodriguez and a couple of efforts from Torres that made you wonder if youâ€™d missed the transfer of John Carew to Merseyside, may well have taken an advantage of more than just Skrtelâ€™s goal into the last third of the game. For the remainder of the second half though we forced them back and Meireles shot that just whistled by right at the end was untypical of the way things were going.
What was typical though in an outstanding display was Modricâ€™s run and shot that led to our equaliser. His determination in first making sure he got on the end of Assou-Ekottoâ€™s pass and then powering past Lucas, Johnson and Carragher and into the box was one of the best moments weâ€™ve seen from him in the three years heâ€™s been with us and is a mark of his current form. Skrtelâ€™s touch that ended up in the net was needed as Crouch was waiting to sidefoot home Lukaâ€™s cross and it put memories of Defoeâ€™s latest penalty miss and Meireles clearance off the line behind us.
The TV screens under the North stand at WHL display current scores & tables. Slightly curiously the latter are updated in real time so at the end of the first half showed Liverpool & us level on points and still behind Bolton. It shows how times have changed of course but also showed how close things are in the top half of the table, even with nearly half the season gone. The fact that thanks to Lennon we came out on top means that despite Bolton, West Ham and Wigan already turning us over, weâ€™re still clinging on to the coattails of the top four. Thereâ€™s a long way to go though.
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