I hate Anfield and Liverpool. And their desperate fan base. Deep down they all know who was more deserving of the three points. But also who squandered the chance for a win that would silence the nay sayers—at least for a week or so—and gild our path to Top Four status.
But the minute Moussa Sissoko passed up an easy pass to Son for what should have been a relatively straightforward winner, you knew. Rose ballooning a ball on a break almost as promising just underscored the point. Dele missing the post by inches confirmed it. Somehow, someway we were gonna lose this game. Now to my eye Salah was offside—not Azpilicueta yards, but a good foot and a half. But the real culprit was Lloris who somehow couldn’t corral a ball coming to him with very little pace. To be fair, he had made a save on Alexander-Arnold a few minutes earlier that was first class. But to be doubly fair, it was his poor clearance—one of several in the first half—that led to Liverpool’s first goal.
I don’t think, despite the referees’ union conspiring to hand points to our opponents, that Top Four should be a problem. In the second half, after about a month and a half away, our real team reappeared. We defended well, we struck with force, we threatened repeatedly. The timidity of the first half was gone. Lucas was running circles around Liverpool—he deserved the goal. Sissoko was dominating the midfield. Dele, Kane and sometimes Eriksen were whirling around looking like the players of old. Credit Kane for some quick thinking on the free kick and a great ball to Trippier, who slotted to Eriksen who, perhaps not the way he intended, got it to Lucas for the easy goal. If this team is the one we see over the next month and a half we will finish third or fourth, and we might give Man City a real scare in the next round.
But if it’s Bottle City, disastrous own goals at our two bogeyman stadia—and failed chances to win a game being handed to us on a platter, then I don’t know what to think. I am going to assume because the alternative is too depressing that we have gotten it out of our system. And besides Salah was offsides.
As to that first half, I didn’t understand what we were doing. At least three times a Spur got the ball in space in the middle of the field and somehow the ball reversed course and ended up back with Lloris to an uncertain or bad outcome. On attack it was a lot of frustration against Van Dijk and Co with no real ideas about how to break them down. Ultimately it would be the type of counter attacking we used to be known for that would unlock the door. There were errors against the press—Lloris, Vertonghen, Sissoko, Eriksen, Dele in a particularly bad giveaway just before the buildup that created the winner. It was hardly a vintage performance.
But it should have gotten points. We blew what could have been a win and should have been a draw. Helped by the referees and bad fortune. But Sissoko had the game on his boot and simply botched it. No other way to say it. Let Liverpool win their damn title—I’m sick of their crap.
Have something to tell us about this article?