What’s striking about this Liverpool side is how much they enjoy every aspect of the football match. They are always looking to play but these lads have their sleeves rolled up. Five away wins on the bounce in all comps. Markovic epitomises this. A lad you thought was a luxury acting like a bruiser, not just winning his battles but enjoying them. Stinting his face off, an honesty in battle.
Second half Villa did what they should do, they threw the kitchen sink at Liverpool. Away games in this league shouldn’t be easy. They should be hard. For ten minutes Villa were excellent. They ramped the pressure up, squeezed Liverpool and were the better side. Delph impressed too, second half. So did Martin Skrtel. Headed everything, won his battles, strained every sinew. The goalkeeper too, came for as much as he could and made a terrific save.
The changes were good. Enrique helped. Lambert scored. Ibe then did some business. Liverpool steadied the ship and started playing.
Liverpool saw it out. They fought tooth and nail. By seventy Villa are punched out and then they are picked off. A brilliant drillled finish from Lambert but before then Liverpool had done the business. That’s why Lucas is in the Liverpool end. The reason why they go bananas. These lads are overjoyed with their fight for one another and for us.
Lambert’s performance was a long way from perfect, but he makes a few good touches and one of those touches ends up in the back of the net. As a job description goes that’s meeting the top line.
Neither Lambert nor Borini were perfect. Far from it. You look at it again wondering what happens with Sturridge. With who knows who. You look at that first half and wonder how Liverpool get in only 0-1. And maybe you wonder yet again what a good pacey forward could do. But.
Tonight, tomorrow, we look at a table and we look at the results. Tonight, tomorrow, we contemplate what happens going forward, talk about improvements still, wonder about centre forward. But tonight, today we get to go “One Rickie Lambert”, we get to go “Fabio magnifico”, and they get to do that too. These lads get to have their tea tonight having done the business for their football team. Those two flawed, imperfect lads. Whatever you say, they put a smile on my face. They put a scream in your throat. They gave Liverpool a two nil win. They put three thousand people in a ground and millions of Liverpool supporters the world over in excelsis deo. And they put Lucas Leiva in our end.
Saw Gibbons. This. Dead pure: Liverpool win, we all win. Oh lay oh lay.
One of the things I love about football and LFC is that players like Borini and Lambert spend weeks and weeks getting slated and then they turn up and put the ball in the back of the net and meet the job spec for us. All is forgiven for another week at least.
And, of course, Neil, I also like that it gives me the chance to enjoy your dancing prose.
Nice one. This is one emotional club. It’s like a highly sensitive football club. I think Elaine Aron would confirm. Fourth still in sight, just about, but I have a feeling about the Europa League.. Things falling in to place at the right time.
Don’t really feel like going out, but maybe I should.
What a buzz!!
Only thing tempering my joy was none of the other matches going for us (as yet) but nothing we can do about it. We need to keep winning and we are / did.
I thought Mignolet did well today. Credit where it’s due. Looks like someone has been coaching him and, if I’m honest, makes me wonder why it’s taken 18 months to start.
Skrtel was immense today. Sakho and Can too. It’s a really good balance.
Only complaint would be I’d like to see smarter team work in front of goal. Too nerve racking at 1-0. Let’s win the game before we start shooting from random positions. Overall though, ecstatic. Pleased for Henderson too. Did well.
that save from Benteke was world class, i had to stop and shudder at the thought of what would have happened to that shot if Jones was in goal? What would have happened to Rooney and co’s if Mignolet had been in at OT?
I love these jaunty pieces from Neil after the game by the way.
Well, amongst all the euphoria I feel about the way our season is turning around for us, I still think back and think ‘what if’. It’s done now so pointless dwelling on it but I do still think the answers were there all the time.
Top 4 has become all about momentum for me now. If we get it we’ll go into next season with real confidence. Yeah, Mignolet surprised me today. I thought at the time if Benteke scores there we may well have lost the game. It may have turned the tide in their favour. Obviously we don’t know but it was an important and brilliant save.
Regarding other peoples posts, I’m not that bothered about Suso going. We have better players for his positions. Alberto has promise too and while probably not as good as Suso neither are good enough for that position at LFC.
As painful as it was, given Mingolet’s improved performance today (one come and miss aside) maybe it served it its purpose in giving Mingolet a bit of time out to improve his focus.
Even as a staunch Skrtel critic I thought he was really good today, although he still backed off on 2 occasions and almost cost us (watch the Benteke chance again). But the system suits him and he’s between 2 other players who know their jobs so he only has to concentrate on his own.
A bit concerned though that if we lost 1 or other of them how we’d fare. Lovren might step up, but losing 2 out of 3 with Kolo away leaves us hopelessly exposed.
I’m a bit the same Frank and the scenario you mention sums him up for me, brilliant 80% of the time and dodgy as fuck for 20%. In the same way Mignolet has noticeably improved lately I think a bit of work on his positional play and we could have a world class defender.
Defence looked solid – even up against it, with a string of corners in a torrid twenty mins second half. Held firm. Some great performances from Sakho, Can, Lucas and Henderson in particular. Brendan has found the formula again. Sturridge back and keep this formation and the key personnel fit and playing and a top four run-in is looking good…and maybe something to polish in May #YNWA
Always look for this report straight after a match. thanks for getting it online so soon Neil. Keeps the joy/beer rolling on until MOTD.
I can see that Henderson and Lucas suit but also noticed that Markovic and Henderson were always looking for each other and making things happen.
Never really get over excited by defensive play, it’s more a feeling of admiration and appreciation of quality that elite defenders produce. Though Sakho and Can were outstanding today. there is something luxurious about their play at the moment that hints of more complete performances to come next season. Admittedly they will have tougher games than villa coming over the next couple of months. Wonder if Can will play CM next season though?
And thanks fabio for getting the old rusty dagger between your teeth again (yes, you read that right) but look the fuck up when you have support in the box.
Don’t care about the yellow for Rickies celebration – just made it all the more special. great moment that.
Lots to feel positive about. The keeper (the keeper!), everyone in the back three, Lucas&Hendo (both outstanding today), Coutinho and Markovich. Everyone else played the supporting role well. Just like the game at Sunderland, I expected this to be dull, dour outing but our lads are showing a lot of character, skill and courage against awkward opponents and in challenging conditions (wind at Sunderland and studded challenges at the Wombles).
I’m incredibly nervous about the Chelski matches. We’re on an upswing but they’re purring. If they dismantle us systematically, it could do damage. If we beat them, it would do amazing things do our confidence. We need to learn the lessons of their game against Spurs. Kane, Eriksen and Chadli won the game for Spurs with their movement and aggression. Cue Sturridge, Sterling, Coutinho and Markovich.
It’s good to enjoy footie again.
Thanks for the prompt report Neil. Passion, emotion and relief all there for Lambets goal. Only wish I was there in the moment. Always enjoyed trips down the M6 to the Villa over the years….a proper away day.
A fine piece – encapsulating the fraternal – almost homoerotic – joy of an away win. Lovren and Balo apart, summer business is for the very first time, starting to look net positive. Get in Red Men. YNWA and JTF96.
I still hold out hope that Rodgers will eventually get something out of Mario but that it is just taking a lot longer than everyone would have hoped. Definitely wasn’t what we needed in the summer though.
Good professional performance today, solid 7 out of 10s all round. Can stood out once again and Lambert’s a good man from the bench. Seemed to lose a bit of energy in the second half, we really needed to press the game more, the first twenty minutes were eerily reminiscent of the Leicester game, but a moment of quality from Rickie sealed the deal.
It may be churlish, given our scorers, but boy do we need Sturridge back. Watching Borini play the Suarez role was painful, he tries hard but is so very limited.
It may be just an impression, but I have a feeling that people/commentators think 3-4-3 is some sort of novelly lineup. I hope its here to stay. It gets the best out of our squad and makes Skrtl look a player!
So, finally, after 4 months of utter baffling frigging around, we have a mid-field duo in Lucas and Henderson which some of us always knew would work. And just in time, it seems. Lucas may still move on, but the rest of the season looks bright provided Lucas and Hendo stay fit and we tesist the temptation to slot Johnson and you know who back in just for the sake of it. And Sakho? Why did it take so long?
I wish we’d held on to Suso, though…
Me too. Thought Suso had the ability and looked cool also but there’s just too many attacking mids on the books so they saw the opportunity to get rid of one and went with it.
Above. Thought Suso had real promise. Don’t know how these decisions are made. Was he a lesser Coutinho or a budding Ronaldo? Skrtel or Sakho man of the match for me. That’s so weird I don’t believe I’ve written it. They were great though.
Budding Ronaldo, how do you get that?? I have also had a soft spot for Suso, but as you suggested I think that Coutinho can do most of what he can (and will be able to do in the future) plus a whole lot more. So I think a move away is the right move for everyone.
Dunno’, just something about the way he moved around the pitch. Not suggesting he will go on to get neck muscles like a pitbull and go on to score seven thousand goals or whatever. He just seemed an interesting prospect. Maybe he just didn’t have enough to oust one of the other half dozen similar players we have.
Nicely done Neil Atkinson, nicely done Liverpool
Working Saturdays for the foreseeable. Had to listen to the game, was dancing around the workshop when Ricky scored. Get in! Keep it up lads. Momentum is building and with it confidence.
What a bunch of lads!
Lucas & Henderson make this system work. One has brilliant game intelligence, the other has great energy.
A good team performance today in which all 15 , including the manager, did their jobs well. This is a very young squad improving game by game. Brendan has options, and he’s stopped overthinking things. Just put them out on the pitch and tell them score goals. They look like they enjoy it.
Other than Mignolet having a Mignolet moment, keep at it lads the Liverpool are coming over the hill…
Just in before. The ‘Liverpool win, we all win’ shout is universally relatable and Gibbons should be proud having coined it. Both our CFs netting as well; who saw that coming? Badly wanted to be in with the away speccys when Lambo sealed it. Looked great.
Thought Ibe looked confident… Any chance of another Sterling here? The boss must be seeing something as he brought him back early?
Brilliant writing as always. This photo of Lucas says it all and some of you might be in it… https://twitter.com/FootyTherapy/status/556519143273676800?s=09
If you watch lucas on MOTD he came in to celebrate on one side, The ref ushered him away then all of a sudden he thought fuck it and came back in shot on the other side and mounted the supporters going mental. The team look like they are enjoying themselves. Maybe Gerrard not playing is a bit like when the teacher nips out of the classroom for 5 and the pupils go wild.
I’m sure that’s not the case about Gerrard but when the goal celebration happened I thought – wow, that’s like a scene from last season, I wonder why they’ve reacted like that. The same thought then crossed my mind.
Markovic grabbing that baldy head, pulling it in and roaring celebrations at it. More of that should see us top 4
And for all those who were asking a few weeks back what we bought Lambert for, that was a prime example. Come on in the last 20 and change the flow of the match. As soon as he and Enrique were introduced we got back in control of the game and then his well taken goal sealed it.
Is that the full picture Tom? Did we improve or did we catch them once and punish them which killed the game? Excellent finish by Lambert but I don’t think the game changed, personally.
Spot on Tom. He gives us an out ball and took his goal wonderfully well. He’s a great option from the bench, dead slow, but good on the ball.
Absolute beaut of a photo ! Must have watched it 10 times on MOTD just to see Lucas-gives you goosebumps when you see a player behave like a supporter !
Just seen phot of Lucas trying to celebrate on the other side but the ref ushers him away, but sod it he thinks, I ,m getting in there with the lads!!
Maybe he’s the only ‘honorary Scouser’ we’ve missed since they were all cleaned out. Can we now see the end of the ‘Lucas is for sale/trade/loan shit? The lad deserves better. He may not star every week but he never gives up.
Too right !
When Lucas first arrived, I posted that I liked what he could bring and was widely derided by the ‘Lucas is shit!’ brigade. I believe none of his out-and-out detractors had ever played football. He certainly played non-risk football (little sideways and backward dinks) but I believed that was entirely due to his fear of making mistakes because sections of the crowd jeered him. That was actually a feature of the first few games Markovic played for us. I vividly recall, after one game, one of those sad tosser’s who like to touch their heroes after the match quite pointedly ignoring Lucas and touching the players ahead of him and behind him. I thought it was awful. But still he persisted (and credit to RAFA for supporting him) and he fought his way into Kop affections. Without wishing to lionise a professional footballer I was really impressed with the spirit the lad showed, and his absolute Joy the other day, celebrating a win for a club that presumably wants shot of him, is a response you seldom get from a mercenary.