WHAT winning feels like.
Soul soaring. Heart pounding. Vaguely nauseous. Made of fists, made of hips, made of fuck off.
Just fuck off.
It should always feel like that but so often it doesn’t. A combination between great football and a great scrap. Tonight these lads, whether they played well or not, all fought for Liverpool. Not one of them hid. Not one refused to know. I saw 14 grafters, 14 Liverpool players, 14 players who had a gauntlet laid down to them and who ran it.
Revel in it. You don’t get many of them in any season. You never did. Don’t let them lie to you. But these days, when so few sides have a thought through go, Leicester deserve praise however brilliantly horrible they are. This is our second against Leicester this season. Something about Liverpool versus Leicester brings performances out from one another. I’d love to play them every week. Not because I think we would beat them every week but because they make football matches a live thing.
They have quality all over the pitch. Kasper Schmeichel, Harry Maguire, Wilfred Ndidi, Vicente Iborra, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy are all genuinely good footballers. They were outplayed and outfought in the end but they took a lot of outplaying and outfighting. Only the referee comes out of the encounter with little credit.
The approach from the outset made clear how tough a game the Liverpool manager thought this would be. The selection was very strong indeed. He wanted his best lads for this and the way the game played out vindicated that view. He showed Leicester the respect they went on to deserve.
But despite being one down at the break, Liverpool had shown they could create chance after chance. They could open Leicester up. There is a security in that, there is a fear in that. The security that we can create. The fear that too many chances have been spurned.
Liverpool weren’t downhearted. They kept grafting, kept creating and even after their second disallowed goal they still had the spirit to snatch their winner. Across the pitch they had the belief that comes from having scored 75 goals, from having one of the top scorers in the league, from the knowledge the quality is there.
This wasn’t just on the pitch. As a collective we believed. The crowd today wanted this, not least because we all remembered that Leicester City are a good football team. Nothing felt as though it was going to come easy, battling a side and a referee, battling too many home draws, battling time wasting. Nothing was easy but Liverpool had other ideas.
Emre Can’s performance veered throughout the game but he’s always so gloriously present. He frustrates at times but he frustrates because he wants to be everywhere, wants to be in charge. He wants to scrap as much as anyone. These are virtues on the whole. And what he does for the bounce ball at the end is glorious, one of the great moments in the history of this fabulous club. I could watch it over and over again.
Roberto Firmino drops to the ground at the final whistle. This is a flair player in theory but the sheer desire and needle he also shows is a delight. He makes a great foul at the final whistle.
Mo Salah though. Mo Salah. He believes in himself and believes in his teammates. He misses but knows he will score, knows it will come. There’s a trust he has, a trust which goes both ways. He will find chances if the ball gets into his feet and he will make it work, make good players look daft, make the net bulge. He will make sure.
It’s what winning feels like, what winning is, making sure, showing trust. Dropping to your knees at 90. Fouling. Needling. Getting the ball out of the net. Thanks to our opponents for reminding us of the key joys within this thing of ours. Come to Anfield and be good bastards. Make our Christmas.
Winning isn’t everything, not always, but winning like this, winning when it matters and when the game grows. Winning with perhaps a key goal. Winning in December when it will matter in March. Winning when behind. Winning.
Soul soaring. Heart pounding. Vaguely nauseous. Town. Let’s go to town. Drink, dance, sing and shout. Liverpool make your Christmas, make it a joy to be alive. We responded in the ground today. Let’s respond with our Saturday night. Let’s devote it to them. They can’t have a pint. We can have loads of them.
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— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) 30 December 2017
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Great match. Great review. Up the Reds.
I was absolutely desperate to beat them today. You’re right Neil, they have a team stuffed with good players but fuck me they bring out the worst in me. I was a screaming, unreasonable maniac watching that. Hurling abuse of Tourette’s levels at that rat faced little twat Vardy and his peers for the entire duration. To paraphrase Keegan I loved it, loved it when we beat them.
I loved the needle and graft we showed. I loved the desire across the board from the Reds and the refusal to disintegrate. I loved that we, for once, realised that we were the better side and would refuse to let shitehawks go home with any of our points.
I loved Emre picking a fight too ( but little else ). I absolutely loved Mo out wrestling the fridge freezer for the winner.
That felt good, really good and a genuine big win. And a statement that we very much can when we believe.
Happy New Year to one and all.
Up the Reds!!
Harry Maguire deffo voted leave
78% of them did
No he didn’t
Oh yes he did
He definitely did, right after wooing a 19th century damsel as a leading character in a Jane Austin novel.
Austin is the capital of Texas, which has been trying to secede since it was first stolen from Mexico. Jane Austen wrote the template for many 90’s films, such as Clueless, Metropolitan and Bridget Jones’s Diary.
Haha. That’s funny, Walter.
And BR and Joe Allen are still the best, I suppose? :)
What a win! Mo Salah shedding Maguire like an ill-fitting, oversized coat to punch it in was a lovely bit of magic. Can’s drop ball response a satisfying bit of the dark arts. Two points dropped by United. A wonderful Saturday, indeed. Stay the course, you Mighty Reds!
Emre Can putting the ball out by the corner flag after the drop ball was brilliant. Leicester have good players, but my god they are a horrible team! Makes 3 pts so much sweeter!
Can was as incompetent as my lad who had me sitting next to an empty space. Got more sense from the space.
Can is my player of the month for December due to that dark art of dead ball and for taking charge of fighting with the fridge. Well done. I want Can to stay now :)
Is right! Nice review Neil. This felt like a big 3 points, but we need to back it up on Monday for the 3 to be really meaningful.
“Early goal needed here” says me to bloke next door at half time “Needed to score there. I reckon we could lose this 2 or 3 if we’re not careful”. Such is the prevalent mindset of the average Koppite these days. We need collectively to get a grip.
1. Another toss won.
2. Why get upset with a keeper time wasting on 0-1. It only encourages them!
4. Karius looked calm throughout.
5. Mo is fucking ace (of course).
6. Vardy off. Are you sure?
7. How many members of the Potter family were there today?
8. How many “Global Indians” are there watching the Reds these days?
Excellent match and review.
Really enjoyed watching the Reds beat this pub team, especially coming from behind.
That smirk and look on Vardy’s face had me annoyed but this time I deciddd to take a breath and just shrug, and say “So What?!?”.
Good way to introduce ourselves to Virgil in the stands as well.
Great job Reds and Jurgen. Keep chugging along one game at a time. We will catch up with United next.
I wish you all a Happy New Year.
Up the Reds!
Seen a proper game of footy for first time in ages! Felt like a derby atmosphere at times.I have a strange love hate fondness for this leicester team.Always felt like we’d win so this team is gathering our trust and that includes the 202 gobshites! By the way fellow 202 shitspeakers………Maguire isnt a fat yard daog…..hes a boss player! Haha
I too find this Leicester team really aggravate me. It’s all of it really. The alehousing of Maguire, Morgan and Huth. The fact that Danny Simpson tried to bury Carragher on Twitter but got served on a plate. Vardy.
So yeah, an absolute joy to beat them again. I love our team. I love the way they made this happen today – turned Vardy’s tap-in into an irrelevance rather than something to flap about. Just a shitty tap-in. We’ll deal with it.
There’s something about Salah. Something more than other quality footballers. I don’t care when he misses chances. I don’t care because he doesn’t care. He really doesn’t you know. There aren’t many players who are totally unaffected by missed chances like our Mo. He’s the most dangerous player in the league. Always there in the forefront of the picture. Always involved. The most involved player I’ve ever seen. What he did to Maguire shouldn’t happen. Doesn’t happen
Maguire’s still there now trying to work out how it happened. He’ll get home later and Mo Salah will wriggle past him at the front door and drink his coffee before Maguire’s sat down on the sofa.
Loved that win today.
Think Joe Gomez deserves a lot of credit. He was boss. Man of the match ( not counting Mo). Kudos to Firmino for that foul at the end. Fuckin loved that!
Up the reds!
Van Dijk, what a suave bastard. Looked absolutely made up to be at Anfield. Although making 1M roughly every five weeks or so will do that, he seemed absolutely delighted. Klopp won’t be rushing him, but you can bet he is looking forward to sorting out the defense. But he’ll also be inspired by the heart on display by his new teammates.