TONIGHT’S result should’ve been academic, the deadest and dullest of rubber — but yer know, Liverpool and that.
Such is The Reds’ penchant for the dramatic we were left hanging until the last group fixture to secure safe passage to the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in nine years.
That it’s taken so long to reach what, for a period, was merely an assumption between 2001-8 is an absolute fucking disgrace and a stain on the leadership and management of Liverpool Football Club.
But it’s also a line in the sand.
Jürgen Klopp has come under quite a bit of scrutiny of late, from this no mark included, but tonight’s result puts a marker down, a tangible, undeniable statement.
Liverpool Football Club in the last 16 of the European Cup, walk the fuck around it.
That Liverpool will be in the hat for the knockout stages of the Champions League next week is without doubt The Reds’ biggest landmark achievement since Fenway Sports Group rolled into town.
But having reached this milestone we cannot look back, today’s achievement must become base camp, the minimum expected standard going forward.
It must be the start of the real ascent.
No back slapping, no self congratulation, no resting on our laurels, this is day one, we start now.
Too often in the recent past we’ve mistaken what should be the bare minimum for achievement as accomplishment, we’ve relaxed and soon after regressed.
But these boys, these boys, they are capable of so much more.
It’s easy to dismiss Spartak Moscow as cannon fodder — just as it’s easy to dismiss Maribor, Brighton and Hove Albion, West Ham United and Arsenal — but the frequency in which Liverpool are marmalising their opponents is far too much to be considered as a pattern of fortunate results.
Nor is it remiss to appreciate the pressure that Liverpool, having given up the initiative on various occasions and given away a three-goal lead their last outing in the competition, were under as they took to the pitch tonight.
This Liverpool, as evidenced for the second time in the competition this season, managed to ribbon their opponents and left the pitch seven goals to the good, recording 23 in total across the campaign.
Regardless of opposition, they are results that the big boys sit up and take notice of, teams just do not win by those margins with such regularity.
We now need to deliver on the promise of what we could be.
We’re absolutely a better team than the one that needed to see off Olympiakos in 2004 and we all know how that ended.
Bring on your Internazionale, bring on your Roma by the score…
Win the bastard? Why the fuck not.
“You go through moments where you’re untouchable…”
“The level this front four are playing at.” 🔥
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) December 7, 2017