CALL it run of the mill; it’s the thing that’s easy to say. Just a run-of-the-mill home victory.
Pre match we’re in The Hole In The Wall and this bloke comes over and points to three fellas and says that these lads have come from California and had to fly into Edinburgh because of the weather and paid 1000 US dollars for a cab all the way down to make the game.
Call it run of the mill.
Steve and me and Anna go to The Vernon and talk to Ravi from Seattle about our first games. It’s Steve and Anna’s birthday this weekend. Steve’s first game was this weekend in the year 1990 — Liverpool are on the march towards their 18th Championship and Gary Gillespie scores a late winner. Liverpool 1-0 v Millwall. Anna saw us beat Rotherham United in 2001 in the FA Cup.
Call it run of the mill by all means but it is always someone’s first game. Always someone’s first time at Anfield, always worth outrageous trips, always the culmination of someone’s dream to be there. It’s always special somewhere in the ground for someone.
It’s always special. That’s the point. These games, these days, these Reds. Someone for the first time sees Mo Salah score for Liverpool in the flesh. It was a lovely move, Liverpool crisp and suddenly certain, a shape or an ideal rather than an equation. A swathe that Newcastle had prepared for but couldn’t deal with. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain irresistible and the ball home and The Reds on top. Liverpool shifting gears for a split second and showing their class, like a racehorse easing clear.
Newcastle were compact through the first half. Throw a blanket over them, 40 yards from their deepest defender to Dwight Gayle. It’s testament to their special manager that they stayed that tight but demonstrative of the limitations of the tools he had that he couldn’t do much more with what is on offer. They listen to him, they follow his plans but what good are your plans when Liverpool show their class?
The second is the same. It’s a gorgeous goal, a team move which is wonderfully finished. Sadio Mane can now shake off the idea he has been out of form or even slightly fractured for the last few weeks. His mistakes are always clanging, clumsy when they occur but he makes no more than anyone else really. They just can look a bit worse even though they aren’t in real terms. He’s playing well.
Some footballers aren’t that silky and perhaps he is the least silky of the front three, but is by no means ungenerous with his endeavour nor unproductive. He’s one of the very best attackers in the land; Liverpool just have two of the best five alongside him.
It’s worth dwelling on the fume around the penalty not given late in the game. Zeljko Buvač going bananas and the crowd doing likewise when referee Graham Scott doesn’t give the penalty. It was absolutely nailed on and to not give it led to a glorious mass meltdown under the circumstances. There’s nothing wrong with going spare when it makes little difference to your Saturday night.
We want to say it is run of the mill, but this is now 10 months since we lost a league home game and only two league home defeats in the last two seasons. Take any two-season spell this decade and find something similar to that. It’s impossible. This hasn’t been our norm for so long that it makes sense people are flocking to come and adore these Reds. Through the wind and the snow.
It was windy and that was something else Liverpool needed to battle through. And they did. For those of us who are at our first game, those who aren’t. For themselves and their manager. For the shirt.
We’re both the business and we’re doing the business. Liverpool are making being special look run of the mill. We are on the march towards being the very best. There is nothing more special than that.
Come and adore them.
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Nice one Neil. This side is just ‘becoming’ before our eyes. So special to be a Red at the moment.
First game, Liverpool v WBA 1-0, 1982. Dalglish (my hero forever) , 71st min’ did a trademark turn, back to goal 18 yards, slots it along the ground to the keepers right, kop end (of course). Life was never the same for me again. A ‘mundane’ victory, meant’ the absolute world to me.
Amen to that.
My first visit to Anfield was a 2-1 win over Bolton in March 98. Ince and Owen with the goals to come from behind after Alan Thompsons thunderbolt. I was 15 and my dad took me over and missed both Liverpool goals with a weak bladder. I won £250 on a fruit machine on the ferry back to Belfast after sneaking off. Special.
Yeah my Dad took me as well. He’s Irish but lived in Canada at the time and I’m from London so it was pretty special. We stayed at my great Aunts in Liverpool overnight. While he went out to the pub with his cousin, I found about 500 match day programmes going back to Shanks’s day, and proceeded to spend the night happily reading them.
Great memories. :)
Cheers by the way Gherkin. Alan Thompson eh’, I remember when we were rumoured to be in for him. Mcateer’s mate. Think he ended up at Celtic?
Cheers James. He did indeed end up at Celtic. Sweet left foot on him.
Loved all the commotion shown from players, manager and staff at the end there.
It’s about principles and in recent weeks some opposition were rewarded pens against us for far less at Anfield.
Keep the hunger and desire going please.
Great way to start off March.
Up the aggressive Reds!
Been a Red all my life, but finally made it to Anfield for the first time this season! Saw that man Mo put us 1-0 against Chelsea before having all that joy wiped away by he-shall-not-play-for-us-again! UP THE REDS!!
Beautifully written Neil,
I came over to Anfield last week from Berlin, It’d been 6 long years from my previous visit. There’s nothing like seeing a match live. Anfield is just magic. I honestly think the movement Kloppo has instilled in the side is the best in Europe at the moment. Also, gotta thank you for your pub tip – Sound was indeed sound….
Made a 360° video tribute to our glorious reds as well, if anyone’s interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnhBrAQAthc
Spot on again Neil. A few thoughts from me for what they’re worth (1st game 1967 v Blackpool ).
1. Mignolet doesn’t save that one, his footwork just wouldn’t take him there.
2. Oxlade seemed to relish having an almost free role in front of Hendo & Can. His role in the 2nd goal, chasing back to cover a break down the left was as important as his role in the 1st.
3. VVD has brought an air of calm to the whole gaf, fans included (almost).
4. Newcastle fans let themselves down again with some of their chants.
5. Where did they drag that ref from, the Bootle JOC?
What was up with the Geordie’s eh? Thought they were better then that. Even the biggest wankers out there aren’t singing the Gerrard chant any more. Idiots.
Pathetic.. but the sign on song, from fucking Newcastle fans?!!
Watching the game on TV since moving to Perth, Oz. Have to say how noticeable the atmosphere at the ground has improved since BIg Virgil arrived, and we’re now seeing a far more settled defence /GK. The difference in confidence in the players, the fans is like night and day. It’s now tangible how the negativity has evaporated in the cold winter Anfield air. The amplified prematch anthem really took me by surprise tonight. Fkn great!!
My 1st Match was 4-3 against Birmingham City in 1974. I have to say I can feel the anticipation for success mounting, it’s mouth watering. Now daring to dream if it will come this season, wtf it happened in 2005? COME ON YOU REDS!!!
Ha I remember that game. Weren’t we 2-0 and 3-1 down? The atmosphere in that game was awesome
Ha ha! Yes I think so John, although being only 8 at the time the whole experience, the noise the goals and the flood lights on a winters saturday afternoon, were all mesmerising spell binding, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I even remember how good Trevor Francis played, I think he scored a hat trick .
Shame about the lack of working class solidarity from some of those Geordies. No wonder we keep returning a Tory government.
Anyway, it wasn’t all of them. It never is. They’re a good lot actually and they love Rafa.
As for ours – these are the sort of wins we’ve been craving. Not going to take it for granted.
My first game at anfield was the Hillsborough match of ‘09 against Blackburn. Truly special. I missed half a days work waiting in the queue for tickets. Koos End. The day Torres scored that goal. Will never forget it. Even got an N’gog goal on video from the corner. A real collectors item. Truly special. Can’t wait to visit again from South Africa
Kop End. So many autocorrects.
Great win for us. Great to see Rafa as always and was nice of the Kop to (in a way) say goodbye with the tune at the end.
I think it’s time to move on and sing songs for Klopp, whether he achieves the ultimate or not. He is doing his best to get this “average” team most of us have called them to be, to be fighting to their potential.
My only criticisms were for Trent’s sloppiness, luckily it wasn’t City or Porto otherwise it would become difficult. Glad to have no injuries.
I digress…Watched the City game against Chelsea and some of you who pointed out as to what City is building, is quite evident. in comparison I felt LFC is so far behind with our current owners. Can’t help but think about their long term plans to build a dynasty that might rival what we used to have.
It’s going to take a few more CL qualifications, most definitely a win and also EPL title(s) to bring us up to speed. I wish Klopp delivers before FSG move on to other things. Their wallets are in it but not their minds.
Newcastle win was another can-win game for us. These are the games to help us build much needed confidence. The second goal was brilliant, and that save by Karius was what makes the difference in a buildup to winners.
Felt sorry for Arsenal today, but I think Wenger should have retired earlier. He will go without any fanfare. I wonder what Aubameyang thinks now of not coming to play for his former manager.
Anyways it’s their problem. We have Porto to face. I would not take these guys lightly, for FFS don’t put out some kids to play them. We need to go into the United game with a win, and with key players rested.
Very happy for Jurgen and his staff, the team and all you supporters. Stay positive, no matter what happens.
Come on you Reds!!!
Great call that! Regarding it’s always someone’s first time at Anfield.
Must be remembered this in the times when we’re struggling and there’s the ‘negative’ vibe.
Morning, this is a Newcastle fan and I’d like to comment on the sign on and Gerrard chants if I may. It was a minority singing those things to be fair. A lot of the older lads find the sign on one particularly embarrassing given the unemployment levels in the North East. The Gerrard chant was also needless, but having endured ‘we saw you cry on the telly’ for several years after 1996, more understandable? Bantz as the young uns might say…Anyway, I think our City’s and people have enough in common to overcome the knobs in both our support. Good Luck.