IT’S a small away end at Watford.
I wish you could have been there with us, I wish it with all my heart. But that wasn’t always the case. Surround me with songs of deliverance, oh lord. You know, it was purgatory at the break.
While Liverpool had finished the half broadly in control the game never felt likely to spark and a slight threat of dropped points began to loom. It was a game I had seen before, a 72nd minute goal from, say, Etienne Capoue, followed by an equaliser if we are lucky and some frustrating woodwork if we are not.
The atmosphere was flat in the whole ground, including the travelling contingent. There was no spark in sight, Xherdan Shaqiri doing his best but nothing quite there. All the way up the other end and Liverpool looked blunt.
Watford are clearly a good side. They do lots of good things and had a strong shape. They played well and looked like going nowhere.
Everything hurt. Then Gini Wijnaldum made an absolute pig’s ear of something in the right-wing area, but he and Roberto Firmino redeemed the situation, Firmino doing so gorgeously, and Wijnaldum delivered a drilled cross into a defender’s legs and won a corner and he urged the crowd on. Big circles with his arms as if to say: “Fucking hell, it is hard this, lads. Give us something.” The crowd responded and while the corner led to very little it felt like all this led to the opening goal.
From there Liverpool looked irresistible and irrepressible, Liverpool were not to be denied. Liverpool delivered the goods. Trent Alexander-Arnold scored a glorious free kick and let us know what it meant. The three points in the boot on the way back north.
Andy Robertson roars forward into space, sprinting, sprinting, my lungs burning watching him, him looking up, finding Sadio Mane who found Ben Foster in fine form, but Roberto Firmino found the net and checked, double checked and triple checked with the lino and then he gleamed towards us. His smile mischievous and beautiful, the best night out you will never have, the pint of pints, the king of kings. Hosanna in the highest.
It’s the best all three of the front three have played his season in a league game. Mo Salah was constantly a threat but Firmino made more sense of what was asked of him, while Mane was probably your man of the match, an incredible football brain on springs, all loops and curves, every run arced with and without the ball.
To see the three of them doing their business with panache matters. It is the only pathway to glory for us this season. That’s not to downplay what everyone else is doing, Virgil van Dijk and Alisson can be very proud of their afternoon’s work.
However, the truth of the matter is that we were rightly delighted when the three forwards each signed new contracts. We know what they can do for Liverpool and when they click they know what they can do for each other. They become greater than the sum of their parts and those parts are pretty great in the first place, let me tell you.
The three goals were such a relief, such a delivery from the other reality, the one seen in so many season’s passed. Liverpool’s forwards offered all of us such relief.
The final whistle sounded and the Mighty Reds were shattered. They will not be letting anyone down this season. Not us, not themselves.
It was what we needed in every sense. The crowd defiant, delighted, delirious. Deservedly Dejan Lovren giving it the big one to the crowd after the final whistle, bookending the Wijnaldum roar. Surround me with songs of deliverance.
Liverpool survived the red card and delivered Jordan Henderson from his sins, the captain dug out after his daft sending off. He left his side in the lurch irresponsibly but they saved his day and ours. Liverpool sang and Liverpool delivered us from evil. What’s a psalm without you? Every psalm I cite’s about you.
For the first half, for the half time, I wanted to be anywhere else. For the second half, I wish you could have been there. But then you were in the sense that most matters. We’re in this together. Liverpool’s players made that crystal clear today. They made it self evident.
Thirteen hurdles cleared from us, from all The Reds. Twenty-five to go.
We’re going nowhere.
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Pitch looked slow. None of midfielders could turn/spin first half.
2nd we looked a bit better. That could’ve finished 0-0. I’m so glad it didn’t. Nice save first half by keeper.
Deserved 3 points today. make no mistake, we had to endure that first half as Watford are a tough team at home and in truth, apart from Alisson trying to make a game of it by passing to Bobby, who was stood nearly next to him, also in goal at the time (as Bobby wanted to see what the crac, was all about for his Brazilian buddy), we didn’t give Watford fuck all. I just kept feeling it was a matter of time before it went our way and then we would go on a rout. Only Foster was in truth keeping them in the game, that and us constantly swinging at the ball and missing it (nearly kicked the TV in at that one Gini swung at first half and missed).
As for Henderson. After that today, he needs rogering with the rough end of a pineapple. He now owes us a game or ten. Great stuff that he is now missing for the derby game (that last bit was sarcasm). I’d still let Jordan be there for this game, as a ball boy. Give him the option, that or the pineapple treatment I spoke of earlier.
Good 3 points today and I for one and made up and things started to look like it is clicking again for our front 3 today. Roll on PSG away. :)
Picking up the points. Bobby scoring. Trents free kick. Salah always scoring. Alisons save. Mane everywhere. Up the business like reds.
Hendo not playing the derby is a big miss.
But this was a great away performance from us.
Not if he played as he played today.
Normally I stick up for Hendo as I rate him. But today he just wasn’t at the races and he went out of his way in the end to get his marching orders.
Oh well Hendo will now play against PSG and after ‘that’ today, then he owes us a performance, big time.
More like it lads! First half could have been better but you get 90+ mins to do the job and Liverpool put themselves out of sight even with hendos mistake. Lots of potential banana skins this side have come through and Man City are surely starting to get fed up of our staying power. They’ll be looking forward to us slipping up against the blues and 3 points will wind them up. Keep going boys, it’s an incredible season you’re putting together and we looked today like the confidence is brewing nicely
Thanks for that Neil. Enjoyable writeup for an enjoyable win. Love the idea of goals arriving from “the other reality”, the one that the great sides somehow have a direct line to.
Anyone know/work out what Klopp is shouting with his hands up after the third?
Patience is virtuous they say. Yesterday, away from home, we showed it. All of us. We’ll need to learn that this is a thing at home as well. A late winner is worth no more and no less than one in minute 1. My fav shout when I hear the groans is “stay with them for fucks sake”. We all need to stay with them, starting next week.
Off to the wooden pit now, for probably the final time, to watch the ressies.
Next two games are Everton and Burnley. And a little caveat. City play before us in the next two matchdays, meaning we face points-board pressure before our games start. The Reds need to dig deep and stay focused on their own game to have a crack at a title challenge in March. And we as supporters need to show more support, belief and faith in this team, especially at Anfield.
Keep blowin’ yourselfs out scoring 8 or 9 goals in stoppage time, O ye Cityzens. We’re still right behind you like a pregnant tick on your arse.
This made me laugh… Never thought I’d see Liverpool FC described in such a way.
Up the Mighty Pregnant Arse Living Tick Reds. Long may we continue to be a pain in the derriere to City.
Once again Ako a superb bit of prose. Such an important win that wish I was with you (second half that is). WTRWWAW