I WHISPER things, the city sings them back to you.
Evening gorgeous. Evening handsome. I thought of you throughout. What a win. What progression.
- That is greatest save I have seen in me whole life.
- The game was mad.
- Mo Salah wants to be the best player in the world.
- Liverpool are the business.
Shall we do them in order?
That is greatest save I have seen in me whole life.
It was spectacular but it crowned the last 10 days. The footballer who has announced himself most for Liverpool in the last five isn’t Naby Keita or Fabinho. It is the goalkeeper.
Alisson has won points, been the pass before the pass for goals and has now provided Champions League progression. It’s been underscored by phenomenal charisma. You can taste the pheromones.
He’s the first lad to hit puberty, he’s Rihanna walking out the restaurant with a wine glass, Rihanna in the red thing with her legs spread letting you know. He’s more gorgeous than you, gorgeous. More handsome than you, handsome. Soz.
I mean come on. It is like cheating. But it is like cheating on ours. Cheating on ours is allowed. This cat is the cat. That Liverpool should have been over the hill and far away doesn’t matter because Liverpool have the cat. You’ve got the cat, winning is far easier. Five-a-side rules, lads. And soz, he is on ours. So we win.
The game was mad.
The clock in games like this is a strange thing. A seesaw Liverpool, broadly speaking, managed well but my god is skewed the game.
My guess is 77:43. That’s the moment when holding 1-0 overtakes wanting to get the second, to get the third. This isn’t a science but that was it for me. Start time wasting.
It wasn’t the same as a two-legged encounter then, all of a sudden. But through the whole match it was chaos. By me the poor fella who sits in front of me in his 60s spent most of it stood. I think he hates me but we had quite the moment when Jose Callejon missed. Across from me there was beef about standing. The younger lads were bang into The Reds. The older fella bang into sitting down. You know where my loyalties lay in advance, really.
It was huge this game. I barely sat second half, not least because of my man in his 60s. He got it, he understood it. Sitting down was just not an option. My point would always be this:
- This is what we are in it for.
- This is what it is to be alive.
The fella in his 60s who I think hates me, I now love him. Because he loves The Reds. Because he loves to be alive. Lord, let me always be him, not the lad having murder with younger people having a good time.
Lord, let Liverpool always win mad games.
Lord, let me always see the 94th minute with my heart pounding. Let me feel alive.
Mo Salah wants to be the best player in the world.
I loved Koulibaly tonight. Because he decided he was giving Mo Salah a tough test.
All the best.
All the best when you win seven from seven of the first battles and he just makes an absolute show of you. All the best when he decimates you. Because — this is important — you can be the best and be destroyed. You can win seven from seven and lose the eighth, and there it is.
Leo Messi is the best anyone has ever been at football but he is getting on. Cristiano Ronaldo is the second best anyone has ever been at football, but he is over a hill, though still irresistible in bursts. There is about to be a vacancy.
The thing about those two was you could stop them, but keeping stopping them was the thing that was almost impossible. They won’t be denied over and over, whoever you are.
Mo Salah is in this category now. He is irresistible and he is getting better. He is the best in the country. And the country is a good one.
Someone will be the next best player in the world. He might play for Liverpool.
Liverpool are the business.
I wanted him to play Keita. I wanted him to play Matip. I wanted him to play 4-4-2, you know.
Henderson has a bad 10 and a shaky half, but then runs the second. Milner constantly likely without quite producing. Wijnaldum the best he can be. This team is astonishing and we take it lightly.
- They are won 13, drawn three from 16 league games.
- This is the fourth best since association football started in the top flight in this country. Not since 1992 or since Shankly or since World War II. But since it began.
- AND: They have progressed from a group with Napoli and Paris St Germain.
- Both Napoli and Paris St Germain are really good.
It hasn’t been perfect but then that is the point. Liverpool are being brilliantly managed and are able to ride their luck and are the absolute business. And it is possible they may now be coming to the boil.
Let’s not pull our punches, they deserved to win 5-1 tonight. Sadio Mane missed a hat trick. Salah should have scored two, won a pen and got two assists. They didn’t manage that but Liverpool still won, still prevailed.
These midfielders aren’t clowns. These defenders aren’t just Virgil van Dijk. Liverpool are excellent. They are an astonishing football team.
Walk around them, Reds. Green light, Reds. Let’s be alive in February. Let’s be alive now.
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Glorious stuff as ever
But honey I’ll be seeing you, every I go…
Clearly Allison & Mo both see the matrix. Big Virgil probably IS the matrix. But they compute the myriad options and execute at a speed that puts them among the truly elite players. Messi always sees the matrix. Xavi usually did. Iniesta has. But I don’t remember a keeper before.
Mad me laugh… but yeah you have a point. Well put.
In this case, I have to ask… WTF is Albie Moreno seeing then???
Wonderful write up. Thanks for this one, Neil.
Wonder how you manage to even settle down long enough to write 10 words on a night like this. I am still buzzing here, 4 hours after.
What an absolutely gorgeous piece of writing, Neil. We who shouted ourselves hoarse at 5 am from seven thousand miles away salute you. And all hail King Shootenkamen!
What a match and what an article Neil!
Everyone was in high gear, and even though the first 10 looked a bit wobbly, we never looked like backing down.
Isn’t this how we used to be in the 1980s? So used to winning because we never backed down!
I don’t know if I am in the minority here, but I wasn’t upset about Mane missing his chances. I almost felt like if we had scored that second, Napoli would score and break our hearts. It’s like 1-0 was preordained.
I will miss the United game, but I wish we give them a good game and keep this momentum going!
Look forward to your articles Neil.
What did I just read? “Rihanna with her legs spread”? FFS mate.
Yeah it conjured up great images… nicer ones of Ri-ri and all exposed, as opposed to ben with his undies on his head. I know which one I prefer.
Van Djik will you marry me, what a performance!!! Don’t want to single him out but what a leader!! Mancs next, up the mighty reds, we owe them one now!!
“It hasn’t been perfect but then that is the point. Liverpool are being brilliantly managed and are able to ride their luck and are the absolute business. And it is possible they may now be coming to the boil.”
C’est magnifique! Bravo monsieur Atkinson for your magnificent writing and the mighty boys in red for their actions on the football field. What a performance, I knew it was there to be taking into action when fully needed.
Next time this sort of performance is needed is possibly against City in early January and then again when the knock out phase of UCL starts. The reds are absolutely bossing and cruising. And no hesitation what so ever. Come on! Fuck hell!
Neil you have topped the lot with this one.What a piece of scribling… Glad to be alive! Glad I fuckin’ subscribe!!! God bless TAW and all who sail in her!
Hardly the best save ever!! A very important one maybe. Lucky for Liverpool that the opposition forgot their shooting boots. Joel Matip still gives the ball away too much when playing out of defense. Henderson and Wijnaldum are again average at best. Then there is Mane. How many more starts is he going to be lucky to get? People say that Salah isn’t performing as well as last season, well Mane is miles away from even being half as good as he was last season. Could and should have had an easy hat-trick last night. Firmino had a quite game (again). I personally think that Liverpool still need 3 or 4 very very good players in key positions before they can consistently challenge on all fronts.
Nathan pal… read the room.
Is this a parody account? Are you Martin Keown in disguise? Mate, enjoy life a little. We’re top of the league and have beaten Napoli and PSG and it’s not Christmas!!! I pray that you see what we all see, and that is an incredible football team at an incredible time to support LFC!!
Thank God you weren’t sitting/standing next to me last night. If you simply can’t enjoy a game like that without picking holes in people then fuck me, why bother?
Hi Nathan, My nerves were shredded last night. I kept looking at the clock wanting it to be 10pm once we had scored and that we had now won and I could just relax and be on the lash. With each miss we made I felt more worried they’d pop up at the death and get that goal…. and then it happened and they are in and it all went into slow-mo, the type of horror moment I had been scared about all game, no time left on the clock and they are in and then Becker is all that is great about a £66m goalie and I felt like doing a Klopp and running on the pitch and hugging him.
The last few weeks and games have been a roller coaster of emotion, in fact it has been this way for most of my life watching Liverpool (and I go back to the 60’s). We never ever have a habit of doing things the easy way and in keeping we did the same last night… and once again I went nuts at that save. once more I truly loved these lads playing for us, as they gave their all. once more I loved supporting us, as we are the biggest dangliest dogs bollocks around.
We may not be perfect, but that’s why nights like this are the greatest. We are not sterile that for certain. We are not givens. We are not just some super money doped up procession that wins and beats everything because people are too scared to turn up and play against you and/or even ref against… We are though Liverpool and these are our boys and we have to love them.
So whilst the rest of us are imagining Rihanna as described by Neil, god only knows where the feck you are on this one. Enjoy the moment and LOVE IT and equally love life with it.
It has been said… Mad game. Those 2 words sum it all up. I can’t wait to see it again, especially now knowing the outcome. The last few weeks feel like Christmas has come early. I am so relieved we are still in the Comp and in the last 16. most of all I am so happy are lads gave it everything last night and then some.
Somehow we must be great for all the neutrals and the haters to watch. They too must be unable to NOT watch us, as we just draw you in and then it is all madness at the end.
Mad game and one I’d of settled for right at the beginning of the night :)
*Our lads, not are.
Neil. Am in my sixties. And if you were sitting in front of me last night and with your size and bulk, stood up in front of me excited as Salah entered the box, I would have vigourously smacked both your ears with my bus pass!!! There’s no action replays at Anfield fella…..you have only one chance at seeing a great Reds goal…..and it’s not cool when some dolt eclipses that single snapshot in time.
Last night in upper KD, some guy, not a regular, stood up at the moment Mane (apparently….I didn’t see it!) scored the offside goal. My tap on his shoulder had the desired affect. He was a decent guy who just got excited……I can accept that …but as I say ….there are no action replays at Anfield.
Oh.. I forgot….a nice read as always
Poetry. You’ll probably have English literature pupils of future generations study your match reviews for their GCSEs like we used to read Wilfred Owen etc.
Laughable that other teams just have those lamentable blogger/vlogger merchants farting their opinions into supporters eyes and ears after games while Neil Atko gives Reds fans poetry. As big an advantage as the Anfield Atmosphere and if it were before matches there’d probably be a law against it.
Bonus points for that lovely Stevie quote, borne from supreme confidence in a team’s ability and not a little subtle cheek. All The Best, Jose.