ReviewIdent

Everything is emotional. Everything hurts. Everything feels fabulous. Every song I write’s about you.

After 30 minutes I was glad you weren’t there. Glad you weren’t putting up with it. Glad you weren’t watching Liverpool’s first, second and third worst 10 minuteses of the season. We all didn’t deserve that. In a strange way the lads on the pitch didn’t wholly deserve it but it was happening to them. I was glad you weren’t there.

When Mo Salah stares at the whole end with his top off and loves it, when Mo Salah milks every last bit of his own brilliance, when he comes back up after praying, after putting his top back on, when Mo Salah turns back one more time and urges the roar from the travelling Kop I wish we all could have been there to respond. I wish you could have looked right at him, our slightly frayed superhero, I wish you could have acclaimed him.

Everything is emotional.

Liverpool’s captain Jordan Henderson slots the winner and explodes when he has come on and changed the game for his side and I just wish you could have been there. We all should have been there.

It had been horrendous. It was watch through your fingers stuff, the worst things could possibly be.

Southampton got to the half hour only one up and Liverpool were flattered by that. There was no ball they weren’t second to, no danger they failed to anticipate, no easy pass spurned. It was, frankly, a shitshow. Southampton deserved credit. They played entirely in the half spaces, turned Liverpool’s powers against them, asked questions few sides outside of the top six have managed to ask. They pinned Liverpool against the wall and Liverpool looked helpless, weak as a kitten and twice as naive.

Everything hurts.

Liverpool drove us all to distraction, no decision right, unable to build pressure. And then they stretched Southampton back and forth across their own box and Naby Keita did brilliantly and time stopped and it was, after what felt like an age from 100 yards away, a Liverpool goal. A Liverpool equaliser. To say it was scarcely deserved is a monumental understatement. Liverpool have never been genuinely lucky this season; they have rode their luck, they have fought to the end, they have shown fitness and sharpness and desire, but they have rarely not deserved to some extent what they have had during games.

The only thing Liverpool deserved at 1-0 was to go 2-0 down.

The midfield was atrocious, Trent was having a nightmare, Matip was uncertain at best and calamitous at worst and Mo Salah just couldn’t get near the ball. We end the game legitimately concerned about Gini Wijnaldum. There have been too many games now with not enough influence; a midfielder who gave everything, who was our best until February may well now have been our poorest through March and April. We saw footballers flop physically today; they mostly wore the red and white stripes of Southampton, we can see how things can go wrong when legs go. But for Gini now it was been too much of a battle for too long.

Naby Keita scored and wanted the ball. Fabinho has credit in the bank. But the truth of the matter is that these three points are driven back to Liverpool in the boots of Jurgen Klopp, James Milner and Jordan Henderson. Liverpool’s grown ups got on the pitch and played like two men who have a league to win. They were immense performances. Game changing. Suddenly the pitch belonged to Liverpool. Milner made it huge, Henderson covered every blade of grass; pent up having watched things slip away before his eyes.

Everything feels fabulous.

God the scorers of the second and third deserved that. Henderson’s goal belongs to his manager and to Milner but also to his own bravura leadership; Salah’s to his own belief and perseverance. He has needed this for so long. We needed him there and then. He delivered.

They were and are our heroes. There was a patch when they were villains, when they were inexplicably throwing so much of their own good work away. And then the opposite happened. They deserve all of our acclaim. I want this not to stop. I’ll remember this end, I’ll remember how much it wanted, craved Liverpool winning the game. We needed more than wanted; Henderson wants for all time.

Every song I write’s about you.

Longing on a large scale is what makes history. The history Liverpool can make is not the history happening elsewhere in the country but it is the history of a city, the history of a state of mind, the history of thousands of people in one place, the history of millions around the world, the history of our lives and our moments and our rhythms, our needs and wants. Perhaps we shouldn’t long for this as much as we do, but we do and these are the facts of the matter. The scale and scope overwhelms but liberates, there is something about them on the grass doing what they do that frees us from mundane concerns. They give us life. Heart thudding, hormonal life. This is what it is to be alive, in the blood and the bone. Longing on a large scale is what makes history.

The Reds have the hand of history on their shoulders. It still may not happen. But they give us this. Like they have given us similar so many times this season.

33 down. 5 to go.

Everything is emotional. Everything hurts. Everything feels fabulous. Every song I write’s about you.

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