MATTERS are out of hand. Things are out of hand.
Liverpool go 1-2 and if every fibre of your being isn’t bedlam then you are doing life wrong. If every fibre of your being doesn’t scream at you that these are the greatest men who have ever have been conceived of then you are doing everything wrong.
Liverpool deserved to win. Liverpool deserved a second. But nothing that is as simple as that can feel like that. It just can’t be.
Aston Villa play really well, they are smart, they make great off-the-ball runs. They ask Liverpool questions. Broadly Liverpool just about summon up answers before the big answers.
Their goal has been thought through; indeed the buildup softens us up, they go short three or four times. Then go direct. They work the line. We should be better but then you can say that about a great deal of our work.
That first half is scarred by that goal and by poor play from the front three. Liverpool are repeatedly on the verge of tearing Villa asunder but don’t ever do it apart from the disallowed goal.
That goal, it is important to say, is flagged by the linesman in real time. It isn’t automatically a VAR issue. For me it is poor officiating. The same can be said of Sadio Mane’s yellow and the idea it is OK to grab Mo Salah by the throat. The first error is with the officials on the pitch, not the lads in the hangar.
The second half is all about the Liverpool manager’s changes and what happens on the break. Liverpool create tons of three-quarter chances or chances for chances. But it doesn’t quite come.
Villa nearly get in, roared on by a support that remembers being European Champions or has the folk memory of it, a football club that rightly takes itself seriously. They are the Midlands’ finest. Birmingham’s best.
Both van Dijk and Lovren have dodgy moments but both are men you would go to war with albeit in very different regiments or at very different ranks. Lovren recruiting sergeant. Van Dijk lord high consulate of the generality. You get the drift.
Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane stink the gaff out for 55 (while both have moments) and both curiously remain on the pitch. Both are then terrific for the last 40, both prompt and probe.
Henderson plays the game two yards ahead of everyone else. It is the most mercurial transformation. He goes into overdrive in a way which shocks and runs the whole show. Sometimes managers make changes which knock those left on the pitch into life. This was very much that.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is terrific throughout. First to everything and the most creative footballer on the pitch. The ball is alive at his feet.
But it is Robertson who does what needs to be done; a header at the goalkeeper’s body that makes it 1-1.
Liverpool get their chance with Alexander-Arnold’s freekick but remain calm. He then puts the ball in and Sadio Mane scores because he wants to win the league more than you, because Liverpool are filled with Cristiano Ronaldos not with Leo Messis because the pace and the power and the sheer fuck-off belief matters the most.
These are the best footballers, this is the best Liverpool team of my lifetime. If they are triumphant in May, if they win the football league they may be the best Liverpool team ever. They give us everything.
Villa troop off disappointed but second best. Liverpool quite simply the best.
Two giants of our time:
1. Jose Mourinho: “The next game begins when the final whistle goes on the last one.”
2. Samantha Brocklehurst to me and Ben Johnson mainlining red wine in the aftermath of City dropping points against Norwich: “Lads, you can’t go too early. It’s a long campaign.”
The final whistle goes and for once my wild-eyed nature doesn’t dissipate when the game stops. It intensifies. A big, fuck-off roar. Into these, Liverpool. Into these scruffs. In eight days time. Into these.
(I know Genk. I know, I know, Genk).
Eleven down, 27 to go. But you know. You know. Anfield a bearpit next Sunday. Anfield roaring like it is the last day of our lives. Anfield overwhelmed and overwhelming. Anfield wild-eyed. Anfield unhinged.
There’s a 19th title on the line, here. There’s one title on the line, here. The only one that matters.
If they are triumphant in May, if they win the football league, they may be the best Liverpool team ever. They give us everything. Next Sunday let’s give them everything back.
There is a job to be done, a promised land to reach. Let’s all be Sadio Manes for a day.
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Incredible. It’s weird, I’m among the “following the match on your phone brigade” and after we went 1-1 I knew we’d get the winner. I was with my young lad in a bookshop, trying to pick a lucky venue for the latest update. As I pulled my phone out of my pocket I told myself ‘we can do this’ and then instantly changed it to ‘we will do this’. And lo and behold we had. Sané I love you. I love all the lads. I’m no clairvoyant, they’re just making life gloriously, unpredictably predictable in the nest possible way. Same again next week everyone.
Mané even. Stupid aforementioned phone.
That performance had ‘Man United under Fergie’ written all over it. Leaving it late to win, but never panicking. It was the performance of a squad that wins titles.
Jon Moss, always fictional and useless as an official. Gave us nothing all game, but not as bad as TwAtkinson who was the VAR official. Couldn’t spot feck all the United game. Failed to spot Villa being offside for their goal, failed to see Liverpool players being held in the box or even Mings excellent save/block with 2 hands… all clear without the need for VAR; however TwAtkinson can spot one of Firmino’s armpit hairs being in an offside position. In-feckin-believable
Please can someone at TAW write an article about how shockingly bad that gobshite Martin cheating bastard TwAtkinson is
Why? In addition to the reasons you’ve given…
– their goal looked on, they sussed out our line, fair play to them.
– the shot from Chamberlain that hit Mings’ arm was no way a penalty. Yes it hits his arm, but they’re clearly tucked into his body, they’re certainly not in an unnatural position.
– Firmino offside is comical, but the VAR ref has just applied the comical rules.
Agree on their goal, not offside. The armpit offside is just a supidly stupid decision but true to form for Atkinson who cant even get it right with the aid of technology.
Hi Jimmy, I appreciate you just saying, that is what debate is about, having a say.
I assume you have played the game, I know I have for many years and what Mings did was tuck his arms into that position to help him control the ball rather than just strike his chest and go anywhere. So he moved his arms to the ball and not to get them out of the way. Therefore he deliberately did this and therefore handled the ball… You try doing this the opposite way round anywhere on the pitch and it is blown up for a free kick.
As for their goal, I am still not convinced despite what you say. All the Villa players moved before the ball was kicked and got ahead of our backline and then the ball is played in. That in the letter of the law is offside.
As for Firmino’s armpit being offside, even the FA doesn’t even know the rules of the game then if this is the decision given, as it is supposedly parts of the body you ARE ALLOWED TO PLAY THE BALL WITH. If Bobby played it with his armpit, then that is given as handball and would be disallowed.
Can I ask, how do you view the fact that there was contact with Mane, for the one he was given a yellow card for, or better still the 2 hands round Salah’s throat/neck in the box where Salah didn’t go down, or the other handball in the box that clearly struck the Villa players arm and was another outstretched hand… Any or all of these in the opposite direction are awarded to Villa. How do i know? This is Jon Moss who does this all the time to us… As for TwAtkinson, that man has an agenda against us.
And please sign this petition demanding FA attention of how uttterly SH!!!!!!!!!!!!TE Shatkinson is. Drawing arbitrary lines to justify a dodgy decision – appalling officiating.
AND…that fuck wit Moss also booking Virg for hs only tackle of tbe game!? Anybody who has any understanding of how to play football at any level, should fully appreciate that incident was barely a free kick, and never a bookable offence. The same can be said when he penalised Bobby on the near touchline for side stepping and avoiding a Villa player. The man clearly has no understanding of playing football at any level otherwise in such circumstances he would give players the benefit of the doubt
And OMFG that diving booking for Sadio when the player clearly stood on his foot in the box. WTF is going on with these match officials ffs!?
Just said something similar above.
Slight constructive criticism, Virg was at fault for the goal, being out numbered at the back and not getting it sorted, it’s the type of error which is keeping in more often so needs to be resolved
There was a Fabinho-size hole in this match. That was problem number 1. The second problem is we had a bunch of guys grafting, who left their finishing skills elsewhere.
I felt genuine relief when Origi, Ox, and Keita came on. Suddenly I had hope no matter who the ball fell to on the pitch. The guys they replaced all grafted to one extent or another, but just never looked to do anything more than that.
Here’s looking forward to the return of the perfect player to fill the Fabinho-size hole in midfield next week.
It was the right call to leave him out because that fat bufoonnwould certainly have carded him
Exactly. Jon (can’t keep up with the play and is fictional and clueless) Moss would have carded him for having that bit of fluff on his chin.
Love these write-ups, it was a delirious win, and I’m sure it’ll get discussed more, but more needs to be made of that VAR disgrace.
From the lino flagging when they’re told not to, to the manipulating of the lines to support a clearly wrong decision, it’s gone very wrong. I know we don’t want to talk about poxy VAR every single week, but yesterday it went from merely giving silly offsides (that might be technically correct, but completely against the spirit of the rule and the game) to disallowing a goal that was as clear as day a good goal to protect incompetence. Literally crossing the line from annoyance to utter farce.
Its nothing short of a joke and the time to complain and protest about these things is when you’ve won anyway and nobody can brush it off as sour grapes. Non-liverpool people keep talking about how tight and “lucky” our wins are, but one of the biggest reasons we’re constantly having to rescue games is because we’re getting robbed by a system that seems to only be getting less and less just.
Thank you, I wholeheartedly agree, we are being robbed and in every game. It is now legal to kick, drag down and grab hold of all our players and in Salah’s case, each week he is being grabbed around the neck and play is waved on. Yet Bobby’s armpit hair is offside and they can spot that… Absolute disgrace never mind a joke.
100%, brilliantly written.
Enough is enough!!
How can we mobilise this protest?
Let’s face it, it’s happened to us a few times this season and to other teams also. And the Delle Alli “non” penalty for handball this afternoon – VAR is an absolute fucking disgrace.
How is it that these officials have turned into such a mafia? With seemingly no consequences for their a) at best = utter incompetence or b) at worst = corrupt bias?
Also amidst all the VAR and other penalty shouts, nobody even mentioning the (by now weekly) foul on Salah, where the fucking big grock just pulls him back by the shoulders and neck. But Salah doesn’t go down, so not even a check on VAR.
You go down, and every c*** under the sun, including Guardiola (obsessed) straight after their game, will accuse you of diving. You stay on your feet and you get nothing. Football officiating is an absolute joke and it’s getting worse and worse.
Again Deco, I should have read your second post, but have been saying the same thing. Salah is now grabbed around the neck at least once in every game and it is waved as play on, no card no nothing.
However someone will probably tell us this is acceptable and legal.
Can someone explain how its possible to have your armpit (but not your arm?) in an offside position. I’ve been trying all night & I can’t manage it
It is not, it just the FA coming up with more farce to justify the bollocks they come out with.
Can I just politely whisper:
What’s happened to Salah? Still a good player, but nowhere near the mercurial best of his first year in Liverpool red. Still got the pace, the dribbling, but not got as many goals as he did in that first year, has he?
Is it a positional change, a tactical tweak? Was he just really lucky in that year? Has he been ‘found out’ by the opposition? Are injuries cruelling him?
I love the player and hope that he’s with us for a long time yet, but do you think Klopp and co are starting to get concerned over his final touch?
Maybe I’m overreacting. Tell me I’m overreacting. Tell me it’s gonna be fine. I know it’s gonna be fine. But the question nags away anyway. What is going on with Mo Salah?
I feel the same, I don’t think you are over reacting. I wonder though if despite the lack of finish etc he still deserves his place as he is a menace and pulls the opposition around a lot leaving space for others? Not sure how it is all working but just Hooe management would drop him if they thought they could get more goals from someone else. I woukd love to see Origi get a good run and imagine Salah coming off the bench on 70 or whatever.
Things will be fine. people were worried last season as well. he will be alright and come good again.
With Salah, same as most forwards, it’s down to confidence and form. I can’t really say if Mo is lacking confidence or not, let’s be honest, his numbers certainly arnt bad this season. However, if you remember his first season he missed alot of chances early on. Even the goals he scored wern’t always struck that sweetly. By the end of that first season he was hitting the ball beautifully, I’m sure he was still missing some but he was definately in the zone.
Mo is definately not in that form atm. Added to that defenders became very aware of him and he gets no space on the ball. If he was in top form he would find a way around this. Perhaps he has to adapt his game slightly.
It’s not possible to know if Mo will ever get to those heights again. However, I certainly think his form is decent enough and the danger he carries is enough to maintain his starting position each week. I personally think he will reach those lofty heights repeatedly throughout the rest of his career, however, im not sure if future ‘purple patches’ will last half a season.
Please look at this on the Liverpool Echo https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/footage-shows-proof-liverpools-roberto-17192042
And this for mane’s apparent dive https://www.empireofthekop.com/2019/11/03/photo-new-angle-shows-mane-shouldnt-have-been-booked-for-diving/
And this footage of Mo being dragged back by his neck https://www.empireofthekop.com/2019/11/02/video-villa-defender-has-2-hands-around-salah-but-mo-stays-on-feet-gets-zero-pen-again/
We lose and we go into the City game thinking they could be ahead of us by full time on goal difference. Now we go into the match thinking we could leave 9 points ahead of them to leave them psychologically eviscerated.
Genk to play first. We need to win that game. It’s another MASSIVE game for us midweek.
Also can someone please explain this https://www.instagram.com/p/B4XyL2_H6Fx/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Mane was sent off for less away to City 2 seasons ago
As soon as Robertson netted we all knew what was coming next. The sheer inevitability of these Reds must make people sick. I love that.
As for Sadio Mane – the man is a force of nature. What an exquisitely influential footballer.
Nothing more can be said on Atkinson. We’ve known it for years.