Neil Atkinson’s post-match review after Liverpool 2 Crystal Palace 0 in the Premier League at Anfield in front of 10,000 supporters…


AND there we are.

It’s strange to think that Liverpool are all of a sudden third; it’s strange to think that was ever a thing.

And there we are.

He scores his second and Liverpool’s second and it almost overcame you. Sadio Mane’s brace left as the only game in town, the only great game. The only excellence from those who needed it. He scores his second and our second. He scores all the fist pumps, all the vitality, he scores and it is the reason to be alive.

And there we are.

Two centre halves end up bleeding. The pair have shown how you don’t need to be the best player in the world. You don’t need to be someone anyone has heard of. You don’t need all the talk. You just need to be prepared to put shoulder to the wheel and force the issue. They manage that over and over.

Imagine their coaching. Imagine the conversations. Imagine what they get told and how that becomes part of the way they look at the game. There could have been no better education than what the last few weeks has been.

And there we are.

Gini Wijnaldum turns out to be the world’s best man. A very great player and a wonderful man who commits himself to this side. He’s been the very best of us. He’s done the day to day job over and over. When he was need to be what was required he was there. His goals to big games ratio is astonishing. Certainly in comparison to most.

There have been few footballers who have ever stood up to be counted for Liverpool Football Club as Gini Wijnaldum. He’s the very best of us. The very best full stop.

And there we are.

The game ends up very mundane full stop. The better side wins 2-0. Mohamed Salah is clearly the best player on the pitch. There are no surprises. Liverpool push Crystal Palace outside of their comfort zones. They make it unbearable. They are the better side. It’s Liverpool’s game.

And there we are.

And there we are.

As a year goes this has been absolutely exhausting. As our lives go nothing could have been harder. I, personally, can’t think of anything kinder than all the ways you have treated me and these words. We have been into all of this together. I know what we all wanted. But we wanted the essential things over and over. We wanted the blood and bone and in a way Liverpool offered that.

I’ve been cross this year and I apologise. Unresolved anger through football is not an answer. It’s a terrible sentence. I want more for us.

The more is coming. Liverpool will have European Champions League football and there we are.

There is a job to be done. Being the best team in England and Europe.

And there we are. Your paint’s in mine. Seasons change. I tried hard just to soften you. As it breaks. The summer will wake.

Nothing will win itself. But Liverpool can win everything. So into these.

And there we are. Thank you. As ever it has been a pleasure. As ever I miss you. As ever yours.

Have a lovely summer. Trophies to win.


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