Neil Atkinson’s post-match review for The Anfield Wrap after Tottenham Hotspur 2 Liverpool 1 in the Premier League…


A MILLION ways to start this piece. Shall we sample some?

1. Liverpool looked and played like possible Champions. They showed the determination of potential Champions. The togetherness of potential Champions. And regardless of the last minute, from there, we saw…

2. The problem is that Liverpool cannot do or say a word. They should send Mighty Red or John Henry out to do the post-match interviews and call the refereeing out. Imagine it, the cormorant of doom fucking sticking it to everyone, naming names and tipping its beak at every interviewer who so much as dares…

3. Joel Matip is a Liverpool legend. He is welcome to ours whenever he wants. I’ll do a roast tomorrow and he can pick the meat. He will do for me, do for you, do for us all. Through the wind, the rain and the fucking Hoopers, what you do is…

4. There are games that you can just write off. Games that get wild, games that footballers will reference in their memoirs and where they will…

11. They had to send a set of circumstances from Mars to beat us, you know. Red card. Own goal. Another red card. Mad ref. Decision that has to be apologised for by the worst crowd of pricks outside of the political party gathering in sunny Manchester this week and what do you…

15. It’s time for change. Enough is enough with the way football is officiated in this country and unless there is a root and branch review we will be back here in…

23. Jürgen Klopp loves this team and so do I. It revels in adversity. It loves it. They felt the likelier to score when it was 10 versus 11. They are crazy for it. The senior players are energised by the new boys and The Reds are coming up the hill…

26. *The PGMOL statement just copied and pasted nine times, ending with “fuck Howard Webb”.*

149. It was such a hammerblow. It was such an emphatic own goal. It had been 100 minutes of sheer hell, expanding on Barnesy’s 90 by 12 per cent. It had been strung out and then it killed.

I could go on.

Let me start here – Liverpool versus the world suits me because I look at you and I see someone who knows what they are about, who learnt how to back themselves, who has been through the mill and I know everything worth doing we do together.

You’ll do for me.

Joel Matip will do for me. I had worried about him but not today and not after today.

Be proud of Joel Matip. He didn’t deserve that. The mentality monsters did brilliantly. The raw fight in them. The channelling and recycling of energy. Liverpool go down to nine (NINE) men and yet they still manage to make runs forward. There is little outlet and, good god, you don’t think it is going anywhere, but the sheer effort of getting the ball into Tottenham’s half is incredible.

Because of the refereeing and because of the laws and their interpretation, because of the guidelines, not because of the technology itself, but the bellends who are responsible for it.

The PGMOL debacle is – in their own words – a clear and obvious factual error. It doesn’t help anyone. Nothing is any good from this. We have been screwed by them and no one can undo it.

Let’s be crystal clear – the officiating is on its knees. There’s a statement. They knew they were wrong almost immediately. But there’s a statement. That statement can go and fuck itself.

A few months back some biff elbowed our left back. A few weeks back our new signing was sent off on his home debut and the red card had to be rescinded. And then we have today. Decision after decision after decision was dreadful. I have no idea why Andy Robertson was booked. I understand why Diogo Jota was booked, but it was dreadful. It was wrong. He was sent off for zero bookable offences.

There’s this thing – these pricks want respect. But respect is earned. And there have been so many dreadful decisions in not just our vicinity, but so many others this calendar year. Cody Gakpo at the end of last season, his chest lacerated, the card yellow. Spin the wheel, pull a memory. These clowns aren’t worthy of a second of respect.

But this creates issues. Because they can’t earn respect through being half decent they instead try to impose it, act authoritarian. Bans and fines and yellows for anyone saying a word in the name of respect that they simply are not worthy of. I know the job is hard. I know the game is fast. We deserve better than this.

The officiating is in crisis. The officiating is on its knees. And Howard Webb is not the answer, he just looks alright on telly. The change needs to be complete, not superficial. Howard Webb is the problem. The personification of the problem. Don’t you tell me he is the solution. Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it is raining.

Tottenham are good. Son is like a new man now he is out from under the Kane yoke. He shines and is helping the manager remake this team. This is a good side and Liverpool keep them at bay.

But they are not as good as Liverpool. Had we had a decent 100 minutes we’d have evidence of that. I like them. I like Yves Bissouma. I like the left back Destiny Udogie. I like football, to be honest. The older I get the more I like football and footballers.

Tottenham have the points and the last minute winner and they can bounce out of their ground. Good. Enjoy it, seriously, enjoy it. Have a great night and glory in it; a good side won. We’re going home with Dominik Szoboszlai and Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip and I’d rather have our lads than your win and by Easter Sunday the table will make that undeniable.

Joe Gomez was great. Alexis Mac Allister the best player second half. The goalkeeper is just the best one. I hope Cody Gakpo is OK because he is another in form.

I’m proud of them. I loved the look and sound of our end. I am proud of them too. I love our why, our sense of purpose, over and over and over again.

There’s us. There’s everyone else. We’re outnumbered but I’ve looked at the data and, to be honest with you, I fancy us.

I fancy us.

League’s not going to win itself, you know. Into these.

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