There’s usually solace in defeat.
As the Reds trumped off the pitch at the KC Stadium this month with catcalls ringing in their ears, many of us thought that that was to be the season low, the nadir, the point at which we look back at and say ‘That’s when things began to change.’
They did not.
Then came Spurs and the inevitable win. Nothing was more assured than those three points and the performance which generated them. Put this side against quality opposition and they’ll deliver the goods. Nothing surer. That was a great game as Liverpool carved opens the London side with wit, verve and targeted venom throughout. We were imperious at the back too – tackles and blocks going in for fun. The game meant something, and when the game means something, we show up.
And then Leicester.
It had to be Leicester.
No league goal in 2017, a striker with no strikes, a sacked manager who was their most successful ever and the fans on the point of revolt.
Enter nice old, dependable Liverpool. Your charity team for Leicester in Need.
A nice break away, time to look at a few things and recharge the batteries.
Yep. It’s the same old song.
Vardy leaves one in on Mane and make it clear that they want – need – this win after the worst PR week in their history. Ordinarily a superior side would roll their shoulders and prepare to get their shirts dirty if that’s how they want to play it, but this is Liverpool. We didn’t. We panicked and waited for the inevitable fuck up at the back. Lucas and Matip duly obliged. 1-0.
This was all part of the common Liverpool script. What tends to happen next is the emergence of a stung Liverpool who battle gamely for an hour or so and take a point or a narrow defeat. We didn’t even have that last night. Instead Leicester, scenting blood, kept coming and coming. Drinkwater made it 2-0 and our lads shrugged. One of those nights. At least there’ll be a bollocking at half time and we’ll see some stugots in the second half.
Emre is a centre back again. Who knew? The left of a three and thus on the other side of the field from when he shipped five goals in 45 minutes at Stoke and had to go off. We all knew what was coming. A cross from the left, he doesn’t get up and it’s three. We get one back, one from the school of ‘Beautiful Goals No One Will Ever See Again’ so maybe this is the wake-up call. I tentatively check my betting app of choice to what the odds are on a Liverpool win at this stage. 33/1. Tempting. I give it two minutes before closing the app down and shaking my head at such ludicrous optimism.
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