Today a guest post by @anicoll5
A mild glow suffuses my normally stern features this Monday morn, allowing my mind to meander across the memory of a fine game of football with both a performance and a result I had been hoping for. Very nice, very nice indeed.
Top marks to our visitors who put together a great display going forward and on another day and with a scintilla of better fortune might have come away with a replay, maybe more. A disappointing comment from Rodgers regarding the “better team lost”. That however will remind me why I try never to listen to post match interviews with managers all of whom have a tendency to talk utter bollocks, the adrenals coursing wide open, swivel eyes loons to a man.
Of the match itself three features struck me. First, that it is a long time since I have been on the edge of my seat like that. 2-0, 2-0, 2-0, 2-0 and even our recent 0-0 was nowhere near as hard a watch as that. I suspect the level of sustained concentration required among our defensive back five was tested yesterday at the Emirates as it has not been tested this season. And did they crack ? No they did not. And the longer the game went on the less likely it was that we would crack.
Second, I doff my ceremonial top hat to Lukas Fabianski and to YaYa Sanogo. Two players at different ends of their AFC club careers but both faced the monstrously difficult test of coming into a side from the bench, with very little first team action, in a tie that was explosive action from the first whistle. We saw how well they both did. Lukas, with a thousand snide remarks waiting to be launched if he made one mistake, put not a foot wrong. And YaYa, while showing few of the silky skills he is renowned to possess, gave Agger and Skrtel no end of an battering. Great afternoon lads.
Third, an unfortunate amount of attention has been focused upon the challenge of the Ox on Suarez and the alleged second “penalty”. Referee Webb excoriated across the media with the usual hysteria, Scousers setting fire to themselves in protest, novelty tee shirts etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. I find the commotion laughable. A referee is entirely within their rights to have the most profound doubts concerning a foul being committed when the apparent victim of the offence launches himself into the air, performs a genuine somersault, and twists into a half pike before crashing to the floor. If the referee has a doubt then he must not give a penalty. Any player from any club who tries to cheat in so blatant a way should be punished, not praised. I trust Webb will follow through on that policy next time.
And so we stride onward to Wednesday, a glint in our eye.