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Let’s face it, Liverpool, in the year (THEIR year) that they were supposed to halt United’s title no.19, have been nothing short of shocking.
But given we’re talking about the team who, before Christmas, won only 2 games out of 15 (the 2 were against us and Everton), it’s also fair to say that, as part of their almighty shiteness, their inconsistent displays mean they apparently only play well against the teams they hate. Cue United at Old Trafford; cue their cunning ‘4-1 to the murderers’ chants…and cue Torres taking only 5 minutes to score.
Had the goal won them the game, or opened the scoring on an eerily familiar home defeat, it would have, to the delight of that vile mob, been highlighted by everyone who thinks they have something worthwhile to say about football, as a perfect representation of United’s inability to deal with Torres and his clinical, well-timed and truly majestic goalscoring ability. In summary: let’s all jizz out loud over Carragher’s bit on the side.
The goal was Ok, at best, but even the most kop-tinted cynic would note that it wouldn’t have been quite so possible without a little help from our defence, who clearly were unaware that the game had started. Neville was in there, as was Rio, and even Carrick arrived late – just for bant – yet once again, regardless of our evident superiority over them this term, it appeared as though it was going to be the same old scenario against the scum.
Torres, who’s pretty much done fuck all since returning from injury, as has their heroic captain who contributed to the opener, would be the winner in The Mirrors unimaginative Torres vs Rooney competition, as he ‘steps up’, ‘yet again’ to ‘score a beauty against United’. Fuck off.
However, this time things had changed.
What’s different this time round can be stated 2 fold. 1: at the time of last year’s disaster, you may recall, we went on to endure a rather torrid, mini run of poor form. Starting with the 4-1, we then lost 2-0 at Craven Cottage, narrowly beat Villa at home with THAT goal and again barely won at Sunderland. Liverpool in contrast were hitting their peak as they came to OT; more or less winning their remaining games thereafter.
Secondly, the general appearance and approach of each side a season on must also be considered. This season, we’ve pretty much grafted away and maintained our position at the same, rather uninspired level; with the odd peak and trough thrown in (although you could argue our poorest form came before Christmas with the defeats of Villa and Fulham).
Liverpool, in the starkest contrast possible, have not hit any form whatsoever and have, instead of maintaining their impressive challenge from the previous campaign, reverted to a level of Thursday night football more inconceivable than was ever anticipated (apparently they really couldn’t handle losing Alonso…?).
So now, facing each other, we found ourselves losing (again) and potentially on the back of another ‘only good when we play you’ performance. But surely the above facts (just realised I haven’t mentioned the waiters rant once!) must be taken into account. FACT. (yesss).
The equaliser came a lot quicker than it took me to realise that I hadn’t referred to the rant once. Valencia stormed through, Mascherano done a Vidic (harsh but true) and it was a penalty. As always with United, it was controversial, but I’ll go with Mani’s answer, who, when asked about it on TalkSport, simply said, ‘well the referee give it as a penalty, so it was’. The next person to speak to Spooney about it was far less cool than the Stone Roses-er, but his technical and ‘FIFA rule-book’ guided answer was also quite good. So that’s that.
On top of that, Torres was as petulant as always; epitomised by literally kicking the penalty spot away. His overall approach when his team isn’t providing was typically embarrassing, and once again talented foreigners across the Premiership have him to thank for attaching words like ‘stroppy’ ‘weak’ and ‘goes over too easily’ to their otherwise brilliant footballing ability. Notice I didn’t use the word cheat, because I genuinely think he’s too stroppy, weak and goes over too easily to have any time to cheat.
From then on, it was all rather routine. It was scrappy and, thankfully for our sake, completely professional without a Nemanja blunder in sight. Park’s winner – a perfect cross by Fletch that met the brave, diving head on the little man – was a just and relieving winner.
A magical encounter with the old enemy? No. An intense, typically dramatic battle? No. A giant leap towards our title challenge? Umm no. A decent result against those Scouse bastards to finally shut them up about last season and hopefully increase their chances of regular a appearance on Channel 5’s Thursday night slot? Yep!