Everton 0 Liverpool 1

Mayhem & Misery On Mersey Monday: I don’t enjoy the ‘derby’ the way I used to. Most of that is down to the change of attitude aided and abetted by the artificial Sky-Hype. ‘Mersey Monday’ they branded this one which showed they don’t learn too much down at SSNHQ. Remember ‘Red Monday’ which became ‘Red Faced Monday’ after the tedious 0-0 draw against the Satanic mob from Salford central? The ‘derby’ used to be more akin to a private domestic dust up between neighbours and any interference from outsiders would have been dealt with in time honoured fashioned; only in the globalised world that is now football everyone is privy to what goes on and seems to want to have their say, both before and after. Because I didn’t get a ticket the best way to avoid the hype was not to turn on the TV until kick off and that’s what I did. The first half wasn’t good to watch when you’re of a nervous disposition. Everton shaded the first forty-five minutes of frenetic stuff. They were in our faces and gave me the impression that some raw meat had been on the menu at their pre-game lunch. For all that they hadn’t looked like scoring but the worrying bit from where I sat was we’d looked even less like getting one. Maybe the fact that neither goalkeeper had anything to do apart from pick the ball up now and then, showed what it had been like. How Carra and Rodent Neville could fill in the interval with any match analysis I didn’t bother to find out. There was a glass of wine waiting for me and that took preference. The second half was different but there was only one team trying to win and that team wasn’t wearing blue. The injury to their keeper was unfortunate but it didn’t make any difference to their approach, nor ours. It is widely known that Koeman wants to be manager of Barcelona but his tactics in the second half reminded me of the Italian sides of the 60’s and 70’ – almost  Catenaccio  and Helenio Herrera. If he ever gets his wish and plays that way in Catalunya he’d be frog marched to the nearest market place and flogged. I was glad when Sturridge was released from his latest period of sickness and although nothing much changed I felt he’d at least have a go and he duly did. It wasn’t so much a shot but a soft poke but I thought it was going in. When it struck the upright the agonised moan was audible all over the house but when Manè suddenly found himself in the right place at the right time the whoop of joy must have been heard a few streets away; I was transformed from muttering something incoherent to bouncing off the ceiling. The celebrations from the away end made good viewing but I didn’t like the flare being thrown on – it clouded my view of the Bitters stampeding out the Park end to get their excuses ready for the morning call. As for our MOTM I couldn’t split Lovren and Klavan who had Lukaku and company in their pockets in the second half. So much so that I don’t think Simon Mignolet’s kit needed to be washed, his gloves certainly didn’t. The ‘derby’ has many traditions, both ancient and modern. A couple that’s been with us since the 70’s are the bitterness and the Everton manager moaning. Ronald Koeman went as far as saying he didn’t think Everton deserved to lose and Dejan Lovren should have been sent off. All Lovren did as far as I could see from my sofa was try and stick up for his mate. Doesn’t he think Barkley should have been booked in the first half for the attempt at shirt swapping with Origi? Maybe like The Kaiser said, Barkley was lucky and Hendo was lucky – Hendo lucky he left Goodison with two legs intact. I don’t care either whether it was good, bad or indifferent and care even less what the modernist, radicals or football fundamentalists think. This was our ‘derby’ day, our victory and being second in the table is a lot better than being third. It’s nowt to do with anyone else.

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