Liverpool 2 Seville 2

All things considered this was a decent enough game and I thought a draw was a fair enough result.  We have to live now with our defending deficiencies and strange goalkeeping rotations, not that Karius was to blame for the goals we conceded in this game.  We came back well after the early setback and could have been in a stronger position at halftime and not just because of the missed penalty.  I thought we lost our shape in the second half although that might be down to the way Seville played.  The red card for Gomez was a cheap one and didn’t affect the result but personally I thought Moreno was begging for one after being booked in the first half.  Albert is a useful asset going forward but still a liability at the back, however as far as our defenders are concerned he’s not the only one.  I think the Spanish side are group favourites and because the other game ended in a draw as well, a couple of wins on the road would help the cause.

Manchester is full of Sh1t by Wm Sheikh-speare

Why would a bunch of Arabs buy a toilet, albeit a brand spanking (?)  new one ? I always used to think Citeh fans were a bit better than their Manc brethren, but after Saturday, when we happened to be a few seats away from the refugees and squatters from Wythenshawe and Mosside, I can’t see much difference (except the Manc excrement doesn’t come just from Manchester). “Always the Victims”, ”Steve Gerrard, Gerrard” seem to be the only 2 chants they have, apart from the dirge that is Blue Moon. I know why they stand alone. Don’t they have any heroes to sing about? perhaps Denis Law, but only since he sent the Mancs down, not because Citeh were any good.

The Arabs have assembled a formidable squad, with more depth than ours, a management full of Barca old boys, including the most successful manager ever, and our own Rodolfo Borrell, sacked by Rodgers, and at a cost which defies belief, but for 37 minutes there was nothing in it in what was a great advert for attacking football. I have little doubt that with our attacking formation intact (instead of toothless without Mane, then Salah, then Firmino), we would have won 3-5. And then John Moss decides to ruin it all by sending Mane off for an unintentional foul that messrs Shearer, Lineker and Wright all said on MOTD that they would have committed in going for the ball, that even the Scouse hating Gary Neville claimed was not a sending off offence. Where does intent come into it? if a hand ball has to be intentional, why does a reckless  challenge not have to be? MOTD’s coverage was poor however. The only attack of ours which was shown was the Salah pass back into their goalie’s arms. They missed both the Citeh bookings, both for intentional cynical (and reckless?) fouls, an inch or two outside the box, so avoiding penalties. Was Mane’s offence worse? of course not.  Was the referee on the take? Funny what Arab money can buy (but certainly not love)

It doesn’t buy fans either. For a top of the table clash, they can’t fill their stadium. They have blue seats so that on TV the viewer might think someone with a replica shirt is sitting in them. Be in no doubt, this is a small club with a small fanbase which is benefitting from non football money for the time being. UEFA needs to get a grip on Citeh (and PSG etc) and start docking points, not fining them,  for cheating on the financial side.  Can our own FA do something to level the playing field? they didn’t bother with Chelski when they bought the title. Would they be brave enough to do what the Scottish FA did to Glasgow Rangers even though it was against the short term interests of Scottish football? of course not. No balls, or rather continue the tradition of incompetence or of taking the bungs in true football fashion.

However, the most disappointing thing about yesterday was the number of our fans who left early. I hope they got soaked in the tropical rainstorm as they trudged back to Piccadilly. And I don’t mean 5 minutes early. More like 20 or 25.  OK, our team put up no fight in the second half but they are still OUR team. Leaving is what other teams’ fans do. The droves who left should be ashamed of themselves ( but probably won’t be ).

 

End of rant

Manchester City 5 Liverpool 0

There can be no doubt the sending off of Mane changed the game and whether or not he should have been sent off depends on where you sit. I thought it was harsh and there was no intent or malice. Others think it was right but agree there was no intent or malice.  It might have changed the game but I doubt it changed the outcome. Long before the red card our defence had been opened up like a can of beans and it got worse.  Whether it would have been as emphatic is irrelevant, we looked hopeless at the back and surely even Jurgen can now see we’ve got a problem? Klavan is nowhere near good enough and TAA showed he has a lot of learning to do about defending.  However, citing individuals isn’t right, there were very few who performed and one the sending off occurred we looked clueless.

 

Liverpool 4 Arsenal 0

So Arsenal didn’t turn up?  That’s how it sounded when the media summed up the game.  Maybe Arsenal turned up, saw what was coming so got out the way?  Anyone would give a Juggernaut a wide berth!  We looked brilliant almost from the off and it was more about the fact Arsenal just couldn’t handle what we were doing – I doubt whether too many other sides would have handled it either.  Had this been one the Sky TV darlings playing the way Liverpool played the likes of Martin Tyler and Gary Neville would have been creaming themselves, as would the rest of the media.  Arsenal were pummelled and left Anfield reasonably happy because the score was only four.  Hoffenheim wilted under the same onslaught in the first twenty minutes in midweek and nobody questioned their desire.  Then again, it’s open season for the Wenger abusers.  Our second and fourth goals came about as the result of brilliant football not Arsenal’s lack of fight and first and third weren’t too bad either.  When it comes to poor defending we’re experts but Arsenal were battered and that’s a difference.  The fact we didn’t concede might suggest Arsenal’s front men weren’t up for it, but you’ve got to have the ball to be able to do things and they rarely got the ball.  Karius still worried me though.

 

Liverpool 4 Hoffenheim 2

The puzzle isn’t solved.  At one end of the pitch Liverpool look like classical composers [forget heavy metal] with all kinds of orchestral manoeuvres in the dark even if their supposed conductor has gone AWOL – or doing a bit of swinging the lead.  At the other end Liverpool just looked in the dark and although the history books won’t show it, the Germans could have hauled themselves back into the game such was the uncertainty of our defending.  It’s not just the full backs, or the central pairing it’s the whole combination including those in midfield who are supposed to be giving a bit of cover.  At times they look too casual other times simply incompetent but if nothing else it made for a very watchable ninety odd minutes of football.  The first twenty minutes would be shown countless times had it been Real Madrid or another English team regardless of whom and what the opposition constituted.  It was as good as the first twenty minutes against Arsenal a few years back and three could have been six.  The pace we had upfront was almost unfair on the Germans and Emre Can looked world class during the opening salvo of brilliance.  If Barça want to pay us £130m [see latest quotes] for Coutinho, how much for Manè should a bid ever come?  In the end the fourth best team from England beat the fourth best team from Germany and that’s all we really wanted.