It had been a bad week on the football front; in fact it has been a bad year. The stench from the Hull defeat lingered and in the modern world there’s no escape. Travelling to Anfield yesterday there was as much pessimism in the air as there was cold and it was apparently one of the coldest days of year.
There’s surely too much speculation these days and yesterday it was about our goalkeeping situation, would Mignolet start or Karius. The words “Not exactly spoilt for choice” came to mind and the same could be said about who’d play at the back alongside Matip? However, no matter what the situation there’s only one place apprehension can be lifted and that’s on the pitch.
And that’s exactly what happened. In fairness the first fifteen minutes saw little to separate ourselves and the North Londoners but then came the opportunity to go ahead and going back to how we were playing pre-Christmas we took it. As Manè bore down on the Spurs goal those of us in the cramped Lower Anny seats were just begging him to have a go and unlike post-Christmas he didn’t mess about. When one became two only minutes later Sadio Manè had changed the whole mood around L4, the ground so subdued against the smaller fry who we couldn’t get past was visibly rocking. Oh if he could have made it three just moments later we might have even started to think about sitting comfortably.
It was a former Spurs great who often used the words “It’s a funny old game” but if Jimmy Greaves was watching his words weren’t far off the mark.
Tottenham came to Anfield on a long unbeaten run, and whilst not exactly threatening Chelsea’s title charge they have been making them occasionally look over their shoulder. On Saturday night, however, they looked like we’ve been looking since the turn of the year. The highly touted Kane and Alli and the rest of their frontline rarely troubled Mignolet and although we have to give some credit to our defending [for a change] the back four hardly needed to break sweat. We, in turn, looked like a team in command of the situation and that’s probably the most annoying bit.
We know what this side is capable of, we’ve played the likes of Chelsea [twice], Manchester United [twice], Tottenham [twice], plus Arsenal and Manchester City and have not just matched them all, but in most cases been better. We’ve got at least a fortnight to dwell on this result before we play relegation threatened Leicester away. That might be when we find out if the wheels have been put back on.