We’re going to need a catchphrase. How about “We go again”? Okay, okay — no need to bite my head off.
Ghosts still haunt this club and 2014 continues to sting. The players have done brilliantly to even hang on in this title race. Snides are always going to mention the seven-point lead (10 if they wanted to casually ignore City’s game in hand for bonus bitchiness) but we’ve gone beyond the call of duty.
Klopp stands to eclipse every other Liverpool manager on points.
That’s some illustrious company to lord it over.
It’s nervous now but if by some blessing our fate plops back into our own lap again it would be cranked up to breaking point.
For the first 20 minutes at Southampton, it felt like that already. It surfaced not with jittery panic, that at least might have been understandable. No, we were unbearably slow and lethargic. Like we were pretending this wasn’t fazing us in the slightest. Too cool and almost schooled.
The Saints poured down our right side, almost as if they’d done their homework. The shifty blighters.
Trent’s clearly got skills, he supplied the cross for the equaliser, but there’s a defensive deficiency there. Perhaps Robertson’s all-action style on the left catches the eye more pleasingly or being chill can seem an awful lot like torpor when your own nerves are contaminating everything.
There was of course something illegal about our win. There always is. It’s laughable now. People are betraying their own ill will each time they open their mouths. City don’t get good fortune, or so runs the script. Riiiiight.
But this is a good team and if Klopp’s going to start making effective substitutions too some bitter folk might yet have to bite down on a particularly nasty bullet.
For a player seemingly so out of sorts, Salah’s goal was a work of art. Three fifths skill and the other two sheer testicular fortitude. The cares seemed to melt away.
Henderson completed an ideal trio of goal-scorers, Keita finally contributing though he too looked slow and docile early on.
Yet it was Jordan who stole the show. One poor performance always produces a million told-you-so’s. It’s only fair the reverse should happen when he plays great, but I’ll not hold my breath. You know his detractors are only lying low until they can unleash their own peculiar brand of unwarranted hell.
It’s a mark of how far Klopp’s brought us that a Champions League quarter-final arrives in the form of a brief respite. Everyone knows which trophy the Reds really want, but there’s no harm in looking elsewhere for our feverish silverware fix after years of cold turkey.
We’re favourites after last year’s tie, but don’t be surprised if tomorrow night sees another first-leg stalemate. I’ve never seen Liverpool lose 5-0 at home, but I imagine I’d want those responsible to be dismembered next time we faced them. We’ll see an entirely different Porto this time around.
The impending fixture overload was supposed to work in our favour, watching a bedraggled rival finally worn down by biting off way more than even they can chew. Now there’s a small chance we might stay in Europe longer than they do.
And if that happened, could it distract us? Probably, but for now City are still in the same boat and with an even tougher tie.
Next season was earmarked as the year we tried to compete on more than one front. It’s come earlier than expected, it’s doubtless daunting for everyone but thrilling too.
Chelsea are next in the league and they too have European commitments they can scarcely ignore. It’s nearly five years since Gerrard tumbled infamously to ground, and it’s even longer since we sent ‘them’ back to London with tanned backsides.
Every withering terrace wag has reminded us of that infamous day ever since. There’s only one real way to make it stop.