Welcome to the new reality. How long it’ll last is anybody’s guess.
It’s taking a huge amount of will for supporters to process this incredible run we’re on. Some can’t manage it. There’s a football bottom line; you win some and lose some, but Liverpool have totally moved away from that. Into another realm, actually.
So, you’re going home from a match where the Reds have 10 points from 5 European matches, sitting top of the group table, and you’re hearing mutters of discontent.
A similar journey away from a tense league win with ten men, that’s just put you 11 points ahead of the your rival, and even the word “diabolical” appears. Really, it did. Some are beginning to unravel.
What if this is all the greatest confidence trick ever played? What if it turns out to be Brendan, not Pep, who’s our nemesis? However will we deal with that? Folks, it’s football.
You’ll grumble and ‘grieve’ for a few weeks then get on with it. After the week the Hillsborough families have just had, it isn’t difficult to summon some perspective.
There was something troublingly complacent about the Napoli game, it’s obvious Uncle Carlo is still niggly about Istanbul.
If we’d been serious about getting the decisive win then Gomez wouldn’t have started at right back. Napoli strategically stifled Robertson during a dire first half, and nobody in midfield could find inspiration, certainly not Milner.
It was better in the second but sadly it’s all going to a sixth game where we still hold the advantage. Will these woes never cease?
VAR played its part again, ridiculously — like it ever does anything else. Their goal was given, then looked at for a foul, then given, then looked at for offside, then given for the third time. .
The ref was an awful strutting ass, a template of past European referees we’d almost forgotten existed, but it was not a performance you could justify with an official’s incompetence.
There was more glibness and complacency against Brighton. Dealing with this huge workload will define Klopp as a man who can or can’t vault the final hurdle.
Fabinho is a big loss no doubt, but Jurgen’s reluctance to fully utilise his squad isn’t a surprise when even small changes affect the team so much.
Brighton should have been filed away but Ryan and Dunk were excellent, keeping them on our tails and praying for a miracle.
They got one from Alisson. I replay those few seconds and still haven’t fathomed what a world-class performer was playing at. Maybe his brain had just frozen? It was perfectly possible.
Yet from 2-0 onwards Liverpool had already played like their minds were on the derby. If we’re trying to conserve energy in games which aren’t over, don’t be startled when it bites you on the arse.
It was a tense 15 minutes. Like a bucket of cold water in the face everyone, fans and players, locked down into the situation and dealt with it. This is how we’re getting the job done of late.
It’s all about scrapping for now, with even Van Dijk (and Lovren) having to score the goals to show the others how to.
The jubilation at the end surpassed the pub celebrations of Shelvey’s goal against City beforehand. We clearly need these tiny reminders of what football’s all about. The longer we can avoid the damaging setbacks that form like this usually brings, the better.
We do have to click into gear eventually, though. That’s obvious. The grim grumbling from outsiders about our luck has a delicious saucy tang for sure, but it won’t and can’t last.
It takes a lot for a veteran doom-monger like me to tell others to get a grip, but what’s happening is not realistic. When that truly bad day finally arrives (please God, not Wednesday), it’s how you deal with it that matters.