Terrace Talk - Liverpool: All's well but derbies can quickly puncture smugness

You know none of this is really happening, right? It’s a dream from which, eventually, we will all be rudely awakened.
Terrace Talk - Liverpool: All's well but derbies can quickly puncture smugness

Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara celebrates scoring their side's third goal of the game

You know none of this is really happening, right? It’s a dream from which, eventually, we will all be rudely awakened.

Now we’re forced to fret about continuing a two-goal scoring streak, or the sod’s law likelihood of Everton stopping it. Life is a veil of sorrows, sometimes.

I don’t care about maximum points in the Champions League. Liverpool were finishing top whether they let Porto win or not.

I was half joking about that but turns out they aren’t the kind of team you can help — certainly not with their balance. Don’t think I’ve ever seen any team roll around as much, wasting their own time and often leaving 10 men to deal with trifles like defending. With two classic goals and the spawniest of clean sheets, Klopp jumped into a river of sewage (not unusual in this country) and came out smelling of roses. Again. He’s quite the phenomenon.

We could even afford two goals and a penalty chalked off. The Reds must have suffered from VAR more than any other team. No time to be riled, no reason either but
irksome, nevertheless.

Tyler Morton is the latest graduate from the “we didn’t need to replace Gini” school. He did okay, the kid, but let’s not pretend this was any kind of level A entrance.

He would’ve done just as well against Southampton. Defeat is a big part of football, usually. You learn to grimace and bear it, but certain fixtures come along now where an all-consuming complacency still can’t affect the outcome.

We took advantage of Arteta last week. Hasenhuttl didn’t have time for a hissy fit on the sidelines to wake us all up. Jota had scored before Ralf even got to bark out instructions about keeping your shape and whatnot. A television editor could have produced highlights of that first half and made Liverpool out to be the worst team ever. Or the best. It really was bizarre.

The last two games have given off an obligatory vibe. Porto you understood, qualification was assured, but Saturday felt perfunctory laced with casual brilliance.

The fans knew it too. It was also freezing, that chill which sinks into your bones and never leaves. The wind didn’t help either, but at my age you’re wary of weather since you know one day it’s all you’ll ever want to talk about.

The away fans sang their usual drivel. There should be a psychological study of people who find consolation in “4-0 and you still don’t sing”. Yes, my team is getting flayed alive but at least I’m still noisy. Takes all sorts.

The Kop got around to singing Jota’s name, the basic chant that passed from St John to Toshack, to Dalglish and then Fowler. Traditionalists may balk — “too soon!” — but I’m happy my boy’s getting his due respect. He very nearly scored the Kuyt hat-trick (every goal from a yard out) but it’ll come soon enough.

Robertson came back like a bullet train, proving once again that competition for places isn’t some wispy theoretical.

Thiago’s had a fine week too, and the stats when he partners Fabinho are frightening. We haven’t seen them together too often, thanks to our lovely neighbours more than anything.

He was clearly earmarked as a key factor in our evolution. Here’s a player who can gently remind us all, living on a lengthy diet of heavy metal football, that 90 minutes is actually a long time.

A bit too languid for his own good sometimes, but he’s getting there and if he’s going to add goals to the repertoire, we have plenty to look forward to.

With Oxlade-Chamberlain getting minutes too, central midfield may not be the Achilles heel we suspected. Its first-choice variant, anyway. See if they come out of Wednesday night in one piece.

So, all’s well with the world, but stay alert. Football has an uncanny knack of puncturing smugness.

That’s why God invented derbies…

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