So, which would you prefer, a thumping humiliation of your extremely bitter rivals or a last-gasp win over stubborn, niggly timewasters?
Why can’t we have both?
I didn’t think Old Trafford could be topped, but if anything, Goodison was better. Liverpool again took latter stages’ pity on their rivals, a charitable notion I endorse 0%.
The dread before this game was based on superstition, admittedly. “Oh, we’ll lose tonight,” the old reverse jinxeroo. Bored with repeated references to Van Dijk and Pickford, I for one was prepared to let all that go — until they started booing the Dutchman.
It was hard to tell though, as they’d kept that noise up all night. Our players on the ball, our fans singing YNWA for a murdered young girl (which they followed up with the now-traditional “murderers” chant, sickeningly), their players and then their owner.
Amazingly, no ambulances were called to treat hyper-ventilation.
Two goals up, some Blues began leaving early, practising for their protest against Arsenal no doubt.
Of course, we had to make it interesting. Liverpool always offer up a chance to opponents, even ones this hapless.
A great 90 minutes for us, a positive boon for any passing psychiatrist. We occupy far too much space in the Evertonian psychic terrain, have done since I first went to a derby (when Churchill was in shorts). It’s unhealthy.
The pre-match sirens do make me laugh, though. A warning of imminent, devastating damage being unleashed — but against whom?
The local press repeated their favourite conspiracy. “It wouldn’t be a derby without mentioning the referee”. No, that’s you lot, it very rarely occurs to us. How does Klopp walk around with all these officials in his pocket?
Your team got spanked, but you must still criticise the man in the middle. True, he shouldn’t have booked two of your players for diving. It should have been three. Mo Salah’s opinion wasn’t sought, too busy scoring goals, I guess.
I felt no pity for Rafa, he knew exactly what he was getting into and had already summed them up to a ‘t’ in 2007. We warned him, just like he was warned about the Inter, Real, and Newcastle jobs but there’s no talking to somebody that mulish.
He must’ve seen Ancelotti go from Everton to Madrid and thought “I’ll have me some of that” but he’s never done anything without somebody else laying the foundations first; Cuper at Valencia, Houllier at Liverpool, Chelsea were ready-made.
Ah well, there’ll be another big pay-off, so he won’t starve. We’ll always have Istanbul, to paraphrase another addict of lost causes.
Wolves were more stubborn. There are traditionally few goals in their fixtures, Nuno may have left but they haven’t changed.
The Reds weren’t that good, with Jota especially wasteful. I spent the last 30 minutes ripping up his adoption papers.
For a team that scores so often, it’s remarkable how careless they are up front. They should have been three up at Goodison before Henderson finally broke through, and Saturday was more of the same.
I’ve seen lots of games like this one and will doubtless see a lot more. It happens sometimes, the magic just isn’t there and you have to take your point (and your medicine) and hope the next team will suffer the consequences.
At least that’s what I’d told myself before Divock stepped in. He doesn’t have the same numbers as Solskjaer admittedly, but he holds a similar place in Kop hearts. I’m not suggesting we should ever make him manager, mind.
We got everything at Wolves, then. The win, the insane celebrations, but also a warning that we can’t ease up. Klopp picked virtually the same team for three games in a week. He may not like rotation, but it’s obviously necessary.
This was the beginning of a gruelling two months. We’ve done so well to get into this position.
To blow it now would be an incredible waste.