This is getting intense. You’re not supposed to hyperventilate six days running, surely?
Thing is, all I’d ever wanted from the quarter-final was a bit of pride and any chance of going through in the return.
It’s become much more than that now, surely? More than something to lose, more than a cup tie and has ended up triggering the sickening fear of utter humiliation. Glass half empty again?
Everton were an afterthought really, which doesn’t often happen.
For us local yokels anyway Manchester always comes second to the scurvy dogs across the park, but not this time.
I was naughty last week, claiming they hadn’t tried against City to assist their safe passage through the Champions League — or our exit, more precisely.
Actually, the idea they can in any way affect the outcome of anything was mere fantasy. They faced a half-strength, half-arsed Liverpool and still looked clueless.
There were no injuries and the unbeaten run in the derby goes on, while City themselves were being dragged into an unseemly, futile scrap with United.
City in that first half chilled the blood. That second half though…
But the voices in your head begin nagging anew; “can a team that good really have three flops in a week” they hissed incessantly.
Probably not, but it’s not like we got lucky first time around. The first half of last week’s game was brilliant, the second nervy but (for us) quite disciplined. It’s unfair on the rest but the outcome probably depends on whether Salah is fit or not.
There was so much garbage spouted afterwards it’s difficult to know where to begin.
Offside goals given, goals that weren’t offside ruled out, penalties that should’ve been given but weren’t. Once they were finished you were just grateful to be allowed onto the same pitch as them and the only thing that might have given satisfaction was Klopp’s public flogging.
That’s before anyone even mentions the coach. You know; the ten-ton contraption that was “destroyed” by bottles and cans, apparently.
All very shameful obviously, but it all began to sound like a grab-bag of excuses. The build-up was already weird, a mixture of outrage that anything so loutish could even be contemplated while exuding a puffed-up snottiness it was expected to faze these Gods in human form.
It’s only supposed to be about welcoming and encouraging your own team but naturally ale and courage-in-numbers took its toll on some tools.
There’s so much complaint about the gentrification of the game but whenever something goes even slightly awry the sanctimonious wringing of hands (even from Klopp) becomes quite tedious.
What I couldn’t abide was the notion Liverpool fans were blowing their own influence out of proportion, infantilising every single one in the process. It just made the win so much sweeter.
Of course it’s only half-time and Kompany hinted as much; “let’s see how you like it when you get it” was the threat/promise, more or less.
And that’s fine. Your place should be bouncing. Nothing we saw in the first leg was a real surprise except City failing to score.
What happens to us when the wheels come off and we’re leaned on a teensy bit has been an incurable, recurrent factor all season.
The football has often been spectacularly good, but the other side of the coin flips up far too often for comfort.
Despite the second half at Anfield, no-one can really be confident this team will hold out long enough to see it through, not without scoring themselves anyway.
Have we been set up for ignominious failure? I don’t think either team’s going to beat Madrid so it’s just ‘local’ pride at stake ultimately.
Imagine if it all goes wrong. Everyone still sings about Gerrard falling over, and that’s bad enough.
And now I can’t sleep again.
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