Terrace Talk: Money alone won’t change City’s luck at Anfield

No game for 14 days, then four games in 11 days. God, I love internationals… Liverpool’s record after these pestilent wastes of time is dire. Their results from early kick-offs are even worse.

The two combined would usually be enough to derail a perfect team, never mind this one. That they managed to somehow emerge with three points — dirty, Klopp called them — was put down to a newly-discovered resilience. It’s possibly the 43rd time Liverpool have learned how to “win ugly” this decade alone.

They make it harder for themselves. Palace aren’t all that, but were made to look like kings of Catennacio by our dithering lack of professionalism.

I know Trent’s young, but swap Lukaku for Benteke, Rashford for Zaha, and he was caught out the same way.

He’ll get the benefit of the doubt, because I don’t think correcting defensive mistakes is where Jurgen shines. We’re going to suffer from that Gomez injury. Throughout the game, there were casual, arrogant errors. Imagine one of City’s forwards with any of Benteke’s chances. There’d be a bloodbath.

Thing is, they won’t be like that against City. They’ll treat them with the respect due, something many of these players don’t seem capable of when facing someone further down the food-chain.

Even van Dijk, who’s been great, began farting about and almost gave a goal away. Crueller types than I said it was Benteke’s best game for Liverpool. Good job, too.

Virgil got extra help near the end; maybe having two partners in central defence is the way to go? Unfortunately, the referee insisted on us taking somebody off to accommodate this change. There’s always a catch.

The official got mauled afterwards for not sending Mane off. When did football develop this lust for controversy, no matter how bizarre?

“Deliberate handball”, they yowled. Seriously? Whatever happened to the spirit of the game? How was he cheating by thinking he’d been fouled (and he was, definitely).

I know we’re not the most popular of clubs, and for some reason people do like Roy Hodgson and Crystal Palace (I don’t, at all), but this was witless and petty. Nothing we haven’t heard before, true enough, but still damn irritating.

I usually feel pity for Roy, but not when points are at stake. Those who took their Rafa worship way too far always had it in for him, and people get unnecessarily spiteful and obsessive.

I’ll say this for Benitez, though; he thought footballers needed treating like children and he was right. They require brainwashing repetition to remember the simplest things, and since that would appear to bore Klopp senseless, the likes of Alexander-Arnold will carry on making the same errors.

Still, when you have Mo in your team, why worry? The chance came, the chance was buried, Liverpool won. They’ll need to be better on Wednesday, obviously.

Manchester’s finest come to town, scoffing at the Anfield ‘atmosphere’, while simultaneously complaining bitterly about a traditional ‘European’ greeting outside the ground. Neat trick. It was mostly their paper stirring it up, using buzzwords like “illegal” and “intimidation”, while one-eyed Reds, like John Aldridge, ramped it up with some trolling of their own. Childish, really. It’s not like City don’t dread the place already; two wins in my lifetime. If they thought that money would change their luck, they’ve been cruelly deceived. So far… There’s always a chance we’ve been set up, only to lose the one game that’s ever mattered, Sterling’s previously feeble returns mere groundwork for the ultimate humiliation.

Paranoia’s setting in. After nine years with our noses pressed against the European Cup window, a competition we once called home, it’s good to be involved. Be nice to keep it going. City’s training session at Goodison told us nothing new. The tricky blues sure love all things Mancunian.

As with any game involving Klopp, strap in and hold on tight.


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