As Steve Gerrard was warming up on the touchline during the first half, he was as expected, ruthlessly abused by United fans in the Anfield Road. Songs such as Have You Ever Seen Gerrard Win the League, have you fuck… and also And Now You’re Gonna Believe Us, You Nearly Won The League… The scene was set, Steve Gerrard, an experienced professional, captain fantastic and all that, was going to come on in the second half and take control of the game. He was going to ram United fans piss taking back down our throats and he was going to love it like Kevin Keegan whilst doing so. Martin Tyler on SKY Sports couldn’t contain his excitement. He described Gerrard as having an “encyclopedic knowledge of this fixture”, whatever the bleeding hell that means.
There was apprehension amongst my red brethren in the Bishops Blaize. We were wary of the fact that even though Gerrard’s legs have gone, he’s lethal from a dead ball (now for some reason, known as a set piece). Over the years, I’ve seen Gerrard have some incredible 90 minutes, I’ve even seen him have some incredible 45 minutes but this performance, all of 43 seconds has to be the coup de grace. Continue reading What’s The Mata You… – Liverpool 22nd March 2015
After the match against Arsenal on Monday, confidence amongst reds was on the floor. When talking amongst ourselves before today’s game, such was the sharp intake of breath about what could happen that when we breathed out thinking of Harry Kane, it caused a near hurricane down Talbot Road. Tottenham Hotspur are a good side, easily on paper, the best team United have played at Old Trafford in the league since the chimes of Auld Lang Syne faded out. Prior to today, they had won on their last two visits to Old Trafford, having previously gone twenty three years without winning here. We were left in no doubt that today was going to be a hard game against a side that like United, are in contention for a top four place.
United attack in the 2nd half (photo courtesy of Neil Meehan)
’twas the 24th minute. A dreaming Angel di Maria was gazing admiringly at Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the ball. He wasdreaming of his new flat in town, he might even have been dreaming of getting a decent corned beef butty in his local shop on Quay Street. What di Maria wasn’t doing was watching Arsenal left back Nacho Monreal, who he was supposed to be marking. Monreal strolled through on the left flank to beat David de Gea on his near post. Five minutes later, di Maria partially redeemed himself when he whipped in his first decent cross since walking to the other side of the road in Prestbury last December. Wayne Rooney scored with a free header from six yards, after Arsenal’s defence somehow surpassed United’s abysmal defending a few minutes prior.
David de Gea watching a United attack in the first half (Photo courtesy of Neil Meehan)
The most memorable moment of yet another dreadful first half at Old Trafford was when Jonny Evans passed the ball back to David de Gea from near the half way line in the 22nd minute. A wayward corner from Ashley Young ended up with Daley Blind on the opposite flank. He passed to Evans near the halfway line who in turn passed to de Gea. Evans had no choice, he couldn’t pass safely to another United played where he was so he did what any sensible centre half would do. The howls of disapproval, most notably from the K Stand, were the angriest I’ve heard Old Trafford since the anti Moyes banner flew around Old Trafford last April. Some people thought that the crowd were having a go at Evans, but I think it was more a case of a pissed off crowd who had seen far too many moves evaporate this season in this manner. That there was no outfield player available to Evans to pass to is more a problem for his team mates as a collective, than it is any culpability for Evans after an attacking position moments earlier fell apart. Not for the first time this season, United fans chanted attack, attack, attack-attack-attack, however to my ears, this was shouted with a bit more vigour than usual.
Possibly the most terrifying image I’ve ever seen used to advertise a football match. Incidentally, Thriller by Michael Jackson is still available in all good record shops (while good record shops last)