What’s The Mata You… – Liverpool 22nd March 2015

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.

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Celebrating reds immediately after the final whistle (photo courtesy of Lee Thomas)

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. The red card he received in front of the Kemlyn Road stand in this, a big leg of Gerrards farewell tour, was definitely the right decision. Fair play to referee Martin Atkinson, for having the bottle to send Gerrard off in those circumstances. Ander Herrera fouled Gerrard and correctly received a yellow card once Gerrard had walked, but what Gerrard, a man of 34 was thinking of when doing that is a gleeful mystery. As for Gerrard, United fans serenaded him with a loving farewell – “What a difference you have made...”. All’s fair in love and war la

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. The red card he received in front of the Kemlyn Road stand in this, a big leg of Gerrards farewell tour, was definitely the right decision. Fair play to referee Martin Atkinson, for having the bottle to send Gerrard off in those circumstances. Ander Herrera fouled Gerrard and correctly received a yellow card once Gerrard had walked, but what Gerrard, a man of 34 was thinking of when doing that is a gleeful mystery. As for Gerrard, United fans serenaded him with a loving farewell – “What a difference you have made...”. All’s fair in love and war la

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Steve Gerrard walking alone and not waving to United fans as they bid him a fond farewell (photo courtesy of Lee Thomas)

In this most unforgiving of venues, United gave by a mile the best performance of the season. I’m not sure if Louis van Gaal is fully aware of the importance of this fixture to reds but the way the team played today, they certainly appeared so. The irony is that the most experienced United player had one of his worst games of the season. It was the general consensus, me included, that Wayne Rooney needed a good game today if United were to get anything, especially with Liverpool’s recent form. Well what a load of rubbish that consensus was. Rooney had a stinker. His penalty miss in the third minute of injury time summed up his day. Luckily it didn’t matter and for that, we can thank Juan Mata.

Juan Mata showed his gratitude to the United fans for the rousing standing ovation he got when substituted last week by having a blinder today. A popular player amongst United fans, with his two goals today, he’s elevated himself to the status enjoyed by the likes of John O’Shea and Diego Forlan (amongst many others), he’s scored the winner at Anfield. If he never does another thing in a United shirt (and I hope he does plenty), he’ll be forever loved by United fans for this. Mata’s first goal in the 15th minute was a finish that testament to his composure and experience. A great through ball by Ander Herrera fed Mata on the right flank, but Mata still had plenty to do. As he ran onto the Kop, Simon Mignolet tried narrowing the angle but Mata calmly strolled the ball into the net. After Gerrard’s moment of madness gave United a crucial man advantage, United took control of the game again. In the 59th minute, Mata scored a goal in front of the United fans that Mark Hughes would’ve been proud of. A cross from Angel Di Maria caught Mata slightly on the back foot. No problem to Mata though, he just slightly changed his posture and scored the goal of the season for a United player. The nature of that goal and the place it was scored in, it will take some beating to my eyes between now and the end of May.

The infamous back row view at the Anfield Road stand (photo courtesy of Mark Woods)

What a win this was. For a United fan there is no better feeling than beating Liverpool, but beating them at Anfield is without doubt the highlight of any season for reds. It just doesn’t get any better than this. Alongside me in the Bishops Blaize, reds celebrated with a rare intensity. The Arkles on Anfield Road also had a few reds in there who couldn’t get tickets and were wisely keeping a low profile. They told me that the consensus amongst the scousers in there was one of exasperation at Gerrard’s stupidity and an admission of United’s superiority. What they made of Martin Skrtel’s stamp on David de Gea’s shin in the last minute of injury time is not known, one thing I’m confident of is that Skrtel hasn’t heard the last of it. Anyway, bollocks to Skrtel, let’s enjoy this very happy day.

Me and all brother

Thanks to Mark Woods, Lee Thomas, Peter Murphy and Neil Meehan for their help in writing this

Update on Martin Skrtel 26th March 2015 –

“It feels strange because we appealed against those charges and still I was hit by a three-match ban. I didn´t want to stamp on him. It was an accident and I didn´t do it on purpose. I don´t feel guilty. It was a long ball and he went towards me and I wanted to jump over him. Simple as that.” (Martin Skrtel 26th March 2015)

19 thoughts on “What’s The Mata You… – Liverpool 22nd March 2015”

  1. Salut Mutphy;

    We have just leave anfeild very goud afternoon for the Red army.

    I will Make the suggestion – if you did not go in Anfeild maybe you will give the price cost of the ticket as a donation for the guys who runned the marathon ?

    It was £52. A goud jesture I say.

    Excelant reed.

    J

  2. At last we turned up at Anfailed ( Sorry Anfield !! ) So much better in every department than what we have had to to watch recently.
    The bitters come calling next week so please god Rooney has saved his best performance for them ???
    Great read again Tony enjoy your trip home my old mate

    1. Great performance, the best United showing at Anfield since the late 90s. I can say that over 24 hours after the final whistle, all with calm reflection and all that baloney, that I’m still buzzing. Nothing compares to winning there.

  3. I was watching with a friend in a bar in manchester. Still there now.
    Going to celebrate with a ladyboy (a pint, gordons gin and tonic and a baileys irish cream chaser)

    In all serious it was one of those typical games between united and liverpool – heated, fiercely contested and at the end of the day, a result.

    Well done reds. Well done Murph.

  4. Cheers Murph. Home safe. I’d like to say Gerrard’s rashness was down to the taunting and the publicity over his banner from last time. I’d like to but that would be ridiculous.

    Like a one club legend (sic) coming on as sub and getting sent straight off is ridiculous….

    As I said, I hope it niggled away in some way. Anyway great performance today, really hope something has clicked. Got my eyes on second now…

    1. Under the circumstances, second would be great this season. I’ll be happy with fourth for the time being and hopefully a decent stab at the title next season. One thing I do know, I’m feeling a hell of a lot happier about United than I was four weeks ago.

  5. Boisterous, gleeful away support, sharp, slick, fast, precise attacking football….maybe at last we are getting a taste of the “philosophy”

    Either way, if anyone has ever seen Gerrard win the league can they let me know as I can’t find any footage on YouTube?

  6. If you assault someone, outside a pub, you don’t apologise to the crowd watching. You don’t say sorry to your boss at work, or the board of directors. The magistrate in court may be impressed if you said something of contrition to your victim. Did that many faced scouse twat do that in public. NO! All he did was, try to cover his own arse. The Yankee bosses was his misplaced target brown nosing. The Scouse faithless will forgive all sorts of shite. But us Reds know what a first class arsehole he really is. And if he is the best one club servant they have ever had, LETS LAUGH AT THE MICKIES. Great day great piece, and standby for whinge fest defending their idle(sic) a fallen idle

  7. Good write up Murph and I agree with all you’ve said. Very poor game for Rooney, I was willing that bloody penalty to go in but thought he’d miss it. Di Maria came on and gave possession away more than the whole team did in the first half and didn’t look as though he wanted to get the ball back either. Right now he’s pitching in with Kleberson & co as a costly waste of space. For a man costing so much his ball control is appalling.
    Sad to see the way the team eased off in the second half, would have liked them to have turned Liverpool over big time. But, Mata was outstanding and 3 points and the performance overall was terrific. Credit to Jamie Carragher who offered grudging praise through gritted teeth and agreed with the sending off.

  8. MURPHY. I reed again this news blog, happy yes at our win at Anfeild. I looked at the charity donate websote and you have not made donation of match ticket £52.

  9. The silence on here defending their leader is baffling. Have they realised, at last they have been fooled all along by the media. The BBC have something to answer for here. In the shape of Alan Green, being allowed to boost any thing Scouse. Having read the link from the Irish Sunday World, I advise all liverpool fans to do the same. Where do you find this stuff. Brilliant

  10. Amongst all his ‘mea culpa’-ing, I notice that Gerrard didn’t bother to apologise to Ander Herrera. Shades of Goofy and Evra….

    Hope they chuck the book at Skrtel as well…another addition to the Iain Dowie Ugly Bastard XI…..and add an extra game’s ban for a ‘frivolous’ appeal.

    1. Typical self serving bullshit from Gerrard. No surprise, at this end of the East Lancs, we’ve had that frauds number for a long time. Why he had to seek out the camera’s so quickly after the match smacks of the man, like David Beckham, it’s always been more about him than anything else.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O86Ybja5JWU

      As for Skrtel, I’d love to know what his grounds for contention are for the FA charge. Is he saying it was accidental? When it was blatantly obvious that it was pre meditated. I remember Rio Ferdinand getting an extra game ban for a frivolous appeal after he was sent off for hitting Craig Fagan of Hull City in January 2010. That was a tactical appeal, a delaying tactic so he could play in the League Cup semi final against City. I think Liverpool are racked with desperation, lose Skrtel for three games and they’ve got a real problem. They have decided to go “all in” (if you like) and try and get him off. To be honest, I don’t blame them. I’m taking nothing for granted with the outcome. Some of the decisions I’ve seen from the FA over the years have left me immune to surprise.

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