The time for celebration is over. It is now time to look down the road to what's ahead. Sunday, the Reds will face the Blackburn Rovers at Anfield. Liverpool has won their last 7 matches at home. Coming off the heels of a heart stopping bout with Arsenal, the only question really is will the lads be too confident? It would be very easy for Rafa to say, "Good job, have a rest," but we have to remember that Everton are not far away. The Toffees play Birmingham City and should be able to come away with an easy win, especially with the present circus developing around the Blues.
Speaking of Blues, there's another team just over the horizon. On April 22nd, Chelsea will once again make the trip to Anfield. The previous encounters between Chelsea and Liverpool have been somewhat--well, suicidally dull. I remember watching the 2nd leg of the semi-finals last year and at the end of the two added times and the penalty shootout, I felt drained, exhausted, dehydrated, and did not want to see another game for at least a month.
Call me crazy, but I think we're in for a different show this time. Circumstances are different, the teams are different. Yes, the last time this season when Liverpool and Chelsea met, it was anything but exciting, but again, different circumstances. At that point, the Reds had not found their stride. Uncles Tom and George were making asses out of themselves, and Torres had not realized that all he had to do to put a ball in the back of the net was to walk by the goal.
In this first leg, we need a strong result. If we are not at least a goal up on them, we might be in trouble. Beating Chelsea at home would be very difficult. Then again, difficult does not mean impossible. The Blues could not advance last season when conditions were ideal for them. They had a happy roster and a "special" manager. Now, they have players that are vocally unhappy and holding out on signing contracts. There is also a problem developing in the keeper's box.
My dream of a Roma/Liverpool final has been extinguished. I think it's turning into a Man U/Liverpool nightmare. Out of the four, they're the two clubs that have their shit together. Both are in good form and both are focused on conquering Europe. Will Man U be able to juggle winning the league with going to the Champions League final? Or, will Barcelona give up on chasing Real Madrid and focus on Europe. So many variables. I would hate to be a bookie making the odds.
And is just me, or does Avram Grant look like one of the Vogons from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?