How the Reds put this one away, I'll never know, but we definitely found out why an exhausted Steven Gerrard was left on for the full 90'. I'm getting a little tired of the criticism he's been facing. The guy has had multiple injuries, one before the first match with Standard Liege, and since then has been playing every few days for either club or country. He'll get his fitness back.
The first half was much better compared to the half we witnessed a week ago against Sunderland. Liverpool created some good opportunities, but couldn't cash in on them. If anyone looked tired, it was Xabi Alonso. His passes were inaccurate and could not take a corner to save his life.
Hats off to Mido who had a spectacular goal in the 70th minute that Reina had no chance of saving. It seemed all but over until the 85' mark when Jamie Carragher ripped a shot from the corner of the box that took a deflection off of a Middlesbrough defender and beat keeper, Ross Turnbull. Funny thing about Turnbull, he was supposed to start on the bench but Brad Jones was injured during warm ups so it put him in as the starting keeper.
After Carragher's goal, or Emmanuel Pogatetz own goal, however you want to look at it, the momentum shifted and urgency picked up. Dirk Kuyt was in a very dangerous position next to the goal when the referee suddenly decided to award a free kick after he had initially signaled to play on. Apparently, when you're playing advantage, you're not supposed to have advantage. The one point draw turned into a three point win when Steven Gerrard, earlier called Captain Anonymous for not performing in the match, showed why he's called Captain Fantastic and sent a howler into the back of the net at the 94'.
Other things to note:
The Keane/Torres partnership is definitely looking much better than last week. Keane fed a great ball to Torres at one point in the first half, but El Niño couldn't get a good right boot on it. Just not his day I suppose. Babel was subbed in at 65', but barely did anything other than get a touch and then give it away. Liverpool lost possession way too many times today. The passing has to improve and stay as short quick passes instead of resorting to long ball tactics constantly like they did in the second half.
The referee was an udder twat, but was a fair twat. He booked Arbeola apparently for being Spanish, and then later Keane and Mido at the same time for discussing the world economy. There were a number of times that either side could have had a legitimate penalty or card, but he chose to give silly ones. Ah, what a funny game it can be.
According to Boro skipper Gareth Southgate, his players were gutted to have not walked away with at least a point and they should be. They played well and I think Liverpool will have their hands full when they have to play them on their own turf. However, we're going for the league damn it, so I'll take 3 points anyway we can get them.
Man of the Match: Jamie Carragher for turning the momentum.