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Sunday News Brief

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Hit the jump for some random links to wrap up a weekend that, thankfully, saw Liverpool lose no ground in the race for fourth place.

After conceding the equalizer in the 90th minute yesterday (and the heartbreak of Kuyt hitting the post), it was tough to see any positives. At the end of the weekend, though, it's unquestionably positive that other results were in Liverpool's favor. There's certainly no pride in watching the fixture list and hoping for everyone else to do Liverpool's work for them, particularly when it comes from the other half of Merseyside. Everton, incidentally, are really hitting their stride and will surely give the Reds a go in three weeks' time. But Liverpool remain 4 points off the pace for the fourth spot, making Wednesday's match with Spurs, the current occupant, absolutely massive.

A few other notes to tie things up:

--For all the rumors at his departure at season's end, Javier Mascherano seems to be committed to pushing forward with the "spirit of Liverpool." He'd never say that he wasn't committed, but it's nice to read, and he makes a good point that in such a turbulent season, coming out on the other side and in the top four would be a huge accomplishment. Talk about winning the inaugural Europa League, though, might be a bit much. Let's see how things go against Spurs first.

--I think Rafa hit the nail on the head in his quotes about the performance yesterday. The players really did perform well yesterday, and it was an effort that was a stark contrast to some of the other displays we've seen this season. One of the things I've been struggling with, and told my buddy yesterday, is the reigning in of expectations for this season. It's turned me into my mom--"Good try honey." But honestly, that was my reaction after yesterday--"They tried hard."

--Peter Beardsley takes the non-Ronnie Whelan/Stan Collymore approach, instead backing Rafa and stating that the Spanish manager has earned the right to extend his time with the club. Granted, it's mostly sentimentalism from Beardo, and "what have they got to lose" is never the strongest argument, but I feel he's correct in saying that some of the criticism is over the top...but then again so is some of the martyring that I've read.

--Lastly, Steven Gerrard's leaving. Again. Pffffffffffffffft. He's been either injured or bad most of the season, but without an actual source or quote to back it up, it's a tough sell. When he gets back, the club needs more from him--as a captain, as a player, and as a leader. Hasn't been enough for me this season.

And also, please check out Dave's post on the front page about Jozy Altidore and ways to help out those suffering from the disaster in Haiti. Plenty of ways to help, and Dave's listed a bunch.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, back tomorrow.