In moments like this there’s absolutely no words in the English language that can truly capture what we witnessed today. How am I suppose to come here and articulate coherently what this team does? There’s nothing I can add to what they’ve done. I’m entirely unfit for this purpose. That’s what this team does to us. They render us into a sloppy pool of emotions. Thankfully they’re the ones playing the game and I’m the one jumping up and down on my couch.
Bust out all the cliches after this one. The mentality monsters were in town. This is the sort of thing that only happens to Champions. All the good stuff. Just imagine how everyone else feels after watching Jurgen’s tricky reds do this once again.
Winners and Losers
Those last few minutes
It’s funny because Liverpool played really, really well in the second half after a miserable first half. On the whole you probably expect two goals to be fair for what Liverpool created in the second 45 minutes, but wow, what a two goals they were. I was desperate for a draw at the 75 minute mark that I didn’t think would happen. The phrase “just one of those days” loomed over my head like depressing shadow.
If you look at all of the stats, Liverpool were miles better than Aston Villa today, but the only stat that gives you three points is scoring more goals than your opponent. Thank god for Sadio Mane and Andy Robertson for doing just that. Can we get those two goals a little early next time, fellas? Asking for a late-20s-something who is developing a heart condition from following this team.
Aston Villa, sorta
I know it’s hilariously cruel to list the team that lost in the “winners” section, but this is my column and I’ll do as I damn well please. Villa had one objective today and by my measurement they achieved their goal. They frustrated the hell out of Liverpool and they did the best job of that. They can truly leave this match feeling hard done because they came up against the best team in the world. Shit happens. Villa will be frustrating to play when we face them at Anfield in April.
Jurgen Klopp’s substitutes
Another game where Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin comes off the bench and instantly changes the game. His first touches were 3 shots in quick succession. He came in and brought an intensity from midfield that Liverpool were lacking.
Divock Origi brought a presences into the forward line that was oddly lacking from a team that had Mo Salah in it. Maybe Mo’s ankle is more hurt than we originally thought. Anyways, Origi was always there as an outlet on either flank. Might be the best sub in the country.
It looks silly to put the fullbacks here because one scored and the other assisted, but I’m afraid for most of the game they were a bit found out. I think teams know they can game plan around Liverpool not having anything creative in midfield while focusing their defensive attention on Trent and Andy. But maybe that’s why Ox makes such a difference coming off the bench. I don’t know.
It pains me to see Henderson playing so poorly, but at this point he needs a break. I know he’s the club captain and I know that Jurgen absolutely loves him, but he just can’t start against City. He actually had some great defensive stops today, but then he had some gorgeous through balls for Villa to run onto. Looks tired. He’s toiling out there and needs a very nice holiday on the beach.
Liverpool's Roberto Firmino was flagged offside before putting the ball in the net against Aston Villa and the decision was confirmed by VAR— Premier League (@premierleague) November 2, 2019
The red line signifies Firmino and was aligned to his armpit, which was marginally ahead of the last Villa defender#AVLLIV pic.twitter.com/a2OnNWnz2E
Complaining about VAR is so, so boring. Yet, here we are again. I understand that the Assistant Referee makes the original call of offside. I understand that there’s no definitive angle from the broadcast that clearly shows Roberto Firmino onside. But the Premier League and their refs think the fans are stupid. That’s the only explanation for this. You can’t score with your armpit, so how are you offside with your armpit?
Think Grace sums it up perfectly here:
I would also totally understand a position of sticking with the initial decision if they can’t tell. But just don’t pretend the system is infallible.— Grace Robertson ♀️⚧♀️ (@GraceOnFootball) November 2, 2019
We just need consistency and transparency. That’s all we ask for.
What Happens Next
Onto the biggest game of our lives. Manchester City. At Anfield. Just win, please.
Up the Reds.