Sheffield United 0 - 2 Liverpool FC
Reds: Van Dijk 37’, Szoboszlai 90+5’
With three games in less than a week, Jurgen Klopp was going to have to get creative with a starting lineup at some point, and it seems tonight is that some point. Starting from back to front, Joe Gomez comes in as a left back, displacing Kostas Tsimikas. Endo will hold down the 6, and Cody Gakpo is back leading the line, flanked by Diaz and Salah.
Any win will do, given Liverpool’s less than stellar record against the bottom 10 last year. Plus a win will keep the Reds in second place, just two points behind Arsenal.
Now, I don’t want to shock you dear readers. But Simon Hooper, the same daft cunt who was in charge of the Spurs match, is having another shocker against Liverpool. So far he’s missed a red-worthy challenge on MacAllister, and a foul on Gakpo that nearly lead to a Sheffield United goal. The home side could easily be on about 3 yellows in the opening quarter of an hour, but no cards have been shown as of yet. If a Liverpool player doesn’t “accidentally” two foot him tonight, what are we even doing here?
It’s a frustrating first half hour for the Reds. Sheffield United are defending well so far, but Liverpool also haven’t really tested the keeper. Liverpool might need a set piece goal to really open this match up.
Ah, yes, Hooper found his cards, just in time to a) not give a pen to Salah and b) book Endo for stopping a counter a moment later. This fucking guy.
And Big Virg provides that crucial opener by volleying in a corner like a boss. And it’s another assist for Trent’s collection. Sheffield United appealed for a foul in build up, but sorry lads, falling over Van Dijk’s ass does not a foul make.
Mo should’ve doubled Liverpool’s lead with a fantastic volley from yet another corner, but the keeper unfortunately did his job. Liverpool are fully on top and in control, but another goal or two would not be unappreciated at this juncture.
MacAllister had to come off, likely from his earlier should’ve-been-a-red-card altercation. Curtis Jones comes on in his place. A few minutes later, Klopp brings on Darwin and Elliott for Luis Diaz and Salah.
Darwin gets a yellow for kicking the ball away, when Sheffield United have done the same countless times tonight. No Sheffield player has a card yet, and the Reds have three. Seems fair.
Klopp makes his final sub with 5 minutes left, bringing on Gravenberch for Gakpo. A Dutch Exchange, if you will. Is that the name of a sex act? Possibly.
And Liverpool seal the victory deep in stoppage time! Darwin wins the ball back with an...aggressive tackle, and then plays Szoboszlai in, who finishes it coolly.
It wasn’t always pretty, and the ref remains a giant dickhead, but they got the job done in the end.