At the time, the biggest disappointment about coming away from Old Trafford with a draw—a result that would have been more than welcomed most years—was more because of the state of the title race, than Liverpool’s stunning run at perfection this season. It ended our winning streak at 17, one shy of Manchester City’s 18.
It was annoying, more than anything. And the way the match played out, with the Reds staring down the barrel of an embarrassing defeat to our enemies, the feeling of relief was almost palpable when Adam Lallana netted a late equalizer.
Then the Reds went back to the business of winning football matches—reeling off a new winning streak of 12 league matches (and hopefully counting).
By now, even most United fans are sure these Reds are going to finally break their Premier League duck. Indeed, United Twitter has been floating around a meme imagining a world where Liverpool shatter City’s record points total, but—but!—fail to beat United in the process. Imagine how annoyed the Scousers will be! Yes, we’ll be so annoyed, we might just need another massive celebration with three-quarters of a million Reds flooding the streets. Again.
Where was I? Oh. Right. Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had some thoughts about settling scores. And in his view, it’s Liverpool’s turn.
“I think there’s always a score to settle in this fixture,” Ox said to the club’s official website. “If you’ve won the last five out of five then lose the next one, that’s going to hurt us or them the most, whichever way you look at it.
“We weren’t happy with the game [at Old Trafford]. On the day, we didn’t play well enough and then I think in the second half we had chances in the last 25, 30 minutes to go and win the game, so we were disappointed we weren’t a bit more clinical.
“Obviously Adz came on and scored a really important goal which on the day gave us a good point and I think at the time, at that point of the season, you don’t look at that as a blot because we didn’t know we’d go on to achieve what we’ve achieved so far.
“So, you can only look at that and maybe say it would have been nice to have got a win there, but if you look at the season as a whole and you go to Old Trafford and get a draw and you’re not happy with that, that puts you in a good place.”
The draw at Old Trafford was a blip. A mildly annoying blip. One that looks bigger now, in retrospect, because of the unbelievably high standard set by these never-say-die Reds. But it’s clear that there’s a feeling throughout the squad that they want to put this one right on Sunday.
“We don’t go into any game not wanting to win,” Ox continued, “so we’ve always got a score to settle whether we’ve won, lost or drawn the game against the team we’re coming up against previously. It’s just another game and another three points that we want to go and get.”
Go get those points, mate.
It’s been a few matches since we’ve seen an Ox-Outside-The-Box Special. Sunday would be a good time to return to goal scoring form. Let’s treat this Manchester side like we do the other Manchester side when they come to Anfield—beat them, and beat them well.