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Liverpool 4 Crystal Palace 3 (Jan 19 2019)

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Report by
Dave Usher

 

I thought we’d left these mad games behind us when we signed Big Virg and Alisson? Seemingly not. I suppose it’s no bad thing to see that we can still win these crazy shoot outs when we need to, but hopefully we won’t see too many more like this.

 

With the stakes so high the games are stressful enough as it is without the lads going all “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest” on us. By the end of the game most of the crowd must have felt like that 104 year old fella who was there as the club's guest.

 

It’s Palace though isn’t it? There’s something about them that often brings out the crazy in us. For most of the game they barely even ventured over the halfway line, which is probably a good thing as whenever they did they fucking scored. They had three shots and scored from every one. 

 

We didn’t look secure at the back and it’s probably due to the two enforced changes in there, as well as the absence of Wijnaldum in midfield. Milner is taking all sorts of flak for his performance but all things considered I thought he did as well as could be expected. Wilf Zaha is as good as anybody in the league in one v one situations. He’s virtually unstoppable in fact. 

 

You have to double up on him, sometimes even triple up on him, and even that isn’t always enough to stop him getting his cross in or winning free-kicks and penalties. Milner was left isolated against him too many times and he basically had no chance. Usually he’s the midfield player offering protection to the right back. This time he was the right back and more often than not there was no midfield player protecting him.

 

Occasionally he got help. Henderson actually dealt with Zaha fairly easily whenever he came into contact with him, and Mané also got back to help out on a couple of occasions to win the ball back. There were too many occasions when Milner didn’t have help though and when that happened Zaha had little trouble getting dangerous crosses in.

 

That’s how the opening goal came about, although what happened prior to Zaha getting the ball was the most interesting part. Firstly, Jon Moss failed to spot a handball in his own box by Andros Townsend. To compound the error he gave the handball against Mané instead. Standard Fat Jon Moss that. Awful ref. 

 

 

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You’d be concerned that they worked us out at set pieces so easily-Ayew stood directly behind Virge & wouldn’t let him jump & that was that-no one else attacked the ball-Ayew was a menace all game & essentially went man to man on VVD & not the other way round

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It may have been 3 shots on target they had, but I can remember a couple of other anxious moments including the shot over the bar with the last kick of the game. As the ball fell for their guy to hit the whole crowd sucked in their breath, followed by a huge "yeeesssss" as it flew over the bar. Agree about Keita, looks completely lost and he was slow - a couple of times he was free but was caught within a few yards and lost the ball. A shadow of his Leipzig self. Seemed like his team-mates weren't sure about him either, he was in space on the left throughout the 2nd half but the pass nearly always went back inside.

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Top account, as always.

 

Im not sure Im allowed to criticise VVD but if he was half as good in their penalty area as he is in ours we'd have been a couple up before they scored.

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I’m not particularly anxious about our defense.

Their goal no. 1 came as a result of our pressing and a clinical counter attack. High pressure has given us many chances in the season, but it's a price. We paid the price yesterday. No. 2 should probably have been canceled due to illegal blocking. But this happens. No way he gets a free header without the block though. Their last came when everyone breathed relief after Mane had put the game to bed. Unprofessional to lower the guard, but I’m confident it’ll be a one off.

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I know we all think/say it every week but this was the biggest moment of the season for me.  Losing to City can happen regardless of how well or badly you play.  After going unbeaten and not dropping points for so long when you do finally get beat it almost nearly always is followed by another defeat or dropped points.  That was the real negative about the city loss for me.  It wasn’t the dropped points or them gaining on us.  It was the knock on impact of losing the invincible frame of mind.

 

It felt inevitable that we would drop points again and even before kick off I felt like this was the game it was going to happen in.  When those hand ball decisions went against us and you realised Moss was reffing it just felt written.  I’m with you on the wide play as well.  Mane is more critical to us than any other player for me now because he’s the only forward player who actually gets wide and stretches the play and he doesn’t even do it that often,

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The misplaced pass attributed to Hendo is a bit harsh... he pasees it to Bobby who lets it run for some reason and Milner was left to chase it and give away another yellow

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Every great defence has at least one or two days when things go to pot. Remember Houllier's team? Had a 5-4 Uefa cup final against Alaves. Benitez: 2 3-3 finals against Milan and, somewhat less forgivably, West Ham. So you can forgive an odd off day once it's the exception. 

 

It was a close game, and I remember a lot of close ones in the 2014 run as well. We only beat West Ham, Norwich and City by inches that year in the run in. So all this "Oh this is a sign it's their year", Danny Murphy saying we'll win it, is all bullshit. It's only your year when the season's over and your kissing the trophy. 

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1 hour ago, tlw content said:

It’s Palace though isn’t it? There’s something about them that often brings out the crazy in us. For most of the game they barely even ventured over the halfway line, which is probably a good thing as whenever they did they fucking scored. They had three shots and scored from every one. 

 

They had 4 shots at Villa Park in 1990.

 

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I'm not too arsed about conceding three these things can happen and it has no bearing on what happened in 14 as that defence was an accident waiting to happen. If you're an arle arse like me you'll remember in 76 we beat Stoke at home 5-3 around April when going for the title and that was a great defence also

Palace have scored 6 goals at City and against us which shows what a tough team they are to play against when they can sit back, I said to my mate before K.O I'd much rather play them away.

Having said that I'm not sure were al this bollocks about them being a bogey side has come from that's four games on the bounce we've beaten them now

 

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"Speroni channelled his inner-Pickford"

 

hehehehe

 

I'm not sure Hendo can be fully blamed for that ball as I think Firmino was his target. He might have taken a better option and passed backwards like he usually does but sure it is what it is. If we do manage to win the title I'll look back at this game with the same fear as  I had with the Derby game. Knowing we've won it and collected the 3 points but having a mini stroke watching it. 15 games to go means 15 opportunities for me to have a breakdown.

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This is where we all want to be, but it's really difficult to enjoy it given how much it means. I reckon I'd be fine if we'd won the league in recent years. Because it's been so long though the pressure is just too much and it's just not fun. I'll be glad when it's over really.

 

Agree with that. Long stretches of Saturday were excruciating.

 

That's just us though. We've been conditioned for domestic failure for 30 years now and it's been hell at times, particularly in 2014. One small setback and it seems like the sky's fallen in.

 

The great thing is that this group of players don't carry that legacy around on their shoulders in the same way we do. Neither does Klopp. They look to be both winners and grafters. They usually find a way.

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A lot of focus on the pass from Henderson again, I'm not even convinced he was passing it to Milner.  Not sure if he was laying it on for Bobby who was right there as well.  Bad pass regardless, because it's not clear, but still doesn't excuse making that challenge when on a yellow...

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I completely agree with you about the lack of enjoyment in this title run. You can really feel the pressure of it. Every time my mind wanders to May, I have try think about something else !!! Still you have to hand it to the players, one league defeat by mid January is impressive. Hopefully they'll recharge their batteries in sunny Dubai & we'll have fewer games like Saturday. 

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Pressure 's about to be turned up another notch as well because they play Newcastle away first in the next set of games;  and if they win that 1 our lead will be just a point before we play Leicester on the Weds. Absolutely bricking it !!!!

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44 minutes ago, Marion said:

I completely agree with you about the lack of enjoyment in this title run. You can really feel the pressure of it. Every time my mind wanders to May, I have try think about something else !!! Still you have to hand it to the players, one league defeat by mid January is impressive. Hopefully they'll recharge their batteries in sunny Dubai & we'll have fewer games like Saturday. 

It is because it isn't a normal race where the normal level of performance will be enough.

 

It is fucking insane and it shows no signs of ending really.

 

90 pts in every year wins you the league and does so by miles.

 

90 this year will probably be 5-9 short.

 

I posted this the other week but worth a look:

 

Pts champions got every year since 2000.

2000 - 91 (won it by 18 pts)

2001 - 80 (won by 10)

2002 - 87 (won by 7)

2003 - 83 (won by 5)

2004 - 90 (won by 11)

2005 - 95 (won by 12)

2006 - 91 (won by 8)

2007 - 89 (won by 6)

2008 - 87 (won by 2)

2009 - 90 (won by 4)

2010 - 86 (won by 1)

2011 - 80 (won by 9)

2012 - 89 (won on GD)

2013 - 89 (won by 11)

2014 - 86 (won by 2)

2015 - 87 (won by 8)

2016 - 81 (won by 10)

2017 - 93 (won by 7)

2018 - 100 (won by 19)

Anytime a side has got 90 plus pts they have won the title by an average of 11 pts!....

 

Go back further and pattern does not change - last time we did it we got 79.

 

Mancs in 97 won it with 75...seventyfuvkingfive!

 

Now any draw or loss and it seems like could be fatal - teams who win the league don't usually win every week, they draw quite a few and lose a handful....here we are with an unreal haul from 23 games and we are under huge pressure and that pressure isn't going away is it.

 

We are gonna possibly have two teams over 90 pts (maybe even over 95) for first time and one of them is of course gonna be losers - if it is us it will be a blow bigger than anything this club has ever suffered on the pitch in its history....our best ever pts return (and we of course have won it 18 fucking times so that pts haul is no low bar) and one of the highest pys totals ever achieved by anyone and fuck all to show for it - hell, absolute hell.

 

Of course if we win it then....well...you know.

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"Maybe that’s because I was a lazy, infuriating twat..." Just struggling with the "was". 

 

I too was terrified by this fixture (fair to say I'm terrified by all fixtures now, but this was supersize terrifying) so I think it was a brilliant three points.

 

Keita a fucking waste of space. We were playing with 10 men as long as that streak of shite was on the pitch. And notable that your only mention of Fabinho was his substitution. He was poor at Brighton and I remain completely unconvinced by him after Saturday's non-performance. In fact, despite playing midfield on Saturday, his game plan was exactly the same as it had been the weekend before at Brighton when he was right centre half: receive the ball, pass it to Virge. Get the ball again, pass it to Virge. Almost as woeful as Keita. Millie did a brilliant job of trying to contain the world-class Zaha and yet being about our most creative attacker. He desperately needed Fabinho to give him additional protection but it rarely came. 

 

Mo was brilliant. He could have been considered for your starman rating you know. 

 

When we went 2-1 up, the fella next to me said "Dangerous score 2-1 you know". My reply was "Not as dangerous as 2-2." Should have kept my trap shut. 

 

Am I alone in wanting to kick Hendo's fucking teeth in? Will he NEVER FUCKING SHOOT? You want to be Stevie Gerrard but you won't shoot. The opportunities and time on the ball in perfect positions he gets every fucking game and he WILL NOT SHOOT. I swear, if I were the oppo and he got the ball anywhere near the D, I'd send every player away from him and tell my keeper to queue up for a latte coz tthe one place IT WILL NOT GO is towards the goal. Jesus you dick, fucking fire it at the target a couple of times a game. The world won't collapse when you miss, you know. Christ.

 

Sorry not to pop over before the game, but we were a bit last-minute-Larry arriving and I had to choose between some deeply forgettable free hospitality scran, or saying hi to you, Joolz and the rest. It was never in question. 

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1 hour ago, an tha said:

...(Liverpool or City are) gonna be losers - if it is us it will be a blow bigger than anything this club has ever suffered on the pitch in its history.

Really? You sure about that? Without thinking about it too much I offer you Exhibit 1989. 

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7 minutes ago, rb14 said:

Really? You sure about that? Without thinking about it too much I offer you Exhibit 1989. 

1989....we had won the league the year before and had won it often in that decade - we got a total of 76 pts (same 20 team 3 pts for a win league) 

 

OK we all know what happened on that night but for me if we end up with say 93/94 pts this season (our best ever total) and fail to end a 29 year drought it would for me be worse than the 89 season (on the pitch) - in 89 we had already won the cup, when it mattered and of course with all that went with it that season.

 

We could easily break all kinds of records this season but still be sitting on a 29 year drought and still with that massive monkey on our backs.

 

All about opinions of course but for this would be worse.

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18 minutes ago, TK421 said:

No need for that.

Are you really taking that seriously, or just a fucking knob? 

 

Seriously, this sort of reply is why I am getting properly disillusioned with TLW. 

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23 minutes ago, rb14 said:

Are you really taking that seriously, or just a fucking knob? 

 

Seriously, this sort of reply is why I am getting properly disillusioned with TLW. 

Oh, it was a joke!  That's so funny.  That is gold.  

 

Hahahahaha! 

 

By the way, do you think we'd have scored the four goals required to win that game if Hendo had spent the afternoon taking random pot-shots from 30 yards?  I don't.  

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2 hours ago, TK421 said:

Oh, it was a joke!  That's so funny.  That is gold.  

 

Hahahahaha! 

Confirming my point. You could just have said "fair enough" or something. Better to have another pop eh? 

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