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RB Leipzig 0 Liverpool 2 (Feb 16 2021)

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Dave Usher

 

How refreshing was that? All the shit we’ve been fighting through these last few weeks just felt like it could be put to one side as the Champions League returned. I knew we’d win this game. I’m not being wise after the event as I posted on the forum the day before that we’d win. I’d have been shocked if we hadn’t.

 

Why? A couple of reasons. Firstly, that cabal of bent refs who have been undermining us at every turn since the season began would have no influence on this game. It’s a level playing field and on a level playing field there are very few opponents that worry me. Second in the Bundesliga or not, Leipzig aren’t on that list.

 

Secondly, I’ve been talking for a few weeks about 'rock bottom' and whether I felt we’d reached it or not. I didn’t think it was Burnley and that was proven to be right. I hoped it might have been Old Trafford in the cup and briefly it looked as though that was the case as we won our next two games. It was a false dawn though. I knew it wasn’t Brighton because we had Man City and Leicester next. I feared the worst for both of those games and ‘the worst’ is what we got, especially at Leicester. 

 

Not ‘worst’ as in performance, but more about how that whole thing went down. We played well until the officials got involved. The finish to that game was just brutal and a shock to everyone’s systems, especially the players. And that’s why I felt that Leicester was rock bottom and that the road back would start against Leipzig.

 

I’m not ready to declare all of our problems are over with, not least because this weekend we’re back in the hands of Premier League officials. Everton don’t scare me one little bit. There isn’t even 1% of me that’s worried about Everton. I have about a 75% concern about the officiating though and that's why it's hard to ever be confident about winning league games now. A lot of it is out of our control.

 

In the Champions League I don’t have that fear. Not because the officials are flawless and get everything right. They make mistakes and we’ve had some terrible refs in Europe. The difference is that any mistakes they make are honest mistakes. They aren’t out to get us. It’s a level playing field and that’s all I ask for. After that, may the best team win. Or the luckiest, whatever.

 

If this was a Premier League game we’d have lost. Performance wise it wasn’t that much different to Leicester. We played some good stuff and were clearly the better side in both games. But there were two big factors in why we lost one and won the other. Officiating and luck.

 

I can’t say this for certain as there’s no way of knowing for sure, but if Premier League refs had been in charge of this game it would have been a different outcome. I saw a comment on Twitter that absolutely nailed it. It was something like “the best thing about playing in Europe is that when Sadio and Mo are fouled we get free-kicks”. Yep. And those little things make a massive difference to games. Refs don’t always stiff you by giving penalties and red cards. Often it’s death by a thousand cuts.

 

Sadio got fouled early in this game and the ref not only booked the lad who committed the foul, he also pulled out a yellow card for his mate who protested about it. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. So THIS is what proper referees do. It’s been so long that I’d forgotten.

 

 

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I tweeted about 30 minutes in how much better champions league refs are than premier league refs.There was 2 or 3 good tackles by us that would definitely be given as fouls in the prem.The difference in the standard is staggering.

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Nice Davey. For man of the match, Trent is a very decent shout, but for me, Curtis was slightly better. Unfortunately, neither gets the nod.

 

MOM - The ref. Almost totally flawless. Solid, reliable, dilligent and honest. Class. The difference was night and day.

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Was thinking the same thing with regards to Trent's great block in our box in the second half. If that was in the PL it wouldn't have surprised me at all if a pen was given. 

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Bang on the money Dave again , I said the same about the " penalty " in the premier league that's definitely given against us , the referee was a breath of fresh air imo compared to the shite the Premier league muster he reffed it entirely on what he saw and not on reputation I can take that every day of the week .

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That game suited us because Leipzig play at a high tempo. You had moments throughout the whole game, but especially in the first half where the pressing was so effective on both sides and the turnovers of possession were so quick and frequent, and we thrive on those moments. That was a high level game by the way. Leipzig ran 116km and we ran 114km. That is good tempo. In comparison, PSG ran 105 and Barca ran 103, or something like that, in the other game.

 

To be honest, you could only be encouraged by the game, but in all likelihood very few other game or opponent we'll play this season will ressemble this one, so what you can take from it, I don't really know.

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Totally agree Dave. Combined with decent reffing, we just havent had any luck except bad as you say. We punished their mistakes whereas PL teams have been punishing us for our and ref's horrendous decisions!

 

Last night the ref and VAR used common sense, He even gave us a free kick when he didnt see the foul. Some may complain about that and certainly, no PL ref would have given it. I think they said on commentary he was reffing his first CL game?

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Agreed re: Davies, also agreed that probably won’t happen yet. We’ve turned a corner.....If we beat the Blueshite - and I suspect we’ll turn up - we nullify their game in hand by being 6 pnts ahead of them. Come in you Redmen.

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Interesting and encouraging game, not too much difference in the way we've been playing for most of this year, bar a couple. If things had gone as they have in the league we'd have probably lost that 2-0. It's a funny old game.

 

I don't think I've seen Alisson have so much of the ball to feet, it was like they were doing it on purpose to rebuild his confidence.

 

Glad you had something positive to write about finally, you were heading into pit of despair!

 

 

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I can’t say this for certain as there’s no way of knowing for sure, but if Premier League refs had been in charge of this game it would have been a different outcome. I saw a comment on Twitter that absolutely nailed it. It was something like “the best thing about playing in Europe is that when Sadio and Mo are fouled we get free-kicks”. Yep. And those little things make a massive difference to games. Refs don’t always stiff you by giving penalties and red cards. Often it’s death by a thousand cuts.

 

Dave - you're so right about the death by a thousand cuts.

It all goes back to one of your observations about how the match stats don't add up. We have 60% possession (say) over the whole game but the foul stats are something like 17 against us and only 11 fouls by the team playing with its back to the big bus in their goalmouth. We seem to have a foul called against us every time we lose the ball. This helps break up momentum, frustrate Klopp and the players and also waste time (looks at Burnley). 

When you throw in the implausible lines that VAR manages to draw - for us it's clearly a case of "joining up the dots" to get the pre-ordained result.

We need to shoot more from outside or edge of the box - VAR can't touch those goals.

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Particularly on Saturday with the long shots , I have a blue mate who hates Pickford and reckons his stats for shots from distance is miles worse than any other Prem keeper.

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21 hours ago, dockers_strike said:

Totally agree Dave. Combined with decent reffing, we just havent had any luck except bad as you say. We punished their mistakes whereas PL teams have been punishing us for our and ref's horrendous decisions!

 

Last night the ref and VAR used common sense, He even gave us a free kick when he didnt see the foul. Some may complain about that and certainly, no PL ref would have given it. I think they said on commentary he was reffing his first CL game?

Oh that free-kick, I'd forgotten about that! Mo just fell over his own feet with no-one anywhere near him. Refs back was turned, Hendo screamed for a free-kick and he blew the whistle!

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I didn't really celebrate the first goal as I assumed there would be some VAR involvement, it felt weird when there wasn't one. Curtis Jones was excellent especially in the first half he was gliding around the pitch.

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19 hours ago, dave u said:

Oh that free-kick, I'd forgotten about that! Mo just fell over his own feet with no-one anywhere near him. Refs back was turned, Hendo screamed for a free-kick and he blew the whistle!

 

Need a gif of this as it was so ridiculous. 

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