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Liverpool 2 Palace 0 (May 23 2021)

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Report by
Dave Usher

 

So third then eh? It’s quite remarkable given where we were in March. The first third of the season was great, the final third was too, but that middle third almost killed us.

 

To be able to recover from that deserves a lot of credit. Jurgen and the players stuck together and turned it around. 

 

I’m not sure how, but then I’m not sure how it got quite so bad in the first place. It was just a weird fucking season and not just for us either. Even the shit teams had a wild, unexplainable ride. Everton losing nine games at Goodison while looking a pretty good side on their travels (last day humiliation at City notwithstanding) is hard to explain. 

 

Burnley not being able to buy a win at home but picking up enough points on the road to survive comfortably is equally weird. United being virtually invincible away from home. Just a fucked up season. 99% of the shit that happened has to be due to fans being absent so hopefully we’ll see things get back to something close to normality next season.

 

That third place finish will boil a lot of piss as we were the butt of a lot of jokes for a long time this season. Not so funny now though, eh? Chelsea and Leicester both went the full Jean Van Der Velde and our lads held their nerve to take advantage.

 

If there is any image to sum up this season it’s Phillips and Williams, both bloodied and battered, celebrating at full time in front of the Kop. I fucking love that photo and I love both of those lads. Regardless of what happens in the future, what those two did deserves the gratitude and admiration of every Red. 

 

Imagine back in August if you’d been told that we’d play the last ten games of the season with those two and Ozan Kabak rotating at centre back and that we’d win eight and draw two (the two we drew were when Nat was injured). I think Fabinho played a couple of those games too, but you get the point.

 

This is the maddest season in history for so many reasons. We just kept getting punched in the fucking face. There was a period where the lads stopped fighting back and it looked like they were beaten (the meek as fuck derby loss at Anfield was the point when I really started to become pissed off with them), but they got off the canvas at the nine count and then came fucking roaring back.

 

Winning eight of the last ten despite the injury list we had (wasn’t just the centre backs) was commendable and, although I hesitate to say this, I think we have to say this season was a successful one in the end based on where we were a couple of months ago. Success is subjective and it doesn’t always require silverware. Context is king, and given everything we endured this year I think it’s fair to say that retaining the title was an impossible task. So finishing third, in this context, is a form of success.

 

 

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Phillips and Williams deserve the upmost credit especially having to play four high pressure games in 10 games and coming through in all of them

They had a few jittery moments especially against West Brom and Villa but came through it to put in a thoroughly professional job against Palace when before kick off I had a few nerves thing what if Zara is up for it and gets them one on one. But to to their credit he barely got a kick.

We obviously need better if we are to challenge next season but they can look back on this with immense pride 

I’m hoping we keep Nat as he’s a guy you can always have on the bench and put on if you’re trying to defend a lead late on which is what all mangers seem to do 

Just depends I guess if he wants that role now he’s had a taste for first team football

Special mention to Thiago who in the last few weeks has looked the player we hoped he would, seems mad now that Jurgen never started him in both legs against Madrid 

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Great report/season round-up, Dave.

A massive 10 game run-in when they were staring down the barrel of no European football and the possibility of finishing below both Moyes and Everton.

Fully agree on Gini as well - any suitable replacement will cost at least the same money and whoever comes in will need time to bed in whereas Gini is ready made.

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Some observations:

 

The last time we played CP after putting 11 past them with no reply in the previous two fixtures, we lost 4-3.

 

As it turned out, we'd have finished 3rd without Ali's header.

 

The Club provided free drinks all afternoon - without any fanfare. I thought the server had screwed up.

 

I'm gonna miss Gini, he's been fantastic. But I console myself with the fact, despite being incredibly fit, robust, strong on the ball and with great control, he doesn't directly affect games - goals, assists etc.

 

Roll on next season

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I love this fucking team. They put me through the ringer emotionally all the fucking time but I wouldn't change the highs they give me.  

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Great end of the season. Well done every one, you too Dave, you upped your writing and analyzing , that was tough, you shared it with us, but you never gave up, thanks mate !

 

Gini is gone, it’s sad but I’m sure they have lined up the next one, that’s the way Edwards and Klopp are doing.

 

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"That third place finish will boil a lot of piss..."

 

You saved it until your last match report for your very best line of the season.  Nice one @dave u

 

And thanks for all your hard and excellent work - it must have been very very hard yakka in some of those dark depths of this term.

 

 

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That ‘incredible’ Man City team I keep hearing about, we finished closer to them than they did to us last season.

 

Makes a mockery of "worst title defence ever" but hey, whatever fits the anti Liverpool narrative.

Excellent report especially for bigging up NAT and Rhys who have been outstanding especially when a lot thought...(insert name) would rip them a new one.

 

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2 hours ago, Barnesey said:

Some observations:

 

The last time we played CP after putting 11 past them with no reply in the previous two fixtures, we lost 4-3.

 

As it turned out, we'd have finished 3rd without Ali's header.

 

 

It wasn't just the points, it was the boost the rest of the team must have gotten from that whole situation.  That shouldn't be understated.  It was also one of the few times my neighbours were probably close to phoning the police as it was fucking bedlam in my living room.

The players will learn more from that rough patch this season than if they'd romped through everything and retained the title.  And I am absolutely gutted to see Gini go.  I don't usually get too attached to players at my age, but Gini is an exception.  Plenty have accused him of playing within himself or not doing enough when the majority of the time he was doing what Klopp wanted him to do, not what the fans wanted.  Too many of them still don't grasp that.

A cunt of a season, our worst for a while - but we still finished ahead of Everton who were going to win everything this season........

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I simply could not agree with you more on Gini and Keita Dave. One a club legend (yeah I said it, any player who wins the ECL and Premier League within 13 months is a legend to me) who obviously loves the club; the other a complete fucking waste of space. If there’s a shred of truth that he’s been pimping himself to Athletico I’d carry the bugger to Spain

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1 hour ago, Marcas said:

I simply could not agree with you more on Gini and Keita Dave. One a club legend (yeah I said it, any player who wins the ECL and Premier League within 13 months is a legend to me) who obviously loves the club; the other a complete fucking waste of space. If there’s a shred of truth that he’s been pimping himself to Athletico I’d carry the bugger to Spain

no you've misheard marcas, it's not athletico he's been pimping himself to, its athletic, oldham athletic, but even they've said thanks but no thanks it's probably too cold here for ya 

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3 minutes ago, rhylerpudlian said:

no you've misheard marcas, it's not athletico he's been pimping himself to, its athletic, oldham athletic, but even they've said thanks but no thanks it's probably too cold here for ya 

 

I told 'em, Oldham.

 

 

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Good stuff Dave.

 

You’ve laid out the Gini situation well. Catastrophically stupid not to keep him for another season at least. 
 

Agree too that keeping Keita would be utterly demoralising. I’d much rather see the £25m we might get from a Bundesliga club for him go towards buying somebody else. 

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When Gomez got injured, joining Virgil in the treatment room, we had played 8 league games, conceding 16. 

 

In the remaining 30 games, we only conceded 26. 

Even the defence wasn't terrible during the shit period of 14 games from West Brom to Wolves - We only conceded 17 and 7 of those came v Leicester and City.

 

We just couldn't buy a goal. The balance was all wrong. We played most of those games with neither Henderson or Fabinho in MF. I think it showed how important how the least lauded section of our team is, and how critical, winning the ball back high up the pitch is to our game and to how our forwards are successful. 

 

Nat Phillips started 15 games. In those 15 games, we conceded 9 goals. Legend!

 

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Gini - "I’m fighting against tears right now. I hope to have played many more years for the club but unfortunately things went different."

 

Doesn't sound like someone who wanted to leave - I wonder how much he was asking for?? 

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And what a great line from Klopp -

 

"Now it looks like the time is over but everything will be fine and nobody can take our memories from us. We will share them forever and that’s really great. I told him that after the game, he sees it the same way and the goodbye would not be tough if the time you had together was not worth it. So, it’s really tough because we had a great time together.'

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10 hours ago, Razoray said:

 

Nat Phillips started 15 games. In those 15 games, we conceded 9 goals. Legend!

 

He even had to score one of them hmself to make it look a bit less embarassing for the others.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Razoray said:

When Gomez got injured, joining Virgil in the treatment room, we had played 8 league games, conceding 16. 

 

In the remaining 30 games, we only conceded 26. 

Even the defence wasn't terrible during the shit period of 14 games from West Brom to Wolves - We only conceded 17 and 7 of those came v Leicester and City.

 

We just couldn't buy a goal. The balance was all wrong. We played most of those games with neither Henderson or Fabinho in MF. I think it showed how important how the least lauded section of our team is, and how critical, winning the ball back high up the pitch is to our game and to how our forwards are successful. 

 

Nat Phillips started 15 games. In those 15 games, we conceded 9 goals. Legend!

 

I fully agree that the balance of the team was what we had wrong, both Henderson & Fabinho contribute more to both the attack and defence by being in the middle of the park, not at the back.

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It's crazy to think that every player that played in the center back position this season picked up an injury. I'm not sure that's ever happened before, they deserve huge credit for finishing in third. 

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