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  1. The press are calling this the title decider. Of course much can change for both teams after this game no matter the result, but none of that matters to the meedja as this one is the be all and end all. No doubt it’ll be Tyler and Gareh on comms, and we already know it’s a Manc ref in charge. Of course it is. It’s like the only qualification to be a PL ref is to hail from Greater Manchester and proclaim that you support some small local team who play 5 levels below the Vauxhall Conference (or whatever the Conference is called these days). Still: Motivation. Organisation. Strength. Skill. Space. Intelligence. Drive. Energy. I don’t ask for much. Last season’s corresponding fixture finished all square, with Mo’s early penalty being cancelled out by Gabriel Jesus. De Bruyne missed a penalty for the hosts too, given for a handball when a shot from outside the area struck Big Joe on the arm. As with so many such instances, the player isn’t trying to handle the ball, just instinctively protecting his face from a projectile flying in his direction at speed. A comment I’ve made many a time when seeing such things is how I wish to boot a ball at a ref’s face just to see how they react. Anyway, I think we had a few absentees at the time due to Covid, had no Virg for the rest of the season, and no Thiago until after Christmas. A point looked fair at the time. A better away day came in April 1982. We had been knocked out of the European Cup early but had retained the League Cup and would go on to reclaim the League title. That had seemed very unlikely earlier in the season as Sir Bob had rebuilt the side and several stalwarts had either left or lost their place in the team. Brucie had been extremely erratic, Lawro was bedding into the defence, Whelan and Skippy were getting more game time ahead of the likes of Terry Mac and Ray, and a young Welshman was being selected ahead of David Johnson (who would soon be rejoining the blue half of Merseyside). They’d well and truly found their groove by the new year, and City were merely one of the victims in a 5-0 rout at Maine Road. Wee Sammy got the ball rolling with a 35-yard rocket of a free kick into the top corner of the net. Phil “Yes boss” Neal buried the second from the spot after Rushie had been brought down in the area. Skippy added the third after an incisive move, and Barney Rubble added a brilliant/fluky [delete as appropriate] right-footed cross-shot into the far top corner over the head of City keeper Joe Corrigan. Kenny and Rushie traded passes as they broke clear of City’s crumbled back line, with the latter having all the time in the world to place the ball into the net and send the Kippax faithful home thoroughly miserable. A year later they’d watch David Pleat run across the pitch like an animated corpse as his Luton side pulled off a miracle to remain in the top flight at City’s expense. Here's a good highlights package of the 5-0. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgWxbrDlXVY April 1982 saw the box office topped by an early example of the high school coming-of-age/gross-out comedy genre, in the form of Porky’s. Kim Cattrall was in the film featured in my last match thread, and she was in this one too. It’s set in an earlier era, and basically showcases the series of ridiculous events that follows after a group of high schoolers manage to get their way into the titular (pardon the pun) strip club, only to be fleeced of all their cash. This is yet another film I know of but haven’t actually seen. For some reason I was thinking it was more like Animal House or Fast Times at Ridgmont High, but reading up on it leaves the impression that the film’s makers were looking to tread a different path. Consensus suggests that while it proved a hit at the box office, it hasn’t stood up as well as those named above. What say you lot though? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWmtDAIK03M This is a fixture where Klopp and his players need only think about getting the 3 points and ignore all the context around that feat and what it might entail. I usually say that we can achieve that provided the right motivation, application and attitude are in evidence, but that is especially true against City, who are a very strong team with plenty of depth in key areas, and able to ride out perceived deficiencies in others. Do all the right things, and we can all go home happy knowing we’ve taken a step as a means to an end. Let’s go get it done. EDIT: No idea why the clips are not auto-embedding.
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