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  1. The schedule is relentless. No sooner have we booked a place in the Champions League semi finals and reached the FA Cup final, the league programme is back on the agenda with a couple of home games against two sides whom we probably want to beat more than any other due to the historical rivalries and bragging rights. We smashed the shit out of Ole’s lot at Old Trafford, coming away with a 5-0 win. Since then they have had a change of manager, protested yet again against the Glazers (they spent a shitload of money again last summer, but their fans seem to be of the mindset that they are not spending enough, and seeing their team fall well off the pace to challenge for anything, the toys have well and truly been thrown out of the pram), and are still heavily reliant on de Gea on goal, and the mid-30s preening twat’s goals up front. No room for complacency from our lot despite all that, so: Grit. Intensity. Verve. Electricity. Intelligence. Tactical nous. Gumption. Ingenuity. Gall. Gravitas. Skill. Effervescence. Heart. I don’t ask for much. Last season’s corresponding fixture came at a time when we had no central defenders, and the Mancs were getting ridiculous VAR calls in their favour seemingly every week thanks to Professional Game Manchester-based Officials Limited. It was an insipid affair that finished 0-0. I don’t recall a single thing that happened in that game. Our defence of the title won so gloriously in 2020 had fallen away as we were decimated by injuries, and the goals had dried up. In May 1977 though, the picture was rosier. We were looking to retain the title we’d won the previous year, and Man City had emerged as the nearest challengers. QPR had gone close the previous year, and Nottingham Forest would go all the way the following year. The First Division was a very open contest in those days by the looks of things, even when Liverpool generally came out on top. Liverpool and United would meet again in the FA Cup final a few weeks later, but there was a league game at Anfield first. It finished 1-0 thanks to an early goal from King Kev, with the diminutive forward leaping like a salmon to bury a header from David Johnno’s cross. Even then, the media talked up the game as a dress rehearsal for the cup final. The FA Cup was by far the biggest deal domestically back then. This was also Kev’s last goal for Liverpool. He didn’t score in our last few games though his contribution is undeniable. He would transfer to Hamburg for half a million that summer. The fella from Celtic we spent the bulk of that fee on didn’t do too badly! I can’t find highlights of the league game so here’s a match report. Horace Yates isn’t the sort of name you might associate with a sports journalist! The big box office draw n early May 1977 was the film many consider to be Woody Allen’s finest, and it’s certainly the most decorated. Annie Hall was co-written and directed by Allen and starred Diane Keaton in the title role. At the time, perhaps her biggest role had been Michael Corleone’s girlfriend and then wife Kay Adams in the first two Godfather films. Allen also starred as the (neurotic, what else?) New York comedian looking over his relationship with Annie Hall, showcased over a backdrop of how they got together and how things slowly unravelled. Can a committed neurotic ever truly settle with such a free spirit? It is definitely funny in places and very inventive but at the same time, it’s all a bit hipster in being a film you’re told you have to like if you have any pretensions of being a cinephile. Guarding against complacency is probably the biggest thing in these return fixtures against teams we absolutely battered earlier in the season. Not that these teams have necessarily got better since then, but mostly because any lack of focus or not taking games seriously can see even the very best teams come unstuck. Klopp and his staff do appear to have worked hard on the squad over the past year to try and avoid such a scenario. They don’t go out there thinking a game is won before it is, they want to go out there and win it. The difference comes from what gear we are in. If we approach it with the appropriate levels of commitment, attitude and application, we can again claim the three points. Handing out another tonking would of course be most welcome. And if Mo finds his goalscoring mojo too, then great. Just go out there and get the job done.
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