Dying in bed from abnormally high fever on Saturday, very little could lift my spirits and ignite me to move a muscle. Heck, I didnt even tweet for 12 straight hours! Until of course I noticed something fishy going on in my twitter time line (yes I was monitoring it but not tweeting). Ryan Babel tweeted that another player, Lucas had something to tell us, he then tweeted again that maybe it was Glen Johnson who wanted to tell us this. Then tweets flooded in of an expected announcement from LFC.TV.
Its like I was touched my god himself, I got out of bed, jumped around, prayed to thank the lord and informed my followers of this glorious news. Twitter, Facebook, emails and BBM's were flooded with messages of joy an elation. Roy as you know was set to go one way or another, for the owners to ask King Kenny to come back and hold fort was special, because right now we need someone special to inspire the team to be just that, a team again. Many argued that he has been out of the game for too long and doesnt understand the pressures of the modern day game. Bull shit if you ask me, he watches the games, his been back at LFC in the backroom staff and academy for over a year so to say he has lost touch is like saying Hugh Hefner doesnt know what brunettes are. His very first game in charge of Liverpool would be against Manchester United in the FA Cup, could it get any better than this? A revival game of note was on the cards. Now realistically speaking, a win was asking for much, most of all what we wanted was a good all round performance from our team.
Didnt take long for Webb to show his love and affection to the Red of Manchester, 3 minutes in United cut well into the Liverpool defence, the slightest of touches (if any) by Daniel Agger sends Berbatov into his very own rendition of Swan Lake. Of course Webb being 20 meters or so back, blocked by 4/5 players and no indication from his linesmen could see that this was an obvious penalty. Shocked by the decision the Liverpool players have every right to argue, for me it was pretty much a normal thing for us really. Theres almost always a dubious penalty awarded to United against us, whats that I hear? this wasnt dubious or controversial? Better tell that to Skysports, BBC Sport and Goal.com. I could post other news websites but that would just be petty. Players dive, I agree but at least own up to it, I may have said during some banter to the United blokes that Torres never dives but they managed to dig up the one and only time he did lose his balance in the League and evidently it was against United at OT, but that game was wayyy back in 2008, so who's bringing up the past now ;) Back to the game, the over all shape of Liverpool was good. Kenny resorted to playing Gerrard up front behind Torres, Maxi and Kuyt on the wings with Lucas and Miereles patrolling midfield. Kenny proved I wasnt going crazy by thinking Aurellio was better than Konchesky and had him set at Left back with Konchesky not even making the team to travel to Old Trafford that day. Agger, Skertl, Kelly and Reina made up the rest of the defence.
The team responded well to going a goal down with them creating a few good moves that could have resulted in equalising goals, unfortunately our lucky charm Vidic wasnt playing that day. Rio did well to clear many a shot and low cross that came in. Then the second of the 2 controversial decisions that Webb made in the game occurred. Free ball to be won, Gerrard and Carrick attempt to win it, I'd say Gerrard was fairly closer to it but matter of the fact is what happened next. Play was stopped after Webb felt there was no advantage to United, and after being consulted by his assistants, the United players then telling them to step away he then brandished the red card to Steven Gerrard. My view on the tackle, was it reckless? yes, malicious? no, was he making an attempt to win the ball? yes, was he wanting to damage the player? no, do I want him to damage the player? yes. The challenge warranted a stern talking to and a yellow card at most. Why just a yellow? Many say it was a 2 footed, studs up challenge, I took the liberty of getting screen grabs from the replay to show that he in fact went in with 1 foot, not two. See the back leg is in the other direction, of course once he lands the trailing leg will follow. He cant de-attach his leg. Then they say "why did he lunge?" what did they want him to do? moon walk?
It was a 50/50 but in those cases with you being in OT with Webb its seen as a 99/1 tackle. Carrick rolled around for a few seconds but was fine after that. You probably think Im being unreasonable and a bitter rival, I would post stills and videos of Rafael's stomp on Maxi or Nani's kick to Aurellio's knee but surprise, surprise none of those made the highlights nor were mentioned in any of the articles and both easily card-able offences, plus after Howard Webb gave De Jong only a yellow after his ninja kick on Alonso at the world cup final, I thought he could have been less harsh on Gerrard... oh wait Alonso was a Liverpool player, right that explains it.
Back to the game, 10 men against 12, I mean 11, we did well to hold our shape and quite honestly offered United very little space to attack with only one moment midway in the second half that made the heart skip when Reina was forced into 5/6 consecutive saves from all angles with at one stage his goal gaping open. Kenny made a double substitution which saw Maxi and Miereles depart for Babel and Shelvy. Both youngsters, both pacey and both with attacking mentality, it was clear what Kenny was thinking. They were superb, almost instantly tearing through the field, Babel firing down the left almost found Torres with his first burst, Shelvy showing his brilliance hunted down the United defender to the corner flag, and attempted to find Babel at the edge of the box but the pass was behind the arriving player. Everything we did was leaps and miles of the Liverpool we were used to seeing this season. Im not sure if it was a once of performance by certain players or if this is the Liverpool we going to see till the end of the season. Torres I must admit isnt looking himself yet but Kenny on Monday re-assured fans that they will get him back to the striker we know and love. The funny thing from after the game was the gloating by the glory hunting mancs, fine a win is a win and we are out of the competition, if it were Liverpool whom won under that circumstances I would be disappointed, besides the ref's decisions, having a team with a man short I would have liked to see my team finish them off, at 1-0 anything can happen, so it is critical to make sure of the victory. I'll just leave Uniteds failure of scoring a second down to brilliant Liverpool defence and no one can say we "parked the bus" because we did attack. It was funny reading the after match comments by the managers and players, Fergie claiming everything was fair (give me a break), Berbatov claiming he would never dive (yawn) and Kenny stating both decisions were a joke (lol).
To round of the weekend of laughs, step up Rayn Babel with his tweets. Many mock him but he is a funny yet talented guy. After tweeting "and they say he is one of the best ref's in the world smh" and posting this pic of Webb in a United kit, the FA have stepped in to punish him for such a thing, while the rest of the world laughed along with him... besides United fans of course, this shit aint funny.
Joke being doing the rounds since Sunday:
Howard Webb's kids have denied their Dad is a secret Man Utd fan."He is totally unbiased," Alex, George, Bobby, Matt and Cristiano stated.
I hope this is a signal of things to come for Liverpool as I really liked what I saw on Sunday, we played with reason again. We looked like we had tactics, plan B's, and other options apart from the boring long ball approach. Our defence looked good and had structure even with Kelly stepping in last minute for Glen Johnson. Aurellio showed he still has his set piece radar in check. So Wednesdays game away to Blackpool couldnt come sooner.