It has become de rigueur these days to beat Liverpool at the historical site known as the Ruins of Anfield. The crumpled ramparts, broken stones and burnt battlements of that previously glorious and impenetrable fortress are a painful memory to many in the surrounding countryside. Tales of fearsome, mighty warriors, ready to fight to their last breath for every blade of grass, are still told from the lips of those who lived in those olden days, when people were free to roam and mingle, and when a roar would rise from inside the hallowed walls where they once stood.
I mean, all the cool kids are doing it, so why not Fulham?
It gets boring to say it, but all the credit to Scott Parker and his lads, who came, and saw, and, if we are the be honest about it, rather easily conquered. We could blame the pandemic, the mood, the stars, or even the opening lineup, but it just feels as if a shadow is walking amongst the squad, whispering sweet nothings to them and distracting them from their job. That is, to win football games.
Or even, for heaven’s sake, score a damn goal ever so often.
When I find myself celebrating a somewhat fortunate hitting of the post, giving us a couple of “Stanga Points” (look it up in my column from January of 2020), it’s clear that there really isn’t much else to write about. Jota at least gave it a real go in the attempting department, actually hitting the target with a well-placed and powerful volley only to give Areola a nice photo-op. That’s something the rest of the Liverpool attacking line can’t manage at the moment. I just wish that the ball that landed at Mane’s feet later would have landed at Jota’s; I suspect that thanks to his injury sidelines spell he is not fully afflicted with the disease quite yet, and might have instinctively done something to send the ball towards the goal. He did just that early in the first half, and even though it got deflected because the opportunity was minimal at best, you could see that he poses an actual threat.
The Cottagers hit one and could have hit more, but I’m sure they will be satisfied with this result, as one suspects that at some point, Liverpool will finally wake up. Incredibly, due to the nature of this season, the Reds have not completely lost their opportunity to mount a late run and clinch a top-four spot, but if they are to do that, it had better start in the next game. Judging by today’s performance, it seems more likely that they will be cutting ribbons to celebrate number seven.
No, not the seventh champions league trophy.
The seventh loss in a row at home.