Ole’s at the, uhh, Wheel
Folks, what Liverpool did today at Old Trafford is going to be talked about fifty, a hundred years from now. And it wouldn’t be wrong to suggest the final scoreline could have even more impressive had the Reds fancied pushing it. Yet somehow, in the end, the choice the Reds made to basically pass the ball around for the last half hour of the game so as to avoid any unnecessary injury served an even bigger dose of humiliation to those devils. They could do nothing at all about it even if they tried, but in the most embarrassing fashion imaginable, and speaking volumes to the qualities of their messianic bus driver, they didn’t even try.
Liverpool owned Manchester United today so thoroughly, that by the end Old Trafford was ringing with one song, and it was You’ll Never Walk Alone. After this humiliation, the home team might consider renaming itself back to Newton Heath for a while, so they can send Manchester United to the cleaners to see if they can get the stain off.
Which, by the way, they can’t, no matter how hard they try.
And if the merseysiders owned their arch-rivals as a team, an orchestra, then Mo Salah performed the most breathtaking of solos. A hat trick at Old Trafford? Why not? Let’s add a perfectly weighted assist to that. Did you see his second goal? It wasn’t an easy one, yet Salah essentially… shrugged it in with perfect power and accuracy, while staying the picture of coolness. It’s not like either of the other two were easy, either.
The Egyptian is simply unstoppable at the moment.
New recruit Ibrahima Konate had a decent game, even as he looked a bit shaky in the first couple of minutes before Keita’s opener. He is going to become an important player for Liverpool in the coming years, and during a couple of extremely rare moments when United tried something, it was easy to see why Klopp slotted him in for this one; his speed, strength, and game intelligence are still not quite as refined as his senior partner on the defensive end, but he can deal. Matip needed the rest so we can avoid another injury spell for him, and what a relief that to have such a, well, relief.
Turning to the elephant in the room, the single biggest jerk in world football showed his true colors and only got a yellow for it. In the eternal argument about who is better, Ronaldo or Messi, it is easy to get bogged down in discussions about minute technical and statistical factors, but for me it has never been a competition. Messi is a good man. Ronaldo may be a brilliant athlete, perhaps even the best ever to have played football, but he is also a massive asshole. Messi therefore wins by default.
Ronaldo, though, really is the perfect fit for his team.
If there was one thing I wish would have gone differently, it may be that I would have loved to have seen Ronaldo get the red card he so clearly desired – and deserved. Still, it was a nice consolation prize to see his goal chalked off by VAR. And Cavani continues to be world-class, perhaps the best ever in history, in hitting the post. Nobody does it better.
Manchester United 0.