Funny game, this.
On one hand, one could not begrudge West Ham for feeling like they should have gotten something from this game. At least one point, if not all three. They crafted some excellent chances, but failed to capitalize in that way that sometimes just happens to a team, combined with some remarkable last-ditch heroics by the Liverpool back line. The Hammers struck, but the nails went crooked.
On the other hand, Liverpool might feel aggrieved that they weren’t something like three or four up in the first thirty minutes, when they completely dominated their opponents. In similar fashion to West Ham, the Reds just failed to score chances that on other days would all go in and end up with a ridiculous scoreline as the opposition gets demoralized and fades away. Just look again at Trent’s first assist, the one that won’t actually count because Salah somehow failed to convert a chance he normally takes in his sleep.
In the end, it was a 5-4 game that ended with a 1-0 scoreline instead.
And that one goal took a downright astonishing threaded pass from the young fullback to an awaiting Sadio Mane, who otherwise wasn’t particularly good but was the only one to put the ball in the damn goal. The move was also notable for being, for once, a hairline onside; those tight Nike outfits meant the edge of Mane’s sleeve stayed nicely up his bicep. As a side note, I wonder if we are going to see shorter shirt sleeves come into fashion, as a way to game the whole VAR thing of using them to somehow define offsides.
But seriously, go check out that pass again.
Trent had an excellent game, saving our bacon several times, and because he did also provide the assist for the three points, I am giving him my man-of-the-match. But another player was worth it, too, and that is – chorus, please – one Luis Diaz, who keeps being fantastic even as he isn’t even used to the team quite yet. Yes, we’d all seen him at Porto, but I fully admit that I had no idea his work rate was THAT impressive. His decision making seems good, too, which makes him a greater creative threat than say, Mane, who often seems to have blinders on. Can he keep this up once the typical premier league team starts to take him seriously? Will be a sight to behold, then. What was a sight to behold today was him running such that he got both the West Ham centerbacks booked in that single run. You don’t see that every day.
Can’t wait to see him combine with Jota in the middle.
Tough as they were to obtain, that’s three more points in the bag. The pressure is back on City, and for the next 24 hours, I am all United, all the way. You go, Red Devils. You know you want that UCL spot.