Southampton 1 – 2 Liverpool
I wonder if you suffer from the same problem I do, in that it’s hard to describe just how incredible this season has been so far. Take today’s game; the Saints at St. Mary’s can be an unpredictable and tricky opponent (for evidence, see City, Manchester). Liverpool had to play this game with much of the bench, due to a grueling extra-time FA cup final Saturday night. Then the Reds went one down to a quality Redmond hit early on and, just like in the last two games, they had to find a way back and over. And yet, somehow, they found that way to keep at it and leave themselves a chance at a nigh impossible quadruple. No team has ever reached anywhere near this far in such a quest.
This campaign is historic, no matter how it ends.
Examine the two names on the scoring sheet. Takumi Minamino made sure to remind everyone why we all got so excited about him coming over to Merseyside after his champions league performance against Liverpool. He is clearly a very different player to, say, Luis Diaz, but in his way, he was electric today, and he took his one big opportunity extremely well to convert it, something that can’t be said for the usually dependable poacher Jota. Next up? Joel Matip, who put that grinning noggin of his in exactly the right place for the ball to sort of bounce off it into the corner. He didn’t mean it that way, Matip, but they all count.
Somebody Had to Score, Right?
Then we have Firmino. Oh, Bobby. There really is no other player like him anywhere on the planet, and he left it all on the pitch today, creating much of the apparent confusion that Southampton suffered. linking up play, slowing down, and speeding up as if he were manipulating the controls of a train engine. He fits the Klopp system so well that he inevitably becomes the invisible man behind the curtain, who occasionally makes an appearance to dazzle the audience.
In fact, Bobby would have my man-of-the-match except that there was one player who, I should think, deserves it slightly more. He played the entirety of that cup final, yet he started again today, and he was clearly still tired. Yet every time he was called on to make a crucial intervention – and it happened a fair bit – there he was, shutting shit down. But he went beyond that and showed some delightful skill on the ball to escape a few Saintly, carefully-lain traps. So Ibrahima Konate gets my nod, and more importantly, I hope he gets some rest.
This is going down to the wire, folks. Sure, chances are not high, but…
Could it possibly be any more exciting?